Friday July 13, 2018

By Abby Hutmacher

Cannabis Distillate and Edibles: The Wave of the Future? Education

There are many who insist that cannabis products are more potent today than they were 40 years ago – and they’re totally right. Growers have learned how to increase the potency of flower, concentrate producers have perfected the cannabinoid extraction process, and now food product manufacturers are using these evolved goods to pump up the potency (and over-all appeal) of their stuff, too.

Specifically, more edible manufacturers are using distillate, a potent cannabis concentrate, rather than butters and oils that have been directly infused with the flower. Granted, more work is involved to reach the final product, but the extra steps are definitely worth it.

What is Cannabis Distillate?

If you thought concentrates like shatter and wax were potent, wait until you try distillate! Made by sending concentrates through a short path distillation process to remove impurities, waxes, and basically anything that isn’t cannabinoids, cannabis distillate is one of the purest forms of cannabis concentrates on the market with a potency as high as 99 percent.

Why Use Cannabis Distillate for Edible Infusions?

Because the extensive extraction process removes everything – waxes, contaminants and terpenes – there is no distinguishable flavor to the end product. While some manufacturers may reintroduce terpenes (either synthetic or from the plant itself), many edible product manufacturers prefer the pure, flavorless distillate when infusing their goods because it gives them more freedom to perfect the flavor profile of their recipes while increasing the appeal to consumers.

With distillate-infused edibles, you can say goodbye to overwhelmingly hashy or cannabis flavored treats!

Furthermore, cannabis distillate helps keep dosing accurate, even when used in DIY edibles. For example, if one gram of your favorite distillate brand contains roughly 900-1000 milligrams of THC, adding the gram to cooking oil or emulsifying it into a liquid means you can be confident in the 900-1000 mg total potency of the final product.

Distillate Jar
Using distillate for edibles can help ensure more consistency. photo credit

To reach your desired dose, simply portion your finished food product into easy-to-manage serving sizes. Remember that the bioavailability of different types of edibles will alter their effectiveness, too. For example, 10 mg is the recommended starting dose for edibles that are to be digested (baked goods, for example) while the recommended dose for sublingual edible products (tinctures or oils administered under the tongue) is only 2 mg. You won’t get that kind of consistency from a batch of DIY trim butter, that’s for sure.

Of course, this is of great benefit to legal edible manufacturers, as well. A few years ago, many edible companies along the West Coast had problems with inaccurate product potency. Of 75 samples taken from Washington, Oregon and various California locations, only 17 were accurately labeled (60 percent claimed to have more THC than they did), prompting tighter scrutiny on edible potency across the board. Because cannabis distillates offer better homogeny throughout the product, they have proven to be a valuable solution to inconsistent potency concerns.

Distillate
Increased potency in distillate is a huge attraction for consumers. photo credit

Finally, more companies are choosing cannabis distillates to infuse into products because of the increased potency. Distillates can be measured by weight to get an accurate total potency in a product and can use thousands of milligrams in their products when necessary. This means that batches can be larger and products can be made potent which improves consistency, reliability and brand loyalty among consumers.

How to Make DIY Edibles with Cannabis Distillate

Yes, product manufacturers love cannabis distillate, and you will, too, after using them to make your own edibles at home. Best of all, because they come pre-weighed out in single grams, determining your dose is simpler than ever, too.

Even better? Because the distillation process utilizes heat, final distillate products are already decarboxylated – which saves you time in the infusion process!

Ingredients Needed:

  • 1 Gram Cannabis Distillate
  • Bowl of Hot Water
  • Oil or Butter
  • Your Favorite Oil-Based Recipe

Instructions:

  1. Gather your supplies
  2. Keeping your distillate in the jar/syringe it came in, set it to float in a hot water bath to slightly loosen the product
  3. While your distillate is warming up, measure your oil or butter according to the recipe (if using butter, be sure it’s liquified) then pour the distillate directly into the oil, using your dabber to get every last drop
  4. Thoroughly incorporate the distillate into the oil or butter. The goal is to evenly mix the distillate throughout to ensure homogenization
  5. After combined, heat the oil/distillate solution on medium heat for up to two minutes in the microwave to melt everything together (don’t heat your oil too much; you don’t want to burn away any cannabinoids)
  6. All that’s left to do now is to follow recipe instructions to make your edibles!

If you’re baking something, remember to keep your heat low (325 degrees Fahrenheit or less) to preserve the cannabinoids. If making a beverage, emulsify the oil into the liquid using a blender or food processor otherwise the oil will just hang out on the top of the drink and sides of your glass.

If you’d like, you can reduce the potency of the process above by “cutting” your distillate in half or quarters directly in the jar. Just pop your gram of distillate in the freezer for a bit to make it easier to work with then use a dabber to cut the concentrate into sections.

Distilled cannabis is extremely potent (but not exactly flavorful) making it ideal for use in the production of cannabis edibles. See for yourself why so many edible manufacturers are choosing cannabis distillates in their products or try it out yourself and tell us what you think.


Have you tried distillate-infused edibles yet? What were your thoughts?

Photo Credit: Lynn Greyling (license)


Abby Hutmacher Abby Hutmacher

Abby is a freelance writer and founder of Cannabis Content, a marketplace where marijuana enthusiasts can create and sell digital content to businesses in the cannabis industry. Follow Cannabis Content on Facebook and Twitter, or visit CannabisContent.net to learn more.


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