THC Distillate, A drop of cannabis oil distillate sits perched on the edge of a dabbing tool. Taut like a raindrop, this viscus and opaque orb glimmers as it rests within the concave folds of titanium. Encased within this golden drop of goodness is a semi-translucent, 99% pure decarboxylated and distilled tetrahydrocannabinol sap: pure THC.

Dollar for dollar, this morsel of oil is worth more by weight than just about any other consumable substance on the market, and for good reason: Cannabis oil distillates are arguably the future of cannabis concentrates.

What is THC distillate?

With unmatched purity and sheer versatility, THC distillate oils provide a clean and potent product with limitless application potential. However, understanding the refinement process by which distillates are made can be difficult, as many of the methodologies are proprietary and still in R&D or even patent-pending phases.

Follow along as we review the inside scoop on how these super potent oils are processed, how easy they are to both consume and infuse with, as well as their potential in offering solutions in various niche markets within the burgeoning cannabis concentrate industry.

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Cannabis distillation:

A mature cannabis plant is known to contain hundreds of identifiable cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, each responsible for playing a role in interacting with our endocannabinoid systems. Through what is widely referred to as “the entourage effect,” these compounds interact with one another to give us the unique experiences we desire.

When it comes to creating cannabis concentrates, cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids are pulled from the vegetative material of the cannabis plant together though various extraction processes. In order to distill these compounds into their purest form, additional layers of refinement must be executed. This process is known as “fractional” or “short path distillation,” and it is known to produce single compound oils that can reach upwards of 99% purity.

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Short path distillation

Fractionation and short path distillation in and of themselves are nothing new. In fact, these common methods have been used for many years, both in the early days of cannabis distillation research as well as in other commercial industries. The techniques have been adopted from the botanical oil extraction markets by cannabis processors to make various oil distillates—fragrance, essential oil, and cooking oil industries can be credited for piloting many of the same fundamental refinement principles that we see overlapping in today’s cannabis distillate manufacturing scene.

Short path distillation is essentially exactly as it sounds: it’s a technique where the distillate travels a short distance, typically from one flask to another, to separate compounds using alcohol and hyper-controlled temperature. Extract material is fed into a flask that’s gradually heated, and a vacuum pulls the ensuing vapors up first into fractionating tubing, then into a condensing tube. This process can be repeated multiple times to refine your end product. Short path distillation is great for creating highly concentrated THC and CBD distillates, as the truncated pathing avoids excessive compound loss during the extraction process.

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