Sexton M, Shelton K, Haley P, West M. (2018) Evaluation of Cannabinoid and Terpenoid Content: Cannabis Flower Compared to Supercritical CO2 Concentrate. Planta Med. 2018 Mar;84(4):234-241. doi: 10.1055/s-0043-119361. Epub 2017 Sep 19. Erratum in: Planta Med. 2018 Mar;84(4):E3.
This post compares supercritical CO2 extraction with the original flower. Six different strains were compared: blackberry, cherry, and pineapple kush, rippled bubba, purple sour diesel, and harlequin. The Washington State USA authors of the publication are from the Center for the Study of Cannabis and Social Policy, Phytalytics, Medicine Creek Analytics, CO2 Garden Extracts, and Green Lion Farms
0.25 g of ground flowers or 0.15g of SC-CO2 extract (3 each) were dissolved in 10 mL of a 1:1 dichloromethane/methanol mixture. The samples were subjected to vortexing and degassing before insoluble materials were removed by centrifugation. The samples were diluted some more in the dichloromehane/methanol and subjected to gas chromatography/ mass spectrometry.
SC-CO2 extraction increased the THC potency 3.2 fold whereas the CBD potency was increased 4x. The 14 terpenes profiled were not uniformly concentrated by SC-CO2.
The first consequence is that the extract does not have the same aroma as the original flower. Another consequence is that the proportions of cannabinoids and terpenes get messed up.
Let’s look at Cherry Kush
These values were extracted from the publication
|cannabinoid||flower…………||concentrate||down terpene||flower.…………||concentrate||up terpene||flower………….||concentrate|
|CBDA(µg/g)||0.03 (±0.06)||9.12 (±2.10)||α-pinene||0.73 (±0.09)||0.48 (±0.11)||linalool||0.57 (±0.08)||3.14* (±0.66)|
|CBD(µg/g)||ND||0.53 (±0.06)||β-pinene||0.73 (±0.14)||0.48 (±0.08)||Fenchyl alcohol||0.89 (±0.08)||4.04* (±0.47)|
|THCA(µg/g)||26.4 (±3.5)||69.38 (±5.20)||β-myrcene||0.62 (±0.54)||0.13 (±0.03)||α-terpineol||0.83 (±3.50)||5.06* (±0.46)|
|THC(µg/g)||1.6 (±0.9)||7.75 (±1.90)||D-limonene||4.23* (±0.50)||1.19 (±0.33)||β-caryophyllene||7.62 (±0.64)||20.6* (±2.40)|
|CBN(µg/g)||ND||0.15 (±0.06)||α-humulene||1.82 (±0.13)||5.69*(±0.55)|
|CBG(µg/g)||ND||ND||α-bisabolol||0.42 (±0.15)||4.53* (±1.25)|
The user of Cherry Kush is getting over 3x as much THC in the concentrate. They are also losing over 3x as much D-limonene for this “down terpene.” Hopefully α-bisabolol agrees with the Cherry Kush consumer. They are getting 10x as much in the concentrate. The are just things to consider when going from the flower to an extraction.