Cannabis shatter, wax and hash are common words in any cannabis enthusiast’s vocabulary, but what about cannabis distillate?
With the ease of access that cannabis vape pens are able to provide, it’s no wonder how they were able to experience such explosive growth.
Cannabis distillate experienced a surge in popularity a few years ago with the ubiquity of easily sourced and inexpensive cannabis distillate cartridges.
With a THC content starting at 80 percent and approaching 99 percent, cannabis distillates are not for greenhorn tokers.
Nevertheless, their potency is lauded as one of their many positive advantages.
Distillate can be incorporated in a variety of foods, beverages and even other cannabis products. Essentially, it’s one of the most versatile cannabis extracts available on the market today.
Not only can they be consumed via dab rigs and vaporizers, but they can also be infused into many different types of cannabis products, most notably cannabis edibles and transdermal patches.
With that being said, what exactly is cannabis distillate and how does it differ from the already overwhelming variety of cannabis extracts available?
Stay with us as we get down into the specifics of this versatile extract. We also reveal some easy ways you can incorporate cannabis distillate into your marijuana routine!
What is Cannabis Distillate?
Cannabis oil distillate is a translucent amber colour and is eponymously named after its production process.
A lot of us are aware of cannabis oil concentrates like shatter or wax. But if you’re less than familiar with the term “distillate,” then a common question is the following. ‘What makes distillate different from the plethora of other concentrates available on the market?’
For starters, it’s magnitudes more potent and versatile than the rest of the competition. Thanks in part to its production method, cannabis distillate that has yet to undergo further processing is completely colourless, odourless and flavourless. This opens up the door for its inclusion in a variety of everyday foods and even the ability for it to be eaten as is or “raw.”
Since distillate has already been decarbed, further combustion via a joint, bong or vaporization isn’t necessary to feel its effects.
This makes cannabis distillate available for consumption at any time without any further preparation.
With all that being said, cannabis oil distillate is not without its advantages. If regular cannabis oil extracts can be thought of as unrefined crude oil, then distillate is the equivalent of highly refined and processed oil.
What this means is that all of the cannabis flower’s waxes, lipids and chlorophyll, along with the natural “flavour” of the strain are removed in the production process.
However, with cannabis becoming increasingly destigmatized and barriers to research being lifted, the scientific community is discovering that this natural bouquet of flavours is what makes cannabis so beneficial to our health in the first place.
That doesn’t mean that you won’t experience any benefit from consuming cannabis oil distillate. But it does mean that you won’t be experiencing the natural “bouquet” of flavours and aromas that other cannabis concentrates enjoy.
How is Cannabis Distillate Made?
Industrial manufacturers of cannabis distillate utilize a distillation method known as supercritical CO2 extraction.
Cannabis oil concentrates are made by subjecting dried cannabis flowers to solvents. These solvents include alcohol, propane or butane in order to extract the trichomes. Distillate uses carbon dioxide in its production. But only carbon dioxide under extreme pressure such that distinct gaseous and liquid phases do not exist anymore.
This supercritical CO2 is then pumped through a chamber containing ground-up cannabis. Via this process, volatile compounds like THC and CBD are separated by their molecular weight and individual boiling points, leaving less volatile and undesirable compounds such as lipids and pesticides behind.
Once the THC and CBD are separated from the undesirable compounds, the mixture is put through a separator system. This system lowers the pressure and allows the carbon dioxide to separate from the cannabis.
The supercritical CO2 returns to its original gaseous state and is ready to be used again either for further refinement or the production of more distillate. The distillate, free of carbon dioxide and other undesirable compounds, is now ready for consumption.
Why Some Consumers Prefer Cannabis Distillates
Cannabis oil distillate has an abundance of benefits which makes it an extremely attractive cannabis consumption method the world over. As we’ve mentioned, cannabis oil distillate is odourless and flavourless, allowing for the extract to be included in a variety of food and drink and even consumed as is. If discreteness is what you’re looking for, then distillate is the best option.
If you’re not too enthused about the taste or harshness of joints, bongs and pipes, then distillate is a great alternative.
Manufacturers add in their own mixtures of terpenes and flavonoids to recreate the taste of popular strains. Consuming distillate via vaporization preserves these flavours more effectively while also allowing for a much less harsh exhale.
Another benefit and perhaps the one that’s most notable is distillate’s high potency. Achieving upwards of 80 to 99 percent THC, distillate is one of the purest forms of cannabis extracts commercially available.
A little goes a long way. And with distillate, you won’t have to wait 2 hours for the effects like with edibles or subject your lungs to harsh smoke through a joint or bong.
How to Use Cannabis Distillate
Since distillate is such a versatile extract, there are a plethora of ways to consume this potent product. Not requiring combustion or heat to “activate” its effects, distillate is also very discreet.
Here are some of the easiest ways you can use your distillate:
Portable vaporizers in the form of vape pens have revolutionized the accessibility and discreetness of cannabis consumption. The portability that these devices offer allows anybody to medicate on the go without attracting too much attention. Odourless and with fast dissipating smoke – vaporizing is for the discerning enthusiast on the go.
By far the least discreet but one of the most popular methods of consuming cannabis oil distillate, dabbing typically produces large clouds of smoke and allows for near-instantaneous consumption and absorption of the THC.
Being delivered directly into your bloodstream, you are able to feel the effects right away. A “less is more” mindset should definitely be emulated.
Already decarboxylated, cannabis oil distillate does not require any additional combustion, but that doesn’t mean you can’t include it in your smoking ritual!
Take some distillate and spread it down the length of your joint or put a dab on the bowl in your bong and let your flower absorb it before you light up. This will infuse your flower with distillate, allowing for an enhanced smoking experience.
Possessing an absence of flavour, distillate is a perfect, neutral cannabis additive you can include in almost any kind of food. Distillates in both the THC and CBD variety are available with added terpenes and without, making it an ideal ingredient to give your food an extra kick.
To enjoy a medicated experience, you can include cannabis oil distillate in sauces, soups and even beverages.
Key Takeaways for Cannabis Distillates
Now that you’ve read our crash course distillate guide, you’re ready to dive into the inconspicuous and versatile world of distillates! Here’s our list of 3 key takeaways you need to know about this potent extract before you start using it:
Cannabis Distillate can be consumed in a variety of ways: Distillate has already been decarboxylated and “activated” for consumption. Whether you vape it, combust it or include it in a meal, you distillate is versatile and you can consume it however you’d like.
Cannabis Distillate is flavourless and odourless: Even with added terpenes and flavonoids, distillate remains largely flavourless and odourless. Perfect for medicating under the radar.
Cannabis distillate does not have any solvents: Distillate does not use solvents typical in the production of other concentrates.
Why not head on over to the Ganja Dispatch shop to see the latest selection of cannabis products – you might find something to your liking.