How THC Crystals Are Made: The Complete Stoner’s Guide

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THC crystals

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THC percentage (the concentration in any given product) has long been the stuff of legend, and new methods of production have seen those numbers rapidly approaching the holy grail of the cannabis world: 100%.

Though we’re not quite there yet, THC crystals may be just the thing to push cannabis products into triple-digit territory.

In this article, we’ll discuss this unique form of marijuana and give you a behind-the-scenes peek at how it’s made.

Before that, though, let’s start at the beginning so we’re all on the same page.

What Is THC?

Tetrahydrocannabinol structural formula

The first thing you need to know about THC is that it’s a cannabinoid.

At their most basic, cannabinoids are chemical compounds just like water, sugar, and salt. Cannabinoids, though, do something that those common compounds can’t: interact with the cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) in your brain.

That’s what makes cannabinoids so famous (or infamous, depending on your point of view) — they are able to produce some pretty cool effects on your body and brain.

Common cannabinoids include:

That brings us, then, to the most famous cannabinoid of them all: THC.

THC — whose full scientific name is delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol — is the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. It’s the main reason why smoking a doobie gets you so high.

But THC does more than just take you on a nice trip. It also helps reduce nausea, suppress muscle spasms, relieve pain, and stimulate appetite.

That said, the medical effects of THC probably aren’t the reason you’re investigating THC crystals. You’re likely looking for a stronger psychoactive response.

That’s where crystals come in.

What Are Crystals?

THC crystals

Crystals are concentrated extracts much like isolate that contain as much pure cannabinoid as possible and very little else.

In fact, some crystals can contain up to 99.97% of a specific cannabinoid under the right circumstances. That’s a lot!

Needless to say, that would be quite an experience and you certainly wouldn’t need very much to experience the results you’re looking for.

So, while crystals can theoretically contain any of the many cannabis cannabinoids, most consumers will be on the hunt for one of the two main ones: CBD and THC.

That brings us to the main topic of this article: THC crystals.

What Are THC Crystals?

THC crystals

From reading the two previous sections, you can probably already guess what THC crystals are: they’re crystals (a.k.a. concentrates or extracts) that contain extremely high amounts (almost 100%) of the cannabinoid THC.

Actually, THC crystals contain THCA (the parent molecule of THC) that occurs naturally in raw or dried and cured cannabis, so you might see them referred to as THCA crystals. Rest easy that they’re the same thing. Once you apply heat to crystals, the THCA will transform into THC just like it does when you light a blunt.

So, if a joint rolled with a strong strain of marijuana that tops out at 20% THC can get your righteously high, just imagine what 100% THC can do!

That’s why THC crystals are so much in demand. Everyone wants to experience a pure THC high for themselves at least once.

We’ll talk about what that high feels like later on in this article. First, though, let’s turn our attention to the other main topic of this article: how THC crystals are made.

How Are THC Crystals Made?

beakers to make THC crystals

Before we get into the meat of this section, we’re going to advise you NOT to try to make your own THC crystals.

As you’ll see, it takes some pretty heavy-duty chemicals and fancy (read: expensive) lab equipment, so it’s better left to those with the knowledge and experience not to blow themselves up, suffocate themselves, or otherwise seriously harm their body.

We’ll describe the process in general, but if you really want to make your own THC crystals, go back to school, earn a chemistry degree, and get hired by a lab where you can do everything safely and without risk of death.

As with all cannabis products, making THC crystals starts with growing a high-THC strain of cannabis like Sour Diesel, Blue Dream, or
Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies.

When the cannabis plant reaches maturity, it’s harvested and subjected to some form of extraction. Extraction separates the cannabinoids, terpenes, trichomes, flavonoids, and other chemical goodies from the plant matter.

Common extraction methods include:

At the end of the extraction process, you’re left with a cannabis concentrate. Depending on the form in which you choose to keep the cannabis concentrate (e.g., solid, semi-solid, liquid), you can then make things like shatter, wax, oil, and tincture.

To continue on toward THC crystals, the cannabis concentrate is then subjected to winterization which refines it even further. Winterization is just a fancy science term for cooling down a chemical substance in order to remove impurities.

So, in the case of THC crystals, winterization removes excess waxes so you’re left with a purer substance.

Winterization, though, also removes the terpenes, trichomes, and flavonoids from the mix, so there’s a bit of tradeoff involved.

Actually, there’s a big debate raging around whole-plant cannabis vs. isolates (like THC crystals) because the chemicals that are removed to produce the final product can have beneficial effects when taken together.

(For more about the entourage effect, its importance, and how it applies to perishability, check our article Marijuana Perishability: The Importance Of Marijuana Preservation.)

As simple as all that sounds so far, it’s really not. While there are certain extraction methods that you can do at home, some come with the risk of explosion or chemical asphyxiation.

Even winterization is a bit more complicated than just storing your cannabis concentrate in the freezer for a few days. That’s why we recommend leaving it to the professionals and purchasing crystals at your local dispensary.

Plus, we’re not done with the refining process yet!

The next step involves mixing the winterized extract with chemicals such as acetic acid, hexane, dichloromethane, chloroform, and something called Sephadex-LH20 (you can’t get those at your corner market).

The mixture is run through lab equipment (a rotary vessel or reactionary vessel) that uses pressure, motion, and heat to refine the concentrate even further.

To conclude the procedure, then, the solution is run through a process called chromatography which really only makes sense to chemists.

At the end, you’re left with a crystalline solid in which all of the THCA molecules are bonded together waiting for you to apply heat to unleash their full potential.

Will THC Crystals Get You High?

colorful psychedelic image of a woman

The simple answer to the question, “Will THC crystals get you high?” is yes. But that answer comes with a caveat.

Yes, THC crystals will get you high, but only if you use them correctly.

Because the crystals contain THCA, they have to be decarboxylated before they’ll get you high. (Before you throw up your hands and flee the discussion because of all the fancy, technical terms, decarboxylation is just applying heat.)

You decarboxylate that zip of weed when you light up a joint or a bong, so it’s really nothing new.

So, basically, you’re going to need to find a way to smoke your THC crystals if you want to experience the extreme high within.

If you ingest them, you won’t feel anything (except maybe an upset stomach) because the heat in your stomach isn’t high enough to decarboxylate the THCA.

That said, when you do take it correctly (through decarboxylation), the high from THC crystal feels bright, fresh, and energetic because you don’t get the interference from CBD or the effects of the terpenes. All you get is the THC.

Just be careful not to overdo it!

High-Quality Cannabis = High-Quality THC Crystals

Honest Marijuana Alien Yoda OG

THC crystals are a truly righteous product. But even this powerful form of cannabis is nothing without the most basic ingredient of all: high-quality bud.

Strain doesn’t play all that much of a role in the final experience because you’re just pulling all the THC out. The quality of the strain, however, does contribute to what you’ll end up feeling.

That’s why we recommend THC crystals (and products of any kind, for that matter) made from the highest quality raw bud (headies or beasters) available. The end result will be much cleaner and the experience much purer.

It all comes down to this simple principle: Quality in equals quality out.

Plus, with a good quality, organic strain — like those grown at Honest Marijuana — you’ll need less of the final product to experience the same effects. A little will go a long way.

You may have to pay a bit more for products made with high-quality bud, but you’ll be much happier with how you feel when you use them.

Talk to the budtenders at your local dispensary and find out what products they recommend.

If you live in Colorado, find some products made with strains from Honest Marijuana and discover what the purest marijuana experience on the planet feels like. You won’t be sorry.

For more information on all things cannabis and to check out our 100-percent all-natural marijuana products, visit today.

The post How THC Crystals Are Made: The Complete Stoner’s Guide appeared first on Honest Marijuana.

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