Diamonds have been the centerpiece of the jewelry world for decades. Could that trend be replicated in cannabis?
With THCa diamonds, the answer may be yes.
Similar aesthetically to sparkly, cut gemstones, THCa diamonds are a quintessential example of the burgeoning cannabis space. Made from the aforementioned cannabinoid THCa, cannabis-based diamonds are some of the "purest" products around, boasting a THCa profile often reaching up to or above 99%.
Still, with the weed world rapidly evolving, let’s recap what THCa diamonds are, as well as how they can fit into your consumption experiences. Crystalline in appearance and texture, diamonds vary in size, shape, color, and clarity—with some even getting a bit saucy. In any case, a well-produced diamond is sure to stand out under a camera lens just as much as it will on your next joint.
With all of the positive buzz around THCa diamonds, many cannabis connoisseurs are seeking them out to a degree that would make De Beers envious. From increasing the potency of your dabbing experience to adding diamonds to pre-rolls and so much more, THCa diamonds represent one of the recent trends that have captivated the marketplace.
Now, let’s explore this emerging development and why it’s become so popular among many consumers.
What is THCa?
Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCa) is one of three precursor compounds in cannabis, joined by cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) and cannabichromenic acid (CBCA). Found most commonly in fresh, untreated or cured cannabis, THCa, and other cannabinoid acids can sometimes go overlooked for cannabinoids that provide more obvious effects. While true that THCa is a precursor to THC, its original form can be quite worthwhile as well.
Most consumers know THCa as the precursor to THC, the cannabinoid that creates the famous psychoactive "high.” In its original form, THCa does not produce psychoactive effects. In general, THCa must be decarboxylated, or heated, in order to convert THCa to THC. Temperature settings and times can vary. Essentially, the goal is to convert the cannabinoids without burning or eliminating the other cannabinoids and terpenes present. To create our Liquid Diamonds, we decarb our THCa under vacuum pressure which allows us to do so at much lower temperatures, preserving residual terpenes and retaining flavors.
Once decarbed to completion, THCa is now THC. Without THCa and decarboxylation, we would not be able to experience the full psychoactive effects that much of the consuming public seeks out. We could still find the same results smoking cannabis, but without converting cannabinoids, products like oils, cartridges, edibles, and others would not be possible.
How Are THCa Diamonds Made?
Unique in their color and clarity, diamonds became a popular addition to the concentrates world in recent years, hitting the scene in a significant way around 2015 or soon after depending on the market. ABX first launched a THCa product in 2017, helping to usher in this (diamond) cutting-edge extraction movement. Standing out in texture from the rest of the concentrates, diamonds can vary in clarity depending on their potency, terpene content, or extraction process. Many consumers hold diamonds in high regard for their versatility, being added to various cannabis consumables.
Creating THCa diamonds requires a skilled, expert extraction specialist and the accompanying equipment. This is not a home operation by any means. At ABX, our THCa diamonds are extracted from frozen, whole flower cannabis. Stay tuned for an in-depth look at our process on our next "How It's Made" blog article.
Comparing Cannabis Diamonds, Live Resin, and Distillate
Diamonds, live resin, and distillate oils have both piqued the market's interest in recent years. The two popular items share some similarities, often confusing even expert-level consumers. However, when looking at the two a bit more, we can begin to see how they vary in several ways, ranging from their textures to chemical makeup and even the materials they are extracted from.
Beyond the clear differences in look and texture, potency is a primary point of comparison between the two. With diamonds, consumers are in for a high-quality, crystal-like substance that is rich in THCa, often totaling more than 98% of the product's chemical profile. On the other hand, distillate can contain various cannabinoids depending on the product and extraction process. More so, distillate is fully decarbed when diamonds are not. While the latter’s overall potency can be higher, its THCa levels often aren’t. That said, THC distillate can have potencies reaching 80 or 90%.
The primary difference between distillate and diamonds is the source material. Distillate cannabis oils can be extracted from subpar or fibrous quality cannabis material, including stems and leaves. Diamond extraction, via the hydrocarbon extraction process, traditionally uses whole flower base material, which is frozen and kept at subzero temperatures throughout the extraction process to maintain the wide array of terpenes found in each cannabis strain. ABX uses high-quality whole flower for our all live resin and diamond products.
Live Resin and Distillate vaporizers are the fastest-growing categories in the California cannabis vaporizer segment, according to 2021 year-to-date data from Headset Analytics. You can read more about the features and benefits of live resin in our article, WTF is Live Resin? It is important to note that as a result of the hydrocarbon extraction process, live resin concentrates consist of “sauce” and “diamonds.” “Sauce” refers to the terpene-rich High Terpene Extract, or HTE, which emits the flavors and aromas of your favorite strains. “Diamonds” refer to the THCa portion, which gives your live resin its potent kick.
Diamond Prerolls + Liquid Diamonds
Combining THCa diamonds with sun-grown cannabis rich in terpenes is always a winning combination.
In September 2021, ABX and Loud+Clear heard consumers' demands, well, loud and clear! After much market demand and quality research and development, Loud+Clear introduced its diamond-infused prerolls, featuring strain-specific sun-grown flower with an abundance of terpenes. THCa diamonds are milled to the fine consistency of kief and then evenly distributed to the flower, including strains like Motorbreath, Pai Gow, and many more, giving consumers more of a potency punch without sacrificing any of the strain's unique flavors or effects.
The newest innovation from ABX comes in the form of Liquid Diamonds cannabis vaporizer cartridges. Decarboxylated diamonds are blended with natural botanical terpene blends to deliver +90% THC potency bursting with the flavors of your favorite strains. Liquid Diamonds THC cannabis oil delivers high potency products, made from the freshest whole flower to deliver potent effects made from premium quality California cannabis; no distillate is needed or included. See the process in action here.
Using live resin and highly potent cannabis oil, Loud+Clear provides consumers with a full consumption experience. Find out for yourself today. Get your hands on some Loud+Clear Diamond Prerolls or Liquid Diamond vape cartridges at a licensed California dispensary near you.