What Is the Big Deal About CO2's? - Everyday Essentials

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What Is the Big Deal About CO2’s?

There’s a new kid in town so to speak, and his name is CO2. Not many know a lot about him, but he’s here to make a name for himself.

CO2’s have surprisingly been around for decades, developed to be used within the food industry. We know that they have beneficial properties and qualities that are beneficial when used topically or diffused. As they’ve grown in popularity and lowered a bit in price, more people have gotten to know about these exceptional extracts.

This extraction process differs from steam distillation, which is the most well- known method of extracting essential oils. With CO2 extracts, Carbon Dioxide is pressurized until it’s a liquid. It is used as the solvent to remove the oil from the plant material.  With this solvent, there is no residue left behind,  and the precious oil is removed using much lower temperatures, so less properties within the oils are sacrificed.

“An easily perceived example of the difference between steam distilled and subcritical CO2 extraction is the comparison of the two types of extract of ginger (zingiber officinalis). Several of the pungent principles of ginger known as shagaols and gingerols only occur in trace amounts in the essential oil, where in the CO2 extract they are the major components…The cool temperatures of subcritical CO2 extraction also allow the collection of very volatile constituents which are lost in steam distillation. One of these constituents, hex-1-enal, gives the smell of freshly squeezed root ginger, and is found in subcritical CO2, but not in the essential oil.” [1]

There are some added bonuses to CO2’s.

The smell is closer to the actual plant and to me, are crisp, clean scents. Essential oils can vary a great deal in the scent, dependent on things like climate, conditions, and each batch. With a CO2, they still can vary a bit, but they smell like what you expect them to. Turmeric CO2 smells like the spice turmeric. Lavender Fower CO2 smells like a field of lavender. The scent is very distinct and pristine.

Another benefit is they have a greater shelf life. As mentioned in one of Plant Therapy’s blog article,  “August Oil of the Month – Lavender Flower CO2“,  CO2s are longer lasting than essential oils.  Also, in many cases, CO2s require less oil when using topically as they are more powerful. A very little can go a long way. Here is an example; our Chamomile German, which we recommend diluting at a 2-3% dilution for use on the body. Our Chamomile German CO2 only takes the minute amount of 0.1%-0.2%, for topical application. Not all CO2s offer this dramatic a reduction, but many do require less.

CO2’s are an exciting new prospect.

Do not jump into head first! Research and determine whether they are the best and safest choice for your needs. We always want to give our customers choices and options, whether it is regular essential oils, organic oils, KidSafe® oils, or CO2 extracts. We hope you will become acquainted with a CO2 today.



[1] Bowles, Joy E. The Chemistry of Aromaherapeutic Oils. Allen & Unwin. 2014. Print.


17 thoughts on “What Is the Big Deal About CO2’s?”

  • I ordered and used the turmeric co2. The scent is mild and true to it’s name. I like the fact that with the c02 you gain more of the oil’s therapeutic benefits are available. I would order again.

  • I am so thankful for all the information that PT provides for their customers! This article has made me really excited about getting my new Frankincense Cateri CO2!

  • Thanks for this in depth post about CO2. I wasn’t sure which oil to buy and what CO2 even meant, but this helped answer a lot of questions I had about it.

  • I was led here by a suggestion from Plant Therapy on FB and it definitely cleared up my confusion about CO2 oils. Thank you as always for the educational resources! Are there plans to provide more CO2 oils? I recognize they may be more potent, but it looks like they may be more expensive as well.

  • Thank you so much for this article. I had no clue as to what co2 were and you explained it very well.

  • Since they were developed to be used within the food industry, are they used for flavoring food or taken orally as a therapeutic dose? If so, what would be the dilution ratio? Or since they are more potent than essential oils, is oral use not advised?

    1. There may be differences in those created for the food industry. While ingestion is a possibility, for any ingestion of these highly concentrated substances, we would recommend speaking to a local professional, who not only knows your medical background, but also knows a great deal about essential oils and CO2s… thanks!

  • So if the chemicals are different, wouldn’t the therapeutic properties also be different? How would you know which oil to use if it is so different?

    1. I would say that it is very similar to the essential oil, not so terribly different, but somewhat “enhanced”, as they often are more potent, and may contain a few additional beneficial properties.

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