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What is a distillate?

Distillate is a liquid, translucent oil without waxes or unwanted compounds from the original plant. Distillate is desirable for its effectiveness and versatility. We can use it for coating, vaporizing and mixing as an ingredient in edibles, topical preparations and other products. Distillate concentrates are obtained through an extensive distillation process that separates the compounds from the hemp plant matter.

More about the distillate

A distillate is a cannabis extract in which the final product has been systematically stripped of all materials and compounds except for one specific cannabinoid.

Distillate is the basic ingredient of most edibles and vape cartridges and usually lacks any flavor or aroma. This is a strong hemp oil that we can use alone or as an infusion in other hemp products or as a commodity. The most common forms of distillate on the market are THC oil and cannabidiol (CBD) oil. The name of the oil indicates the most important cannabinoid. In the case of CBD oil, CBD would be the most prominent cannabinoid. The name distillate refers to the hemp purification process that removes and separates cannabinoids such as THC or CBD into unique products.


The distillate is extremely potent, even though it lacks terpenes or the naturally occurring flavors and aromas of the cannabis plant. One of the advantages of removing natural terpenes is the ability to have complete control over the taste and aroma of the final product. A disadvantage of removing terpenes is that without them, the final product may lack the therapeutic benefits commonly attributed to the accompanying effect.

Will the distillate make us “feel good”?

Whether or not a distillate makes you feel good depends on the specific cannabinoid you’re consuming. The main advantage is that by removing virtually everything but the desired cannabinoid, the final product is incredibly potent. For this reason, when we consume THC distillate, we are likely to get very high because the resulting oil will be almost pure THC. On the other hand, if we consume CBD distillate, we will take advantage of the therapeutic benefits of CBD, but since CBD does not produce intoxicating effects, you will not be intoxicated.

Is distillate the same as oil?

Distillate is one of the most commonly produced types of hemp oil, often sought after by consumers for its potency.

While all distillates are oils, not all hemp oils are distillates. Hemp oil is only a distillate if all other materials and compounds, including terpenes, have been systematically removed. There are many other types of marijuana oils on the market that have not gone through this process.

How is the distillate used?

Distillates are consumed separately using a dab rig or portable vaporizer. But they can also be vaped using a distillation cartridge and a vape pen. When smoking or vaping distillates, we get almost odorless vapor. Adding drops of THC distillate to the flower in a rolling paper or bowl will intensify the heady atmosphere without changing the taste or aroma.

to bite

As an alternative to vaping or smoking, you can make distillates or topical preparations. In edibles, distillates provide the desired cannabinoids without any herbal flavor. For edibles prepared at home, we must be careful to introduce the oil in small doses, about 5 milligrams or less of THC per serving, then slowly increase the dosage for the desired potency and flavor. Distillates can be consumed alone – drip them sublingually or under the tongue. This type of oil can also work in topical preparations that are applied transdermally or applied to the skin and absorbed.

Distillates allow cannabis product manufacturers to separate the various cannabinoids and terpenes and then recombine them in specific ratios. For example, the starting material from the harvest of cannabis plants may not have enough naturally occurring CBD to make a tincture that helps treat anxiety disorders. A more accurate CBD to THC ratio can be achieved with distillates.

Manufacturers also use distillates to make cannabis edibles, both for their ability to portion cannabinoids and terpenes to precise amounts, as well as their off-flavor quality. Hemp butter is another common ingredient used for foods, but it can add a dry, astringent flavor. Distillates allow manufacturers to have more control over the taste of their infused edibles.

What is a distilling pen?

You can easily find vape pens on the market today that contain pure distillate oil. These products contain a cartridge filled with THC distillate, a heating element and a battery that powers the heating element. As with any vape pen – the heating element evaporates the oil inside the cartridge and the vapor is then inhaled through the mouthpiece. Because it contains such a strong form of the extract, these pens tend to be very strong.

Vape pen with weed concentrate

How is distillate made?

The process usually begins with extraction, which is any process where cannabinoids are separated from cannabis plant material. Crude extraction involves either physical means of separation or chemical means of separation. Physical separation techniques such as sieving or rosin tend to provide concentrates containing more plant impurities than chemical extraction methods, namely butane hash oil (BHO) or supercritical fluid carbon dioxide extraction.

Another important step in distillate production is called winterization. It is a method of purifying the crude extract from by-products: vegetable waxes, fats, lipids and chlorophyll. The crude extract is mixed with ethanol. The solution is then placed in a very cold environment for 24 to 48 hours. Impurities coagulate at low temperature and precipitate or separate and fall to the bottom of the vessel. Je to podobné jako při pečení kuřete: přebytečný tuk a šťáva odkapávají do pánve a po vychladnutí zhoustnou. The crude extract and ethanol solution are then passed through a filter. After filtration, the ethanol is removed. Ethanol can be removed using various techniques such as rotary evaporator or falling film evaporator.

The extract at this point would not be very strong. THC, for example, is a well-known compound and active cannabinoid that has an intoxicating effect. However, tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) is found in this phase. THCA does not cause narcotic effects. THCA becomes THC when heat is applied. This process is called decarboxylation.

Decarboxylation is the process of removing the carboxylic acid from the cannabinoid chemical compound. By removing this acidic group, the cannabinoid can easily interact in the body and bind to receptors in the nervous system – specifically the cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid type 2 (CB2) receptors.

The decarboxylation point depends mainly on time and temperature. When making hemp foods, extractors decarboxylate hemp oil and then mix the resulting concentrate with other ingredients to infuse foods, confections, and beverages with active cannabinoids like THC and CBD.

The final steps for making this hemp oil include the actual hemp distillation process. Using vacuum and heat, individual cannabinoids and terpenes can be separated from the decarboxylated extract based on their unique boiling points and molecular weights. In a vacuum environment, where the pressure can be tightly controlled, the boiling point can be reached at much lower temperatures to avoid loss of efficiency.

Bottom Line

Hemp distillate can be an effective way to get high or experience specific cannabinoids in their most distilled form. If you want to get the most out of hemp distillates, . buy them from legal and certified brands.

Information drawn from: https://weedmaps.com/learn/dictionary/distillate

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