What is Distillation?
Distillation is a process for separating different compounds or components based on differences in boiling and condensation temperature.
For most people the best known type of distillation is distillation of alcohol (such as wine or beer) to form more spirits (such as brandy or whiskey).
Distillation is also widely used to prepare essential oils from aromatic herbs, spices and flowers for use in cooking or perfumery.Distillation is used to selectively concentrate desirable compounds or components while removing impurities.
How Distillation works?
Distillation relies on an understanding of the different boiling or vaporisation temperatures of the various components of cannabis and hemp extracts.
For example, THC boils at 155°C, so evaporates before CBD which boils at 165°C. Most terpenes evaporate at lower temperatures, while most minor cannabinoids boil at higher temperatures. Fats and waxes and other undesirable compounds boil at higher temperatures still, but these temperatures may also produce undesirable compounds such as benzene.
To prevent this, CBD distillation is carried out at high vacuum allowing much lower temperatures – from 0°C to 100°C to be used which won’t cause burning or other toxic chemical processes to occur.
What is CBD Distillation?
CBD Distillation is a process of concentrating Cannabidiol from CBD oil or other hemp extracts to produce a highly potent, clear golden liquid with mild aroma and flavor, ideal for use in infused CBD products such as CBD oil tinctures, CBD capsules, and CBD infused food or beverages.
Types of CBD Distillation equipment
There are many types of distillation equipment. To produce high quality distillate we need to use very high vacuums and low temperature, or else minimise the time that the CBD oil is heated to minimise degradation.
Falling Film Distillation: Allows high throughput but has lower separation ability. This makes it suitable for initial screening of volatile components, such as removal of ethanol or other solvents after extraction, or removal of terpenes.
Wiped Film Distillation: It is better at separating compounds, so is more often used to distil CBD to increase potency (from approximately 50% in CBD oil to 70% to 90% in CBD Distillate).
Short Path Distillation: Allows more precise separation of different compounds, making it suitable to concentrate specific cannabionids such as CBD or even removing THC. Note multiple passes may be required to get complete removal.
These three systems are very similar in concept. Falling film distillation is the basic version. Wiped film adds a wiper to increase surface area. Short path distillation improves performance by minimising the distance the CBD vapor travels before evaporation.