Terpenes (general)

THC Distillates and Terpenes

Written by Cara Wietstock

A match made in distillate heaven.

Cannabis distillates refer high potency isolated cannabinoids. Typically, distillates have a potency of 95% or greater THC or CBD. Over the past two years, consumption of distillates has grown in popularity. This is because the when creating cannabinoids distillates using common methods in the extraction lab, terpenes are boiled off in the process. This is because Co2 is a hard solvent to use when extraction the resins and compounds of cannabis, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

Some extraction professionals have figured out exactly how to isolate cannabinoids like CBG or they’ve dialed in how to keep the terpene content high during the extraction process. Although these methods are becoming more mainstream, some still opt to ‘re-build’ their extracts before they get to the consumer. This has led to an uptick in ‘designer’ cannabis products on the market.

The most popular way that extractors are using distillates is in vape cartridges that have been reconstituted with cannabis derived terpenes. There are multiple ways that this is done. Some companies prefer to use the terpenes from the extraction itself, which is usually done with added equipment. Other extractors analyze the terpene content using an in-house analyzer or testing lab in order to recreate them post-extraction using cannabis derived terpenes like those sold by EYBNA or True Terpenes. Some manufacturers and producers go so far as to change the strain using the terpene profile. By that we mean they take an Indica oil and infuse it with terpenes so that it creates Sativa-like effects.

These ‘designer extracts’ help preserve the idea of whole plant medicine for those that are turned off by pure THC edibles or dabs. Adding the terpenes back in creates a more well-rounded effect while also adding in loads of flavor and aroma.

About the author

Cara Wietstock

Cara began working in the retail cannabis industry of San Francisco, CA in 2011 and continued in that sector for years. In 2015 she dedicated herself to writing full-time. Her passion for the written word and deep respect for the healing properties of the plant have brought her to Terpenes and Testing magazine. She now helps keep us on the cutting edge of scientific cannabis discovery as the Editor-in-Chief of the print publication.

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