When purchasing a CO2 extraction system, don’t buy the hype

With more than 30 CO2 extraction equipment manufacturers in the cannabis industry, it can be challenging to determine which is best for your operations. If you’re in the market, here are some facts about the different types of systems, divided into four categories:

Re-purposed analytical testing instruments

  • Wide-parameter control makes them well-suited for R&D but very expensive
  • Complex, not user-friendly
  • Instruments do not perform well with production output demands, causing carryover, clogging and frequent maintenance
  • Typically operate at high pressures/temps and cannot run in a subcritical mode                                                                                                                          

Apeks Advantage: Systems are designed for production operations and therefore eliminate the issues listed above but are not ideally suited for R&D.

Manually-operated systems

  • Appear simple since there are no electrical controls, but actually difficult to operate
  • Usually lower purchase prices
  • Highly-trained/skilled operator must continuously monitor equipment
  • Greater risk (human error): the operator is key element of safety
  • Changes in operators result in extract inconsistencies
  • If a malfunction, the system continues to run until operator intervention

Apeks Advantage: Being fully automated, Apeks systems are safe, easy to use, reliable and yield consistent extractions. Additionally, they provide Internet connectivity, data logging, and real-time messaging for 24/7 “lights-out” operations.

New entries in the CO2 marketplace

  • Nearly half have been in business less than two years and/or have no cannabis experience
  • Some have no extraction experience
  • Many lack certifications. engineering documentation, customer support
  • Some designs are fundamentally flawed

Apeks Advantage: Apeks Engineers have been designing and building systems that are specifically designed for botanical oil extractions utilizing the Diaphragm Compressor Technology gas pump for energy and processing efficiency, less maintenance, and plant-friendly temperatures to protect volatile oils. Systems are UL listed and EPR (Engineering Peer Reviewed).

Foreign manufacturers

  • Language barriers
  • Long lead times
  • Lack of customer support in U.S.
  • Customs delays
  • Built for non-cannabis applications — high pressures/temps can cause poor product quality                                                                               

Apeks Advantage: Built in the U.S. by a veteran-owned manufacturing company, Apeks extraction systems feature cold separation processing to prevent thermal degradation of plant oils.


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