Legal cannabis sales across all product types have continued to surge year after year, but no segment of the market has seen more growth than cannabis concentrates, such as vape cartridges, tinctures, shatter, and wax. But there is one form of concentrate leading the way, and according to cannabis market research firm BDS Analytics, that concentrate is cannabis distillate. Not only is cannabis distillate a great product to dab, but it can also be used in at-home infusions to create tasty and effective DIY edibles.
What is Cannabis Distillate?
Many consumers enjoy distillate because of its potency. To make distillate, manufacturers utilize a process called short path distillation, which uses steam, heat, vacuum pressure, and certain boiling points (depending on the cannabinoid) to isolate and purify the desired cannabinoid. This distillation process isolates and increases the potency of both THC (in some cases as high as 99 percent) and CBD – but also leaves behind other compounds found in cannabis like terpenes, as well as any toxins and impurities.
Distillation equipment used in a cannabis extraction lab. photo credit
Since the distillation process leaves behind terpenes and plant matter (the compounds that give cannabis its distinctive herby and earthy flavor) what’s left is an odorless, flavorless oil that is ideal making cannabis-infused edibles. Distillates also make it much easier to precisely dose your edibles, which can be tricky when making cannabis infused oil or butter with flower, for example. And, distillate is by default decarboxylated, an important heating process that activates THC’s intoxicating and euphoric kick.
Making Homemade Cannabis Edibles with Distillate
Cooking or baking at home with cannabis distillates is actually incredibly simple, though not quite as simple as putting a few drops from a dropper into a pre-made brownie mix. At the very least, you’ll have to do some stirring. Lucky for us, our very own PotGuide contributor Abby Hutmacher has spelled out a foolproof method to make DIY cannabis distillate infused edibles:
What You'll Need:
- One gram cannabis distillate
- A bowl of hot water
- Oil or butter
- An oil or butter-based recipe
- With your distillate in its container, place in a bowl of hot water to warm the concentrate (not too hot! Cannabinoids like THC begin to degrade at 230 degrees Fahrenheit)
- While the distillate warms, measure out the oil or butter (liquefied) to the recipe’s specifications
- Drop the gram of distillate into the oil or butter and mix thoroughly to ensure homogenization, a process that breaks big particles into small ones, and provides a uniformity to the product
- Place the combined distillate/oil or butter mixture into a microwave-safe dish and heat on medium power for up to two minutes to ensure all ingredients are combined
- Your oil is ready to be infused into your recipe
As mentioned above, cannabis exposed to high temperatures does degrade, so if you’re baking something, be sure to keep the temperature at 325 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. But be assured that you won’t lose much of cannabis’ kick through baking if done properly. Remember, distillate is extremely potent!
How to Make Cannabis Infused Gummies with Distillate
Making homemade cannabis-infused gummies with distillate is another crowd-pleaser and easy to do, though dosing can be a bit tricky with these tiny treats (more on that in a minute). Check out the simple recipe below:
What You'll Need:
- 1 Cup Fruit puree or fruit juice
- ¼ Cup water
- 1 ½ Tablespoons of gelatin, or for vegan folks, agar agar is a fine substitute
- 4 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- ⅛ Teaspoon pink salt
- 1 gram cannabis distillate (pro tip: divide the total milligrams of the distillate by the number of gummies to figure out the approximate dosage per gummy)
- Heat the fruit puree or juice in a medium saucepan over medium heat
- With puree heating, pour gelatin and water in a bowl and mix until well-dissolved
- When puree reaches a low boil, add granulated sugar and pink salt, then mix until dissolved
- Slowly add the water and gelatin mixture to the puree, stirring constantly, for about three minutes
- Add the cannabis distillate and stir until thoroughly combined to ensure homogenization (if you have a candy thermometer handy, ensure that the fruit puree is below 350 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Pour or scrape your gummy mix into a turkey baster syringe for transfer into the gummy molds. Handle with care, it will be hot!
- Fill the molds and let it sit at room temperature for twenty minutes
- After 20 minutes have passed, place molds in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes or until gummies set
- After the gummies are set, remove them from the mold and toss them with granulated sugar to keep them from sticking
- Voila! Your homemade gummies are ready to eat!
Now that you’ve got a couple of recipes handy, you’ll need to find a great distillate for at your at-home cannabis culinary adventures. Distillates have are known to be some of the purest extracts on the market, and for good reason. Distillation removes everything but the desired cannabinoid, including extraction compounds like hydrocarbons, any plant matter, and pesticides. The end product should be a light yellow with excellent clarity. So, what’s for dessert?
Have you ever made homemade edibles with distillate? Share your experiences, as well as any tips or tricks, in the comments below!