Distillate is a form of cannabis concentrate that is much purer and more potent than other extracts. This is because, unlike other extracts, distillate is completely stripped of all other plant matter except for cannabinoids. Because of its purity and potency, many believe it to be the future of cannabis concentrates.
What Is Cannabis Distillate?
In its purest form, distillate is a tasteless, odorless cannabis oil. It goes through a short-path distillation process that removes any impurities, waxes, terpenes, flavonoids, or other plant matter. What is left behind is an oil that can reach purity levels of over 99%. The name of the oil indicates the cannabinoid that has been isolated; for instance, THC distillate is an oil featuring practically nothing but pure THC, while CBD distillate contains nothing but CBD.
Distillates are much purer than other concentrates because they are processed much more thoroughly. After cannabinoids are isolated, they are extracted, processed, filtered, and winterized to produce distillate.
How Is Distillate Consumed?
Thanks to its versatility, distillate can be consumed in a number of different ways.
Most commonly, distillates are vaporized or dabbed. They are also oftentimes sold in the form of oil cartridges that attach to vape pens. Vaporizing distillate produces a nearly odorless vapor that induces effects almost instantly (although sometimes distillate may contain added flavoring).
Distillate can also be added to flower buds and smoked. It can be conveniently dropped into pipe bowls or even joints to give your flower an extra kick without changing its flavor.
Because it is flavorless, distillate oil is oftentimes infused into cannabis edibles such as gummies, candies, and baked goods. Many edible manufacturers prefer to produce their edibles with distillate instead of cannabutter or other infused because it gives them more freedom when it comes to flavoring their products.
Unsurprisingly, distillate can also be ingested as a standalone edible. Distillate oil can be eaten raw or added to any number of foods and drinks. For those seeking more immediate effects, it can also be placed under the tongue to be consumed sublingually. Just remember to start low and go slow as sublingual oils of this purity level tend to come on very strong, very fast.
Additionally, distillates are also sometimes used to make CBD/THC topical creams and salves. The process is so simple that with a syringe of distillate, a cream base, and some hot water, you can even make your own distillate topicals at home.
How Is Cannabis Distillate Made?
The distillate production process starts with the extraction of the oil. After it is either physically or chemically removed from the plant, the oil goes through a process called winterization which works to remove any impurities or byproducts such as plant waxes, lipids, fats, and chlorophyll, among others.
The resulting oil is then frozen, allowing many of the remaining byproducts to coagulate in the cold temperature and separate from the oil. The oil is then decarboxylated to activate it before being run through a short-path distillation process. This process uses heat and vacuum pressure to actually separate the cannabinoids from the rest of the oil. What is left is cannabis oil containing almost nothing besides pure cannabinoids.
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