If you’ve been inside a dispensary recently you’ve probably noticed a whole slew of new cannabis extracts that have you asking, “what in the heck is that?” From Terpene Sauces to CBD Isolate, there’s so many exciting extracts on shelves theses days that it’s hard to keep track of them all. One of those extracts that I’ve been noticing around town is THCa Crystalline. Now at first glance this extract looks like what can only be described as beautiful sparkling diamonds. But within these jewels contains the purest form of THC known to man.
THCa Crystalline was developed as a means of delivering large, quantifiable doses of THCa and is known as the purest isolate anywhere on the market that tests around 100%. This pure THCa converts to THC when vaped and creates a clear and highly cerebral effect. When processed, pure THCa crystallizes. It looks very similar to drugs like cocaine which is causing a lot of people question it. But the true breakthrough with this extract is beyond the recreational market. THCa, when decarboxylated, loses its acidic atom, leaving behind the pure THC. This happens when you vape or pressurize it. This purified cannabinoid is the key for all those in need of potent, medical THC.
When dealing with such a pure substance, precision is one of the most important advantages. Never before could a patient be so sure of his/her THC intake. With flower and even other hashes, it’s extremely hard to know the exact THC percentage it contains. The error margins are relatively large. With THCa crystalline, the patient can continuously assess results based on the dosage, knowing that it will always be consistent. Edible companies will now have access to an extract that will allow for more precise dosing. This is an extract that will also act extremely fast, which is a huge advantage, especially considering the time an edible can take to hit. This can be crucial for certain conditions treatable with THC. Another great advantage is that, when ingested without being decarboxylated, THCa will have no psychoactive effects, but will still present various medical applications. This is great news for patients in need of THC, but who don’t enjoy getting stoned. THCa then can be placed in a drink or meal with no alteration in mental functioning.
As to how THCa is made, it usually starts with an extract such as hash oil. This extract is then mixed with hexane and acetic acid. These two chemicals help further separate the impurities from the THC. This happens by dissolving the extract but keeping the good stuff untouched. This solution is then placed through a filter so that more impurities can be removed. The remaining liquid will be placed in a rotary evaporator. This machine will use different values of pressure, heat, and motion to further separate elements in the solution. After this process, the resulting liquid is called Δ9 tetrahydrocannabinolic acid. But this is still far from THCa. There will still be impure elements, so chromatography will help remove these. Sephadex-LH20, dichloromethane, and chloroform are added to tetrahydrocannabinolic acid. To further purify it, the chemists will place the crystals back into the rotary evaporator. These are then mixed with methanol to separate even more impurities. This solution then goes through a filter to remove these impurities and back into the rotary evaporator to remove the methanol. To end the process, this will once again be mixed with a dis-solvent to purify the mixture to the 99.997% it’s famous for. This is finally placed in the evaporator once again to remove the harmful solvent. And there you have it; this is what creates THCa crystalline.
Now THCa is not cheap and I have recently found it for between $45.00-$80.00 a gram at my local dispensary. I like to dab mine by coating a little sugar wax with it as this extract has no terpenes, so it won’t have any pungent aromas or flavors. Some people even describe it as tasting like “snowflakes”, which in turn tastes like water, which is tasteless. You get the point. But I have done straight THCa dabs and they will give you a high that I can only describe as oddly mind numbing.