THC distillate is the most concentrated THC product on the market today. Much like how the chemical properties of plants are distilled to create highly concentrated essential oils, THC distillate is made through a process called molecular distillation that separates the THC from almost all other compounds. The result is a highly purified THC product that is free from other plant matter and other cannabinoids. In fact, THC distillates can be up to 99 percent pure THC, with all the chlorophyll, plant compounds and pesticides pretty much completely removed.
How is THC Distillate Made?
The process of distillation has been around for thousands of years and evidence of its use has been found dating back to the earliest civilizations of ancient Mesopotamia. But it was the Arabic alchemists of the Golden Age of Islam who truly perfected the process, which soon spread to Europe and became an integral part of the medicinal practices of the Renaissance period.
The process itself involves heating and cooling matter to the point where it is possible to separate and isolate specific compounds in order to make a final product that is as close to pure THC as it gets. In the case of THC distillate, cannabis oil is usually distilled at temperatures that allow for the separation of THC from any other materials or compounds that are present.
What's the Difference Between THC Distillate and Live Resin?
For those who smoke vape pens, which is where THC distillate is used most commonly, it’s natural to ask what the difference is between a vape cartridge loaded with THC distillate and one filled with live resin, the other commonly used ingredient. The truth is that the two products could not be more different than each other, so it’s a good idea to learn what makes THC distillate such a unique cannabis product right now. Unlike THC distillate, live resin is made from the entire flower and seeks to preserve as much of the plant compounds as possible, including both cannabinoids and terpenes.
Live resin is usually produced by freezing and then processing the whole fresh plant so that whatever was unique about the strain is contained and expressed in the final vape cartridge product. THC distillate on the other hand completely removes everything but the THC. Think of it as the difference between beer and whiskey. Both are made from grains but the whiskey has been distilled to the point where alcohol is the main compound, while the beer still tastes like the grains from which it was made. Is beer better than whiskey, or vice versa? Depends on what you are going for right? Same with THC distillate vs live resin. While THC distillate contains a higher THC level, live resin is more aromatic and contains other cannabis compounds.
How is THC Distillate Used?
THC distillate is widely used in commercial vape pens, as well as in edible products that are small in size and clear like gummies or gum. This allows for an extremely high potency product with a minimal amount of actual cannabis extract. Because THC distillate also has almost zero smell or taste, especially compared to the highly aromatic raw flower or live resin of cannabis, it is also used to disguise use in public. Vaping THC distillate produces an almost odorless smoke for example and is optimal for those who want to consume at work or anywhere else and not broadcast their use to the world the way that firing up a joint does.
What are the Effects?
Because THC distillate is purified, activated and highly concentrated it delivers powerful effects almost instantly. This actually makes it a choice product for those with issues like pain who want a strong and instantaneous effect on demand. While some claim that THC distillate has different effects from products made from the whole plant, including live resin, that make it less medicinal, other studies do show THC on its own to have high medicinal value. For those that want straight THC in a concentrated purified form, THC distillate may be the KO punch they are looking for.
Are There Any Dangers Associated with Distillate?
While there is very little danger associated with THC distillate in and of itself, there have been several reports of contaminated THC distillate products making their way onto the market that are a cause for concern. Black market products, in particular, have been linked to health concerns, due to the fact that their distillation process is not properly monitored and that chemical solvents and other unwanted compounds can make their way into the final product. For this reason, it is very important that any THC distillate containing product you use comes from a reputable source where an analysis for contaminates has taken place.
Can THC Distillate be Made at Home?
In general, it is much easier to make other types of cannabis oils and concentrates at home, including cannabutter and rosin. But it is possible to make your own highly purified THC distillate right in your own home laboratory provided you invest in the right equipment. This includes items like glass flasks, heating mantles and wiped film systems – expect to invest upwards of $5,000 to set up a proper THC distilling facility in your home or commercial space. As we mentioned above, however, testing the final product before consumption is highly recommended.