Introduction: Distillate VS Concentrates
Many people who smoke cannabis flowers often become curious about other THC consumption methods and start looking into what other types of cannabis they might enjoy based on what they already like.
If you’re relatively new to the cannabis market, or you’ve only previously used smoking flowers as your go-to cannabis consumption method, you might be one of the many people looking for different ways to use cannabis products.
When exploring different types of cannabis available at dispensaries, you may have come across both concentrates and distillates during your search. It’s not uncommon for those exploring cannabis types to be unaware of the differences between the two product types and as such, it can be difficult to choose the right product to fit your preferences.
In this article, we will cover the basics of what concentrates are, what distillates are, how each product is made, and key differences between products.
Hopefully, we can help clarify what sets distillates apart from concentrates and help you make up your mind when comparing distillate vs concentrates when it comes to which product you’ll like best.
What Are Concentrates?
The name “concentrates” is an indication as to how cannabis concentrates are made, as they’re simply the concentrated compounds of marijuana or hemp plants. The concentrated oils are extracted from cannabis flowers, then can be used in a variety of different ways. They can be smoked, used to make edible cannabis products, or perhaps most commonly, used in vaporizers.
The key benefit of concentrates is the fact that the product produces a more significant effect than flowers without the need for as much product usage. A puff or two of concentrate will produce a high comparable to several times more units of flower smoked.
Additionally, when concentrates are vaped or used in edibles, they’re flavorful but do not smell as much as smoking flowers.
Concentrates come in several strains and strengths, so they’re quite a diverse type of product. Depending on the method used to extract the chemical compounds (there are several methods), concentrates can come in several colors and qualities.
What Is Distillate Cannabis?
A distillate is a cannabis product that undergoes distillation after the extraction process to further extract specific elements from the product. It’s similar to the way that many alcohol products are distilled in order to produce a high-quality product.
To answer the question, “what is distillate weed,” it’s necessary to cover what’s accomplished during the distillation process.
To create a distillate product, marijuana or hemp oils are extracted from the flower. The extracted oil is then boiled at certain temperatures to vaporize and then condense the desired compounds from the product.
(Note: Different temperatures are used depending on the boiling point of the ingredient that needs to be extracted.)
There are more than 100 cannabinoid ingredients in the cannabis plant, and the most well-known are THC and CBD. THC is the main psychoactive ingredient and CBD is a non-psychoactive medicinal ingredient. Both are usually the key focus of cannabis distillates.
Once the desired compound (THC or CBD) has become vaporized, it is then condensed back into a liquid that’s completely separated from the remaining product. The finished product resembles honey and is both thick and viscous.
The process of distillation is often used to isolate pure CBD from the rest of a hemp product. This way, individuals can use CBD-infused products without having to worry about THC content.
The Key Differences Between Concentrates & Distillates
- Distillates don’t naturally have a smell or flavor.
Scent and flavor are important distinctions to make when comparing distillate vs concentrates.With distillates, the final smell and flavor of the product can be determined by those creating it. Distillates can come in a variety of smells and flavors depending on what the manufacturer chooses.Concentrates, on the other hand, usually still maintain some of their original smell and flavor. This means that the final product still has a “weedy” aftertaste or secondary smell, even if other scents and flavors are added.
- Distillates are a very versatile product.
Distillates can be used in a variety of products without creators having to worry about the smell or flavor of the cannabis product interfering with the user’s enjoyment.Many distillate users prefer to use a pure product and appreciate the fact that distillates don’t smell like cannabis. As such, they can be added to almost any product and still used discreetly.
- Distillates are usually more expensive than concentrates.
Price is a point to consider when comparing distillate vs concentrates. Weed distillate isolates only the essential parts of the cannabis plant (the THC or CBD) to create a pure product. Because of the quality of these items, distillates are usually going to cost more per unit than concentrates.However, even though distillates tend to cost more, the product is so potent that it will likely last longer than other cannabis products being that very little needs to be used in order to experience the full effect.
- Distillates are usually higher in strength than concentrates.
As mentioned, distillates are the purest form of cannabis products and as such, their strength is typically higher than other cannabis types.Individuals who use distillates typically value the fact that they’re getting the purest ingredients possible. Because of distillate purity, these products usually last longer than concentrates as only a small portion needs to be used to experience the product’s effect.Distillates are ideal for people who want to experience the effects of their cannabis products quickly, but either don’t want any scent or flavor or want a non-cannabis smell and flavor to replace the natural qualities that might be experienced when using less purified forms of cannabis (flower, concentrate, etc.).
- Concentrates produce an “entourage effect.”
While some users enjoy the purity of distillates, many users prefer to use a well-rounded product that includes natural terpenes and product characteristics that add to the overall experience. This may include THC and CBD combinations, flavors, scents, and other chemical compounds that produce what’s known as the entourage effect.The entourage effect refers to the enhanced psychoactive effects that a complete weed product produces.
- Strains matter when it comes to concentrates
When comparing distillate vs concentrates, it’s important to talk about the various marijuana strains that go into the creation of these products.Distillate concentrates are the purest form of marijuana, so the strain is not very important when it comes to the creation of the product.The same cannot be said for concentrates in general. Concentrate users will experience significantly different effects depending on the strain of the product they purchase. For example, an indica-dominant strain will produce more body effects, much like what they’d experience smoking flowers. A sativa-dominant strain will produce more of a mental high, including the energizing effects the weed type is known for.
- Distillates are great for topical use.
While both concentrates and distillates can be used topically, distillates are the purer product and their effects are often more significant than concentrated marijuana.However, distillate products usually need to be diluted into another product (like a lotion or oil) given how sticky they are in their original form. Only a small portion of distillate needs to be used to be effective, so once diluted into a topical solution, the viscosity should not be an issue.Not to mention, the distillate will not produce a cannabis-like smell when used on the skin.
- Distillates and concentrates usually differ in consistency.
Because distillates are the purest form of cannabis ingredients, they’re usually very thick and viscous. Most of the time, they resemble honey, though they can be a little darker or lighter in color.Concentrates, on the other hand, are usually liquid and oily in texture. They can be a light yellow color to a more orange or amber color depending on the strain and concentration method used.
Now that you’re aware of the basics when comparing distillate vs concentrates, you’re likely more equipped to make informed decisions about which sort of product you’d like to try.
If you’re looking for an easy-to-consume product that still allows you to take advantage of the pleasant terpenes in your favorite cannabis strains, you’ll want to go with concentrates that suit your individual preferences.
If you’re interested in using a potent, pure product that can easily blend with other items (like food, lotions, etc.) for easy consumption or absorption, your best bet is to choose a high-quality distillate product.
Additionally, if you’d like to experiment with both products, you should be at least a little more aware of what to expect when shopping for and using each product type, which will help you make the best decision for the situation at hand.