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The Art of THC Distillation

Pure THC distillate pouring from a tube explaining the art of refining cannabis extract

Author

Dr. George Stantchev
Dr. George Stantchev

PHD, MBA, MSEE, Entrepreneur and CEO of most innovative extraction technology company.

A Comprehensive Guide


THC distillation is a process that separates the various components of a cannabis extract into separate, purified compounds. By refining THC to its purest form, it is possible to produce a highly potent and pure concentrate that can be used for a variety of purposes, including consumption, edibles, tinctures, and more. In this article, we will explore the process of making THC distillate, including the necessary equipment, materials, and steps involved.


Equipment Needed for THC Distillation


A visual representation of the process of refining THC to its purest form through distillation technology.To properly distill THC, it is necessary to have a few key pieces of equipment. This includes a distillation column, a heating source, a condenser, collection vessels, and a vacuum pump. Each of these components is crucial for a successful distillation, and it is important to have the right equipment for the job. The method below is written for the Wipe Film distillation sold by PURE5™ Extraction.


Materials Required for THC Distillation


The distillation is a solventless process that is performed under vacuum. The only materials needed for THC distillation are relatively simple and straightforward. You will need a cannabis extract, such as R134a oil, BHO (butane oil), CO2 oil, Bubble Hash oil, or other similar extract and a proper distillation system like example the 6” Stainless Steel Wiped Film system from PURE5™ Extraction.


Steps Involved in THC Distillation


Prepare the extract: Begin by preparing the extract that you will be distilling. The extract that you use needs to be winterized before distillation and impurities removed with filters unless a proper extraction is used that does not pull waxes and impurities as cold ethanol or R134a aerosol.

Load the extract into the distillation feeding vessel. Apply heat to the extract to make it volatile enough to flow easy through the distillation column. Usual heat is around 70C (160F) to keep the extract viscous and pass well through the feeding system which can be manual or automatic. It is also important to maintain the wiper speed such that the extract is evenly distributed around the heated section of the main evaporator. Check the diagram below.

It is important to maintain the correct feeding speed that is dependent on the size of the column as the target compounds need some time to evaporate. Not too fast so your trash has target cannabinoids and not too slow that the extract is overburdened and sticks inside the column. The speed is usually a function of the quality of extract and the size of the column and the criteria is to receive a ratio close to the numbers in the COA. For example if you start with 60% cannabinoids you expect the target compounds to be around 70% of the trash.

As the distillation takes place, monitor the temperature and vacuum levels and ensure that the flow is consistent and at the right speed. Once the distillation is complete, collect the purified THC using the collection vessel that is usually the left vessel below the column. Repeat the distillation process as necessary to further purify the THC, if desired.


Diagram

thc distillation unit with all the parts named and pointed with arrows with great details

In this diagram, you can see the basic flow of the Wipe Film distillation process, starting with the feeding tank input for extract and ending with the purified THC extract outlet. By following these steps, it is possible to produce a high-quality product that is ideal for a variety of purposes.


Conclusion


THC distillation is a process that allows you to refine cannabis extract into a highly potent and pure form of THC. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can produce a high-quality product rich in THC that can be used for a variety of purposes. Whether you are a cannabis enthusiast or a professional extractor, THC distillation is an important skill to have in your arsenal. We provide a complete SOP with purchased distillate from PURE5™ Extraction.

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