THCA Diamonds: What are They & How Are They Made?
Original post found on the Mile High Glass Pipes Blog
THC-A crystalline is a relative newcomer to the world of cannabis concentrates that boasts incredible potency. Also known as THCA diamonds, concentrates of this variety sport up to 99.9% THC content, making them the strongest on the market. However, amongst all the hype and acclaim surrounding these products, a pair of questions often go unanswered: what exactly are THC-A diamonds, and what is the origin? Like many others, if you have been asking yourself the same thing, then you've come to the right place, as I am about to give you the lowdown on the concentrate that yields the highest high.
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Let's start with the presentation of the basics. As hinted by the name, THC-A diamonds are characterized by their crystalline appearance. Once THC is reduced to its purest state, crystallization occurs, creating a substance that shines like no other concentrate on the market. While there may be a negative stigma surrounding similar appearance substances, don't let its looks fool you, THC-A diamonds are truly the purest and most potent form of THC. These extracts are not made for newbie consumers and are best enjoyed by concentrate fans who desire to experience a new potency level. Crystalline THC can only activate by a process called decarboxylation (fancy science talk for "adding heat to it"), so ingesting this substance will yield no effect. Relatedly, the best method of consumption for this particular type of concentrate, much like many others, is dabbing it with a trusty dab rig. If you don't have one, contact us, and we'll gladly point you in the right direction.
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Let's shift gears to talk about the properties of crystalline THC-A for a bit. As one could imagine, the ridiculous amount of purification involved in the extraction of diamonds comes at a cost. THC-A diamonds are a substance with close to 100% THC content; there isn't exactly room for much else within these gleaming little gems of concentrated dankness. As a result, things like terpenes are outright purged from the final product, leaving the tasteless concentrate behind. To accommodate this, crystalline THC can often be found sold with or mixed into terpene "sauce" extractions, thus pairing incredible potency with equally stunning terpene profiles. However, the absence of terpenes and CBD isn't necessarily a bad thing. The isolation of THC allows for an unprecedented degree of control over its applications, allowing those who extract it to create concentrate blends that have exact ratios of CBD, terpenes, and THC. In other words, extractors are given the ability to develop products that yield whatever effect they desire accurately. A potent, flavorful extract with high THC content and a robust terpene profile? No problem. A near flavorless combination of high CBD and THC? Consider it done. The possibilities are virtually endless when it comes to the various uses and varieties of cannabis' most significant active components.
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One aspect of crystalline THC-A that raises a lot of questions is how they're produced. For a while, the process of doing so was a highly guarded trade secret, but as time passes, more information on it is becoming available. Most commonly, diamonds are isolated from live resin extracts, a variety of concentrates known for their potency and terpene presence. While any other type of concentrate can be used for the same purpose, live resin is the most popular starting material. In chemistry, the process through which a solution becomes crystallized like THC-A diamonds is known as recrystallization, but for this post's purpose, I'll try not to get too "sciency" on you. According to the vernacular of industry professionals, the most popular method of creating crystalline THC-A is called "diamond mining," This will be the method that I'm going to go over for you today.
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Without further delay, let's get into the details of how it all goes down. Like many other concentrates, this process begins with butane extraction to yield an uncured live resin. Following the same extraction, the solution is purged with heat (with no vacuum involved) to remove any residual solvent. Next, the live resin is placed in a container and left somewhere dark so that separation can take place. As the terpenes create a liquified layer on the top, cannabinoid crystals will begin to form on the bottom, so this part of the process is called separation. This step occurs over two to three weeks, depending on how long it takes for a satisfactory amount of crystals to form at the bottom of the container; following this, the solution will be ready for the final purge. Before purging, experienced extractors will often separate the liquid and crystal layers to purify them separately, allowing them to perform a more extended purge on the crystal layer. Since the liquified terpene solution takes roughly 60 hours to purge instead of the 72 or so hours it takes for the crystals to purify, the result of this second separation is a higher quality end product. Once the second purge is done, resulting terpene sauce and THCA diamonds are either packaged separately or recombined before lining your local dispensary shelves for your enjoyment.
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Diamonds, once known as a girl's best friend, may soon become the best friend of concentrate enthusiasts from all walks of life. While THC-A diamonds may not be the best thing to use if you want to take your relationship to the next level (if I'm wrong, consider yourself lucky), they can undoubtedly elevate your mind to levels you have not yet reached. Many believe this type of concentrate to be the future of cannabis consumption, granting extractors the ability to tailor-make products with near-pinpoint accurate levels of THC, CBD, and terpenes for medical patients in need as well as recreational concentrate aficionados. Only time will tell what impact the rise to prominence of crystalline THCA will have on the cannabis market landscape, but I, for one, am excited to see what it has in store. Keep it a mile high and continue to check out our blog for more information on all things glass and cannabis.
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