Anyone who’s shopped for diamond jewelry knows that the beauty of a virtually-perfect stone can be breathtaking.
Rubies, emeralds, and opals are gorgeous and have their devotees, of course, but most people understandably consider diamonds to be the ultimate gem.
Now, let’s talk about cannabis.
Lots of smokers are perfectly satisfied with an ounce of kind bud and their trusty piece. Others are fine with vapes or edibles. Many have discovered and embraced the “step-up” to dabbing concentrates.
But the new crown jewels of weed are THC diamonds.
Also known as THC crystals or crystalline, properly-produced diamonds are 99.96% pure cannabinoids. Not even concentrates like distillate, whose THC content can reach 90%, can compare.
There’s just one hitch: THC diamonds don’t contain THC. They contain THCA.
That won’t stop them from getting you blasted, though.
What Are THC Diamonds?
The simple explanation is that diamonds are the crystalline structures that remain after a long and complicated extraction process, which usually begins with live resin.
In essence, that process isolates a single cannabinoid from cannabis, eliminating every trace of other cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and plant material and leaving only a crystal containing the desired substance. When the process is complete, the end product looks like — you guessed it — small crystals.
The extraction is commonly used to isolate CBD (easily available as cleverly-named “CBD isolate”) and several other cannabinoids. What we’re concerned with here, however, are THC diamonds — which are actually 99%+ pure THCA, not 99%+ pure THC.
That’s not a problem for people who want to experience the mind-blowing potency of crystal. Here’s why.
THCA and THC
When you buy or grow weed, there’s virtually no THC in it.
Harvested cannabis contains the inactive forms of most cannabinoids. They’re known as precursor acids, which have to be activated to provide the bulk of their effects.
One of the cannabinoid acids in raw weed is called THCA. It’s believed to provide a number of medical and health benefits, but it’s not psychoactive. So consuming THCA won’t get you high.
But when THCA is heated, it turns into the very similar cannabinoid THC, which is psychoactive.
As you can guess, that happens automatically when you smoke, dab, or even vape weed. Enough heat is produced to immediately convert THCA into THC before you inhale the smoke containing it. That’s also why you have to decarb flower in the oven or on the stove before you can cook or bake with it; you’re activating the THC.
Even if that makes sense, why don’t producers simply make THC diamonds instead of THCA ones? It’s because THC’s molecular structure doesn’t allow it to take a crystalline form. CBD can, but THC can’t. So the only viable option is to create THCA crystals and activate them after the fact.
And that means you can fully enjoy the power of diamonds with no extra effort required.
What Do You Do With THC Diamonds?
Most people dab or smoke them. But there are several things to consider before you buy some crystal and run to get your dab rig.
What to Know Before Trying THC Diamonds
The first thing to realize is that crystal’s potency is greater than 99% (the remaining 1% is a tiny amount of other cannabis content like terpenes). That allows the crystalline form of THC to deliver an incredible high, so you have to be careful.
Second, diamonds aren’t perfect (that applies to both the ones you see at a jewelry store and the ones you see at a dispensary). THC diamonds, by definition, have had almost all of their terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids removed — and that means they’re not as potent as they could be.
Weed’s other components work together in what’s called the entourage effect to boost the effectiveness of THC. When terps, flavonoids, and cannabinoids like CBD are removed from crystal, there’s virtually no entourage effect possible.
Thankfully, there’s a way to restore that potency boost.
The terpenes and other compounds in cannabis have to go somewhere when the THCA is extracted to make diamonds. They end up in a leftover, terpene-rich “sauce” that’s often called diamond sauce. You’ll often see crystals sold together with that sauce, and the two can be used together to restore the full potency of diamonds.
That’s the best way to enjoy crystalline THC.
How to Consume THC Diamonds
We’ve already mentioned the two most popular methods.
- Dabbing: A dab rig or e-rig is an ideal way to enjoy diamonds. Since they’re potent but lacking in terpenes, though, it’s best to either coat or top them with sauce or “cap” a concentrate like a shatter or wax with the crystals.
- Smoking: Diamonds are a terrific way to power up a bowl or joint. Just crush the crystal and add it to your flower the way you’d add kief, and the increase in potency will be dramatic. If the diamonds have been sold in sauce, stick with a bowl; rolling it will be messy.
- Vaping: THC crystal will work just fine in a vaporizer that’s used for solid concentrates. You’ll need a vape that can handle liquids if you’ve bought diamonds packed in sauce.
- Edibles: Once you’ve decarbed your diamonds, they can be crushed and used to make canna oil or cannabutter (although that’s an expensive option for making edibles). Patients who only want the medical benefits of THCA don’t have to decarb their crystal first, and some just eat it. Diamonds can also be dissolved in coconut or extra-virgin olive oil to create potent tinctures.
What Effects Do THC Diamonds Provide?
The simple answer: they get you high (as long as the THC has been activated) and provide the medicinal benefits you’d expect from weed at a greater level.
Here’s the more complicated answer.
Since diamonds are virtually-pure THC without terpenes, they all taste and smell the same. They’re flavorless and odorless — and the strain they were extracted from makes no difference. All THC is the same.
When sauce is added, though, the crystal will take on the attributes of whatever strain the crystal came from. That’s when you’ll get maximum potency, flavor, and aroma — and it’s when you’ll feel like you’re really smoking something made from weed.
THC Diamonds: FAQ
Q: Can you smoke diamonds without “diluting” them in any way?
A: Of course, although adding sauce isn’t really diluting them, it’s boosting their potency. You can dab or smoke crystal on its own, but without sauce, flower, kief, or another concentrate to contribute terpenes, you may not find the experience as enjoyable. Also, as we’ve warned, be careful; diamonds are more potent than anything you’ve used before.
Q: Can you make diamonds on your own?
A: Not really. It’s illegal in some states, it’s dangerous and difficult, and to do it right, you need special equipment like a rotary evaporator that can perform closed-loop extraction. You’re best off purchasing it. There is one thing you can try: let 100% live resin sit at room temperature for a month or so. You should eventually see some small crystals forming at the bottom of the container, and those are fairly close to the crystal that the pros make.
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