Why do people love diamonds?
There is no wrong or right answer. Some people like them because they exemplify status, others think there is a sort of magical or mystical quality to them.
The truth is, they look cool. They’re shiny and bright -- and they have a way of catching the eye.
The diamonds I am referring to are carbon or “earth” diamonds, which are the ones you might receive from your loved ones.
Generally speaking, you might think that diamonds have nothing to do with cannabis, but you’d be wrong.
For those who aren’t already experts in diamond mining or cannabis extracts, there is a cannabis extraction process that can formulate elaborate (THC-A) diamond structures with almost 100% pure levels of THC.
In other words, a dabber’s dream diamond.
What Are THC-A Diamonds?
To cut to the chase, THCA diamonds are small crystalized concentrates that form under specific conditions and can grow up to a few millimeters wide.
What is THCA?
THC-A, or tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, is different from THC in that it is a non-intoxicating and inactivated cannabinoid. This means that on it’s own it won’t give you psychoactive or euphoric sensations you normally find in THC-based products.
THC-A is a natural compound found in cannabis that only becomes THC when exposed to heat. THC-A will crystallize under the right conditions; THC will not.
THC-A is found in living or freshly harvested cannabis plants, and can also be found in hash oil and live resin.
99% Pure THC Levels
Like any diamond, the name of the game is purity. With THC-A diamonds, the more pure, the more potent. In fact, isolated THCA and CBD are currently the purest form of concentrate available with the ability to reach up to 99.9% purity.
The Most top shelf flower is around 31% - 34% potency (on average). Dabbing a diamond at 99.9% THC is 3x stronger than top shelf flower. Careful, it just might take you in a different dimension.
Also, 99.9% THC also means that there isn’t much of anything else. That includes additional cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, fats or lipids. You’re talking raw THC -- no color, no flavor and pretty much no aroma.
I’d say let’s get those diamonds a terpene bath.
The THCA Diamond Mining Process
As with other extracts, there are a variety of diamond mining processes. Some experts keep their unique crystalline-creating process guarded while others have shared their methods.
The basic chemistry process is called crystallization. The idea is to remove impurities within the plant matter by using heat. Ultimately, you want to encourage nucleation, or the separation, of cannabinoids from terpenes. This is done through a series of washes and molecular isolation techniques.
There are several other names for this process, but the two primary ones are “Diamond Mining” and “Jar Tech”.
For reference, making THCA diamonds is not necessarily safe unless you have the right environment (regulated lab), extensive safety measures and the proper equipment. The saying goes. “The biggest danger in extracts is making them.”
The process goes something like this:
Step 1: Hash Oil
Make hash oil using a live cold-extraction method.
Step 2: Winterization
The process of removing plant lipids from a primary hydrocarbon extract via a secondary solvent, freezing, and filtration.
Step 3: Remove Methanol
Soak the winterized hash oil in a methanol liquid before using a rotary evaporator (or rotovap) to remove the methanol.
Step 4: Wash with Pentane
Wash oil in a pentane solution to remove any remaining plant matter residue.
Run the rotovap again.
Step 5: Pressurize Oil into Crystalline Form
Here’s where the chromatography machine comes into play. It essentially puts pressure on the oil that compounds it into crystalline form.
Step 6: Wait it Out
Allow the diamonds to dry for three to 12 days.
Just to iterate this again, this process is usually best left to professionals.