Can I eat my distillate?

Quick Answers

Distillate is a cannabis concentrate made through distillation. While technically edible, distillate on its own may not provide the best eating experience due to its thick, viscous consistency and intense potency. However, distillate can be incorporated into various infused foods, drinks and edibles to create enjoyable, psychoactive effects. When cooking with distillate, dosage is key – start low, go slow.

What is Cannabis Distillate?

Cannabis distillate, commonly referred to as “distillate”, is a purified, odorless cannabis extract made through a process called molecular distillation. Distillate contains high levels of activated THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) as well as other cannabinoids like CBD, CBN and terpenes. The distillation process removes all impurities and solvents, leaving behind a thick, honey-like oil that is extremely potent and has a translucent amber color.

Distillate typically ranges from 70% – 99% activated THC and can test over 90% total cannabinoids when CBD, CBN and other minor cannabinoids are present. Because all impurities are stripped away, distillate has no flavor or aroma which allows it to be used in a variety of infused products without impacting tastes or smells.

Distillate Extraction Methods

There are a few common methods used to produce cannabis distillate:

  • Short Path Distillation: The most common method, short path distillation uses vacuum distillation to gently separate cannabinoids and terpenes based on boiling points.
  • Fractional Distillation: A slower, more intricate process of distillation done in multiple stages.
  • Wiped Film Distillation: An extremely efficient, continuous flow system passing oil over heated surface areas.

Regardless of method, the goal remains the same – to isolate and collect delta-9-THC and other desirable compounds from the original cannabis plant material. Short path distillation is the most popular technique in commercial production.

Is Distillate Psychoactive?

Yes, cannabis distillate is highly psychoactive due to its high concentration of activated THC. When THC is in its activated form, it readily binds to CB1 receptors in the brain and central nervous system to generate the characteristic “high” effects recreational cannabis provides.

THC in raw cannabis plant material exists in an acidic, non-psychoactive THCA form. Through decarboxylation (exposure to heat/light), THCA converts to delta-9-THC which provides the desired psychoactivity when consumed.

Because distillate undergoes decarboxylation during the distillation process, all THC present is in the psychoactive delta-9 form, contributing to stronger, more potent effects versus raw flower or other extracts.

Strength and Potency

With THC levels from 70% up to 99%, distillate is considered one of the most potent cannabis products available. It offers substantially stronger psychoactive effects compared to traditional cannabis flower which averages around 15-25% THC.

Those with no tolerance or sensitivity to THC should exercise extreme caution when consuming distillate, as the effects can be overwhelmingly strong for inexperienced users. It’s recommended to start with a tiny dose of 1-3mg then increase slowly as needed.

Is it Safe to Eat Distillate?

While technically edible in its raw form, eating straight cannabis distillate is very intense and not recommended for most users. However, when incorporated into infused oils, edibles, tinctures, drinks or other products, distillate can be safely consumed.

Considerations for Eating Raw Distillate

If you intend to sample raw distillate, keep the following safety tips in mind:

  • Start with 1-3mg THC to assess tolerance.
  • Increase dosage slowly in 1-2mg increments.
  • May take over 2 hours to feel full effects.
  • Have CBD oil available to counteract side effects.
  • Distillate may cause throat irritation if inhaled.
  • Intoxication may last 8+ hours once ingested.

Due to the slow onset of ingested THC and potential for overconsumption, distillate has a higher risk of negative side effects like anxiety, rapid heart rate and paranoia versus other consumption methods. Use extreme care when sampling raw distillate.

How to Cook with Cannabis Distillate

Infusing distillate into homemade edibles, drinks and topicals is the best way to safely consume this potent extract. Here are some tips for cooking with distillate:

Oils and Butter

Mix distillate into cooking oils or clarified butter for easy infusion into any recipe. Heat oil/butter on low setting until liquified then whisk in distillate until fully dissolved. Cool before using in recipes. Figure approximately 1g of distillate per 1/4 cup of oil.

Baked Goods

Replace oil or butter in any baked recipe with your infused oil/butter. Best options include cookies, brownies, banana bread, etc. Reduce oven temperature by 25°F to prevent burning.

Candies and Gummies

Make infused candies with distillate coconut oil or butter. melt gummy mixture and mix with syringe of measured distillate. Pour into molds to make THC gummies, caramels or chocolate.


Add droplets of distillate when blending smoothies, milkshakes, coffee drinks, lemonade, etc. Emulsify distillate into liquids using sunflower lecithin. Dose with 1-5mg THC per serving.


Fill gel capsules with measured doses of pure distillate for a convenient edible option with standardized dosing. Store capsules in cool, dark place.

THC per Capsule Distillate Amount
1mg 0.01g | 10mg
2mg 0.02g | 20mg
5mg 0.05g | 50mg


Whip distillate into body butters, lotions, salves, massage oils, etc to create infused topicals. Ensure thorough mixing into creams/oils for even distribution.

Tips for Cooking with Distillate

Follow these tips when infusing distillate into your homemade edibles and topicals:

  • Always start with tiny test doses and increase slowly.
  • Use latex gloves and masks when handling pure distillate.
  • Store unused distillate in an airtight glass container in cool, dark place.
  • Label all infused products with dosing information.
  • Heat oils, butters and chocolate gently when mixing to prevent burning.
  • Stir mixtures constantly until distillate fully dissolved.
  • Emulsify into liquids using sunflower lecithin.

Storing Distillate

Proper storage is important for maintaining the potency and stability of cannabis distillate. Follow these storage guidelines:

  • Keep in thick glass or silicone containers to limit air exposure.
  • Avoid plastic containers that may degrade distillate.
  • Store in cool, dark place away from heat and light.
  • Refrigeration can prolong shelf life but may cause clouding.
  • Limit air space in container to minimize oxidation.
  • Use syringes to dispense precise amounts.
  • Consume within 1-2 years for best potency.

Benefits of Cooking with Distillate

Infusing distillate into homemade edibles, topicals and tinctures provides many benefits over raw flower or pure distillate alone:

  • Precise dosing – Easy to portion into consistent servings.
  • Customizable effects – Control THC/CBD ratios.
  • Flavorless and odorless when infused.
  • Versatile applications – infuse into almost anything.
  • Stronger potency than flower – More THC per serving.
  • Long shelf life when stored properly.
  • Cost effective compared to dispensary edibles.

Possible Side Effects of Eating Distillate

When consuming potent cannabis distillate, both through direct ingestion or infused into edibles, some potential side effects may occur. Possible adverse reactions include:

  • Dry mouth/throat irritation
  • Increased anxiety or paranoia
  • Impaired coordination and balance
  • Altered perception of time and space
  • Rapid heart rate and palpitations
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Confusion and disorientation

Negative effects can be avoided by starting with a low dose and waiting at least 2 hours before increasing your intake. Keep CBD oil on hand to counteract unwanted side effects from overconsumption. Drink plenty of water and relax in a safe environment after dosing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you vape distillate?

Yes, cannabis distillate can be vaped using a suitable device like a dab pen, mod box or portable wax vaporizer. However, distillate may be too thick for some atomizers. Adding terpenes or thinning agents can improve vaporization.

What does distillate taste like?

Pure cannabis distillate is completely flavorless and odorless. The multi-step purification process removes all terpenes and other compounds responsible for taste and smell.

Can you test positive from eating distillate?

Absolutely – distillate contains extremely high levels of THC that can readily cause a positive drug test result after consumption. Those subject to drug screening should avoid distillate.

Does distillate need to be decarbed?

No. The distillation process fully activates and decarboxylates all THC naturally present in the starting material. No further decarbing is required before eating or infusing distillate.


Cannabis distillate provides the purest form of activated THC available in a potent, versatile concentrate. While too strong for most to comfortably eat raw, distillate shines when infused into homemade edibles, tinctures, topicals and beverages. When cooked properly and dosed appropriately, distillate offers a clean, customizable way to enjoy the benefits of THC and other cannabinoids.

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