Distillate is a cannabis/hemp extract in which all elements and components – save one specific cannabinoid – have been thoroughly extracted from the final product.
The fundamental ingredient in most edibles and vape cartridges is distillate, which has no flavor, taste, or scent. The term distillate refers to the process of extracting and separating cannabinoids like THC and CBD from cannabis/hemp to create unique products. It’s a potent cannabis/hemp oil that may be used on its own or infused into other cannabis/hemp products. THC oil and cannabidiol (CBD) oil are the two most popular distillate types on the market. The oil’s name indicates the most prominent cannabinoid. The cannabinoid CBD would be the most prevalent in CBD oil.
The differences between distillate, isolate, and oil
It’s challenging to keep track of all the different titles for cannabis/hemp oil. The phrase distillate refers to oils that have been extracted, winterized, and decarboxylated before going through a distillation process. The viscosity of cannabis/hemp distillate is always that of a viscous oil. Although distillates are a form of cannabis/hemp oil, they are not all cannabis/hemp oils. Live resin, butane hash oil (BHO), Rick Simpson Oil (RSO), and hemp-derived CBD oil are examples of cannabis/hemp oils that are similar but not identical.
Distillate and isolate are often confused since they both concentrate on a single cannabinoid. Because distillation processes are employed to improve the cannabis/hemp extract, isolate is technically a sort of distillate.
How is distillate made?
Starting with a hemp flower, cannabis/hemp distillate is created by a series of cultivation, extraction, and post-processing stages to separate the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids from the biomass (flowers, leaves, and stems).
The cannabis/hemp plant must then undergo several procedures before it can begin the distillation process, including being properly dried and cured after harvest. The biomass can be extracted using a variety of solvents, including carbon dioxide, butane, and ethanol, once it has been dried. Before ending up in the collecting tank, the biomass is packed in a material column, drenched in the solvent, and may be further purified using color remediation processes.
Some processors may winterize their extracts using ethanol and freezing temperatures to remove lipids and waxes. Furthermore, the extract could be decarboxylated to convert acidic cannabinoids like THCA and CBDA to their parent components, CBD and THC. This results in a crude oil.
The next step is distillation. A distillation system warms cannabis/hemp oil to a specific temperature in order to evaporate the necessary cannabinoid without deteriorating it, then condenses the cannabinoid vapor back into a liquid. The distillation process lowers the pressure inside the equipment, allowing the cannabis/hemp to be purified at its lowest boiling point.
Distillation equipment may remove the ethanol, carbon dioxide, butane solvent, and practically everything else outside the cannabis/hemp through repeated passes using steam distillation and fractionation processes.
The highly volatile cannabis/hemp chemicals are less likely to degrade due to the short exposure to heat during the procedure. Compounds with higher boiling points tend to sink, separating them from the other compounds. Furthermore, the best equipment coats the evaporative surface with a thin layer of oil for more consistent heating and evaporation.
Distillation is essential because it means that operators can buy a larger quantity of cannabis/hemp trim or low-quality biomass and distill their chosen chemicals into an ultra-potent liquid via distillation.
The cannabis/hemp derivatives market has become reliant on distillates. Their odorless and flavorless properties aid in the production of a consistent and repeatable marijuana product. They can be found in almost every product category.
Distillates are required to create the infused gummies and chocolates that we all know and love. Additionally, if desired, fragrant terpene components can be reintroduced back into the finished product.
At Abundant Labs, we only offer the highest quality hemp-derived products. For custom distillates or to purchase some of our bulk products, visit our website and learn more about why Abundant Labs is making a difference in the hemp industry.