What Are Crystal, Crystalline, Diamond, and THC Isolates and how are they used?
- Cannabinoids found in cannabis flower can be extracted and refined to produce products such as THC isolate and CBD isolate.
- These ultra-refined products look like coarse sugar and are often referred to as crystal, crystalline, and diamond.
- Purified cannabinoids are made by putting cannabis flower extracts through a series of filtration and distillation processes.
- CBD and THC crystals can be smoked, vaporized, and infused into oils for use in edibles and tinctures.
Crystal (THC isolate) is also known as Crystalline, THC crystals, or diamonds. This highly concentrated product consists of an isolated cannabinoid concentrate. Crystal THC is a solid form. CBD crystals are also available. CBD is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid.
Cannabinoid isolates can be produced that are more than 99.9 percent pure. The purest form is a powder. These potent concentrates are produced by refining cannabis oil through a series of filtration and distillation processes to isolate the cannabinoids. Once the refining process is complete the final product resembles coarse sugar crystals.
Being isolated compounds, THC and CBD crystals lack the terpenes found in cannabis flowers and less refined cannabis concentrates. Due to the lack of terpenes, cannabinoid isolates do not offer the entourage effect — or the combined effect of the cannabinoids and terpenes.
Pure cannabinoids are also odorless and flavorless. Some individuals seeking the full-spectrum oils in cannabis flower and other concentrates may not enjoy the effects of THC crystal isolate. However, some recreational marijuana aficionados and medical marijuana patients may prefer the unique “high” obtained from cannabinoid isolates.
In addition to offering purity and potency, crystalline cannabinoids are also more stable than other concentrates and thus easier to store, far less messy, and easier to incorporate into recipes.
How is THC-isolate Crystal Made?
The production of crystal starts with the raw cannabis flowers. The raw plant matter is mixed with chemical solvents. The cannabinoids dissolve into the solvents. The remaining plant matter is discarded.
The solvent/cannabinoid mixture is then filtered to remove additional plant matter. The solvent is then evaporated leaving behind a potent cannabis concentrate containing as high as 80 percent THC.
This refined cannabis oil then goes through additional industrial processes to produce purified cannabinoids.
How to Use THC-Crystal
Cannabinoid isolates — especially THC — must be used sparingly. A typical THC dosage is under 25 milligrams. Many patients will use only 10 milligrams or less in one dose.
When heated, crystalline cannabinoids will melt into a liquid and then vaporize.
Here are some methods being used to consume CBD and THC crystals:
Smoking THC crystal — THC crystals can be smoked in a pipe or added to a joint. Pure crystals cannot be rolled into a joint. Keep in mind that the crystals will melt and become extremely sticky. If you touch melted crystal it will stick to your skin and potentially cause a burn. Furthermore, the melted THC and vapor can catch on fire and be difficult to put out.
Vaporizing crystalline cannabinoids — A dab rig or a vape pen made for concentrates can be used to vaporize the crystals for the purpose of inhalation. Check out our article on dabbing to learn more about dab rigs.
Both smoking and vaporizing crystalline cannabinoids offer almost instantaneous effects and very high bioavailability (the amount that enters your bloodstream).
Making isolate tinctures — Cannabinoid isolates can be dissolved in an oil such as coconut or olive over low heat. The resulting cannabinoid-infused oil can be taken sublingually (dropped under the tongue) or added to food. Read our article on making your own edibles. Infused oils can also be applied to the skin as a topical remedy.
It’s extremely important to calculate the dosage per serving so as not to overdo it. Taking too much THC can cause a very unpleasant experience. And too much CBD can cause lethargy. So if the desired dosage is 20 milligrams, and a recipe makes ten servings, then 200 milligrams can be added to the recipe.