How to Make High-Quality CBD Distillate
As more states legalize recreational and medicinal cannabis across the country, a wider array of products extracted from hemp plants will become available.
By the way, many people have heard of CBD and know that it is derived from cannabis. Beyond that, CBD is a relatively new territory for the average consumer. CBD is one of the more than 100 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. However, some products merely contain CBD along with many other cannabinoids. Have some questions? Great! Because we have a lot of answers. Now, let's get a deep dive into how to make high-quality CBD distillate.
What is CBD distillate?
Imagine a situation: you have CBD oil and the terpene and you need to separate these components. But how to do it when the boiling temperature is different? The distillation machine will help to transfer the crude oil into good and clear disciplines in a simple and effective way.
Distract is the high cannabinoid full-spectrum extract from either hemp or marijuana. Accordingly, distillation is the separation process where fluids with different boiling point temperatures can be separated with great efficiency and high purity. In the cannabis world, distillation is used to purify cannabinoids after the oils have been extracted from the plant material.
The oil color indicates the quality of the temperature setting. Extracted cannabis oil is very dark brown in color, sticky, and very thick at room temperature. It is sometimes referred to as crude oil or full-spectrum oil and is a feed material for the distillation process. If the settings are right, a vicious golden oil will overflow at the bottom of the tube. Usually, the darker distillate is caused by rushing the distillation process by setting aggressive parameters.
How to extract CBD
All the process starts with collecting biomass. There are over 4,000 different varieties of cannabis, to have great results try to pick one that is full of CBD a little bit more than the others. It is important to use organic to know that there's nothing inside that can harm you.
All the material should contain a hemp flower and a hemp leaf that has pretty high CBD contents. Try to avoid hemp seeds because they contain seed oil that has no CBD in it. If you process a bag of biomass that has too much hemp seed in it then you will get a substance that looks clear but even the captivating golden color will not compensate for a low CBD concentration.
Because crude oil is very viscous at room temperature it is first warm to a liquid state in the feed tank. This oil is then pumped up through the feed tube into the main evaporation chamber. The three main elements of the chamber are the evaporator surface, the wiper, and the condenser. The process takes place in a vacuum that is monitored by the vacuum gauge. The vacuum is created by using two pumps: a mechanical roughing pump and a diffusion pump.
Reducing the pressure reduces the boiling temperatures of the liquid which in conjunction with the wiped film creates great efficiencies in purity. Following distillation, the oil is divided into two fractions known as the residue and the distillate phases. The distillate phase contains valuable cannabinoids rich in THC or CBD while the residue phase contains impurities and other undesirable high-molecular-weight byproducts.
The wiper rotates at several hundred RPMs by the motor on the top of the unit and creates a thin film on the surface of the evaporator. Similar to the wiper blades on an automobile. By the way, the evaporation of the crude oil makes the distillation process more effective and promotes the transformation of liquid oil into a gas phase.
The crude oil mixture (composed of distillate and residue) enters the sidewall of the evaporator. Under very controlled temperature requirements the desirable distillate portion is heated to its boiling point which in turn vaporizes. The vapor phase molecules then return to a liquid phase on the condenser which is at a lower temperature.
Finally, the distillate flips down the coils of the condenser and is pumped into the receiving vessel. The residue flows down the sidewall at the evaporator and is collected into another container.
The distance between the evaporator surface and the condenser is sometimes referred to as a short path which helps ensure product quality since the distillate is only in a vapor phase for a short period of time which reduces the chance of breakdown or oxidation.
Common Distillation Equipment
To make the process of distillation successful a piece of special equipment is needed, in order not to damage cannabinoids by heat or solvents. As you already know what the process of distillation contains, let's look a little bit closer at each type of equipment to reveal all the nuances.
Short path distillation
More accurately termed “fractional distillation,” this kind of equipment is low in price, simple and small sizes. Typically made of glass and is used for solvent removal and distillation on a laboratory scale.
Falling film evaporator
This is one of the most commonly used evaporator types due to the simplicity of operation, dependability of performance, low-temperature difference required, and high heat transfer coefficients developed in the film. Among the benefits is short product contact time that minimizes thermal degradation effects and low tube wall temperature and heat flux that minimizes fouling.
Thin film distillation
This type of distillation creates a thin film of oil across an evaporative surface. In a such way, the risk of damaging the evaporated cannabinoids becomes lower because they aren’t in prolonged connection with the heat source.
This type of equipment creates a thin film by using a rotating round-bottomed flask. The heat source is reliant on a warm bath that the round bottom flask rests in. If you need to remove a small amount of solvent, a rotary evaporator would be a good and simple variant.
Wiped film distillation
This distillation machine uses pumps and heated vessels to evaporate CBD from the oil. The distillation equipment also has an internal condenser that the evaporated CBD oil condenses and drips down into a reservoir. While such methods of distillation like rotary evaporation or falling film evaporation aren’t effective, mechanical wipers that wiped film distillation uses, spreading a thin layer of oil across a heated evaporative surface allowing the cannabinoids to evaporate.
Why Do Distillates Matter?
Distillation is an excellent solution in providing the maximum yield of the highest quality product. This process has the huge benefit of distilling products for purification. A lot of compounds that have no therapeutic purpose such as waxes, fats, proteins can be removed. Manufacturers use these to produce consumer products that are clean and safe to consume.
To sum up, high-purity cannabinoids are distilled from raw cannabis oil extract by selectively evaporating and recovering the distillate phase using wiped thin film distillation. The distilled fraction is often a brightly colored yellow solution that will also become solid at room temperature. Cannabis distillates are odor-free, high in purity, and ideal for medicinal goods and edibles.