Cannabis distillates are quickly emerging as a super potent form of the cannabinoid concentrate market, and they are not for the faint of heart. The average cannabis flower maintains somewhere between 15-25 percent THC. Distillates, on the other hand, offer some of the highest percentages of THC. Through the process of short path distillation, clear and refined cannabis concentrate can register at potency level up to 99 percent!
How does cannabis distillation work?
Distillates have a very promising future in cannabis medicine as an essential oil used for a variety of medical conditions and a super recreational high. But tread lightly, this high THC option may be best for high-tolerance cannabis consumers.
Root Sciences, one of the leaders in cannabis concentrate production, has set the standard for a process called short path distillation. Their website states,
Short path wiped file distillation of THC sometimes referred to as molecular distillation of THC is a process that creates a high-value clear distillate from concentrates containing cannabinoids using our wiped file evaporator.
Depending on the strain of cannabis or hemp, the percentage of THC may vary when put through the following two-step process. The THC distillation process is split into two parts where on the first cut you remove the terpenes.
Terpenes are the oils in cannabis that give each strain its fragrance or aroma. Terpenes are present in all plant life. Phase two is to “remove the lipids, impurities, and solvents leaving you with an odorless high-value clear distillate.
After the wiped file evaporator completes the distillation, the THC oil produced is used in the same manner as concentrates to be utilized in “vape cartridges, tinctures or edibles,” as well as a highly potent oil in small doses.
Also, the aromatic terpenes that were previously removed, or terpenes from another source can be reintroduced to the distillate afterward to add whichever distinct flavor the user wants.
Can anyone make cannabis distillates?
Cannabis distillation requires a ‘high force vacuum’ according to Green Rush Daily. Other means of THC extraction to produce higher potencies require very high temperatures that can damage the cannabis if not administered properly.
Root Sciences offer what they call, ‘turn key solutions for distillation equipment’ that allow cannabis cultivators to create their own THC distillates using equipment that doesn’t degrade the product.
Lat year, Colorado-based Organa Brands, a leader in cannabis oil production released Bakked, a line of pure cannabis distillate products with potencies of up to 97 percent. Their products can currently be found in a number of dispensaries spanning Colorado, California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Massachusetts.
Mary’s Medicinals and Elite Cannabis offer ‘two distinct profiles’ in their Bootlegger Distillate product line. Firewater, their sativa profile, “offers a pungent, spicy citrus aroma and flavor with reported effects including euphoria, energy, and alertness.”
While Seven Stars, their indica profile, is “designed for relaxation and tranquility,” and “evokes flavors of pine, citrus, soap and a bit of skunk.” Their products can be found in dispensaries spanning Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, and Illinois.