The cannabis industry is continually evolving. As it evolves, more and more technology is being applied to the extraction and purification of cannabis products.
While distillation itself isn’t really anything new (we’ve been distilling alcohol for centuries), it’s a fairly new adaptation in the cannabis world.
So what is THC distillate, and how does it work? THC (and CBD) distillates are extremely potent, concentrated forms of the active compounds in cannabis. They can be used in a number of different ways, but caution should always be employed: if you are unsure of how to use THC distillate, it can lead to effects that some people may find too powerful.
In this article, we’re going to explain how to make THC distillate and CBD distillate. We’ll also provide you some tips on how to use these powerful extracts.
What Is THC Distillate? What’s the Difference Between THC and CBD Distillate?
What is THC distillate? Does it come from cannabis?
While it sounds scientific, cannabis distillate is a concentrated form of the most important aspects of cannabis (the active cannabinoids) created through a process of heating or cooling. Though the process of making THC and CBD distillate is often a bit more complicated than just heating it up and cooling it down.
THC distillate and its CBD counterpart tends to appear as a golden-coloured, thick and viscous liquid. These distilled forms of cannabinoids are extremely potent and tend to be anywhere from 75-90% THC.
It’s important to note that the other 10-25% of the product is composed of leftover cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds that are found in cannabis. In this sense, distillates are not entirely pure. If you want the purest form of a cannabinoid available, look for a CBD or THC isolate.
Is THC Distillate and CBD Distillate Different from Oils and Isolates?
THC distillate and CBD distillate are quite different than other forms of CBD and THC extracts. The production methods and end results are not the same.
CBD distillate is a distilled product that requires special laboratory equipment or a very well-equipped kitchen to make. The end result is an amber liquid. It is usually made through a CO2 or solvent extraction with a winterization process.
CBD isolate is also made through a solvent or CO2 extraction with a winterization process. The main difference between isolates and distillates is that isolates have all other plant material, terpenes, and cannabinoids removed leaving 100% pure THC or CBD in its isolated form.
- CBD oils are generally oils infused with CBD, THC, or other active cannabinoids. It remains the same consistency as the oil used as a base – often MCT, coconut oil, or olive oil. Oils can be made with CBD isolate or distillate.
How to use THC Distillate
There are lots of different ways that you can use CBD and THC distillate.
Smoked and vaped. It’s generally a better idea to vape your CBD or THC distillate than it is to smoke it. If you smoke it, you usually end up wasting significant amounts as the heat from combustion damages the distillate’s active components.
Orally consumed. CBD and THC distillates are great to cook and bake with for lots of reasons. First off, they’re highly potent compounds and you don’t need to use much to make a large batch of baked goods fairly strong. They also don’t taste much like cannabis, so you can focus on making baked goods that taste like what you want them to. Furthermore, THC becomes even more potent when you eat it compared to when you smoke it.
- Topically. If you are wondering how to use THC distillate topically, it’s quite easy. You can make your own topicals by mixing CBD and THC distillate into a carrier oil and applying it directly to your skin. You can also buy one of many pre-made products: bath bombs, pain creams, lotions, shampoos, etc.
How to Make THC Distillate and CBD Distillate
Making CBD distillate and THC distillate is generally not as easy as using it. Unless you have the proper equipment and some understanding of basic chemistry, it’s probably not a good idea to attempt making your own distillate.
This is especially true because THC distillate and CBD distillate are made a bit differently than other concentrates, like wax.
Distillation actually separates the cannabinoids at a molecular level, and as such requires a much more precise process. The simplest method for making THC and CBD distillate is:
Performing a crude extraction. Using a solvent or another physical means, you extract the cannabinoids from your cannabis. This can be done using similar methods as you would for making wax or shatter (butane extractions, etc.)
Winterization. Winterization involves cooling down your extract so you can separate any impurities. One way to do this is to mix your crude extract with ethanol and then freeze it for at least 24 hours. Then, pass the solution through a filter so the ethanol can be removed.
Decarboxylation. This involves heating up the cannabinoids so that they become activated. Without decarbing your extract, cannabinoids remain in their original acid state and aren’t very useful.
- Distillation. Now the actual process of distillation begins. There are different ways to do this, each which requires some understanding of the distillation process or willingness to learn. You can use a short path steam distillation process or a fractional distillation chamber. They will both purify your source material and transform them into an isolated state.
If you are wondering how to make THC distillate, it can be a complicated process. Unless you have some understanding of chemistry or distillation, it can be easy to make a mistake. Regardless, hopefully this guide has provided you with enough information to understand the process of how to make and use THC and CBD distillate and answered the question of “what is THC distillate.”