What is CBD Distillate? Everything You Need to Know

CBDNerds Staff
Authored: Jul 7, 2019
Updated: Oct 29, 2020
CBD Distillate | Guide | CBDNerds 2020

What is CBD Distillate and How Does it Work?

Many people within the cannabis industry have claimed that CBD distillate is the future of cannabis as a whole. Yet, so many consumers remain unaware of what it is and how it works. To put it simply, CBD distillate is the result of an extraction and distillation process where nearly everything is removed, except for the intended cannabinoids. In the case of CBD distillate, it means all the THC has been stripped away. This potent extract is usually added to other products like topicals or vape pens.

 

We’ll break down everything about the extract including the distillation process, where you can buy CBD distillate, and how much it typically costs.

 

What is CBD Distillate?

CBD distillate is a potent oil that has been distilled to remove all undesirable compounds leaving behind an extract heavily concentrated in a specific cannabinoid (CBD). Distillation is the refinement process that purifies and separates molecules of the extract. The process requires two distinct steps:

 

1. Cleaning a type of liquid through a procedure of heating and cooling.

2. Pinpointing the most important traits of something (in this case, the CBD of the hemp plant) and extracting it.

 

One of the main reasons professionals have been looking into distillation in comparison to other extraction processes is it provides the consumer with a purer and cleaner concentrate of CBD.¹

 

Furthermore, through cannabis distillation, professionals will have the ability to extract the purest forms of various cannabinoids, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabigerol (CBG). This is important for continuing medical research as each cannabinoid can help treat specific diseases or illnesses. For example, THC is better at curing nausea or vomiting in comparison to CBG.²  Therefore, with the right extraction process, doctors may be able to one day prescribe people with nausea a supplement solely containing THC, to offer them maximum relief and fewer side effects.

 

What Are Current CBD Extraction Methods?

There are currently two forms of extraction common within the cannabis industry:³

 

1. Solvent - By using chemical liquids, such as butane or alcohol, and applying them to the cannabis plant, you can extract various cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. For the most part, solvents are used in the marijuana industry to create THC concentrates such as wax.


2. Pressure or Rinsing Extraction - By taking the cannabis plant’s matter, you can use pressure or rinsing methods as a way to pinpoint specific cannabinoids and terpenes. For the most part, this extraction technique is used primarily in the hemp industry to create various CBD products on the market.

 

How Does CBD Distillate Work?

Before we explain CBD distillate, it’s important to note that cannabidiol (CBD) is nothing more than a molecule found in the cannabis plant. Some consumers are misled to believe that CBD oil (tinctures) is a liquid form of CBD. But no liquid form of CBD exists. Rather, CBD oil is an oil base with the CBD molecule placed in it.

 

The extraction process targets the molecule from the cannabis plant material. And to gain the purest CBD, extraction procedures must not only target and separate cannabidiol from other cannabinoids but also refine them.

 

The process of distillation for cannabinoids is as follows:

1. CBD is extracted using a traditional solvent or solventless methods.


2. Contaminants of the cannabis concentrate are then extracted (such as fats or lipids).


3. The CBD is then extracted again with ethanol and placed in a freezing environment for 1 to 2 full days. This process is known as winterization and will rid the CBD of any remaining contaminants.


4. In the process of winterization, the ethanol will then be removed from the extract through a filtration method.


5. The extract then goes through a heating process known as decarboxylation. This is a vital stage as it activates the many therapeutic benefits CBD is known for.


6. The CBD will then enter a distillation or fractional distillation chamber numerous times for the sake of purifying the extract.


7. Once all is complete, the lab will have produced its final product: the purest molecule form of CBD which is a sappy product similar to honey.

 

It should be noted, not every distillation lab works the same and some have processes of their own which may not exactly match the one we mentioned above. As the cannabis industry shifts, we hope to see standard distillation guidelines that all labs must meet.

 

Pros of CBD Distillate:

  • You’re receiving the purest form of CBD available on the market. With that, you’re also receiving the most potent CBD.
     
  • CBD distillate uses one of the cleanest extraction methods. Other extraction methods aren’t really hazardous to the consumer. However, those who use cannabidiol regularly may want to seek out a company that uses a cleaner, more refined extraction method.

 

Cons of CBD Distillate:

  • Through the extraction process, you may lose some terpenes or other cannabinoids that often work well with cannabidiol.
     
  • If you want a CBD product that makes use of all the benefits in the hemp plant, you'll want to keep an eye out for full-spectrum CBD distillate.

 

Where to Find CBD Distillate for Sale

After learning about how the distillate is made and the associated benefits you might be ready to give it a try and buy CBD distillate.

 

CBD distillate concentrations are added to a variety of CBD products like vape pens, topicals, oils, and edibles. Most brands do not currently sell the concentrated extract directly to consumers but if you want to buy pure CBD distillate wholesale that is also an option.  On average you can find CBD distillate for sale at $30 per gram, or around $129 for 10 grams of 80% CBD extract.

 

Frequently Asked Question

Is there a difference between CBD isolate and CBD distillate?

Yes! CBD isolate is 100% cannabidiol while CBD distillate contains around 80% cannabidiol and 20% terpenes, other cannabinoids, and more.

 

What products are CBD distillates put in?

Almost every product currently available on the market can contain CBD distillate. Most of the time, a company will have a lab that specializes in a specific extraction process, whether it be solvent, solventless, or distillate.

 

The final CBD molecule can then be placed into the following:

 

  • Dabbing (mostly used for THC distillate)
  • Edibles
  • Oils
  • Topicals 
  • Vape juice

 

How do I use CBD distillate?

CBD distillate is added to all types of CBD products ranging from topicals to vape pens, so it’s likely you’ve already used it. If you want to make your own products using CBD distillate that you’ve purchased wholesale, you can mix it with coconut oil to make salves or tinctures.

 

How is CBD distillate made?

CBD distillate is made by taking CBD that has already been extracted from the cannabis (or hemp plant) and refining it through a distillation process. The result is a clean high-potency CBD concentrate.

 

Can I make my own CBD distillate?

It is not advised to make your own CBD distillate; the process uses heavy solvents and special equipment and therefore should only be done in controlled environments by professionals. The process also requires extreme accuracy and can be dangerous if attempted at home.

 

Why does CBD distillate crystalize?

CBD distillate can crystallize for two reasons, it’s exposed to high temperatures or the concentration is so potent it just happens naturally. Crystallization is not a bad thing, in fact, it’s an indication that the extract is extremely pure. Think of organic honey as it will tend to crystallize over time as part of the natural process. In both situations warming the substance will bring it back to its liquid form.

 

References

1. PubChem: Cannabidiol
2. British Journal of Pharmacology: Regulation of nausea and vomiting by cannabinoids
3. psi: Cannabis/Hemp Extraction Equipment
4. Cannabis Industry Journal: Distillation Of Your Cannabis Extract: Ignorance Is Not Bliss
5. FDA: FDA Regulation of Cannabis and Cannabis-Derived Products

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