WHAT ARE HYDROSOLS?
Hydrosols are distilled aromatic waters containing a rich array of beneficial and supportive botanical components. Often called fractal waters, they reflect the complete pattern of the plant they are distilled from. Hydrosols contain all water-soluble elements of the plant. They are typically made by steam distillation using therapeutic and aromatic plants.
A co-product when distilling hydrosols are essential oils. The essential oils are separated from the hydrosol water by using an "oil separator" attached to the still before distillation. A more DIY method is to use a pipette and gently separate the oil and water by hand, when the distillation is complete. There are very few makers of quality organic Cannabis Hydrosols and essential oils.
When distilling Cannabis flowers all water-soluble compounds like flavonoids, chlorophyll, and traces of cannabis essential oil are present. Although essential oils contain the highest percentage of the plant’s terpenes trace amounts will always be present in the hydrosol. Neither cannabis essential oil nor cannabis hydrosol contains significant amounts of cannabinoids because they are not water-soluble! This means zero THC or CBD.
USES OF CANNABIS HYDROSOL
Cannabis hydrosol can be used directly on your skin and has many nourishing properties. It is hydrating, softening, and calming, and can help treat dry skin conditions. It has skin regenerating properties. It can be used on its own as a toner or facial mist. It also makes an excellent addition to any lotion or cream base. Many people are obsessed with Cannabis Hydrosol for its anti-aging and skin softening properties!
HOW I MAKE CANNABIS HYDROSOL
I’ve made several cannabis hydrosols using both an electric still and the traditional copper Al-Ambique (pictured above). I exclusively work with organically grown fresh flowering tops and leaves of the cannabis plant.
I typically do not separate the essential oils. This means that a higher percentage of terpenes remains in the floral water. Distilling essential oils requires a very high volume of plant matter and is extremely costly. Two litres of distilled hydrosol would likely produce less than 1 ml of cannabis essential oil.
I have done some experimentation using fan leaves and smaller buds to see how the aroma changed. If I had collected sample of essential oils from a flower-only distillation there would have been a big difference in the aroma of individual strains that would very obviously reflect their robust terpene profiles. However, I found the hydrosols from various cannabis strains had comparable aromas. The hydrosols made without the fan leaves had a more full-bodied smell I would describe as rich and buttery.
Interested in Trying Cannabis Hydrosol?
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE PROCESS
You can find more info about Cannabis Hydrosols in my first attempt at an audio recording "podcast" The Cannabis Specialist on Spotify! And the link below >>