Legal cannabis sales across all product types have continued to surge year after year, but no segment of the market has seen more growth than cannabis concentrates, such as vape cartridges, tinctures, shatter, and wax. But there is one form of concentrate leading the way, and according to cannabis market research firm BDS Analytics, that concentrate is cannabis distillate. Not only is cannabis distillate a great product to dab, but it can also be used in at-home infusions to create tasty and effective DIY edibles.
What is Cannabis Distillate?
Many consumers enjoy distillate because of its potency. To make distillate, manufacturers utilize a process called short path distillation, which uses steam, heat, vacuum pressure, and certain boiling points (depending on the cannabinoid) to isolate and purify the desired cannabinoid. This distillation process isolates and increases the potency of both THC (in some cases as high as 99 percent) and CBD – but also leaves behind other compounds found in cannabis like terpenes, as well as any toxins and impurities.
Since the distillation process leaves behind terpenes and plant matter (the compounds that give cannabis its distinctive herby and earthy flavor) what’s left is an odorless, flavorless oil that is ideal for making cannabis-infused edibles. Distillates also make it much easier to precisely dose your edibles, which can be tricky when making cannabis-infused oil or butter with flowers, for example. And, the distillate is by default decarboxylated, an important heating process that activates THC’s intoxicating and euphoric kick.
Making Homemade Cannabis Edibles with Distillate
Cooking or baking at home with cannabis distillates is actually incredibly simple, though not quite as simple as putting a few drops from a dropper into a pre-made brownie mix. At the very least, you’ll have to do some stirring.
What You'll Need:
- One gram cannabis distillate
- A bowl of hot water
- Oil or butter
- An oil or butter-based recipe
- With your distillate in its container, place in a bowl of hot water to warm the concentrate (not too hot! Cannabinoids like THC begin to degrade at 230 degrees Fahrenheit)
- While the distillate warms, measure out the oil or butter (liquefied) to the recipe’s specifications
- Drop the gram of distillate into the oil or butter and mix thoroughly to ensure homogenization, a process that breaks big particles into small ones, and provides uniformity to the product
- Place the combined distillate/oil or butter mixture into a microwave-safe dish and heat on medium power for up to two minutes to ensure all ingredients are combined
- Your oil is ready to be infused into your recipe
As mentioned above, cannabis exposed to high temperatures does degrade, so if you’re baking something, be sure to keep the temperature at 325 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. But be assured that you won’t lose much of cannabis’ kick through baking if done properly. Remember, the distillate is extremely potent!