As retail markets evolve and settle, little doubt remains that concentrates are leading sales trends. In Arizona, Nevada, Michigan, Colorado, Washington, Oregon and California, according to BDS Analytics, concentrate cartridge sales leapt from $446 million in 2016 to $610 million in 2017.
That growth has been ascribed to the discreet, new-user-friendly nature of vaping. Under that umbrella of concentrate cartridges is a further consumer inclination: The higher THC content found in distillates is attracting more sales than the butane hash oil that has led certain market for the past few years, according to BDS Analytics. See the BDS Analytics chart for Oregon below.
Distillation takes classic extraction processes one step further. Refined hash oils are vaporized and cooled to isolate certain compounds in the plant’s chemistry, such as THC. In simple terms: Producers heat the oil to a temperature that boils a desired compound, then move that gas to a separate beaker or container and cool it to a solid form.
Cannabinoids boil at different temperatures, allowing those producers to identify exactly which compound they will isolate. THC vaporizes at 157 degrees Celsius (314.6 degrees Fahrenheit).
The result is an odorless, tasteless extract that resembles translucent, golden honey. The clarity reflects the lack of leftover compounds, such as chlorophyll, or solvents.
As the cannabis industry bends more and more into a commodities market, this pure cannabinoid product displays nearly limitless potential. Distillate can be incorporated into the full spectrum of cannabis products on the market today—and unrealized concepts yet to be developed.
Much of the distillate and concentrate market comprises private businesses operating proprietary technology. For instance, one of the leading manufacturers is The Clear.
In late April, The Clear launched its product line in Nevada. With nine state markets on its budget books—and three more in the offing—The Clear has become