How to Make THC Distillate (Comprehensive Guide)

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How to Make THC Distillate

There are different ways and different forms in which people like to consume their marijuana and distillates are getting increasingly popular. Distillates are a different kind of concentrates and people have been using it quite frequently of late. This gives you the maximum possible high and maximum possible THC content that can be extracted from the buds is extracted using this method. 

Out of the many ways you could consume weed, this is the one which gives you the strongest of ‘highs’ hence a lot of people now like to make THC distillates and consume their marijuana in that form factor. Over the course of this article, we shall be taking a detailed look at how to make THC distillate- there will be a step by step process helping you understand how to do it.

However, apart from just telling you the method by which you can make this THC distillate, we shall also be looking at what exactly is a distillate, what are some pros and cons of making it – and how to consume this. We shall also be answering a number of other questions relating to distillates. However, the primary goal of our article here is to help you know how to make THC distillate.

What is THC Distillate?

There are a number of different forms in which cannabis is consumed by stoners and one of it is in the form of THC distillates which are very pure concentrates. Some distillates can attain as much as 99% purity in THC and do not carry waxes or any other compounds from the plants. Basically, you go on stripping off all the elements from the cannabis plant until only one very specific cannabinoid – that is THC is left. These are very, very potent concentrates and do not carry any taste or smell because they are devoid of all components including terpenes. A THC distillate is basically a type of cannabis oil. 

Like you have THC distillates, you can also have CBD distillates which are very useful when it comes to medicinal uses. Consuming distillates provides the consumers with an almost instant effect which is what makes them quite popular. 

What are Some Benefits of THC Distillates?

THC distillates have a number of benefits, most of them arising because of the fact that they are a ‘clean’ product to consume. Distillates are free of all the other components and compounds from the plant and are really pure. This ‘clean’ nature of distillates really attracts a number of stoners towards it. Moreover, there’s another benefit of an instant effect because they are really concentrated. Again this arises from the pure state that this distillate is in – it ‘hits’ you almost instantaneously. Some medical patients, especially those dealing with chronic pain also prefer using THC distillates because of this instant effect as it gives them quick relief from pain. This is particularly useful for those people who have grown tolerant towards THC and need something stronger than traditional medicinal marijuana. 

Why Is Distillation Better Than Smoking Weed?

While smoking or heating weed is still the most common form of consuming it, distillates are a rising trend which is getting quite popular among new-age stoners. One major disadvantage of smoking weed is that smoking would still burn the plant matter and/or the rolling paper and would therefore be carcinogenic and would also be a cause for various respiratory ailments. Since you don’t really burn or smoke anything while consuming distillates, they’re naturally safer than smoking weed.

In addition to that, distillates can carry THC levels of upto 99% while buds carry only about 25% of it. This gives the stoners a much enhanced ‘high’ as well as gives instant relief from medical ailments. Another thing that appeals many stoners about distillates is that it is tasteless and odorless – many people don’t like the taste of weed while most stoners don’t want the smell to linger around. Using concentrates solves both these problems. 

How to Make THC Distillate?

Now that you have understood what distillates are and what are the benefits that they carry when compared to smoking weed, let us take a closer look at the two major processes that are used to make THC distillates.

One note of caution before we begin: Manufacturing or creating distilled THC might be dangerous as well as illegal. It must only be done under expert supervision and with all the necessary legal precautions in mind. This article is strictly for educational purposes and we do not advocate or support doing this at home as it can be unsafe as well as violate various laws. 

THC Short Path Distillation Process

The basic idea behind the short path distillation process is that this involves fractional distillation where cannabis extract is kept inside a flask and heated. The THC which is inside the extract gets separated due to this and is then collected in a different container. This THC goes via an opening into a cooling tube, from where it enters the collecting vessel. This is a shorter path compared to the next one. Here’s how to make THC distillate using the Short Path distillation process – 

Step 1: Before you begin anything, you will need to grind the cannabis flower using a grinder.

Step 2: Then you need to mix this grinded cannabis along with a solvent which has a low boiling point. Ethanol fits the role the best here. Create a solution of the two and get it inside a round bottomed flask. You can replace Ethanol with any other solvent which has a low boiling point but it has been generally observed that Ethanol works the best here.

Step 3: Start heating the solution – but make sure you’re doing it gradually and not all at once. Vapors will then begin to rise which will gradually move into the fractionating tubing due to the vacuum. What happens now is that one by one all the different elements of the cannabis flower are going to get vaporized.

Step 4: The first compounds to get vaporized are the terpenes and the flavonoids, which are responsible for the smell and the taste of weed respectively. Post that, the solution will begin to heat again and the next set of compounds to evaporate will be the cannabinoids, these will condense into the cannabinoid fraction. This means that THC has been separated and collected there. 

Step 5: The remaining parts of the solution are basically your waxes and sugars, and some other compounds such as chlorophyll etc which have a much higher boiling point when you compare it to THC. Hence these will take longer to vaporize. 

Step 6: The cannabinoids condensate that you have collected can be used as it is, or you can actually have it combined along with the terpenes and flavonoids which were collected earlier in case you want to add some smell and flavor to your THC distillate. We would recommend going for the pure form. 

This is how you create a THC distillate using the short path distillation process. Let us now take a detailed look at the next process using which THC distillates can be created – the short path wiped film distillation process.

THC Short Path Wiped Film Distillation Process

This is a process which is somewhat complex when you compare it to the earlier one. However, it is also considered to be more effective and provides you with a purer form of THC. In this process, unlike the previous one, you do not need a solvent. This process involves the use of rotating wiper blades which make sure that the extract is smeared on the evaporator walls. Let us see how this process works;

Step 1: In this process too, you need to grind the cannabis using a grinder. Then this extract needs to be transferred to the feed vessel where the rotating wiper blades will smear it across the walls of the heated evaporating vessel. 

Step 2: The center of this setup has an internal condenser, where these evaporated substances will cool down. This cooling down of the vapors will result in them being converted into a liquid. Now since the extract has different components with different boiling points, this is the place where it will be split up. 

Step 3: The liquid that gets collected at the end of the activity at the bottom flask is the THC distillate. The terpenes and the flavonoids get collected separately and may be mixed for taste and smell but we’d not recommend that.

This process involves a lot of tubes and flasks and an elaborate setup. Using this to prepare THC distillates is only something that professionals should do and under no circumstances should this be carried out unsupervised. While the short path wiped film method of distilling THC provides a much more refined and purer version of THC at the end, the fact is – it is much more difficult to set up and is significantly costlier as well. The regular short path method would cost you anywhere between $3000 to $8000 depending on what kind of equipment you are using. However, the short path wiped film process of distillation is quite expensive and can potentially set you back by about $20,000 on an average. Hence, most non-laboratory distillates are prepared using the former. 

Pros and Cons of THC Distillate

Now that you know which are the various ways in which THC distillate can be prepared, let us take a detailed look at the pros and cons of the same:

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Pros
  • Purity is the biggest benefit of consuming THC distillates – it gives you a much purer product stripped off of all the other unneeded compounds.
  • The effect it has on you is much quicker compared to consuming cannabis in any other form factor
  • There are a number of medicinal benefits of consuming distillates as it gives instant relief from pain

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Cons
  • Very complex setup, involves working with burners and fire – must never be done unsupervised
  • Can be quite costly and cost you thousands of dollars for a basic setup and tens of thousands of dollars for an advanced setup

FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions About THC Distillates

Here are the answers to some of the most common and frequently asked questions about THC distillates. Do go through them as they might solve some of your queries and doubts as well:

1. Which is the better process of making THC distillates? 

When you compare both the methods – i.e. short path method and the short path wiped film method, you will find out that the latter gives you a much purer result compared to the former. However, setting up a system as complex as the wiped film method is both tiresome as well as very expensive. Having a fully functioning high-quality short path wiped film distillation method might cost you as much as $20,000 to $30,000. The former would cost you somewhere around $8,000 at the most. The short path method is a compact setup too and does not occupy a lot of space while the wiped film method would take up quite a bit of space as it is an elaborate setup with multiple parts. Hence, both the methods have their own advantages as well as shortcomings and it is on the producer to decide which method do they prefer.

2. What are the health benefits of THC distillates?

As mentioned above, this is a great option for those people who suffer from chronic pain and other ailments which involve severe muscular pain. It gives instant relief from such problems. Apart from that, THC distillates are also good for those people dealing with severe nausea, as well as for those who are dealing with digestive problems such as lack of appetite. THC distillates also have antispasmodic properties, where they again provide an instant relief from muscle spasms. People dealing with mental health issues can also consume this distillate. 

3. Do you get ‘high’ on consuming distillates?

YES. If you are consuming a THC distillate it means you are consuming the purest form of CBD which is free of practically everything else and just a drop is enough to get you sufficiently high. It is a very potent product and must be administered very carefully. However if you are consuming CBD distillates, they have therapeutic benefits but don’t really get you high.

4. What is the difference between THC Distillates and Cannabis Oil?

A THC distillate is a type of cannabis oil. However, not all cannabis oils are distillates! This is because regular cannabis oil might consume a number of other unwanted elements such as terpenes or other compounds. However, a distillate is the purest form of cannabis oil that you can find. 

5. What are distillate pens?

These are basically vape pens which provide you with a chamber in which you can fill in distilled oil and inhale it by vaporizing it. These pens make it much more convenient to vape the distillates. There’s a heating element inside it which vaporizes the oil in the cartridge and allows you to inhale it comfortably.

6. How to Consume THC Distillate?

There are many different ways in which you can consume the THC distillates:

  • Vapes: Vaporizing your distillate is one of the most common ways of consuming it. Simply fill up your vape tank with the THC distillate and start vaping it. 
  • Dabs: Dabbing is another common way in which stoners like to consume their distilled THC content.
  • Oral Consumption: Now this is a risky bit and must be done only with professional supervision – you can use a dropper to drop a single drop of the distillate below your tongue to consume it.
  • In a joint – prepare a thinner than usual joint and coat it with a layer of the distillate before you smoke it up.

Conclusion

We hope that this article has helped you clearly understand what distillates are, how they function – and how to make THC distillate. Note once again that we do not promote the manufacturing of THC distillates at home because this might be a dangerous process as well as illegal in your area. Hence, proceed with caution and use this article only for educational purposes. If there’s something more about making THC distillates that you’d like to know, do let us know in the comments or drop us an email about the same and we shall get back to you soon. Till then…

…Happy Smoking!

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