How to Make CBD Crystals
Posted on July 20th, 2020
There’s a not-so-new trend on the rise in this country, one that has gained traction over the past couple of years… Any guesses? If you’re here, you probably already know the answer: we’re introducing cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis plants.
This compound’s rapidly rising popularity has allowed for countless new CBD products to hit the market. Now, CBD isn’t the only cannabinoid; there are 100s of them, including THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid responsible for marijuana-driven highs.
If you buy a full-spectrum CBD product, it will still contain trace amounts of THC. While these minuscule amounts of THC won’t trigger psychoactive experiences, they may still create problems if you’re drug tested. So, if you’re worried about the purity of CBD products, you should consider CBD crystals.
And, to help you better understand your options, today we’ll explore the most pressing questions surrounding CBD crystals, so you can shop for CBD products confidently.
What Are CBD Crystals?
CBD crystals are one form of CBD isolate available to users. CBD isolate is the purest form of cannabidiol, composed of at least 98% CBD. Through a unique extraction and purification process, manufacturers remove all other plant extracts from hemp-sourced CBD oil. What remains? An incredibly pure, white powder that is tasteless and odorless. Basically, these crystals are pure cannabidiol without other cannabinoids or other compounds. This means that the CBD crystals don’t have any traces of terpenes, flavonoids, THC, or the other compounds that are usually present in your typical full-spectrum CBD products.
Manufacturers moved to produce CBD crystals in order to offer people a strict control over how they use CBD and the amount of CBD and other cannabinoids they consume.
How Are CBD Crystals Made?
Like other CBD products, the first step in making CBD crystals involves extracting CBD oil from industrial hemp plants. The initial extraction process can be achieved using supercritical carbon dioxide or organic solvents. After CBD oil has been obtained from hemp, the extract is still full of other compounds, including other cannabinoids. So, when making CBD isolate, the next step is a purifying process that eliminates the extra compounds still present in the CBD extract.
The purification process filters all other residual plant materials. Then, after extraction and filtration, the CBD extract goes through another process referred to as “winterization”. The winterization process removes any traces of additional products left behind after filtration. And what remains is a fine white powder that is 99% pure CBD.
Technically, CBD crystals are classified as pure CBD isolate. Cannabidiol crystals are available in the solid, diamond-like form. But, how do they get from a white powder to a crystal form? Just keep reading to find out.
Making CBD Crystals
In order to make CBD crystals, you will need special equipment. This is not something you can make at home unless you have chromatography equipment at your disposal.
To crystallize CBD, you need to start with distilled and winterized cannabis. Before starting the process of crystallization, CBD oil must be winterized. That’s because, in its natural state, the whole outer layer of the cannabis plant is covered in cuticle wax (composed of fats, waxes, and lipids). As we noted, winterizing is an extraction process: it eliminates undesirable elements such as fats, lipids, and waxes from the hemp extract with the help of an alcohol wash that’s heated to about 120 degrees. It is then immediately allowed to freeze for over 24 hrs. The product of winterization is a CBD distillate. This distillate should not be cloudy. If the distillate is cloudy, then it means impurities are present. To make the distillate clearer, winterize the distillate again until it is clear. This is important if you want to yield the purest product.
Crystallization Process Using a Chromatography Machine
After winterization comes the crystallization process, which requires a chromatography machine. Chromatography is a method of purifying and isolating cannabinoids. There are different levels to this machine, depending on the batch sizes you are interested in. The chromatography machine consists of a column with a filter inside it, an air compressor to apply pressure, and a collection chamber with some evaporable solution inside. Forming CBD crystals is not a complicated process, but it does require some basic chemistry.
First, you will need a filter for your chromatography machine. You can use sand as a filter, but it must be very fine to yield the best results. After setting up, you pour unpurified extract into the column. The sand will act as a filtration machine, and a pump or pressurized hose will help push the CBD molecules through the sand for further purification.
As the molecules pass through the filter(sand), the smaller particles reach the bottom first. Due to the difference in the molecular sizes of the elements in the extract, CBD will be extracted first; any remaining THC filters through at the very end of the extraction process. This can be done without any pressure, but it will take some time.
At the bottom of the column, the purified extract is collected and stored together with the evaporable solution. For maximum purity, this process can be repeated several times. However, with every repetition, the quantity of the end product is reduced. In order to obtain the finished crystal product, you have to heat your solution so evaporation can occur, leaving behind purified CBD crystals.
How Are CBD Crystals Used?
CBD crystals are pretty versatile and can be used in many different ways. Because they are tasteless and odorless, your options for using them abound. Here are some popular ways to use them:
If cooking with CBD, crystals are great additions to recipes, since they don’t add flavor or taste. However, it’s essential to note that high temperatures will make CBD lose its potency. For this reason, if you want to cook with CBD crystals, dissolve the crystals in cooking oils or butter, and maintain the cooking/baking temperature between 350- and 400-degrees Fahrenheit. Cooking at a higher temperature will cause the crystals to lose their potency.
Mixed in Beverages
Another great way to take your dose of CBD is to mix CBD crystals into your favorite beverages. These are excellent for on-the-go drinks and will blend nicely with smoothies, tea, juice, and even your morning coffee.
Are you wondering if CBD can mix with alcohol? If so, you’d be happy to learn that you can also mix CBD crystals in your cocktails. Cheers!
Taking CBD sublingually is the easiest way to use CBD crystals. While most people associate this CBD delivery method with tinctures, it is also an excellent and straightforward way to take CBD crystals. To do this, simply measure your dose, place it under your tongue, hold in place for at least 60 seconds, then swallow. Couldn’t be simpler, right?
Dabbing or Vaping
Yes, it’s possible to vape and even dab cannabidiol crystals…as long as you have the right equipment.
To dab CBD crystals, you need a device, known as a rig nail, that’s similar to a marijuana bong. First, use a blow torch or other heat source to introduce warmth to the device. Then, wait for 30-40 seconds, place your CBD crystals on the nail, and inhale the resultant vapor.
Prefer the vaping option? To vape CBD crystals, place your dose into your vaporizer’s concentrate holder, choose a temperature, and inhale when ready. Vaping presents you with a discrete way to enjoy CBD crystals.
Mixed With Oils or Used as a Topical
Want to tweak the way you use CBD crystals? Try creating your own unique CBD oil. Or get crafty and make some CBD topicals.
CBD crystals can be transformed into a tincture or oil by dissolving them into your oil of choice. The best oils to use when making CBD tinctures are hemp seed, olive, and coconut oil. You will need to heat the carrier oil in order to allow the crystals to dissolve.
You can also mix them with skin oils or creams to create your own unique CBD topical. Topicals are excellent for targeting arthritic aches and inflammation.
How to Dose CBD Crystals
Keep in mind that each individual reacts to cannabidiol differently, which means you might have to experiment before you can pick the dose that suits you best. Remember, CBD crystals are 99 percent pure. So, if you’re new to this product, we recommend starting with a low daily dose of no greater than 10 mg. After a week or two at this level, you can choose to increase your dose until you achieve the desired effect.
Note that since CBD crystals are 99 percent pure, each gram of CBD crystals will contain 990+ milligrams of CBD. This means that users get one milligram of CBD from one gram of the crystals. This makes it easy for users to measure precise doses and know the amount of CBD they are getting from each dose.
If you buy a full-spectrum CBD product, it will still contain trace amounts of THC. You should consider CBD crystals if you're looking for pure CBD products.