There are lots of different kinds of CBD extract, but they don’t all provide the same benefits. Over the last few years, CBD distillate has risen to the top as the cleanest, most palatable, and most effective form of CBD extract, and this hemp extract option is useful in a wide variety of applications. In this guide, learn the top 10 things you need to know about CBD distillate to discover the unique benefits of this extract and find out how it compares to other types of CBD.
1. It has a honey-like color and consistency
One of the most striking attributes of CBD distillate is how much this type of extract resembles honey. If you try to eat CBD distillate, it won’t be sweet or melt in your mouth, but based on appearances alone, you’d be forgiven if you mistook hemp distillate for honey if you saw it sitting on a shelf.
The two major alternatives to CBD distillate are winterized CBD extract and CBD isolate, which both look nothing at all like honey. Winterized CBD extract can be dark amber, green, or even black, and it is considerably more viscous than CBD distillate. CBD isolate, on the other hand, is often crystalline when extracted and powderized when packaged, and it looks more like flour than honey.
2. It has a mild flavor
One of the most common complaints made about orally ingested hemp products is the bitter taste that accompanies most CBD tinctures and edibles. While it’s true that CBD has a unique, somewhat bitter taste, the unpleasant flavor present in many hemp tinctures is usually caused by chlorophyll, not CBD.
CBD distillate almost entirely eliminates the presence of chlorophyll, waxes, and other useless or detrimental ingredients present in hemp flower. That’s why the taste of this extract is so mild compared to the flavor that veteran hemp consumers have learned to associate with CBD. If you love CBD but you haven’t liked the taste of any CBD tinctures you’ve tried so far, consider trying a tincture that contains CBD distillate.
3. It contains plenty of tasty, aromatic cannabis terpenes
While CBD distillate doesn’t include any of the undesirable flavors you’ve come to associate with other types of hemp extract, it does offer plenty of delectable tastes that add to the experience of using CBD. Hemp flower naturally contains tiny concentrations of incredibly potent aromatic oils called terpenes, and in addition to smelling excellent, terpenes also have diverse and desirable flavor profiles.
Limonene, for instance, tastes just like citrus fruit, and myrcene tastes like mangoes. Carypohyllene has a peppery flavor, and the flavor of pinene is strong and slightly minty. Since each strain of Cannabis sativa expresses different terpenes, CBD distillate can provide a wide variety of different aroma and taste sensations.
4. It can include added cannabis terpenes from specific strains
The flavor and aroma profile of CBD distillate isn’t limited to the terpenes present in the Cannabis sativa strain from which it was extracted. It’s also possible to add terpenes to CBD distillate to enhance or alter its flavor profile. In fact, it’s even possible to remove the entire suite of terpenes expressed by a specific strain of cannabis and add them to CBD distillate.
The resulting extract smells and tastes just like an iconic cannabis strain while containing less than 0.3% THC. Using this method, it’s possible to recreate the flavor and aroma of strains like Lemon Diesel, Grape Ape, or Durban Poison in CBD vape cartridges, which almost invariably contain CBD distillate instead of another type of CBD extract.
5. It can either be full-spectrum or broad-spectrum
The debate to decide which type of CBD offers the most benefits continues. On one side of the argument, you have proponents of broad-spectrum CBD, which contains CBD, minor cannabinoids, and terpenes while eliminating all detectable traces of THC. On the other side, you have firm believers in full-spectrum CBD, which includes up to 0.3% THC.
At Secret Nature, we’ve decided that full-spectrum CBD offers the greatest benefits of any type of CBD-rich hemp extract. While full-spectrum CBD extract doesn’t contain nearly enough THC to get you high, it requires less processing, preventing terpene oxidation and the resultantly inevitable reductions in aroma and flavor. Luckily, CBD distillate can be either full-spectrum or broad-spectrum, satisfying both sides of the debate.
6. It offers the entourage effect
Regardless of whether it contains trace amounts of THC or not, CBD distillate is one of the types of hemp extract that might provide the entourage effect, a theorized form of cannabinoid synergy that scientists believe may make CBD more potent. According to hemp researchers, the entourage effect may occur when CBD is used in conjunction with “minor” cannabinoids like cannabigerol (CBG), cannabinol (CBN), or cannabichromene (CBC), all of which are present in CBD-rich forms of Cannabis sativa in varying concentrations.
The entourage effect may even be triggered by the presence of terpenes in CBD-rich hemp extract. If that’s the case, then CBD distillate may provide the entourage effect even more strongly than CBD isolate that’s been combined with minor cannabinoids. Plus, CBD distillate extraction methods, such as live resin extraction, that preserve terpenes to the fullest may offer the entourage effect with greater intensity than other types of extraction that oxidize or otherwise degrade terpenes.
7. It doesn’t get you high
Regardless of how strongly it might accentuate the entourage effect, CBD distillate still won’t get you high. Like all other types of CBD extracts on the market, CBD distillate must contain less than 0.3% THC, which isn’t nearly enough of this high-inducing cannabinoid to provide a feeling of intoxication.
Instead, using CBD distillate will provide you with the same feelings you’ve come to expect from other types of CBD: relaxation, calm, and maybe a little bit of sleepiness. The only difference is that you’ll experience these benefits in tandem with the delicious flavors and aromas provided by the cannabis terpenes that are naturally present in CBD distillate.
8. It’s cleaner than winterized CBD extract
Prior to the development of CBD distillate, winterized CBD was the primary form of CBD-rich hemp extract on the market. Even if winterized CBD contains the same concentration of cannabidiol as CBD distillate, however, it’s still inferior to distillate since it contains chlorophyll, waxes, and other undesirable hemp components. By undergoing an additional purification process, CBD distillate is liberated from the dark pigmentation and unpleasant flavors of winterized CBD, and it takes on its iconic honey-like, mild-tasting properties.
9. It’s safest when extracted with CO2
While CBD distillate is already one of the cleanest types of CBD extracts, this concentrate becomes even cleaner when it’s extracted from hemp flower using CO2. Unlike butane, alcohol, or other extraction mediums, CO2 doesn’t leave any harmful contaminants behind, maximizing the clean, pure properties of CBD distillate. Each CO2 extraction method is efficient and solvent-free, but cryogenic CO2 extraction methods, which use extremely cold temperatures to remove CBD and other oils from hemp flower, preserve the flavors and aromas of terpenes to the greatest extent possible.
10. It’s the best kind of extract to use in vape pens
CBD vape cartridges can contain either CBD distillate or CBD isolate. Since CBD is an inherently crystalline molecule, however, oils containing high concentrations of this cannabinoid tend to recrystallize.
This phenomenon is most common in vape cartridges containing CBD isolate, but it’s also possible for CBD distillate to recrystallize. Unlike the case with CBD isolate, however, it’s possible to use natural processing methods to provide CBD distillate with crystal-resistant properties, making this type of extract ideal for CBD vape cartridges.