Lots of people are becoming more familiar with the various forms which cannabis extracts can take. Yet THC distillate often remains something of a mystery.
But with THC carts of various kinds flooding the market (even at K.I.N.D. we have our own high-potency, high-purity Nectar carts), it’s a good idea to know a little bit about what you’re buying before you make your purchase.
In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about how to use THC distillate. As well as what it is exactly…
What is THC?
Before we get into what a distillate is, it’s important that we understand what THC is in the first place.
THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol. Tetrahydrocannabinol is a type of organic compound called a cannabinoid. Although they are found in many places in nature, cannabinoids are perhaps best known for their presence in the cannabis plant.
Cannabis is currently known to contain 113 different cannabinoids, including the two most famous ones – CBD and THC.
THC is the part of the cannabis plant which is in large part responsible for marijuana’s psychoactive effects. These effects can be heightened or reduced by the other components of the plant. But it’s the quantity of THC that’s present which will usually govern the potency of the psychoactive effects when it is ingested.
THC has been used to address all kinds of medical conditions, including:
- Chronic pain
- Low appetite
- Muscle spasticity
What is THC distillate?
THC distillate is a cannabis extract which has been through a process of isolation and purification, eliminating all other components of the cannabis plant and leaving only the THC. The process usually involves:
- Removal of the terpenes – as part of the process of making THC distillate, terpenes – beneficial aromatic compounds found in the cannabis plant, responsible for each strain’s unique aromas and flavors – are removed. Sometimes these are reintroduced later.
- Removal of unwanted elements – impurities like solvents (such as BHO, ethanol or CO2 used in the extraction process) or fertilizers, lipids and other unwanted elements and parts of the cannabis plant matter are removed.
- Distillation of the THC – usually passing through a process called “short path distillation”, processes including winterization and decarboxylation (to activate the THC) are also used in order to leave only the THC standing.
The final distillate is as close to pure THC as it’s possible to get. Resembling a translucent, not very viscous oil, the final distillate is entirely odorless and tasteless as well as being an incredibly potent psychoactive substance.
After the distillate is ready, it can be used in a wide variety of ways. It is the key component in many vape cartridges (including K.I.N.D.’s highly regarded Nectar vapes cartridges), is an ingredient in many edibles, tinctures and topicals as well as being used in dabbing rigs the length and breadth of the US.
So is THC distillate a cannabis oil?
Yes, THC distillate is a cannabis oil. But it’s important to point out that, while all distillates you find will be oils, not every oil you buy will be a distillate.
A cannabis oil is only a distillate (with all of the purity benefits that brings) if all of the other elements of the cannabis plant have been removed as part of the distillation process.
Many types of cannabis oil have not been through this process. Always be sure to check the label before you make your purchase so you know what you’re getting.
The advantages of THC distillate
There are several reasons why you might choose a distillate of THC over a full-spectrum product or another option:
Because it is almost completely pure – 90-99% purity levels are often expected from distillate these days – a distillate oil is very safe if you’re worried about things like solvents, fertilizers or pesticides being in your final product. This is often a worry for people who use their distillates for smoking or vaping, as inhaling those kinds of chemicals is never going to be good for you.
The beneficial terpenes which were removed as part of the extraction process can be added back in to the final oil to reproduce the original flavors and odors of that particular strain of cannabis.
Meanwhile, the base distillate’s clearly-marked purity level makes it easy for users to determine the correct dose to take.
That purity also means a distillate is incredibly potent. For this reason, the use of THC distillates is increasingly widespread. K.I.N.D.’s Nectar cartridges are among our most popular products – partly because of their high purity.
Other cannabis products can never hope to compete with this. Even the vaunted CO2 extracts only reach around 60-80% purity levels.
The only type of product which might be more potent than a distillate are full-spectrum ones. These can take advantage of the “Entourage Effect” to lend extra power to a product which may, on the surface, appear to be less potent.
A distillate is about as close to pure THC as you can get. This makes it good for use on its own. But it makes it absolutely perfect as an ingredient to be used to create other cannabis products and edibles.
Because the original terpenes don’t have to be reintroduced, product creators can define the final flavor and aromas of the product they are trying to create.
Does THC distillate get you “high”?
Yes. In fact, while it wouldn’t quite be accurate to say THC distillate gets you “the most” high, it is still one of the cannabis products on the market with the strongest psychoactive properties.
The only exception to this is probably full-spectrum products, which can sometimes be prohibitively expensive.
How to use THC distillate
Thanks to its previously mentioned versatility, there are many different ways in which people make use of THC distillate:
1) Distillates in vaping
THC distillate is one of the most popular choices for vapers of all experience levels. You will find this type of oil in all kinds of refillable and disposable vapes.
You can even get straightforward distillate vape pens which are essentially “unpack and go”. Like most vapes, these ready-to-use models consist of a cartridge filled with distillate oil, a battery and a heating element. The battery powers the heating element, which vaporizes the oil ready for inhalation.
Do go easy when you’re vaping THC distillate oil if you haven’t done it before. The oil’s potency can be slightly overwhelming, so it’s always best to try it in moderation. Thankfully, the onset time is pretty much instant when vaping. So there’s no need to wait to find out how strongly you’ve been affected.
2) Distillates in smoking
Some people like to use their THC distillate in the course of their normal rolling activities. To do this, add a few drops of the oil onto your rolling paper and then add tobacco and cannabis as normal.
The distillate will make your final “cannabis cigarette” more potent, more flavorful (if its terpenes have been added back in) and should make everything burn more smoothly too.
3) Distillates in dabbing
If you have a dab rig and know how to use it, THC distillates are one of the better choices for your experience. Dabbing distillate is highly efficient with minimal wastage and creates a powerful effect on the user.
4) Distillates in tinctures
A cannabis tincture is a small vial of cannabis extract suspended in alcohol. This is designed to be used in conjunction with a pipette to place a couple of drops beneath the tongue, held and allowed to dissolve through the membranes of tour mouth before being swallowed.
Using a tincture is very discreet and makes for very easy dose control as well as facilitating a rapid onset of effects without the need to inhale smoke or vapor.
5) Distillates in edibles
The easiest way to consume cannabis – especially when you want to avoid the potential negative health effects of smoking or vaping – is to use edibles.
Edibles are exactly what they sound like – edible gummies and candies, baked goods like brownies and much more. All of which contain a certain quantity of cannabis extract. All of which can be simply popped in your mouth and eaten.
The onset of effects takes quite a bit longer than other methods, as the edibles need to be absorbed as they pass through your digestive tract. But the benefits of discretion and smoking avoidance are often counted as worth it by those who prefer this method of getting the relief they need.
Some people even like to prepare their own edibles. This is where those unflavored distillates (those which have not had their terpenes added back in) have their time to shine. Being flavorless means these distillates can be added to any meal that’s being prepared without altering the flavors.
6) Distillates in topicals
Topical products include things like creams and balms which are spread on the skin. These often have CBD or THC distillate as one of their base ingredients. For example, Rick Simpson Oil – also known as Phoenix Tears – are based on a very basic distillate of THC.
Where can I find THC distillate for sale?
You can find THC distillate for sale from a whole slew of vendors online as well as from your local licensed marijuana dispensary.
The challenge in buying distillate is usually to ensure that you’re getting what you pay for. Always, before you buy, you should:
Read the label – a THC oil might not necessarily be a distillate. If you want a pure product, make sure that the item you’re buying is a distillate and that you know how potent it is. It’s difficult to work out the right dose for your needs if you don’t know how strong your distillate is. A reputable product should have its potency clearly marked.
Check the manufacturer – who made this oil? And, more importantly, what did they make it from? Your product packaging should specify where the cannabis within the product came from. For example, the packaging of one of K.I.N.D.’s Nectar vape carts would inform you that the cannabis was grown in American soil using natural, organic processes.
Consider asking your budtender – the budtender in your local licensed dispensary should be fully informed about all of their products. It’s not their job to up-sell or convince you to spend more. Instead, they’re essentially a cannabis wiki of advice and recommendations. Tell them what you’re looking for in the way of THC distillate and they will be able to suggest what might be best for you.
Finally, it’s worth pointing out that if you’re using THC to address a specific condition, it’s always worth consulting your doctor about it. They’re best placed to advise you.
But as soon as you know what you’re getting, where it came from and how to use THC distillate (as well as what exactly it is, of course), you’re all ready to enjoy one of the most potent experiences the world of cannabis extracts has to offer.