Steam Distilled vs CO2 extracted terpenes. Which do you prefer?

Do you prefer steam distilled terpenes or CO2 extracted terpenes? Which do you prefer and why? Speaking for CDT/HDT not botanical/food grade terps.

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The quality ceiling is much higher for CO2 extracted terpenes than steam distilled.

Most steam terpenes have a very similar underlying odor that is very recognizable to those who have smelled them before. It isn’t a great smell. However, steam distillation is very easy and cheap to accomplish on a large scale and usually yields very high purity terpenes with little to no cannabinoid content.

A lot of CO2 terpenes out there aren’t super great in quality, but someone who knows what they are doing with a good machine can make some great, high purity terpenes. Also very easy to accomplish at scale, cost is much higher though.

Hydrocarbon terpenes are usually more well rounded and representative of the flower if done right, but also have higher cannabinoid content therefore lower percentage of terpene content. Not as easy to operate at very large scale.

Each method has benefits and drawbacks.


I buy steam distilled and I like them. Haven’t had Co2 to my knowledge but I guarantee theres been a few times I tried it without knowing.

I have had people say it has a slight pickle taste. Everyone says the taste is different but the same for each, had someone compare the taste to a rosin dab and the pickle part too.