More about Crystalline
What is Crystalline?
Crystalline, also referred to as “crystals,” “THC crystals,” or “diamonds,” is a cannabis concentrate that comes in a solid state. It resembles coarse sugar, the kind typically used for decorating sugar cookies or glittering the tops of baked fruit pies. Crystalline is produced to be free of plant matter or terpenes, which are the distinct aromatic and flavor qualities of a cannabis cultivar, or strain.
What Cannabinoids are Available in Crystalline form?
Crystalline is produced to have just one cannabinoid. The only cannabinoids available in crystalline form are THCA, CBDA, and CBD. Anyone consuming THCA, CBDA, or CBD will not experience an intoxicating high, though THCA converts to THC when exposed to heat, making the crystalline intoxicating.
What is THCA Crystalline?
You may have heard the term “THC crystals” or “ THC crystalline ” used to describe crystalline, but THC, which produces an intoxicating high, is not available as crystalline; chemically, THC cannot hold a crystalline structure. In other words, what’s often referred to as “THC crystals” is not pure THC , but rather a form of pure THCA . THCA crystalline converts to active THC through decarboxylation at the time of consumption.
Photo by Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Is Crystalline Better than Other Concentrates?
When exposed to heat, crystalline is quite potent, though the body may not experience the full effect of this extract, as it lacks the terpenes found in flower and other concentrates. Terpenes help provide the unique flavors, aromas, and other effects of each high associated with different cultivars. Without these terpenes, crystalline isn’t able to provide the same health benefits attributed to the entourage effect .
Terpene removal is part of the crystalline production process and the resulting cannabinoids in the final product are the same, regardless of the starting plant material. For example, if a crystalline manufacturer used Durban Poison cultivar for one batch of THCA crystals, and Northern Lights cultivar for a separate batch of THCA crystals, the final products would produce the same effects. The isolated THCA crystals from one strain are identical to those from another. Dispensaries won’t carry strain-specific crystals; they simply don’t exist because THC or CBD Crystalline has no terpenes to give each cultivar its unique characteristics.
How Can Crystalline be Used?
Crystalline can be ingested orally, either added to a recipe when making edibles, or dissolving in oil to create a tincture-like product. For homemade edibles, crystals can be dissolved in cooking oil or butter, and used as an ingredient in recipes. Olive oil and coconut oil are the most popular for dissolving crystal to make a tincture-like product.
Crystalline can be smoked, or dabbed, using a dab rig. A dab rig is a type of smoking apparatus, similar to a small water bong, that vaporizes heated crystalline to be inhaled in single, measured dosages.
What is CBD Crystalline?
Dabbing CBDA or CBD Crystalline, the purest form of CBD-heavy concentrate, allows users to feel non-intoxicating effects quickly, but dabbing THCA will produce the intoxicating and psychoactive effects of THC, which may explain why they’re often thought of as “THC crystals.”
To dab CBD crystals , preheat a “nail” at one end of the dab rig using a handheld butane torch. Once the nail reaches the correct temperature, use the spoon-shaped end of a dabber to scoop and pour the appropriate dosage of crystalline on the nail. The crystals will instantly heat and vaporize on the heated nail. While inhaling the vapor through the mouthpiece end of the rig, place a cap on the nail to catch as much vapor as possible.
THCA crystalline can also be combined with other cannabis Concentrates, like live resin Shatter, to increase their potency. Mixing THC crystals with concentrates that have terpenes and other cannabinoids may aid the uptake of the THCA, CBDA, or CBD into the body.
Photo by Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
How is Crystalline made?
WARNING: THE MANUFACTURING OF CRYSTALLINE SHOULD ONLY BE PERFORMED BY SKILLED PROFESSIONALS AS THE PROCESS CAN BE EXTREMELY DANGEROUS AND ILLEGAL IN MANY JURISDICTIONS.
Crystalline is produced from a cannabis extract. The starting material for THC crystal extraction can come from raw cannabis plants . Crystalline has a unique, subtle taste and smell, but it lacks the chemical compounds that give other cannabis Concentrates their aroma and flavor.
A number of methods are used for making THC Crystalline, but the essential crystallization principles are the same. One way to understand the crystallization process is similar to the making of rock candy. Hot water is supersaturated with sugar, then as the water cools down, sugar crystals start to form on a string or stick. Hot water allows more sugar to dissolve than under room temperature. As the unstable sugar solution is removed from the heat and allowed to cool, sugar crystals start to precipitate out of solution and will eventually begin to form on the stick. The THC crystal formation will grow over time until the final product is successfully achieved.
The production of cannabis crystalline is essentially the process of mixing a refined cannabis concentrate with a solvent, then applying specific heat and pressure conditions to evaporate the solvent, allowing crystals to form. For example, if THCA crystalline is being produced, any THCA will precipitate, or separate, out of the solution. Under the right temperature and pressure conditions, the THCA will chemically bond to other THCA molecules, forming crystalline structures.
The purest form of cannabis Concentrate, this Extract consists of a single type of cannabinoid, usually tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), or cannabidiol (CBD). Crystalline is formed by thoroughly refining cannabis oil and serves as a base for formulated cannabis products.
What Is THCA Crystalline And How Is It Made?
Never have we witnessed such a level of purity in an extract. The team over at Guild Extracts might’ve been the first, but what this represents is bigger than them. Welcome to the world of 99.9% pure THCA!
WHAT IS IT?
Created by the team over at Guild Extracts, this is an extract composed of 99.997% THCA. Most extracts today will have around 50-80% purity. As the first team to successfully do this, it’s claimed to be the strongest hash in the world. And with a 0.003% margin, it will be hard to improve upon. It has gained extreme popularity due to its uniqueness and purity. And this can be observed with its prices, reaching as high as €170 a gram.
When processed, pure THCA crystallises. Its visual similarities to drugs like cocaine make a lot of people question it. But the true breakthrough with this extract is beyond the recreational market. THCA, when decarboxylated, loses its acidic atom, leaving behind the pure THC. This happens when you light-up or pressure the cannabinoid. This purified cannabinoid came to change the game for all those in need of potent, medical THC.
THE MEDICAL USES
When dealing with such a pure substance, precision is one of the main advantages. Never before could a patient be so sure of his/her THC intake. When dealing with flower and even other extracts, it’s extremely hard to know the exact THC percentage it contains. The error margins are relatively large. With THCA crystalline, the patient can continuously assess results based on the dosage, knowing that it will always be consistent.
Edible companies will now have access to an extract that will allow for more precise dosing of products. This is an extract that will also act extremely fast, which is a great advantage, especially considering the time an edible can take to hit. This can be crucial for certain conditions treatable with THC.
Another great advantage is that, when ingested without being decarboxylated, THCA will have no psychoactive effects, but will still present various medical applications. This is great news for patients in need of THC, but who don’t enjoy the high it gives. When there is no heat or pressure applied, THCA can be placed in a drink or meal with no alteration in mental functioning.
WHAT THE HIGH IS LIKE
When dealing strictly with THC (or THCA), there will be things one must sacrifice. This extract has no terpenes, so it won’t have pungent aromas or flavours. Some consumers even report it to taste like “snowflakes”, which in turn tastes like water, which is tasteless. You get the point. There will be no possible alterations to the product. It doesn’t matter what the strain is or how it was grown, 99% THCA will always be the same. So, you’ll either enjoy the high or you won’t. You’ll also be sacrificing the “entourage effect” that other cannabinoids have on THC. You won’t be experiencing cannabis, you’ll just be experiencing one cannabinoid.
But once you try it, you might be surprised. The high is described as extremely clear, fresh, and energetic. It’s almost a little too clear and fresh for some who describe it as too medical. It might be possible that consumers become so high that they can’t even recognise it for what it is. But the high is surely there; with almost double the purity most of us have experienced, it might just be a high we can’t yet comprehend. But in a way, it’s good that it’s “too medical” because that’s exactly what it should be used for. By using a substance this pure for recreational purposes, it might be hard going back to smoking joints or bowls – the high will be nowhere close.
HOW IS IT MADE?
If you have no basic information on how extracts are made, this might seem a little overwhelming, but the idea behind the process is fairly easy to understand. This all starts with your usual cannabis extract derived from cannabis plant material. But to make the process faster, an already isolated substance is often used.
This extract is then mixed with hexane and acetic acid. These are two chemicals that, together, will help further separate the plant material form the THC. This happens by dissolving the plant matter, but keeping the good stuff untouched. This solution is then placed through a filter so that more plant matter can be removed. The remaining liquid will be placed in a rotary evaporator.
This machine will use different values of pressure, heat, and motion to further separate elements in the solution. After this process, the resulting liquid is called Δ9 tetrahydrocannabinolic acid. But this is still far from what we’re looking for. There will still be impure elements, so chromatography will help remove these. Sephadex-LH20, dichloromethane, and chloroform are added to our tetrahydrocannabinolic acid.
To further purify it, the chemists will place the crystals back into the rotary evaporator. These are then mixed with methanol to separate even more impurities. This solution then goes through a filter to remove these impurities and back into the rotary evaporator to remove the methanol. To end the process, this will once again be mixed with a dissolvent to purify the mixture to the 99.997% it’s famous for. This is finally placed in the evaporator once again to remove the harmful solvent. And there you have it; this is what creates THCA crystalline.
Find out more about the new 99.9% THCA extract and how it came to change the lives of recreational and medicinal cannabis consumers!