Macro image of THC Crystalline produced by Atom Labs. Photo courtesy of Allie Beckett.
Warning: This article is provided for education and information purposes only. The potentially dangerous chemicals referenced in this article to make THC-A Crystalline should be only be handled by professionals. Please seek professional assistance before handling the materials referenced in this article.
Most people on Earth have never experienced what the purest hash this planet has to offer. Engineers have devised an extraction method that creates an extract that 99.96% pure. Here’s how they do it.
THC-A Crystalline Hash is the holy grail of cannabis potency. The process starts with a cannabis extract. Then, cannabis extract is mixed with acetic acid and hexane. Those chemicals work together to dissolve the plant matter but preserve the THC.
Once the extract, acid, and hexane are acquainted, they’re put through a traditional filter. The solution all goes in a rotary evaporator, which looks and sounds more complicated than it is. Rotary evaporators use varying degrees of pressure, heat, and motion to pull apart the different materials in a liquid.
By the time the rotary evaporator is finished its cycle, a mixture called Δ9 tetrahydrocannabinolic acid is left.
To refine the mixture more, a process called chromatography is needed. There are a few different kinds, but the purpose of chromatography is to remove impure elements from the solution. To do this, chemists add more chemicals to the mix. One called Sephadex-LH20, another called dichloromethane. Then good old-fashioned chloroform is added.
Once the hash has gone through chromatography, it doesn’t look much like any marijuana product you’ve ever seen, and more like something Walter White would be selling.
To make THC-A Crystalline consumable and heighten its purity, more unwanted chemicals must be purged. The crystals are dissolved in methanol, which looks, smells, and tastes like alcohol people drink, but is totally toxic to humans. A traditional filter takes away all the leftover residue. Then to pull the methanol out, chemists put the mixture back in the rotary evaporator again.
Now the crystals are left to dissolve in pentane, which extracts more parts per million of non-THC material. For the final time, all of that goes back in the rotary evaporator. That long process results in 99.96% THC.
Usually, people will add terpenes to add some flavor to the high. By all accounts, pure THC in this way tends to hit much faster than regular weed.