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How are THC diamonds made and why are they so strong?

The "Diamond", or concentrate of THCA, is the latest in power, Credit: Jared Priset

THCA Diamond Extraction

If you haven't heard of the THCA diamond, don't feel left out. For now, this relatively new cannabis concentrate seems to be as rare as its gemological counterpart.

The diamond started to appear on the medical market in Arizona around mid-2017. Only three laboratories produce the “super concentrate”: Tru | med, Item 9 and MPX laboratories.

THCA is THC acid. It is a precursor to THC sometimes used in topicals and other concentrated forms and does not produce the same psychoactive effects as THC. These extra acid atoms mean that THCA does not have the psychoactive properties that consumers expect when taking THC, unless it is heat activated. This process is known as decarboxylation. Cannabis does not start producing THC until its THCA is exposed to heat, like sunlight or the flame of a lighter.

The idea behind pure THCA concentrate is that it gives patients the ability to inhale almost pure THC. Most concentrates, such as vape oil dabber or spray, oscillate between 70 and 90% THC.

Many patients can consume diamond on their own; many choose to add it to blunts or in a bowl. Drip Oil Laboratory Director Jared Priset said it was a main ingredient in "moonrock". Patients can customize the molecules they consume with more precision.

The diamond made its first appearance at the 2015 High Times Cup in California. It took Jared Priset a few months of trial and error to compose the process that would produce enough pure crystals.

Pleasant to look at, diamonds provide pure THC and work without any other disruptive substances. Of course, these are not diamonds that we can wear as jewelry but their price is the equivalent, around 170 euros per gram. It seems worth it: The new THCA diamond is refined from the extracted cannabis oil. Crystals only develop their effect when heated properly.

Black Diamond THCA by Tru | med won second place at the Errl Cup.

Step-by-step guide to the recrystallization process according to Ed Rosenthal

It is above all basic organic chemistry, in this case a process called “recrystallization”. There are several other names, the two main ones being “Diamond mining”And“ Jar Tech ”, which refer respectively to the final product and a technique to achieve it.

Diamond mining aims to encourage the separation of cannabinoids from terpenes. The end product can be incredibly flavorful and potent, and many hobbyists who prefer Live Resin also prefer crystallization of the “terpene sauce”. Chips made from live resin have a higher terpene concentration than hardened resin, which tends to be more sensitive to nucleation, creating terp sugar or bud after conditioning. This has already been viewed as a handicap, as it compromises the stability that consumers are looking for in a good broken product. Now that many cannabis users prefer the consistency of sugar, extractors pre-crystallize their BHO.

A single crystallized THC-A diamond from a batch of Albert Walker live resin, Marquise series of diamonds by first class concentrates

A word on recrystallization

The commercially available recrystallization extractions methods are made from hydrocarbons. However, it is technically possible to recrystallize any cannabis concentrate that has not been decarboxylated; as long as cannabinoid acids are present, they can be used to create crystal structures. However, all well-established recrystallization methods require the use of some solvent. There are a variety of methods for producing crystalline cannabis concentrate, including fractional distillation, but one of the simplest and longest takes little more than time and terpenes.

Diamond mining

Diamond mining can be done with hardened resin, but the live resin lends itself more easily to the process. As with any extraction, the starting material is the key to everything that follows, and there are no shortcuts or workarounds at this step, get the most potent and 'loud' cannabis ever. . Each strain has special qualities when it comes to resin stability, the potential for crystallization and extraction is largely scientific, but this is one of the areas where it becomes an art form. Selecting the strain that best suits the desired end product is a matter of trial and error.

The process starts in the same way as for all products BHO, with the extraction of butane. Once you have extracted the unpurged live resin, it is time to do a light purge with no vacuum at about 90 ° F | 30 °C not more than 100 ° F | 37 °C. This operation removes most, but not all, of the residual solvent. The resin is then placed in containers where it is left out for two to three weeks. During this time, cannabinoid crystals start to form at the bottom of the container as the solids separate from the terpenes, forming a semi-viscous liquid layer on top. When you're happy with the stack of crystals, it's time to do the final purge.

If possible, separate the liquid layer from the crystals and purge them separately. The terpene layer will be more or less liquid, which will make it fairly easy to wash off. This allows for a bit longer purge on the crystals, around 72 hours, compared to around 60 for the terpene sauce. If for some reason your layers are difficult to separate, the entire batch can be purged together, but it still needs to be purged for less time than a shard; the shard is usually purged for at least 100 hours, but in the case of diamond mining, the resin has already been partially purged and has also gassed in the vessel for weeks.

Once the purge is complete, the liquid and solid products are recombined and packaged, preferably in a UV-resistant container to slow the loss of terpenes. The natural separation of cannabinoids and terpenes used in this process is pronounced but not complete. This means that the semi-fluid part rich in terpenes will always contain between 30 and 50% cannabinoids.

The important thing is that this oil is then pressurized using a chromatography machine until it takes its characteristic crystalline form.

East Coast Sour Diesel ”from Emerald City
Courtesy Steinfarm Photos

Does diamond deserve this name?

In fact, the resulting diamond looks very typical. Rarely larger than a few millimeters in diameter, these diamonds are 99% THCA, while the remaining 1% is other terpenes and cannabinoids. Diamonds therefore represent the purest form of the plant's cannabinoid currently available.

Tags : ExtractionresinterpeneTHCtrichome
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Media broadcaster and communications manager specializing in legal cannabis. Do you know what they say? knowledge is power. Understand the science behind cannabis medicine, while staying up to date with the latest health related research, treatments and products. Stay up to date with the latest news and ideas on legalization, laws, political movements. Discover tips, tricks and how-to guides from the most seasoned growers on the planet as well as the latest research and findings from the scientific community on the medical qualities of cannabis.