Distillate vs CO2: What You Need to Know

What is the difference between distillate and CO2 concentrates? Here, you’ll learn what the two are, the difference between them, what each process involves, and also some brief background on the distillation process in other industries.

Distillate vs CO2: What is Distillate?

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In general, the process of distillation involves boiling a mixture or combined substance to remove its desired components.

Cannabis distillate is a product gaining popularity relatively recently, but the process of distillation has been common in the alcohol industry for centuries. With alcohol, the distillation process removes toxic methanol from liquors and other spirits and concentrates ethanol, which is what makes up the “proof” of these drinks.

With cannabis, the process can start with just about any form of solvent-based extract – CO2, butane hash oil, ethanol, and so on. As such, the question of distillate vs CO2 needs more depth and clarification, because the two aren’t exactly comparable. The distillate is simply cannabis oil heated up to its boiling point to purify and concentrate the substance to its fullest extent. After it is boiled, cannabis distillate is collected vapor that removes much of the residual solvents that might have remained from the initial extract. The result is a distillate product that is almost pure THC, often upwards of 80-90%.

Distillate vs CO2: What is CO2?

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Although CO2 is a solvent, concentrates produced with it tend to be more attractive to consumers as it is non-toxic. After all, CO2 is essential for plant growth, as plants turn CO2 into oxygen that humans breathe. At room temperature, CO2 is a gas, but under immense pressure, CO2 transforms into a liquid – as is the case with producing cannabis concentrates. With the extraction process, CO2 used as a solvent will dissolve and extract cannabinoids and terpenes from the source plant material. The result is a waxy concentrate that can be consumed but is typically processed further to remove any remaining plant waxes. This further processing most commonly involves subzero temperatures and the addition of ethanol, the combination of which removes the most desirable essential oils of the cannabis plant. Ethanol is then removed from the remaining solution, resulting in cannabis oil that can be anywhere from 50-70% THC.

Distillate vs CO2: It’s a Matter of Preference

As with any other consumer product, each of us has our own individual preferences. With distillate VS CO2, distillate tends to be more expensive due to its higher THC content – which some consumers prefer. Other consumers favor CO2 extracts, as these extracts tend to contain a more accurate representation of whole-plant cannabis – including terpene profile, cannabinoids, and flavonoids.

For consumers who are newer to using cannabis concentrates, it’s important to try a little of each at a time to get the full benefits and medicated effects of each. It is highly recommended that you start slowly, as these concentrates are much more potent than your average cannabis flower. As always, the cannabis professionals here at Remedy are happy to answer any of your questions about distillate vs CO2.

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