If you’ve been to a dispensary any time recently, there’s a good chance that you found a variety of concentrates on the shelves. Live resin, rosin, shatter and wax are the standards, but if you’ve been to a place with the top-shelf stuff, you may have come across a gram of diamonds. So exactly what are THC diamonds? How are they made? Are diamonds safe to smoke? How do you smoke them?
Here’s everything you need to know about the most potent concentrated form of cannabis on the market: THC diamonds.
What are THC diamonds?
At the most fundamental level, THC diamonds are crystals made when live resin is extracted from the cannabis plant using a cold-extraction method. From there, pressure is added to the oil through a chromatography machine until diamond-like crystalline structures made of pure THCa form. THCa is an inactive cannabinoid. It’s essentially a non-psychoactive form of THC that becomes psychoactive when it’s heated up in a joint, dab rig or vaporizer.
The diamonds test at around 99-100% THCa and vary in size from tiny pieces of granulated sugar to a few millimeters wide. The other 1% of the diamond consists of terpenes and other cannabinoids, making it the purest form of THC on the market.
However, THC diamonds is kind of an umbrella term. Diamonds can form in a variety of different ways and have varying levels of potency. The biggest difference between the diamonds that form is the way they’re extracted and how they’re processed after the fact. Some diamonds are presented as small pieces of crystals in a saucy, high-terpene extract, while others are packaged as isolated THC-a with no added terpenes. Either way, diamonds are always the crystalline structures made of pure THCa. They may be sold as pure THC, but they’re really inactive THCa. They only convert into THC when subjected to heat.
How potent are THC diamonds?
THC diamonds are the most potent form of cannabis available. They usually test at just under 100% THC. With this kind of potency, they’re great for a very heady session or a handful of treatment-resistant medical conditions are relieved only by large doses of THC. Cannabis diamonds are so potent that one dab can promote the effects of THC in your system for hours at a time, longer than you’d experience from cannabis flower or from other less concentrated forms of cannabis like shatter or wax.
How are THC diamonds made?
To make diamonds, cannabis extraction experts in the cannabis industry (don’t try this at home) go through a long cold extraction process where they extract live resin from cannabis using a chromatography machine. They start with freshly harvested cannabis that has been flash-frozen to preserve the integrity of the trichomes, THC and terpenes. From there, they either use a closed-loop system or use the crystalline method to produce the diamonds.
Closed-loop extraction method
The closed-loop extraction process involves using a liquid solvent to separate the THC from the plant material. They use a closed-loop system to create the diamonds by leaving behind a small percentage of the solvent to create a solution that is supersaturated with THCa. From there, they slowly purge the solvent over the span of a couple of days, allowing crystals (AKA diamonds) to form. This process can take anywhere from 2 days to several weeks, and the final product is essentially pure THCa crystals.
The other method is the crystalline method, which takes THC isolate and mixes it with a solvent to create a supersaturated solution. Just like diamonds are made from coal with heat and pressure, THC diamonds can also be made by applying heat and pressure to the solution. In the right environment, crystals will form as the solvent slowly evaporates out. It’s just like making rock candy.
Typically, extractors will re-introduce the strain’s terpenes or terpene sauce back into the final product for a more effective product that feels more potent thanks to the entourage effect between cannabinoids and terpenes.
How do you smoke THC diamonds?
Since cannabis diamonds actually consist of THCa, they’re stable until they’re heated up. Unless you decarboxylate your diamonds they won’t get you high, so that means they won’t work if you just ingest them. To get the THC from the THCa, you first need to apply heat.
With that in mind, people typically consume THC diamonds by dabbing them. To dab THC diamonds, you’ll scoop a diamond and some terp sauce on a small dab tool and drop it into a pre-heated quartz nail. You can heat the quartz nail with an enail to get a perfect temperature, or you can use a torch. Once the nail is hot, you simply drop the diamond into the banger, cap it with a carb cap, and inhale.
Just keep in mind that pure THCa diamonds are up to 4 times stronger than an average puff from a joint. They are the most potent form of concentrated cannabis on the market and test in just shy of 100% pure THC when smoked. For comparison, flower only tests at around 25% THC. Shatter and wax are around 70-90%, making THC diamonds concentrates the most powerful on the market. Novice smokers, beware!
Are THC diamonds safe?
For the most part, THC diamonds dabs are safe. However, we say for the most part since smoking anything can have an adverse effect on your lungs. Doctors suggest that nothing other than good old oxygen should go into your lungs. Cannabis and cannabis concentrates can cause you to inhale residual resin that may hang around in your lungs. However, the same goes for tobacco and anything else you might smoke or breathe in.
If you’re asking about THC diamonds being safe in relation to their effects, the answer is still for the most part yes. Even if you smoke a little too much and feel paranoid, the effect wears off in a few minutes and you’re good to go. Remember, the dab dosage is everything! On the other hand, if you’re sensitive to THC or have an allergy to the terpenes found in cannabis, THC diamonds should be avoided.