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What is Distillate?

By Star Barnes October 27, 2020

The term “CBD Oil” encompasses a wide variety of CBD products. Typically, this oil is one of few combinations of oils and either CBD isolate or CBD distillate. CBD isolate -- which is only the molecule of CBD -- comes in a crystalline powder form that is dissolvable in lipids and oils, whereas distillate is an oil extracted directly from the plant that contains many cannabinoids, terpenes and other plant particles. In fact, CBD isolate is made by further refining CBD distillate. Distillate is actually the foundation for most CBD products and is used in so many CBD oils, gummies, topicals and more. 

There are several different extraction methods to extract distillate, each having its own benefits and downsides. The main three are solvent extraction, steam distillation and supercritical CO2 extraction. Solvent extraction is the least expensive of them, though depending on what is used as a solvent, can be harmful. Hydrocarbon extraction, which is a type of solvent extraction, commonly uses butane or propane and can potentially leave toxic residue behind. Steam distillation is void of these harmful solvents, though highly inefficient and inconsistent which can cause somewhat of a guessing game with how much CBD will actually be left behind. Many claim supercritical CO2 extraction to be superior, due to the efficiency and lack of toxic residue. Unfortunately, supercritical CO2 extraction equipment is expensive, which prevents many companies from using that method of extraction. At DiscoverCBD though, all Active CBD Oil products are extracted using supercritical CO2 extraction. This ensures your distillate based products are as clean and healthy as possible. 

Once the aforementioned process is complete, the extracted distillate is not yet ready to be consumed. In the raw plant, cannabinoids occur in their acidic form (CBDa) and are not orally active. Your body does not process the acidic forms of these compounds, so they must be converted into their orally active counterparts (CBD).  This conversion is done via a heating process called decarboxylation, which causes the acidic forms of these molecules to drop their carboxyl chain and become the orally active cannabinoids with which most people are familiar. Distillate is close to hemp due to all the cannabinoids, terpenes and plant particles present. Full spectrum distillate also contains THC, which many people are trying to avoid. In order to remove THC, the distillate goes through a process called chromatography leaving behind a broad spectrum hemp extract that still contains all of the other parts of the plant. 

Because distillate is a whole hemp plant extract, it is considered to be more effective than CBD isolate according to research. This is because of the entourage effect, which is where many different components within hemp work synergistically to create a greater effect than CBD alone (CBD isolate). This is why distillate or distillate based products are often sought after. Distillate can aid as a base for either full spectrum products, or with some more refinement, broad spectrum products for those looking to avoid THC. The Active CBD Oil broad spectrum and full spectrum tinctures along with the gold oil and green oil are great examples of distillate and distillate based products. 

Whether you’re a fan of full spectrum, broad spectrum or CBD isolate products, knowing how your CBD is produced is important. The process of extracting distillate is an integral part of CBD production. If you’re new to CBD or just looking to try distillate CBD products for yourself, feel free to come into DiscoverCBD or shop online. Every Thursday select DiscoverCBD locations offer free samples, which can be a great way to try out something new.      


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