There’s a hot new cannabis concentrate popping up on retail shelves. It’s potent, pricey and definitely not for cannabis neophytes. It’s called THC-A Crystalline and it has been tested at 99.9 percent psychoactive THC. Did I say it’s not for the beginner?
Crystalline began showing up at southern California shops last year, but started to really take off this summer. California medical dispensaries have had trouble keeping the product in stock. But what, exactly, is it?
According to Guild Extracts, one of the popular manufacturers of Crystalline:
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 – testing at 99-100%. This pure THCa converts to THC when vaped and creates a clear and highly cerebral effect, or remains non-psychoactive when ingested.
To put the 99.9 percent purity in perspective, consider that most concentrates deliver anywhere between 45 to 80 percent THC. And that’s incredibly potent compared to your basic bud in a typical marijuana joint, which is 12 to 20 percent.
The cost of Crystalline varies, but it is generally $200 per gram. You read that correctly: $200 for a single gram. Yes, the price is sky high. And so is the effect.
What the consumer receives for hit of Yes, the good stuff is a clear-headed, focused high. And you usually do not need more than one long hit to feel an instant effect.
What exactly is THC-A?
First of all, you should know that cannabis, in its natural raw form, is a bundle of cannabinoids, including THC-A. When heated — via vaporization or smoking — decarboxylation occurs. This process removes the acidic carbon atom (the “A” in THC-A) and creates THC, the psychoactive component.
This explains why you can eat raw cannabis without getting high. It must be decarboxylated.
Should I try Crystalline?
If you have to ask, you should steer clear of it. If you have tried other concentrates (shatter, BHO, ice hash, etc.), and are looking for something new, give it a try … if you can find it.
Remember, it’s not for rookies.
Highway is an essential source for cannabis science, how-to stories and demystifying marijuana. Want to read more? Thy these posts: One Man’s Journey In Pursuit Of The Truth Behind Marijuana Prohibition, Marijuana Myth Busting: Does Holding In Smoke Get You Higher? and A Drag Queen’s Visit To The Cannabis Store.