Concentrates vs Distillates: What Are the Differences?
Cannabis is now available as a distillate and concentrates in various forms, but is there a difference between a distillate vs concentrate?
From gummies to chocolates, wax, shatter, and vape cartridges, the list is endless for any marijuana user looking to consume THC or CBD.
Cannabis distillates vs concentrates—the choice is yours. And, whether you’re using weed for medicinal or recreational purposes, you’re sure to find something that hits the spot.
But what is the difference between distillates and concentrates? and which should you get?
Many first-time users enjoy munching THC and CBD edibles, while cannabis connoisseurs usually prefer to relish the fragrance as they vape.
In creating these weed concentrates and products, various methods of extraction are employed, the two most common being distillation, which gives rise to distillates, and extraction, which produces concentrates.
Distillate is a cannabis extract carefully separated from unwanted plants and cannabinoid compounds.
As such, it contains only the specific cannabinoid desired. In this process, distillates usually undergo extensive refining to remove all other compounds and often lose their aroma, flavour, and natural terpenes.
So, although a distillate is extracted from the cannabis plant, it usually doesn’t retain its original aroma.
Distillation is a post-extraction method that works via vaporization and condensation.
During distillation, the compounds are heated to high temperatures, at which the target cannabinoid compounds vaporize. Using the condensing loop, the vaporized blends are collected as liquids.
Common Examples of Distillates
THC oil is a concentrate oil with tetrahydrocannabinol, the major psychoactive compound in the cannabis plant, as its prominent cannabinoid. This is a key difference between distillate vs concentrate.
Though generally known for its psychoactive properties, THC offers you way more than just a “high,” as certain formulations of the cannabinoid have been approved by the FDA for treating medical conditions.
THC is used in treating insomnia, pain, and anxiety, and recent research shows that THC may help treat more adverse conditions, including chronic neuropathic pain and fibromyalgia.
Talk about a distillate that offers numerous health benefits and never intoxicates, and CBD oil tops the list.
CBD oil is mainly composed of cannabidiol, which has been used to treat various conditions, including seizures and mental disorders.
It’s important to note the difference between THC oil and CBD oil when it comes to distillate vs concentrate.
The Pros of Distillates
When it comes to distillate vs concentrate, distillates usually have no little to no flavour. This gives manufacturers the liberty to incorporate their flavours into the extract. As a consumer, you get various flavours from which you can choose.
Distillates are generally potent compounds since they are the pure form of a specific desirable cannabinoid within the cannabis plant.
Distillate extracts are not only potent; they are also very versatile. So, consumers can consume distillates in different ways based on their needs and preferences.
The Cons of Distillate
Natural terpenes are lost.
The naturally occurring terpenes are usually lost during distillation, depriving the consumer of the opportunity to enjoy their therapeutic effects.
A concentrate is a cannabis extract made by extracting the essential content from the hemp plant into a more concentrated form that can be smoked, vaporized, or processed into edibles.
Unlike distillates, which undergo distillation, concentrates undergo extraction processes that preserve their flavour and the terpene compounds. As a result, concentrates are more similar to cannabis than distillates.
Often, concentrates are prepared using solvents. The cannabis plant is subjected to specific solvent compounds.
When this is done, the links binding the desired cannabinoids and terpenes are broken and dissolved in the solvent liquids. After dissolution, these compounds are then separated from the other compounds.
Common Examples of Concentrates
There are numerous concentrates available across various online dispensaries in Canada for anyone looking to buy weed online in Canada and experience the differences between distillate vs concentrate.
Budder is a cannabis concentrate somewhat similar to butter in its consistency, as it’s neither solid nor liquid. Budder is popular for its high THC percentage (80%–90%).
But beyond its high THC content, budder retains various terpenes in the original cannabis plant and is reported as the most flavorful by many cannabis users.
Crumble is a dry, powdery cannabis extract that crumbles when handled; it is sometimes called a honeycomb. Crumble is especially loved among marijuana users for its versatility.
Crumble can be dabbed, added to joints, or sprinkled over marijuana buds. Its use is almost endless for cannabis connoisseurs.
Shatter is a cannabis concentrate noted for its solid, translucent, and glass-like appearance.
Shatter is typically dabbed, and its strength varies, sometimes reaching as high as 90%.
Simply put, if you’ve seen a cannabis extract that looks like it could shatter, it’s likely to shatter.
Talk about the knight in shining armour that many cannabis users want to meet.
Caviar is a professionally prepared cannabis product that gives you a higher buzz than cheap weed possibly can.
Even experienced smokers report that caviar takes them into a new realm.
Hash oil, also referred to as “honey oil,” is an oleoresin extracted from hashish and known for its numerous terpenes and resins.
Hash oil may contain up to 80% THC. So, though impure, it’ll no doubt leave you in the clouds.
Moon Rocks is a combo pack of layers and weed variants that will undoubtedly leave you high. They are made by wrapping regular cannabis flowers with butane hash oil (BHO).
The product is then coated with a dense layer of kief. Simply put, moon rocks are designed to take you to the moon.
The Pros of Cannabis Concentrate
Higher terpene content
Since concentrates retain their naturally occurring terpenes, they usually have a higher terpene content than distillates do. These terpenes have various therapeutic and medicinal uses.
Concentrates are usually more flavorful than distillates because they still contain flavonoids, which are responsible for their flavour and aroma.
The Cons of Concentrates
Possibly less effective
Due to the presence of other compounds, a concentrate may be less potent than its distillate counterpart.
What Is the Difference Between Distillate vs Concentrate?
A key difference between distillate vs concentrate is in their residual compounds.
While distillates do not have flavonoids and terpenes following their extraction process, concentrates retain their flavonoids and terpenes. Here’s another important difference between distillate vs concentrate.
Distillates are great for those looking to use them for medicinal purposes or first-time users who want to try a stronger product than flower since you get the purest form of your desired cannabinoid.
Distillates are generally more potent than concentrates due to their relative purity.
However, the degree of purity and potency may vary from one marijuana concentrate to another.
Keep potency in mind when comparing distillate vs concentrate.
Do Cannabis Distillates Make You High?
Whether or not you’ll be high from taking distillates depends on the specific distillate cannabinoid you’re taking.
Since distillates offer you your desired cannabinoid in its purest form, you get the best of whatever cannabinoid.
For example, if you take a THC distillate, you’re likely to experience a lasting high.
However, consuming a CBD distillate is unlikely to give you a high, regardless of the quantity you take, because CBD in itself is not a psychoactive cannabinoid.
Do THC Distillates and Oil Mean the Same Thing?
When you check an online weed dispensary in Canada for distillates, you’ll come across various hash oils. This is because all distillates are oils; however, not all oils are distillates.
The separation factor is that a weed distillate is free from other compounds and cannabinoids. On the other hand, full-spectrum oils contain multiple cannabinoids and compounds.
How Is Weed Distillate Used?
Distillates may be used in multiple ways.
They may be consumed directly using a dab rig or dab pen.
They may be vaped with distillate cartridges or even used to produce edibles.
How Are Cannabis Concentrates Consumed?
Cannabis concentrates may be consumed in various ways, but the most common of all is dabbing.
Just like distillates, you may take concentrates from vape pens, edibles, and tinctures depending on the feel you want from your hash time.
The major difference between distillates and concentrates is that while concentrates usually contain terpenes and other cannabinoids, distillates do not.
Distillates are extensively processed to deliver the focus cannabinoids in their purest forms, usually as oils.
Both distillates and concentrates are cannabis extracts that are unique and potent in their ways.
Conclusively, neither is superior to the other on the distillate vs. concentrate battleground.
And with increased advancements in technology, various concentrates and distillates are available from which you can choose based on your preference.
A great place to start is to look through our available cannabis concentrates.