If you know anything about CBD, you’ll know just how many different ways there are to consume it. Most newbies start out with simple CBD oils or capsules, but there are now endless possibilities when it comes to CBD consumption. Vaping, dabbing, and cooking with CBD have all proven to be really popular options as of late.
One product you’ll often see on CBD sites is CBD crystals. These small tubs of white, powdery crystals are the last thing you’d expect to be labeled as cannabidiol. In actual fact, however, crystals are one of the purest forms of CBD you can possibly get your hands on.
In today’s article, we will be giving you the full low-down on CBD crystals – what they are, how they work, and how crystal isolates differ from something like a “full-spectrum” product.
What are CBD Crystals?
As you probably already know, cannabidiol (or CBD) is a non-psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant. It is currently finding immense popularity as a food supplement, and millions of folks are taking a small amount of CBD daily in order to support general health and well-being.
Usually, the CBD is extracted from hemp plants and suspended in an inert oil, along with an array of other cannabinoids, terpenes (aromatic molecules), and flavonoids. These are referred to as “full-spectrum” tinctures. With CBD crystals, the extract is instead highly purified and concentrated, leaving nothing but the pure, isolated chemical CBD compound.
In other words, CBD crystals are a form of isolated concentrate. They are extremely strong, containing up to 99% pure CBD. People often prefer CBD isolate products when they want to avoid all other cannabinoids, for example when they are trying to avoid any consumption of THC for drug-testing purposes.
CBD isolate crystals are not the only form of CBD concentrate, however, as things like powders, waxes, shatters and “CBD butters” all offer heavily concentrated forms of cannabidiol. As you can imagine, CBD crystals owe their name to their diamond-like appearance. Imagine coarsely ground salt, and this is sort of what the pure CBD isolate compound resembles.
How are CBD Crystals Made?
The best, highest-quality CBD crystals are extracted using solventless (CO2-based) machinery, and then purified and verified with a method called chromatography. A lot of industrial equipment is required for this technique, and so it is not exactly something you can attempt at home.
Very simply put, a chromatography machine has a column filled with fine sand (silica), a pump to apply pressure, and a collection chamber containing a small amount of evaporable solution. Before chromatography begins, however, the CBD and other plant compounds must be extracted from the hemp plant material. Most companies use supercritical CO2 extraction for this, which, again, requires a lot of high-tech machinery.
The crude extract is then poured into the column on the chromatography machine, where the sand acts as a filter and an absorbent. When pressure is applied, the extract is pushed through the sand, becoming more and more purified as it goes. CBD is a relatively small molecule, so it travels through the sand “faster” than larger molecules.
Eventually, the isolated CBD particles are collected at the bottom and stored in the evaporable solution. The process can be repeated again to further purify the extract. Lastly, heat is applied until the solution is evaporated, leaving behind only the pure CBD crystals.
Amazing, right?! This is of course a VERY basic explanation for how CBD crystals are made, but hopefully it helps to paint a decent enough picture.
How Do You Use CBD Crystals?
So, now that the CBD crystals have been made, maybe you’ve got a package or little jar of them in your hands and are wondering how to use/consume them. CBD crystals are actually quite versatile, and there are a number of different techniques that you can use to get them into your body and bloodstream. Here are several of the things that you can do with CBD crystals:
1. Dabbing with CBD Crystals
Most commonly, CBD crystals are used for dabbing. This refers to an activity wherein the crystals are dropped onto a heated dab nail, turning them into a vapor which is then inhaled. The dabbing method works extremely quickly and effectively, which is why it is so popular.
However, dabbing takes a bit of setting up and getting used to. You will need to buy a dab rig and practice the technique of dabbing. Furthermore, vaping is not for everyone, and so dabbing your CBD concentrate may not be the ideal solution for you. Speaking of vaping, though…
2. Add Crystals to E-Liquid
If you’re a vaper, then you’re in luck. You can mix CBD isolate crystals into your favorite e-liquid, combining the potency of the crystals with the tastiness of your e-liquid. They can be added to both nicotine and CBD e-liquids, if you are looking to up the potency of the latter.
Simply take your e-liquid cartridge, tip in some isolate, and warm it slightly while mixing it throughout. The isolate will dissolve and become suspended in the liquid, ready to be vaped.
3. Make Your Own CBD Oil
You can try your hand at making your very own CBD oil by using CBD crystals. All you will need is an oil that’s high in saturated fat content (like coconut oil, MCT oil, or olive oil). Mix the oil with the CBD isolate while applying low heat, and the crystals will dissolve. Voila — you have a ready-made CBD oil!
Just make sure you store the oil in a dark container and keep it in a cool, dark place. Light can be damaging to cannabinoids and will ruin the quality of your CBD oil. Also, if you’re wondering about dosing, remember that 1 gram of pure CBD crystalline is 1000mg of CBD. So, if you use 30 ml of oil mixed with 1 gram of crystals, the final dosage will be 33 mg per 1 ml of liquid.
4. Make Your Own CBD Topicals
CBD skin care is all the rage recently, and now you can try making your own products. Homemade face masks, lip balms and moisturizers are all popular options. There are plenty of ‘recipes’ for homemade skincare ingredients online – the choice is up to you.
If you want to up the ante and add in some CBD, simply stir-in your CBD crystals in the same way you would when making a CBD oil. Cannabidiol makes a wonderful addition to any skincare routine, and making your own topical CBD products is a surefire way to liven up your pamper sessions!
5. Cooking with CBD Crystals
By far one of the more popular methods for consuming CBD crystals is to cook with them. CBD crystals are tasteless because of the lack of terpenes and flavonoids, and that makes them an ideal contender for cooking with CBD. What’s more, they dissolve quite easily into most foods.
Bear in mind, however, that CBD is hydrophobic and will require something fatty to bind to. You are best off making something like a CBD butter or a CBD oil that you can cook with. To do this, heat regular butter in a pan and dissolve the crystals into it, stirring constantly. Do not apply much heat, as this will burn off the CBD. In fact, you’ll want to keep it below 320?F in order to keep the CBD compound in its active state.
Once you have your CBD butter, of course, you can make anything! Yummy cakes and brownies are always popular, but you can also add it to pretty much any recipe you choose.
Potential Benefits of CBD Crystals
There are many advantages to using CBD crystals over other forms of CBD. For example:
- Purity: If you are not fond of the idea of using other cannabinoids, then any CBD concentrate is going to be ideal for you. Concentrates can be up to 99% pure CBD, and they are guaranteed to contain no THC.
- Should not show up on a Drug Test: Since crystals contain zero THC, you can be pretty confident that nothing will show up on a workplace drug test — that is, if the company you bought from can be trusted. The trace amounts of THC in full-spectrum CBD oil concerns some people, and crystal CBD isolate is a way to get around this problem.
- Versatile: As seen above, there are a lot of things you can do with CBD crystals – it sounds corny, but the possibilities really are endless!
Final Thoughts on Choosing (And Using) CBD Crystals
Everybody’s CBD journey is different. The product you decide to use is a matter of what works best for you and your lifestyle. If you are in the market for something strong, pure, and versatile, then CBD crystals could be your new favorite supplement!
However, crystals do tend to be fairly expensive – mostly because they are so concentrated. If you find that CBD crystals are out of your price range, then there is nothing wrong with choosing a simpler full-spectrum CBD oil. If you are concerned about THC content, then you can still find a CBD oil that is guaranteed to be THC-free.
Have you tried CBD crystals before? What do you think of them, and what’s your preferred way to use them? Let us know in the comments below!