Skip to content
What is Cannabis Distillate?

What is Cannabis Distillate?

The distillation process creates one of the most pure, potent cannabis products available in today’s market. In order to understand cannabis distillate, you need to understand why the cannabis plant works the way it does.

What is Cannabis Distillate?

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the active compound in cannabis. THC is why cannabis gets you “high.” Now, cannabis distillate, sometimes called THC distillate, is a purified form of THC that’s extracted from the cannabis plant in the form of a thick oil. This process removes extraneous components and natural impurities from within the cannabis plant, making cannabis distillate a super potent concentrate, ranging from clear to a light brown or amber color.

Distillation is a revolutionary, relatively new technique that creates an essentially pure product. Cannabis distillate is growing to be increasingly popular, as the it is free of any taste or smell, and has limitless potential regarding ways it can be enjoyed.

What is Cannabis Distillate Used For?

Since it’s free of any smell or flavor, you can enjoy cannabis distillate via a myriad of consumption methods. Distillate is more potent than your standard flower, so it’s typically used as the base ingredient in many vape cartridges and cannabis edibles. It’s also sold as THC oil (and CBD oil) in a tincture for those who prefer to control their own dosage or ingestion method.

The process of distilling cannabis is rapidly growing in popularity, as distillate  is hailed for being one of the most potent, pure THC and CBD products you can find on the market.

What are the Steps of the Cannabis Distillation Process?

Cannabis distillation uses a natural process of separating and refining the molecules of the cannabis plant via a four-step process: extraction, winterization, decarboxylation, and distillation.

Step 1: Extraction

During extraction, heat is used to slowly, carefully vaporize the plant’s cannabinoids, removing any naturally-occurring plant matter compounds such as chlorophyll. Once the substance has cooled, the cannabis releases a pure, solvent-free vapor into the air. This vapor is then collected and stored, as it turns into clean, concentrated liquid over a few hours.

Step 2: Winterization

Now that this liquid has been extracted, it goes through the process of winterization. The winterization process is another purification step in the distillate process. This step aims to remove naturally-occurring waxes and lipids from the cannabis plant, as well as any remaining chlorophyll or plant matter. This extract by-product, now one step even more pure, is combined with ethanol and placed in an icy cooler - hence, “winterization.” The extract then remains chilled for a day or two. The ethanol alcohol and cold temperature work together to harden impurities in the extract, which then separate on their own and fall to the bottom of the cooler.

Step 3: Decarboxylation

Through the decarboxylation process, the THC in the extraction is now activated. The extract is heated, triggering the THC and cannabinoids, and removing once again any acids or impurities that still remain in the substance- if any at all. 

Step 4: Distillation

The last step of the distillation process is, of course, the distillation itself. Vacuum pressure and heat combine to evaporate terpenes and cannabinoids in the extract. After this step, the distillate has been perfected as is ready to be enjoyed.

This final step, which yields the cannabis distillate, strips the substance of any remaining excess material or compounds. All that remains after this process is one specific cannabinoid, meaning the end-user gets to enjoy the strength and potency of a pure cannabinoid without any other contributing factors to their experience. This is why distillate is often the main ingredient in edibles and vape cartridges.

Once the distillation process has been completed, you’re left with one of the most potent cannabis products possible by modern science!