Distillate is one of the purest products containing only the THC and CBD molecules, and has many applications across the cannabis industry.
Removed in the extraction and winterization process are most fats, waxes and lipids that form the plant profile of the cannabis or hemp plant. After this process, however, remains a wide variety of terpenes, cannabinoids and a small percentage of fats, waxes and lipids that have slipped through the filtration process.
Furthermore, Cannabis distillation aims at removing these factors which impact purity, potency, and volatility, and instead isolate the desired cannabinoids.
The THC and CBD molecules have high boiling points which means the molecules stay intact when heated at a high temperature. And, For some of the other, undesirable compounds, a much lower boiling point is required to convert them to a gas meaning that a machine designed to collect and remove the vapors produced and leave you with a final product that consists of up to 99% pure THC or CBD is needed.
This process is borrowed from the production of things like essential oils. In addition to, Botanicals like lavender undergo a similar process to produce a liquid compatible to put on your skin or in your diffuser. For cannabis, this means that the final product is decarboxylated and less volatile so it can be, for example, heated in a vape and consumed.