When it comes to vaping cannabis, you may have noticed that you have a myriad of options available. A visit to the dispensary will present you with all manner of liquid products that you can use in your vape pen. If you’re new to the world of concentrates, the selection can be overwhelming. Two of the more popular options you’ll see are CO2 oil and distillate cartridges. We’re going to break down the differences to help you decide which option is right for you.
What Is CO2 Oil?
CO2 oil is a type of cannabis oil that involves the use of carbon dioxide. Many people prefer CO2 over other solvents because it’s a naturally-occurring, non-toxic substance.
Now, you might be thinking, but CO2 is gas; how can you use it as a solvent? Extractors use supercritical CO2, which means they use enough pressure to convert the gas into a liquid. Liquid CO2 washes over cannabis plant matter, pulling out the cannabinoids and other beneficial compounds, creating a concentrated substance. As pressure returns to normal, the CO2 becomes a gas again, evaporating out of the final product. While you can technically vape it at this stage, companies often take a few additional steps to remove plant lipids and waxes, leaving a full-spectrum cannabis concentrate. It contains all of the strain’s cannabinoids and terpenes.
What Is a Distillate?
A distillate is also a liquid cannabis concentrate. One of the biggest differences, however, is that a distillate typically only contains one cannabinoid, such as THC or CBD. In essence, it’s an even more concentrated product. In addition to being high-potency, distillates are also the purest form of cannabis concentrates available.
A distillate starts as a general cannabis concentrate. Extractors use a solvent to pull out the compounds. While they may use CO2, they may also use butane or propane. After the extraction process is complete, the concentrate is boiled to remove the unwanted compounds, including all but one cannabinoid. At the same time, the process also removes the solvent, so there’s no need to worry about a contaminated product.
The final result is a pure distillate with only one cannabinoid. The product is virtually tasteless and features a potency of up to 90% or more.
Which One Is Best?
The question then becomes, which is better, CO2 oil or distillate? The truth is, the best option is up to you. Neither is better than the other; it all depends on your personal preference. If you want to enjoy the flavor of a strain and experience the benefits of the entourage effect, CO2 oil is likely the way to go. On the other hand, distillate provides you with the specific benefits of a single cannabinoid, without the flavor. CO2 oil generally costs less, but you need less distillate to obtain similar results. Consider trying both options to see which one works best for you.
Deciding between a CO2 oil and a distillate is a purely personal choice. No matter which option you choose, be sure to pick a cartridge that fits your vape pen, then kick back, relax, and enjoy.