Vaping cannabis concentrate is an exciting new way to enjoy the effects of the cannabis plant. Concentrates are more potent versions of traditional marijuana, produced by extracting the trichomes from the plant and leaving out the other plant material.
The resulting product is extremely high in cannabinoids (THC and/or CBD), which is great for people looking for a stronger experience. Or just as a change of pace from ordinary cannabis.
One of the strongest forms of concentrates is distillate, with THC levels reaching as high as 90%. This is because distillate has removed everything from the cannabis except for the cannabinoids.
Even the terpenes, which give a weed strain its flavor and aroma are usually removed in distillate.
Vaping cannabis distillate
But how do you consume distillate? Can you vape it using a vaporizer?
There are lots of options for enjoying distillate, but vaping distillate is definitely the most popular one. You can vape distillate in a concentrate vaporizer that can handle oil, a dab rig, or using a distillate cartridge and vape pen. Some dry herb vaporizers are also able to vape distillate, with the use of specialized ovens or accessories.
Many cannabis capsules available on the market are filled with distillate, usually with THC distillate or CBD distillate, or a balanced mixture. But, as we mentioned, distillates will be missing the terpenes from the original herb. Sometimes, terpenes will be added back in, but they might not be the same terpenes as the original weed strain.
Most cannabis edibles out there in the market are also made with THC distillate. Since distillate has no odor, it doesn’t mess with the flavor of recipes. THC distillate is also cost-effective for edible manufacturers, so it's a good fit for low-cost edibles. Distillate can also be dropped sublingually, or under the tongue. Many topical products made for use on your skin are also distillates.
What Is Cannabis Distillate?
Distillate is a cannabis oil, and the word distillate refers to the distillation process that the oil undergoes. Distillate essentially takes an existing cannabis oil (produced using a variety of methods) and distills it further to isolate only parts of the oil.
The most common cannabis distillates are THC distillate and CBD distillate. Sometimes a distillate will include both of these cannabinoids, or more, and other times it will be a purer isolate. Usually, the name of the distillate will tell you the most prominent cannabinoids that are left in the oil.
A THC-dominant distillate might have almost no other cannabinoids in it, just a potent THC high. And CBD distillate will usually have little or no other cannabinoids, meaning it can be consumed without any intoxicating THC or the corresponding high.
How to vape distillate cartridges
The most common way to enjoy distillate cartridges is using vape pens of some variety. You can get disposable vape pens, or you can use a vape pen that is reloadable with 510 oil cartridges.
Not all cartridges available in stores are distillate, but quite often they are, due to the relative cheapness of distillate, as well as how strong they are.
When consuming weed oils, be sure to buy from licensed producers in a regulated market. Vaporizing black market cannabis concentrates could mean consuming unwanted chemicals and negative health effects.
THC Distillate vs. Other Cannabis Concentrates
Distillate has a somewhat debated value among cannabis enthusiasts. A lot of people argue that distillates provide an inferior experience compared with fuller spectrum concentrates.
Basically, the argument is that cannabis distillate doesn't have the same benefits and effects as the original cannabis plant, because the terpenes have been removed.
Some people may also find the high of THC distillates to be a bit artificial feeling in comparison to non-distillate cannabis. You can always try both distillate and non-distillate cannabis oils and see if you have differences in experience.
Potency and flavors after distillation process
In general, fuller spectrum oils like butane hash oil (BHO) or CO2 oil are more expensive than distillate. But they usually still contain the original terpenes, and the final product is closer to the original weed it was made from than THC distillate, in terms of both taste and effects.
You can check out our article comparing distillate and CO2 oil to learn more about this debate. But don't forget, you can also mix and match! You can always have some fuller spectrum oils to meet your terpene desires, plus some distillate to give you that extra THC push.
Just remember, concentrates have a very high potency. So be cautious and start slow to avoid experiences that are too strong for you, and get to know what dosage levels or combinations work best for you.
Best Vaporizer for Distillate
The best way to vaporize THC oil easier is going to depend entirely on your needs and personal preference. If you're looking to try it just once to get an idea of the experience, you can always try a disposable distillate pen.
It won't give you high quality vapor though. And THC pens with prefilled cartridges of oil inside aren't cost-effective over the long term.
There are a number of higher-end concentrate vaporizers that do an excellent job with distillate, and are built with long-term usage and maintenance in mind. If you know you're going to stick to concentrate only, one of these might be your best bet. A dab rig is also an excellent option, especially if you're a technically minded person.
In terms of cost, a high-end cannabis pen could be a good middle ground between a cheap THC pen and a pricey concentrate vape. You can expect moderate quality vapor, a lightweight product, and in most cases, short battery life. But it will likely be difficult to clean and maintain, so it will perform poorly over the long term compared with a proper vaporizer.
Using THC oil vape cartridges in a dry herb device
Another very popular option is using a dry herb vape to enjoy concentrates. Dry herb vaporizing is the healthiest and most common way to vape traditional cannabis flower. A lot of people enjoy both dry herb and concentrate. And most folks prefer having a single high-quality device that has all the vaping options they want, instead of carrying around multiple vaporizers.
In general, dry herb vapes weren't designed with concentrate vaping as their priority. But many high-end dry herb vaporizers have accessories available that let you safely use concentrates. You can buy inserts or a liquid pad that you place inside the heating chamber of your vape. Once the insert is inside, you can add concentrate safely.
It's an okay solution, but in practice, it's messy and inconvenient to do on a regular basis, and not easy when you're out and about. You need to wait for the chamber to cool down and clean it out in between every session.
The Furna vaporizer solves these problems with their swappable oven system. With Furna, you can have both a concentrate oven and a dry herb oven, and instantly swap between the two with no waiting. This means you can pre-load them in advance too.
Furna also has oil ovens specifically designed for 510 vape cartridges. Meaning you can even enjoy distillate cartridges in the same device. Just screw the 510 cart directly into the oil oven, and you're good to go. Check out Furna's oven swapping dry herb vape to see the difference in convenience.