Welcome to the future of cannabis in a pure, potent, and crystallized format. Over the last decade or so, cannabis producers have pushed concentrates far beyond potencies we ever thought possible. From sticky shatters to beautiful butter to the jaw drawing Dragon Ball Z creations. The sky’s the limit when it comes to concentrates. Pure THC crystals are one of the newest and most exciting trends in extraction technology. With potencies pushing 99.9 percent – it’s not hard to see why.
THC crystals, more accurately known as THCA crystalline, isn’t a product for everyone. You’ve got to be able to handle a powerful experience. If a puff off a joint pushes you over the edge of comfort, you may be best to sit this one out.
But, if getting baked out of your tree is exactly what you are into, then let’s dig into the details about what pure THC crystals are, how they are made, and what the high is like. Hold on tight folks; it’s about to get potent.
What Are THC Crystals?
Before a grower harvests and cures their cannabis crop, the plants contain a slightly different set of cannabinoids than what you might expect. Consumers like us are used to THC and CBD, but fresh weed contains the acid-ended cannabinoids. These are the precursors to CBD and THC. Instead of THC, fresh bud has tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), and instead of CBD, it has cannabidiolic acid (CBDA). Both of these cannabinoids also have many beneficial medical benefits, but the properties are less understood than THC and CBD.
Through an advanced extraction process, producers today can pull out the THCA, which then crystallizes. Hence the name crystalline, or THC crystal. But we can already hear you muttering in confusion. “You just said THCA is different than THC, but you are talking about THC crystals?” It is confusing, but hear me out.
Technically the product you find at your favorite dispensary is THCA crystalline. It’s a clear to white, crystallized rock or powder. It tends to look like a few more illicit drugs (cocaine, crack) and therefore gets a bad wrap. But, trust me, this is the purest cannabinoid product you can get.
The THCA crystalline remains in its unstable THCA form until the user subjects it to high heat. Incineration, induction, or convention of THCA transforms the molecule and removes the “A.” It’s the same process that occurs to a fresh nug in a pipe, called decarboxylation. When the flower meets flame, the THCA turns to THC. This transformation is why some companies brand their products as THC Crystal. When you smoke it, you are actually consumer THC, not THCA.
Interestingly, before you light up and heat the pure THCA crystals, they are nonpsychoactive. Although there are over a hundred known cannabinoids to date, only THC triggers a psychoactive experience.
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What Are The Medical Uses Of THC Crystals?
Because of the sometimes extreme potency – THC crystals are medically useful in many ways. It’s like a supercharged hit of THC. Some companies have achieved as high as 99.9 percent THCA, although most on the market hovers somewhere around 80 percent potency. The extraction process removes most, if not all, of the other cannabinoids and terpenes. The product is typically flavorless and has no aroma.
When you smoke THCA crystalline, the high comes almost immediately. Unlike edibles, you won’t have to wait around for hours to feel the effects. This immediacy is perfect for treating acute issues, like sudden pain, inflammation, and headache. Pure THC is an excellent tool for use with difficult to treat pain, chronic illness, and some mood disorders.
What is perhaps more exciting than the smoked, dabbed, or vaped version of THC crystal is the benefits of oral ingestion. Because THCA crystalline is a crystal, it dissolves easily in food. You can take it in a tincture or capsule form. There are so far, very few studies specifically on the benefits of THCA. However, preliminary research suggests the following possibilities:
With more research, there may well be massive potential for THCA as a therapeutic agent. Considering it’s hard to find (and use) in other types of products, the pure concentration found in THC crystals may make it a desirable medicinal compound.
How Is Crystalline THC Extracted?
According to most cannabis experts, the detailed process of producing a pure THC crystalline concentrate is a well-guarded secret. Few companies are making it, and they don’t want to let their trade secrets out. But with that caveat said, we do know a few things about how it’s made, even if we don’t know the more delicate details.
The first step is the initial extractions. This is done using what we can assume are standard extraction procedures that protect the sensitive THCA molecule. Most producers will use low heat technology, perhaps CO2, to do so.
Once the first extract is obtained, it still contains any number of other compounds like fats, cannabinoids, terpenes, and the like. These are removed through a series of different washes, using specific solutions depending on the compound. For example, the process may include an acetate wash and a hexane wash.
A second stage called “preparative chromatography” is then performed. Which essentially passes the clarified extract through various mediums and filters to remove further compounds. The details are fuzzy here, but the preparative chromatography process flushes the extract at variable speeds, through variable mediums until the desired concentration is achieved.
After so much processing, the solution still contains a few lingering contaminants. This final stage of processing is needed to ‘clean’ the solution. This takes out any chemicals not fit for human consumption. Once complete, you’ve got almost 100 percent pure THC crystal on your hands.
How Does The High Feel?
Pure THC crystal, when smoked, dabbed, vaped or otherwise heated, can make for an intense experience. If you aren’t well versed in potent strains or dabbing, you might want to take it easy.
Take your time dosing THC crystal. Less is more until you know how much you can handle. The high is going to be an experience. It’s going to hit fast, and hard. Its an extremely powerful high, one like you’ve never had.
The standard descriptions people use when talking about a pure THC crystal high is it being bright, fresh, and energetic. There are no disruptions from other cannabinoids, like CBD or CBG. No influences from the effects of terpenes. No flavor or aroma. Pure bliss and a truly spectacular experience. Provided you don’t overdo it.
Of course, if you don’t smoke it, but instead ingest it orally with no heat, there will be no high at all. Remember THCA compared to THC is a much different experience. THCA as a nonpsychoactive substance, won’t have any effects unless of course, you count the potential medicinal benefits.
Have you Tried Pure THC Crystals?
If you are a cannabis enthusiast but haven’t tried pure THC crystals yet, it’s worth a special trip to your dispensary. Considering the advanced technology requirements needed to produce it, it does come with a higher price point. But, arguably well worth the investment. Keep a look for lab-tested brands to avoid any lingering contamination. In most places today, though, the rigorous testing requirements will weed out any problem products. Let us know in the comments below about your experience with THCA Crystalline; good, bad, or maybe even magical?