The 3 Best Ways to Make THCa Diamonds
THCa diamonds have been making waves in the cannabis industry lately. These crystalline forms of THCA can contain up to 99.9% of the desired cannabinoid, making them one of the most potent concentrates available today. Whether you’re new to hydrocarbon extraction, a veteran closed-loop extractor, or a cannabis business owner looking to expand your product line, our guide to making THCa diamonds has got you covered. We’ll answer some of the most frequently asked questions about THCa diamonds, including what they are and of course, the top 3 ways to make them.
It’s a good idea to keep in mind that although we’ll provide step by step instructions for making THC Diamonds using 3 different methods, we’re keeping it pretty high level. If you’re interested in learning these techniques hands-on and in great detail, we offer a 2-day in person seminar that covers all three methods. So check it out here.
Now let’s dive into more details
Jar Tech – How to Make THCa Diamonds in a mason jar
Jar tech is the original and most inexpensive way to get started making THC diamonds. The method is attractive because of its low cost of entry into the diamond mining business. However jar tech can present some risks, because mason jars are not designed to be safely pressurized. There is a risk that the jars will crack, burst or get dropped during manual handling. With the risk of losing your product and causing possible injury, you certainly get what you pay for. It is also the most challenging of the 3 processes to control, because pressure can not easily be measured inside the jars. So we recommend that groups and individuals use personal protective gear and try to move up to small diamond miners as soon as they can afford to upgrade their process.
Step by step guide to Making THCA Diamonds Using Jar Tech
1. Pour off the crude from your Hydrocarbon Extraction System, directly into your mason jars after solvent recovery is complete. It is important to ensure that you transfer your BHO with care and precision, into appropriately sized mason jars, being mindful not to overfill the jars as pressure will inevitably build during the butane purging process.
It is advisable to screw the lids on the jars securely but not too tightly, allowing for pressure release as necessary to prevent any unfortunate accidents. Ensure that the concentrate in the jar is not too fluid before closing the lid, the viscosity of the concentrate should be runny but thick. Too runny means that there is still excess solvent left in the crude and that will hinder the process and present extra risk of the jar breaking
2. Seeding the jar with a crystal. Some producers will place a small amount of THC Diamonds in the jar to seed the crystalline structure. The process works without doing this too so it is optional and some producers find it can improve diamond formation and structure. Choose a seed diamond that has similar features to the ones you want to grow.
3. Place the mason jars into a Vacuum Oven and set the temperature to a range between 28-30 C. Regular monitoring of the jars is crucial, with periodic burping being required. In case of the lids showing signs of bulging, unscrew slowly to release the pressure and exercise caution at all times, while wearing protective eyewear and gloves.
4. THCa diamonds will start forming within a few days up to several weeks. Once the desired THCa diamond growth is attained, you will be left with crystalline THCa as well as a high terpene sauce.
5. How long does it take to grow diamonds in a mason jar? Usually between 10 and 20 days. The larger diamonds tend to take longer to grow. Once you dial in your process you’ll learn to control the time more efficiently and consistently.
6. Separate the diamonds from the sauce. While these two components can be packaged together as “diamonds and sauce”, separating them first gives you better control of the ratios when you’re reformulating or packaging. Use either a mesh strainer from any kitchen store or a Terpene Separation Centrifuge to quickly and effectively separate the diamonds from the sauce.
7. Reformulate into any product. So many products can be made from these two ingredients, its one of the most appealing reading so use this method.
The THC Diamond Miner Method
The process of crafting THCa diamonds using a diamond miner bears resemblance to the Jar Tech method, albeit with a critical distinction: the vessel in which the diamonds take shape is a jacketed stainless steel container. The use of a diamond miner offers several benefits, including the capacity to handle a larger quantity of concentrate at once.
Each is also fitted with a pressure gauge and pressure relief valve, two critical redundancies to keep you safer and execute a more reliable process by controlling pressure. Moreover, one may incorporate several Diamond Miners in-line and plumbed into a heated circulator, which ensures the internal temperature of the container remains consistent throughout the process and enables professional diamond operations to scale up to higher rates of production.
Some of our clients employ up to 60 miners chained together so we have solutions for monitoring all your miners from one computer, and automating the process if you want to get reaaaaally fancy and efficient! Get in touch with us if you’re looking for all kinds of diamond miner gear.
Step by Step Guide to making THCA Diamonds in a Diamond Miner
1. Start by pouring off the crude from your hydrocarbon extraction system. Use a diamond miner that has handles on the base, so that you can pour the crude directly into the open base of the vessel. If the stainless vessel is too heavy for the operator, use a borosilicate dish to collect the crude and fill the diamond miners. Then, open the lid of the Diamond Miner and carefully pour the butane hash oil (BHO) into the vessel, making sure not to exceed 75% of the total volume. Once filled, securely fasten the lid back onto the Diamond Miner. Ensure that the crude has the correct viscosity. If the concentrate is too thin it will swirl around the vessel as a liquid indicating that there is excess solvent in the mixture. If the crude is a thick resinous consistency, diamonds won’t easily form.
4. The heated circulator controls temperature in the diamond miners. Ensure that the Heated Circulator is properly plumbed into each side of the jacket and set the temperature to approximately 28-30C before beginning to circulate. Our diamond miners come with quick connect fittings to save you time. It is important to monitor the Diamond Miner’s pressure throughout the day to maintain a pressure of around 15PSI. Although Diamond Miners typically have a Pressure Relief Valve, it is more of a safety precaution than a tool for self-burping.
5. How long does it take to grow diamonds in a diamond miner? Usually between 10 and 20 days in the diamond miner. And it does matter how big you want to grow the diamonds. The larger diamonds tend to take longer. Once you dial in your process you can grow them more efficiently.
6. Once the diamonds have formed to your desired size, it’s time to separate the diamonds from the sauce. Carefully open the lid of the Diamond Miner, ensuring the pressure has been relieved beforehand, and use a rubber spatula to pour the diamonds into a strainer or into the baskets for the terpene separation centrifuge. The centrifuges are by far the most effective way to separate the components and speed up the process. If you’re using multiple miners then we highly recommend the centrifuge.
Now that your diamonds and sauce are separated you can store them until you’re ready to formulate. In the reformulation process, the possibilities are enormous. Optimizing your extraction processes for your product formulas can bear valuable fruit. Our consulting services can help you take advantage of crystallization processes in your product manufacturing work flow so hit us up if you want to collaborate to take your production system to the next level.
The Controlled Crash Crystallization Technique
The Controlled Crash method for THCa crystallization is our proprietary technique for making diamonds and crystalline THC. This method is by far the efficient, controlled and scalable option available to commercial cannabis processors today. The crude oil can be extracted in any closed-loop butane or propane extraction system, but we prefer our Genome Hydrocarbon Extractor for the job! The extracted oil flows directly from the extractor into the Controlled Crystallization reactor, where the Controlled Crash process will take place. The warm crude oil is suddenly chilled and mixed with super cold propane, which sets off a reaction that quickly crystallizes or “crashes” THCa in a controlled manner. The rapid change in solubility of the THCa, leaves only crystals suspended in the solvent that now has only the terpenes dissolved. When that terpene rich solvent gets separated into another vessel, you can finish your process by pouring out pure THCa and terp sauce into separate jars or dishes.
The main advantage of this method is the speed and the volume that can be processed. Making diamonds can be very time consuming. Using many jars or diamond miners is both labor intensive and takes up a lot of space.
We’ve seen facilities with dozens of diamond miners that each need to sit for weeks being manually burped and an employee managing many miners or jars in different parts of the cycle. The cost of production of making diamonds in a jar or miner can not compete with the low production costs of distillate, but they do offer a higher value product. On the other hand, the Controlled Crash Method can make the same high value products as diamond miners and jars, but at similar production cost to distillate or lower. There’s really no other method like it!
Making THCA Diamonds Using The Controlled Crash Method
1. Start by transferring the dissolved crude from your hydrocarbon extraction system to the Controller Crystallization Reactor. The two systems are integrated together with process piping. Once filled, evaporate any remaining solvent until the crude has the perfect viscosity to start the reaction. We want the crude in a thick resinous consistency.
2. The heating and cooling system can switch from warm to cold quickly. Simultaneously the cold propane is injected into the process. This sets off the reaction which accelerates in a self-reinforcing feedback loop until all the THCa is crystallized.
3. How long does it take to grow crystals to grow in the Controlled Crystallization Reactor? Between 1 and 2 hours!
4. It’s now time to filter out the crystals from your terp-sauce. Since the THCa is now in solid form, it does not dissolve into cold butane and propane. You can use that cold solvent to wash off the crystal while separating the terp sauce into another vessel.
5. Evaporate off the solvent from the sauce and redisolve the THCa crystals into warm butane using the mixing and agitating function. These two processes happen simultaneously in two different vessels. After a few minutes both vessels are ready to pour off.
6. Grab two borosilicate glass dishes and pour off the liquid from each vessel into separate dishes. You can make a multitude of products from these two ingredients. For example, if you want to make vapes, then the next step is to decarb the THCa and put the terp sauce in the oven. The following steps are for growing larger sized diamonds. For this, you can keep the THCa in a boro dish or pour back into a diamond miner.
7. Diamonds will form in as few as 1 to 3 days in the diamond miner or vacuum oven. After performing the controlled crash process, the concentrated solution contains 99% pure isolate, so it naturally recrystallizes very quickly. That means the process that typically takes 10-20 days in a diamond miner can be performed much more quickly and requires far fewer miners. And you wont need to be concerned about separating the terps because that happens in step 4 above. You can also perform the recrystallization process in a boro dish in the vacuum oven.
Since your diamonds and sauce are separated you can store them until you’re ready to formulate. In the reformulation process, the possibilities are vast. We help companies implement just-in-time manufacturing processes using the Controlled Crash Method. And this can save a lot of money that is tied up in inventory. So hit us up if you want to work with us to plan your manufacturing system.
THC diamonds are becoming increasingly popular in the cannabis industry because they offer both a product with high concentration of cannabinoids that consumers are craving, as well as the flexibility and versatility for manufacturers to make a very wide variety of end products. This enables high value concentrates with low production costs, a sparkling unicorn for cannabis processors.
If you are interested in producing THC diamonds, terp-sauce, liquid diamonds and all the derivative products, you can get started with the help of our equipment and our extensive set of services, including seminars and consulting services.
We’ve got all the tools, processes and fabrication capabilities to be your partner in your quest to create high-quality cannabis concentrates at any scale and budget. Whether you’re a seasoned cannabis producer or new to the industry, we can help you achieve your goals and produce top-quality concentrates that you can be proud of.
Interested in learning more? Check out our Seminar that will teach you everything you need to know to use all 3 methods yourself.