Planning Your Extraction System: Which Extraction Method is Right for You?


2020 is an important year for the cannabis market, as sales remain steady through the pandemic and legalization spreads in US states and Europe. With new regulations in existing markets, product line diversification, the maturity of the CDB market, and the rollout of Canada’s “Cannabis 2.0” derivative products, safe, consistent high-pressure manufacturing processes are critical to sustainable growth.

But which extraction method is right? It depends. With emerging regulations and wide variance in supply chain models, consider your top priorities:

Employee safety—Supercritical CO2 systems can remove the risk of explosion, and reduce spend on exhaust systems required for BHO.

[Want more safety tips? Download the Extraction Safety Tip Sheet]

Production efficiency and throughput—Ethanol leads in efficiency of capturing simple cannabinoids, but it depends on your source material.

Product quality—BHO produces full-spectrum extraction; ethanol is a good fit for high potency; while supercritical CO2 is best for flavonoids and carotenoids.

Start-up costs vs. long-term ROIBHO extraction can offer a lower initial cost of capital equipment.

Supercritical CO2


Hydrocarbon—Propane or Butane

  • Purity-no harmful residues
  • Safety
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Best for flavonoids and carotenoids
  • Efficiency at high volume
  • Broader range of molecules extracted
  • Best for potency

In a well-designed closed loop system, solvent is recovered for reuse. Banned in Canada and many areas of the US due to open-loop safety concerns.

Best for full-spectrum extract



BHO Extraction

As the ‘big players’ emerge in the extraction market, and consolidation is sure to follow, multi-state or global companies may find that supercritical CO2 offers the opportunity to standardize production for product consistency, safety and margins. Combustible solvents are subject to regulations that vary jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and where allowed, will require area-specific customizations like explosion-proof walls, exhaust systems and fire suppression.

Innovations in high-pressure systems across extraction processes can help to improve efficiencies and safety. Haskel’s new Q-Drive, an electric servo-driven compression system designed to meet the high-pressure demands of supercritical CO2 extraction, provides quiet and efficient compression for maximum uptime and throughput. The Q-Drive gas booster joins a suite of products used in high-pressure systems. Which one is the right fit for your extraction system? Try our product selector or talk with a rep.

Want to more information about our new Q-Drive gas boosting system? Request more info. 

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