Because of the sheer quantity and variety of available brands and product options, many eager, first-time CBD consumers will enter the space lacking the necessary knowledge to distinguish one CBD product from another.
If you find yourself faced with this choice paralysis, that’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Ongoing CBD education is the best remedy for this all-too-common choice paralysis.
For...CBD products to be completely THC-free, it’s possible to distill the substance down, removing any traces of THC altogether.
To that end, today, we’ll discuss one of the more common CBD product forms — CBD distillate, which may come in two forms: full spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD distillate — so that you can make safe and wise purchasing decisions.
What Is CBD?
Before we can discuss distillates, we must first review CBD generally.
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is one of 100 phytocannabinoids derived from the hemp plant. Hemp is part of the cannabis Sativa family; as is its more infamous cousin, marijuana.
While hemp and marijuana are closely related and share similarities, they have two key differences:
- Chemical makeup – Hemp plants have a higher concentration of CBD and a much lower concentration of THC (less than .3% to be legally sold as hemp), the psychoactive responsible for the tell-tale marijuana high. In contrast, marijuana plants have a much higher concentration of THC and a lower concentration of CBD.
- Legal status – With the passage of the Farm Bill, hemp-based CBD became legal to cultivate, possess and sell nationwide; whereas marijuana is only legal in certain states.
Science has demonstrated that taking and using CBD products as a normal part of a person’s self-care regimen is a safe and effective way to promote health, wellness and vitality.
This is why CBD’s popularity is on the rise, as evidenced by a recent Bloomberg report, which forecasted that the global cannabidiol (CBD) market would grow at a staggering CAGR of 27.8% by 2029.
How Is CBD Extracted?
To extract CBD, manufacturers will conduct a process referred to as crude extraction. Although it depends on the exact extraction method, broadly speaking, this follows a three-step methodology:
- Extraction – A solvent — like ethanol or CO2 — is mixed with the cannabis material to separate the cannabinoids from the plant material.
- Winterization – CBD extract and solvent are combined and then stored at a sub-zero temperature for 24-48 hours.
- Decarboxylation – CBD extracts are heated up to increase concentration.
The resulting concentrate is what’s known as full spectrum CBD distillate. Visit our blog for more information and comparison on full spectrum CBD vs broad spectrum CBD.
Full spectrum CBD implies the oil doesn’t just contain CBD, but a range of other beneficial compounds as well, including
- THC (less than .3%)
- Other cannabinoids
These additional compounds are believed to offer the most comprehensive range of potential health benefits, seeing as the different compounds in the plant positively work together in what is known as the "entourage effect."
And this is why the vast majority of CBD products will be sold in the full-spectrum form.
That said, you can purify it even further to create a CBD distillate.
What Is CBD Distillate?
Typically, after hemp extraction and winterization have occurred, the vast majority of fats, waxes and lipids will be removed, leaving a relatively purified form of CBD.
But the resulting CBD oil will still have trace amounts of THC distillate within it.
For consumers who prefer for their CBD products to be completely THC-free, it’s possible to distill the substance down, removing any traces of THC altogether. To create a distillate, most producers will employ one of two methods:
- The short path distillation process – This tends to be the preferred method for smaller CBD operations. With the short path distillation process, the full-spectrum CBD is placed in a high-pressure, high-temperature environment and then vaporized. That vapor passes through a series of cooling condensers, which cause the molecules to condense and separate into three spaces “heads” and “tails” (materials that were boiled off) and “main” (has a higher concentration of CBD).
- The wiped film distillation process – Also known as thin-film distillation, this technique involves heating the hemp oil and allowing the unwanted solvent or terpenes to evaporate (boil off). Oil is wiped over the outside of a heated cylinder so that it’s evenly heated and the unwanted substances can be removed at a consistent rate. The vapors produced by this process are then condensed back into a liquid and collected. Once finished, this process will be repeated several times.
With either method, the end product will be a highly-purified form of CBD oil with CBD concentration levels of 75% or higher, while still having some percentages of flavonoids, terpenes and cannabinoids.
Typically, the oil’s consistency resembles honey or syrup, with a brown or yellowish hue.
In this case, terpenes are still present, meaning that, depending on the strain of cannabis, the CBD may still have a distinguished taste and smell.
After CBD has been turned into a distillate, it can be even further refined into a single compound by removing all traces of any other substances found in the hemp plant. The resulting distillate CBD is 99%+ pure and typically has a milky-white crystalline appearance, which is then processed into a white powder.
Many individuals choose to take CBD isolates because they’re professionals who want to enjoy the positive effects of distillate CBD but also need to undergo rigorous drug testing for their work.
While CBD distillate is THC-free, some people may still prefer to avoid any trace amounts of substances that could potentially trigger a failed drug test.
What Is CBD Distillate Used For In Products?
With a CBD distillate, the resulting oil is pure and clear.
This offers CBD companies greater ability to shape the end product as they see fit. According to Maratek: “Post-processing techniques-like distillation-provide an abundance of control over the look, feel, smell and taste of the final product. Distillation allows for a more comprehensive customization of the end product.”
So, how is CBD distillate typically used?
Most producers will sell it in an edible form, tincture or oil dropper.
Then, there are companies like Zebra CBD that blend full-spectrum and distillate to create a premium oil that has a higher CBD content, a more appealing appearance and a smoother taste. Using a CBD distillate may be attractive to those seeking a higher concentration of CBD while still benefiting from the synergistic effects of the other compounds found in the cannabis plant.
Benefits of CBD Distillate
So, what are the advantages of using CBD distillate or full-spectrum blend?
Some benefits include:
- THC Free – As mentioned, CBD distillates are free of THC or any other additives. This makes them ideal for professionals who undergo rigorous drug testing for their job. With a CBD distillate, they can still enjoy CBD without fear of it negatively impacting their career.
- May provide relief from exercise-related discomfort – Aches and soreness from exercise can interfere with your daily activities and your sleep. But taking CBD distillate blend as a normal part of your self-care routine may help soothe and manage physical discomfort.
- May provide sleep support – The brain and body recover the most during sleep cycles. Sleep plays an essential role in your health, energy and moods. If you have trouble falling and then staying asleep, CBD could make the difference. A sleep-centric, distillate blend could be particularly helpful due to its sleep-specific ingredients like valerian root, melatonin and chamomile. Learn about more tips for better sleep.
- May ease joint stiffness from normal daily exercise and activity – Joint stiffness can get in the way of your daily tasks, making it difficult to perform routine activities or motions. But, by taking CBD, you could ease this type of discomfort.
- May improve sexual health – Curious about CBD and sex? Depending on the use and type of CBD — for instance, some individuals use CBD-infused lubricants, oils and edibles — taking a distillate could promote sexual activity by stimulating pleasure hormones, diminishing inflammation and lessening stress for a better overall experience.
- May help reduce stress and improve moods – Daily life is chock-full of stress, so much so that even normal tasks may feel overwhelming. Taking a CBD blend as a customary part of your health, wellness and vitality routine could help ease the stress that so many people experience on a consistent basis. Learn more about CBD for mood enhancement.
When to Use CBD Distillate?
When learning how to use CBD distillate, the best time to use CBD distillate will depend on the individual and their intended outcomes. There are those that use a CBD tincture when they wake up, others who use it periodically throughout the day and still more who take CBD tincture or other products at night to support restful sleep.
To that end, there are no right or wronganswers.
You must determine for yourself when, where and how to incorporate CBD into your self-care routine.
Zebra CBD — High-Quality Distillate Blends
CBD distillate is a highly purified form of cannabidiol that’s been refined to remove impurities, specifically THC. That concentrated oil can then be used or combined with a full-spectrum CBD for an even more potent, impactful blend.
At Zebra CBD, we incorporate CBD distillates to create the ultimate full-spectrum CBD — one that tastes great, works fast and offers maximum efficacy.
From CBD gummies to energy shots, sleep support tablets and other CBD distillate products, our CBD products are vegan, contaminant-free and only use the highest quality hemp. And, to ensure that our product labeling is always accurate, every product is third-party tested, certified and stamped with a label of accuracy guarantee.
Want to learn more about our CBD distillate products? Shop Zebra CBD today.
Bloomberg. Cannabidiol (CBD) Market will Rise at a Potential Growth Rate of 27.8% by 2029. https://www.bloomberg.com/press-releases/2022-08-18/cannabidiol-cbd-market-will-rise-at-a-potential-growth-rate-of-27-8-by-2029-market-is-analyzed-by-growth-insights-upcoming
Maratech. What Is the Winterization Process in Cannabis Extraction? https://www.maratek.com/cannabis-oil-extraction-and-recovery-blog/what-is-the-winterization-process-in-cannabis-extraction
Healthline. The Entourage Effect: How CBD and THC Work Together. https://www.healthline.com/health/the-entourage-effect
Maratech. What Are the Cannabis and Hemp Distillation Techniques? https://www.maratek.com/cannabis-oil-extraction-and-recovery-blog/what-are-the-cannabis-and-hemp-distillation-techniques