Why Do Distillate Products Crystallize?

By Zero Point

Distillate is a highly purified form of cannabis concentrate that is typically produced through a process of distillation. Distillation involves heating the cannabis plant material to a temperature that vaporizes the cannabinoids and terpenes, which are then condensed and collected as a liquid.

Reasons Why Some Distillate Crystallizes

Despite the high level of purity in distillate, it is still possible for some products to form crystals. There are several reasons why this can happen, including:

  1. High levels of purity: When the distillate is highly purified, it is more prone to crystal formation. This is because there are fewer impurities or residual compounds in the distillate to prevent the cannabinoids and terpenes from crystallizing.
  2. Temperature changes: Distillate products can form crystals when they are exposed to temperature changes. For example, if the distillate is stored in a cold place, it can cause the cannabinoids and terpenes to separate from the liquid and form crystals.
  3. Type of cannabinoids: Some cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD, have a higher propensity to form crystals than others. This is because they have a molecular structure that is more likely to crystallize.
  4. Concentration: When the distillate is concentrated, it is more prone to crystal formation. This is because there are more cannabinoids and terpenes in the product, which increases the likelihood of them coming together to form crystals.

How to fix Crystallized Distillate?

There are several solutions to prevent or address crystallization in distillate products:

  1. Additives: One way to prevent crystallization is by adding additives to the distillate. Some common additives used to prevent crystallization include terpenes, flavorings, and viscosity agents.
  2. Heat: Applying heat to the distillate can help prevent crystallization by keeping the cannabinoids and terpenes in a liquid state. However, it's important to avoid excessive heat, which can degrade the quality of the product.
  3. Filtering: If crystallization has already occurred, the crystals can be removed through filtering. This can be done by dissolving the product in a solvent, such as ethanol or isopropyl alcohol, and then filtering out the crystals.
  4. Winterization: Winterization is a process that involves dissolving the distillate in ethanol and then freezing it to separate the cannabinoids and terpenes from the waxes and lipids that can contribute to crystallization. The resulting mixture is then filtered to remove the waxes and lipids, and the ethanol is removed through evaporation.
  5. Storage: Proper storage of the distillate can also help prevent crystallization. The product should be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place to minimize temperature fluctuations and exposure to air and moisture, which can contribute to crystal formation.


It's worth noting that some crystallization in distillate products is natural and does not necessarily indicate a problem with the product. In fact, some consumers actually prefer the texture and appearance of crystallized distillate. However, if the crystals are causing issues with the product's texture or consistency, one of the above solutions can be employed to address the issue.

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