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CBD Distillate vs. Crude Oil - The Ultimate Guide

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The cannabidiol (CBD) craze has no end in sight. Market analysts predict the U.S. CBD industry will top $16 billion by 2025. As more people continue to learn about the therapeutic benefits of CBD, the hemp market will continue to grow by leaps and bounds.

In the wide world of CBD, infused products are made using several key ingredients, primarily derived from the hemp plant, a legal variety of cannabis that contains up to 0.3% THC by dry weight. CBD distillate and crude oil are the foundation for this budding and booming industry.

What Is Crude CBD Oil?

Scientist pouring cbd extract into vial

In the cannabis industry, crude oil refers to the cannabis-derived oil that is extracted through solvent-based methods. Each technique separates the desired cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and other essential oils from the rest of the inactive plant material.

In most extraction methods, the crude CBD oil produced is relatively unfiltered, containing an undesirable amount of chlorophyll, waxes, fats, and lipids. Post-processing measures such as winterization and distillation can create a more refined oil without the unnecessary material.

Crude CBD oil contains a broad range of chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant, including cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, fatty acids, vitamins, proteins, and more. Crude oil can be filtered and processed to create different concentrate consistencies and infused products.

Crude oil is the basis for many forms of cannabis, including different consistencies of concentrates, edibles, tinctures, capsules, topicals, transdermal patches, and other derivatives products. It is important to note that CBD crude oil can be refined into a CBD distillate

CBD crude oil is the same as Rick Simpson oil, except for the main cannabinoid.

How Is Crude CBD Oil Made?

CBD crude oil is made from hemp plant material (biomass) because it contains the highest concentration of CBD, the cannabinoid that produces euphoric and intoxicating effects. Crude CBD oil is the result of the primary extraction process.

Crude CBD oil is made using two different methods:

  • Solvent-based extraction - In a closed-loop system, chemical solvents dissolve the active ingredients in the hemp plant and are later purged from the final product in a vacuum oven.

Most commercial extractors will use a chemical solvent for higher throughputs and yields. Closed-loop extraction can use either light hydrocarbons (propane and butane), supercritical carbon dioxide (CO2), or ethanol to produce CBD crude oil.

Here is a breakdown of the crude oil extraction process:

  1. Hemp biomass is loaded into a material tank.
  2. A chemical solvent moves from the solvent tank into the material tank to wash away the desired compounds found in the plant.
  3. The solvent is separated from the extract back into the solvent tank for re-use.
  4. All solvent based extracts may need winterization, a process that separates the plant waxes, fats, and lipids using freezing temperatures. The process coagulates these components for easy filtration.
  5. A vacuum oven is used to remove the residual solvent from the crude hemp extract.

Crude CBD oil quality varies depending on biomass quality and the extraction process used. For the highest quality crude oil extraction without the need for time-consuming or costly post-processing, butane hash oil (BHO) extraction is the answer, although it doesn’t have the highest throughput

How to Use CBD Crude Oil

Depending on the type of CBD crude oil, it can be used in various ways. Manufacturers can sell CBD crude oil in bulk to other processors looking to create concentrates or infused products. Generally, crude oil refers to the cannabis oil that still needs additional processing.

CBD crude oil can be used to make the following products:

  • CBD distillate
  • CBD isolate
  • Broad-spectrum CBD
  • Full-spectrum CBD

Where to Buy Crude CBD Oil

The general public does not usually buy CBD crude oil in bulk, but some manufacturers may sell crude CBD oil for personal use. Commercial processors who produce a wide range of cannabis concentrate-derived products may make or purchase CBD crude oil from trusted suppliers.

What Is CBD Distillate?

Disposable vape pen with thc oil

CBD distillate refers to a concentrated form of cannabis that is odorless and tasteless. CBD distillate is usually golden yellow or brown, depending on the quality of the biomass and extraction process. This concentrate can have CBD concentrations starting at 60-70%.

While most CBD distillates contain one primary cannabinoid and multiple minor cannabinoids, processors may add other compounds to the hemp plant extract. Processors may reintroduce cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and other oils to create a “full-spectrum CBD distillate,” however, this term is a misnomer.

Does CBD Distillate Make You High?

While CBD distillate contains a high concentration of the CBD cannabinoid, it does not produce intoxicating effects. In other words, consuming CBD distillate will not get you high. CBD produces mentally and physically relaxing effects.

How Is CBD Distillate Made?

CBD distillate is made with hemp biomass since it contains the most CBD. It must go through an extraction, winterization, decarboxylation, and distillation process to create the final product.

Here is a quick breakdown of the CBD distillate extraction process:

  1. Extraction - Hemp biomass undergoes a closed-loop extraction process using chemical solvents that strip away the CBD, minor cannabinoids, terpenes, and more.
  2. Winterization - Extraction technicians use solvent and cold temperatures to separate the undesirable compounds (fats, waxes, chlorophyll) from the crude extract. Winterization can take between 24-48 hours.
  3. Decarboxylation - Decarboxylation removes the acidic chain at the end of (CBDA)and turns it into their active ingredients (CBD). Decarboxylation occurs in a vacuum atmosphere to reduce degradation.
  4. Distillation - Crude oil is heated in a vacuum which requires lower boiling points. The cannabinoid can be turned into a vapor and re-condensed by passing it through a chilled condensing head.

How to Use CBD Distillate

Because CBD distillate is a purified, odorless, and tasteless concentrate, there are many ways you can use this product. As a processor, CBD distillate can be used to create a wide range of SKUs or be sold in bulk to other processors.

As a consumer, CBD distillate can be used in more ways than one!

  • Orally - When consumed orally, the CBD distillate must go through the digestive system and can take an hour or longer to take effect, although this consumption method produces long-lasting effects.
  • Sublingually - Sublingual absorption bypasses the digestive tract and absorbs the cannabinoids under the tongue’s mucous membranes for faster absorption, although the effects are not as long as when it is taken orally.
  • Topicals - Interested in making your own creams, salves, or lotions? CBD distillate can be a great addition to your homemade creation. Mix it with a carrier oil and your favorite essential oils for better skin absorption and improved aroma.

Where to Buy CBD Distillate

CBD distillate is available in various infused products, ranging from edibles to vape cartridges and more. CBD distillate can also be purchased on its own from licensed retailers or online stores (if derived from hemp).

Interested in buying CBD distillate? Consider these shopping tips before you make the final purchase:

  • Certificate of Analysis - Look for CBD companies that provide third-party lab test results
  • Zero THC - Ensure the CBD distillate contains under 0.3% THC
  • Ingredients List - Read over all ingredients on the label

Are CBD Distillate and Crude Oil Full Spectrum?

Scientist placing down vials of cbd oil

Full-spectrum concentrates refer to cannabis extracts that contain the entire chemical profile of the plant. This includes all of the cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, vitamins, proteins, fatty acids, and more. Broad-spectrum oil contains everything that is in a full-spectrum oil but does not contain THC.

Using these definitions, CBD distillate is not considered a full-spectrum product, even when terpenes and other essential oils are reintroduced into the distillate. While the oil may have the “complete’ lineup of compounds, it is not a true full-spectrum product.

Crude CBD oil, however, may be considered a full-spectrum oil since it contains the entire range of hemp compounds. During the extraction process, the solvent dissolves most of the plant’s active ingredients, resulting in a full-spectrum product, although not a very refined one, unless you are using hydrocarbon extraction.

Which One Is Better: CBD Distillate vs. Crude Oil

When comparing CBD distillate and CBD crude oil side-by-side, there is no clear winner. In fact, each type of concentrate is used for different purposes by different users. For instance, CBD crude oil is generally a term used by processors. CBD distillate is a more refined version of crude oil with CBD and without any other cannabinoids or terpenes.

The right type of cannabis extract for you depends on your desired outcome. If you are a manufacturer looking to create a wide range of broad-spectrum or full-spectrum products, working with CBD crude oil is the best way to go. Users looking for a versatile THC-free experience can turn to CBD distillate.

Improve the Clarity and Color of Crude CBD Oil Distillate

Cannabis processors can improve the color and clarity of their CBD extracts with filter media and hardware from Media Bros. Regardless of the quality of the biomass, processors can always make their CBD extract better. Make the best CBD concentrates you can with Media Bros.

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