Many people unfamiliar with the nuances of cannabis refinement often believe that a pass (or two) of crude extract through the proper cannabis distillation equipment is all that’s required to produce a high potency Δ9 THC distillate product.
While it may be possible to distill mystery cannabis crude extract into 95% THC with short path distillation, processors who desire consistent and repeatable distillate results, should consider each of the following.
Plant Material –
Even prior to extraction, the cannabis material itself can play a role in the end distillate potency results. Was the cannabis harvested early? Late? Different cannabinoids are produced at different points throughout a plants life cycle. Δ9 THC can only be separated during fractional distillation if it is present in the material to be extracted.
Processing parameters during an extraction have the capability to damage, or degrade, cannabinoids into other variants of themselves, or even completely different cannabinoids. Low temperature extractions will preserve cannabinoids for further processing.
Post-Extraction Processing –
Filtration is a common process utilized prior to vacuum distillation in order to remove compounds and contaminants that would be undesirable to enter distillation equipment. However, care must be taken as incorrect filtration medias may isomerize cannabinoids, including Δ9 THC.
Distillation Equipment –
High potency Δ9 THC distillate is best achieved through the use of equipment with high cannabinoid separation capability. Different types of distillation equipment offer varying levels of separating ability and it is important to consider purity goals before choosing a system. Additionally, features such as spinning band, automatic controls, and data logging should be considered when choosing cannabis distillation equipment.
High potency Δ9 THC distillate
Consideration of all aspects of processing prior to, and through distillation will help to eliminate batches of unknown low potency. Consistently high potency distillate will keep both customers and manager happy!