Safety & Compliance

Sustainable Extraction Methods

Written by Derek Johnson

The extraction process is one of the most useful processes for isolating, analyzing and utilizing countless beneficial substances. However, there are various extraction methods that can take a heavy toll in the environment, which is why environmentally sustainable extraction methods should be used always.

Although there are arguments for the continued use of environmentally damaging extraction methods in some instances, the lion’s share of extractions should be done in a way that does not cause harm to the environment.



CO2 is a greenhouse gas and of major concern for global warming. Yet, as an extraction method it is actually safe for the environment because the C02 used is a waste product sourced from various industries.

In the last couple of years, major advances in C02 recycling have added a new dimension to the climate change debate. There now exists the very real possibility that the elevated levels of C02 in the atmosphere can be reduced through recycling, which means an unlimited source of C02 for extraction purposes.



This method is perhaps the most environmentally-friendly form of extraction since no noxious chemicals are needed. During the process, source material is subjected to ultrasonic sound waves that disrupt the cell walls of the source material, releasing the desired substance(s).

By itself, ultrasonic extraction is often a low-yielding method. However, it has been proven to be an effective accompanying method with other extraction methods.


Heat and Pressure

With good ole heat and pressure, you can get a high-quality potent cannabis extract known as rosin. Commercial rosin operation have equipment to produce some of the highest quality cannabis extracts on the market. Rosin can even be made at home with a curling iron set on low. However, the homemade quality is typically lower than commercially made rosin.


Closed-Loop Extraction

Closed-loop extraction is a closed system that doesn’t introduce solvents into the environment during the process. It is also efficient and requires less noxious solvents. However, noxious solvents are often used and eventually have to be dealt with.

In addition to being more friendly to the planet, environmentally-friendly methods of extraction are also safer for human and animal consumption. Regardless of the costs, it is arguably a sound idea to eventually abandon the use of all extraction methods that are not environmentally sound.


Image Source: Polina Tankilevitch

About the author

Derek Johnson