The concept of distillation is nothing new. Humans have been practicing the art of distillation for centuries, and we use this practice daily in many industries. Alcohol, gasoline, and most perfumes go through a distillation process. As cannabis extraction evolved, finding out what would happen if you distilled it made sense.
Now, we cold trap and distill terpenes to add back to extracts, and we distill cannabinoids to harness them at their most potent. Cannabis distillate, or THC distillate, is incredibly popular for its potency, purity, and value. If you have yet to try it out, let us show you why it’s such a great product to add to your stash.
What is Cannabis Distillate?
Cannabis distillate is one of the purest ways to enjoy a particular cannabinoid. We often call distillate “the clear” because it’s an utterly translucent oil. It’s been thoroughly winterized and contains no fats or waxes. The distillation process does a good job of removing just about everything from the plant except for the desired concentration of a particular cannabinoid.
Distillate is incredibly potent because it has been intensely purified – so much so that it contains no flavor or aroma. This is what makes it appealing for infusing edibles or as a base in topicals and vape pens. Manufacturers add terpenes or other natural flavors to distillate for flavor and effect.
How is Cannabis Distillate Made?
The most common method of cannabis distillation is called short-path distillation. This multi-step refinement process takes place in a certified lab and requires plenty of heavy-duty lab equipment. You can’t exactly make cannabis distillate at home, nor should you try.
Although each manufacturer may have its own proprietary steps, most cannabis distillates are made similarly. You have to start with a cannabis extract. So first, a solvent (like propane, butane, or ethanol) is used to extract the cannabinoid, terpenes and flavonoids from the plant matter to create crude oil.
Then, lab technicians decarboxylate the oil to activate the cannabinoids. For example, if you make THC distillate, you must activate the acidic form (THCa) to turn it into psychoactive THC. At this point, the crude oil contains roughly 60-80% volume of its desired cannabinoid.
Now that you have an activated oil, it’s time to distill it. There are several types of distillation, including wiped film, falling film, and rotary distillation. However, most cannabis distillates undergo short path – or fractional – distillation. This purification process uses vacuum pressure to reduce the normal boiling point of the oil’s terpenes and cannabinoids. When the temperature lowers, it’s easier to distill the cannabinoids and terpenes with less damage.
Short path distillation requires multiple glass flasks to collect terpenes, cannabinoids, and other volatile compounds. Thermal heat brings up these compounds’ temperature, which are collected into the glass flasks by steam—terpenes in one flask, CBD in another, and THC in a third flask.
As the crude oil is continually distilled, residual solvents, water, and other elements are removed. What’s left is a highly concentrated cannabinoid averaging well above 90%. This is how cannabis distillate is made.
Is Cannabis Distillate the Same as THC Distillate?
Any cannabinoid can become distillate, it’s just a matter of what you intend to collect through the process. Delta-8 distillate, delta-10 distillate, or CBD distillate are all options. Cannabis distillate is a term used to describe all types, and THC distillate can mean Delta-8, Delta-9, or Delta-10.
How to Use Cannabis Distillate
So, you have some distillate, now what? There are plenty of ways to use it but don’t forget that cannabis distillate is incredibly potent, so you want to start slow!
Yep, that’s right. Dab it! You can vape distillate with your dab rig like any other extract. It will fully melt on a hot nail and get you lifted with just a hit or two. Distillate is naturally unflavored, and you can enjoy it as is. However, there are plenty of distillate options containing added terpenes. Check out our strain-specific Delta-8 distillate selections in OG Kush, Gelato, and Mimosa.
For added rocket power, place a dollop of distillate inside your joint. Use a dab tool to add as much as you’d like. Bonus: the stickiness of the distillate can help seal up your joints if you’re rolling yourself. If you’re adding distillate to pre-rolls, practice wrapping a bit of distillate around the top like a snake coiling around your joint. Be careful when you spark it up. It might drip a little!
If you enjoy vaping, you’ve probably invested in your own refillable vape pen by now. These pens are just like cartridges and offer the convenience of a mess-free extract experience. With refillable cartridges, you can add any kind of oil you’d like. Distillate is a great addition to refillable cartridges or any dab pen of your choice.
Top Reasons to Buy Cannabis Distillate
If you prefer a flavorful extract, remember that distillate is often infused with aromatic and tasty terpenes for added flavor and effectiveness. Other reasons to buy distillate include:
- High Potency – If you are looking for a potent extract, this is it. Distillate offers the highest percentages of single cannabinoids on the market, making it ideal for anyone with a high tolerance. Medical patients find this to be an excellent option.
- Save Money – Distillate is an affordable extract for the amount of content you receive. And because of its potency, most people don’t go through it as quickly as other extracts so it lasts longer.
- More Control – Cannabis distillate is incredibly versatile. As we outlined above, you can dab it, vape it, or smoke it in various ways however you choose.
Distillate is a great way to enjoy a highly concentrated form of cannabis extract. So if you’re interested in trying some out, give our Delta-8 THC distillate a try. Like one of our customers says: “I won’t use other [distillate] products now, this is the best!”
Shop all of our dabbable distillates below.