One of the reasons we love CBD is the fact that it’s so rich in plant matter. But while hemp crude oil offers various benefits, the strong flavor isn’t ideal for every user. That’s why many companies choose to process their oils to create distillates.
But if you’re part of a CBD company, you don’t want to choose just any distillation method for your product. That’s why you should understand distillation as a whole and weigh the benefits of short path vs. wiped film distillation.
What Is Distillation?
Simply put, distillation is a process in which a liquid mixture separates into individual components through boiling and condensation. It has a variety of commercial applications that we encounter regularly. A few key examples include:
- Flavor extracts
For CBD, distillation separates chlorophyll, waxes, and other plant matter from the CBD after it undergoes ethanol extraction. While all distillation utilizes similar steps, some subtle differences between processes may make one process better than another. That’s why understanding the difference between short path and wiped film distillation is valuable.
Short Path Distillation
Short path distillation begins with placing your hemp crude oil into a vacuum-sealed flask over a source of heat. As you heat the oil, the CBD evaporates from the rest of the plant matter and enters a chilled tube called the condenser. Here, the material condenses back into a liquid distillate that you can set aside for further processing.
Wiped Film Distillation
Wiped film distillation is a type of short path distillation. It also requires you to put the crude oil into a flask over heat until the oil evaporates. The difference is that the oils must remain over heat for one to three days while the CBD film develops naturally.
Wiped film employs a series of mechanical, stainless steel wiper blades that produce the film more quickly. The expedited process means that companies only have to keep their oils on the heat for a few minutes.
Which One Is Right for Your Company?
Both processes produce high-quality distillates. Choosing a distillation process depends on how much CBD your company needs to produce and how quickly. Wiped film distillation is good for companies needing a higher yield more swiftly, while short path is better for smaller operations.