The most dazzling thing at this year’s Emerald Cup? Diamonds. THC-A diamonds to be exact.
Referred to as “the world’s strongest hash” by Herb magazine (and anyone who’s gotten a little too enthusiastic with them), this crystalized extract is gaining some serious traction as the most potent dab on the market. At more than 99 percent pure THC-A, these ultra-processed little gems can range from small grains to gravel-sized pieces, and they’re definitely for experienced smokers only.
Why? At 99 to 100 percent potency diamonds are the cannabis equivalent of Everclear (actually, the grain alcohol is only about 95 percent pure alcohol). Most flowers top out at about 25 percent THC. Concentrates are usually in the 70 to 90 percent range, so imagine smoking something at almost 100 percent, and you get why it’s good to think of crystals as a mixer, rather than smoking it straight. They also have a bit of an image problem, looking similar to harder stuff like cocaine and meth, so there’s that. Keep in mind that that this is THC-A, which won’t make you high if you ingest it. THC-A only turns into the psychoactive THC if it’s vaped or combusted.
“Let’s look at brandy. So when wine gets distilled, most everything except for the ethyl alcohol gets separated (100 proof) let’s call that hash oil, much like the shatter. Now if you take that distilled wine and keep distilling it, you end up with a more refined product. The THC-A would be equal to 180 proof, and the crystalline would be equal to 200 proof alcohol,” said Chris Hanson, a contributor to Emerald Report.
Other than getting really, really high, why would you want to smoke diamonds?
“I feel this isolation gives a lot more flexibility to utilize the full potential of this plant. With the isolation of these compounds, this allows you to choose the ratio of THC, CBD, and terpenes. This is taking some of the guesswork out of medicating from batch to batch for some because of the product very consistent in strength and purity. The amount you need to consume to feel the effects is reduced as well, to mention all these products are thoroughly tested to make sure their products are pristine,” said Hanson.
Some users also like adding a bit of THC-A crystal to shatter or wax, pumping up the cerebral high and adding more flavor. Kinda like adding a shot of espresso to your chai.
What’s the best way to consume them?
Think of diamonds (or crystals) as the essence of the cannabis plant. Refined by a series of chemical reactions and molecular mumbo jumbo (the processes of making crystals are highly guarded trade secrets), all that’s left of the plant are pure isolates — clear, compact little nuggets of THC-A which convert to THC when vaped or combusted.
“One of the most interesting things about THC-A is that it doesn’t have psychoactive effects without decarboxylation or heating . This means you will not get a psychoactive high from eating it in its raw form,” said Hanson.
The tradeoff, like grain alcohol, is the lack of flavor or terpenes. Lacking odor or color, these crystals are best consumed like a nice cocktail — mixed into a tasty sauce for maximum flavor and effect. Unlike Everclear, a single smoke sesh of diamonds can cost you upwards of $100. But again, a little goes a long way, and we prefer tastier dabs like Beezle’s Black Label Pineapple Jesus live resin sauce ($120/gram) that brings together the best of both worlds, terps and THC-A, for best effect.
There are companies also isolating pure CBD, concentrating cannabinoid without any psychoactive effects.
Want to find out more about diamonds and crystals? Here are some other great producers that are including THC-A or CB D diamonds in their products. Don’t expect them to be cheap since the process is highly proprietary and requires a lot of special equipment…
– Guild Extracts: One of the original producers, their THC-A isolates have long been a go-to for insiders.
– First Class Concentrates
Have other favorites? Let us know.
(Featured photo credit: Macro image of THC Crystalline. Photo courtesy of Allie Beckett from wakingtimesmedia)
*HHCA and other cannabis concentrates are being tested, and may turn out to be even stronger, but are not yet commercially available.