THC distillates are a form of cannabis oil that boasts extremely high levels of THC. THC distillates are a versatile form of cannabis concentrate ideal for use in tinctures, vaporizers, dab rigs, or for oral consumption.
While many blends of THC distillates are odourless and flavourless and contain THC alone, many producers choose to add some of the original terpene content back into the blend after extraction to ensure maximum medicinal benefit and improve the taste.
How THC Distillate is Made
The process of creating THC distillate involves extracting THC from the cannabis flower and then distilling the THC into its purest form.
THC distillates utilize extraction techniques called short path distillation or short path wiped film distillation. THC tends to evaporate much faster than most other substances like the sugar and waxes present in cannabis, and this is something that the short path distillation technique can capitalize upon. The process works as follows:
- Cannabis flower is mixed with ethanol to initiate the extraction of plant compounds.
- By heating the solution, the terpenes and flavonoids begin to vaporize. The steam then cools through a cooling pipe before condensing into a collection tank.
- By further raising the temperature, the cannabinoids begin to evaporate. In a similar process, the cooling vapour condenses through a tube before coalescing as a cannabinoid-rich solution.
- This condensate is then collected and sometimes mixed back in with the original terpene and flavonoid content to restore the original properties.
The Benefits of THC Distillate
THC distillate is known for being clean and pure. With the removal of all impurities, the resulting smoke or vape is free from many of the carcinogenic compounds present in smoke or vape from flower or other forms of concentrate.
THC distillate provides high doses of THC to patients without having to consume large amounts of cannabis flower. The increased concentrations of THC, sometimes in excess of 90%, can help those who require extra high doses of THC for medicinal reasons with sufficient quantities of the cannabinoid.
A further advantage of THC distillate is that the resulting concentrate is generally odourless and flavourless. This means that THC distillate is often a discrete form of medication ideal for use in public places or gatherings where other forms of consumption may be inappropriate or unacceptable.
The flavourless and odourless qualities of THC distillate means that it’s often the ideal ingredient for edibles, especially if you’re looking for a quick and easy solution for some home cooking. By simply adding a dropper full of THC distillate, you can infuse cannabis medicine into any recipe you desire.
The Drawbacks of THC Distillate
The main drawback of THC distillates is the lack of other plant compounds. The medicinal benefits of the cannabis plant are often more apparent and effective when whole plant extracts are consumed together. The underlying synergies between the minor cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, which number over five hundred in total, all act in unison to modulate the medicinal effects of the plant as nature may have intended.
While there’s little doubt that THC alone can be an effective medicine for a host of conditions, a full-spectrum extract may be more effective in certain cases. THC distillates offer patients a cost-effective way to medicate over the more expensive full-spectrum extracts that require more complex extraction processes to preserve the entire range of compounds.
Terpenes are delicate compounds easily destroyed by the temperature required to extract THC. Many producers get around this issue by separately extracting the terpenes and then infusing them with the THC at a later point.
Distilling cannabis flower isn’t guaranteed to remove all the pesticides present in the source flower, and this is the main reason why the raw flower must be of high quality, and preferably organically grown.
How to Use THC Distillate
There are several ways to consume THC distillate, and its make up allows for endless methods of administration. When it comes to cannabis concentrates, the versatility offered by distillates makes it the jack of all extracts.
Vaporizing THC Distillate
Vaping is the most common method of administration when it comes to THC distillate. Consumers can simply purchase or refill a vape cartridge with the widely available distillate solutions designed for ultimate ease of use.
Dabbing THC Distillate
Dabbing is another popular way of consuming THC distillate. By applying a small amount of THC distillate to a heated nail, you can make efficient use of the solution with minimal waste by inhaling the vapour.
Smoking THC Distillate in a Joint
For those who prefer to smoke, adding a little distillate to a joint will help add a potent kick to the effects. Most people achieve this by adding a small amount of distillate to the rolling paper. This method of administration means that you can benefit from the additional plant terpenes and cannabinoids available in the cured flower and enjoy the benefits of the entourage effect. The inclusion of distillate can often improve how the joint burns and smokes.
Oral Ingestion of THC Distillate
You can also consume distillates by applying a small amount under your tongue and allowing it to absorb sublingually. If your blend of distillate has terpenes reintroduced, you’ll experience enhanced flavour and can even add it to recipes to enhance the flavour of a snack.