“THC-A diamonds are forever”–now that’s as close to a wedding vow between two cannabis enthusiasts as we’ll ever get.
And it’s not without good cause because as the cannabis industry evolves, concentrates are proving to be a dime a dozen–we counted at least 15 slightly different extracts as of today. The problem then becomes trying to be informed–what concentrate is best for treating pain? For sleep? For potency and flavor? Don’t even add to the equation of using solvents and different consumption methods.
Clearly, for us cannabis conformers, we have a problem.
However, when it comes to psychoactive potency, consider your problem solved with THC diamonds, or what’s also known as THC-a crystalline, as the concentrate is the most refined form of THC you’ll be able to get your hands on, thus the most potent. In this guide, we’ll break down what these diamonds are, how they’re different from other concentrates, along with how they’re made and their best use cases.
What Are THC Diamonds?
THCA diamonds are not exactly THC, well, not until it’s combusted or vaporized. In actuality, they consist of the cannabinoid THC-A, the precursor to the well-known psychoactive THC cannabinoid. Because of this, THC diamonds also go by the moniker of THC-A crystalline or THC-A diamonds.
In addition, you may have seen THCA diamonds being soaked in “terp sauce” extracts, which is one ideal way of using the concentrate, or you may have seen it as a standalone extract, consisting of bits of gravel and tiny grain crystals.
THCA diamonds as a standalone concentrate holds between 99%-100% THC-A, thus being the purest form of THC-A available, and when combusted or vaped, becomes the most refined form of THC available. To put this into context, smoking THC diamonds on its own is akin to drinking 200 proof alcohol–not recommended one bit.
This then begs the question, what are the best ways to use THC Diamonds?
How To Use THC-A Diamonds
At the onset, figuring out how to use literal crystals and the process behind their consumption can be daunting. When it comes to receiving the psychoactive properties of THC, these small, crystal gem-like extracts are ideal as a mixture with other concentrates, especially “terp sauce”, given its vastly superior THC content and it’s zero flavor profile. If this is your purpose, the best use cases are dabbing and vaporizing with other concentrates, which puts the extract in at least 350-degree Fahrenheit temperatures to convert into THC.
However, given that these diamonds are essentially made of THC-A, this remarkable cannabinoid is increasingly being revealed to have major health use cases as is. The verdict is still up in the air, but it’s showing major promise in treating cancer symptoms, brain health, inflammation, and more. But the trade-off of using THCA diamonds this way is zero psychoactive effect, which may be exactly when you’re looking for. If this is so, sprinkle the diamonds as topical ingredients for foods, or crush them further and put them into gel caps for later use.
How Is It Made?
These diamonds are as pure as it gets for the cannabinoid THC and THCA, and as such fall into the category of being a solvent-based cannabis concentrate–which means chemicals like butane and propane are used to initially separate the cannabinoid from its plant birthplace.
There are generally two ways of using such chemicals to begin making THCA diamonds, which is through either closed-loop or open-loop systems. Closed-loop is ideal and prevents major safety concerns when working with highly flammable chemicals like butane and propane, however, they’re not as accessible for DIY’ers.
An alternative to making diamonds that is more home-friendly, however, is through the process of “diamond mining”, which refers to making live resin first, and thus THC diamonds along with terp sauce as outputs. The process of diamond mining starts with using butane to refine cannabinoid and terpenes from flash-frozen cannabis, which creates live resin.
Then, a “purging” step follows that helps rid the dirty solvents from the extract–this is done through light heat. Afterward, the heated resin is placed into jars so THC diamonds and terp sauce can form–this process takes roughly 2-3 weeks. Lastly, the final “purging” step occurs that requires both the crystals and terp sauce extracts to be heated lightly for at least 60-72 hours.
The result? Highly refined THC diamonds on one end and terp sauce on the other.
THC-A Diamonds VS Other Concentrates
At least 15 different concentrates are available for consumption today. The good thing, however, is many of them only differ slightly due to cannabinoid and terpene content, while only differing greatly due to texture and form. That means that relatively speaking, they all offer the same amount of potency and effect, with a few outliers in between.
To make the information hierarchy a lot more simple, cannabis concentrates are best separated into the category of being either solvent or non-solvent-based.
THC diamonds, along with the BHO family of concentrates (shatter, crumble, wax, budder, live resin) fall into the solvent-based category, meaning they use butane, propane, Co2 or alcohol in extraction processes. But how these diamonds differ from the rest is through its superior psychoactive profile (99%-100% THC), when vaped or dabbed, and almost zero terpene profile. Given that these concentrates originally have no flavour, they are usually mixed alongside our highly flavorful concentrates like terp sauce or live resin.
In addition, diamonds can have beneficial health effects when ingested as is, given that it’s essentially THC-A. This can be done by crushing your diamonds into powder and consuming them through gel capsules or as food ingredients–all without any psychoactive effect.
Are THC-A Diamonds Right For You?
If you have the idea of vaping or dabbing THC diamonds as a standalone concentrate, we advise you to think again, that is unless you enjoy “greening out.” The concentrate on its own isn’t meant for amateurs or even sustained use from experienced users, but with this said, it’s a great concentrate to use alongside other THC absent, but terpene-filled concentrates. When used with others, THC diamonds are also effective in giving you more control over your THC to CBD to terpene ratios, which is crucial for medical use, given its purity profile.