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Say you find an old CBD vape pen in your drawer. You can see the cartridge is near full. But there’s something else. You can see what look like solid crystals.
What do you do?
Hopefully, your answer wasn’t to throw it away! What you’re seeing is crystallization. Crystallization is natural in high quality CBD.
What are crystals and why do they happen? And what can you do to unlock their goodness if you spot some in your vape?
This blog will walk you through.
Why Crystals Happen
Crystals mean quality. The purer and more concentrated the CBD, the higher the likelihood some crystallization will happen.
When CBD is extracted and encased in a cartridge, it is in liquid form. CBD molecules can come together in that liquid and join to form a lattice-like structure that is solid. Many cannabinoids from the cannabis plant can be crystallized. CBD’s molecular structure makes it especially available to this natural process.
Low quality CBD products often use additives, artificial flavours, and cutting agents. These reduce the chance of crystallization since there are fewer CBD molecules to come together.
The best CBD products use the purest and most concentrated CBD extract. That means more CBD molecules and much more tightly packed. It also means the best CBD vapes will often show off a little crystal.
Crystals can be spotted by the naked eye by holding the cartridge under a light. The crystals look a bit like tiny diamonds shimmering and suspended inside.
Since the best quality CBD is prone to some crystallization, what can you do to unlock the goodness of that CBD to make sure that none goes to waste?
Melting CBD Crystals
Crystals are sensitive to temperature. They can be melted down to blend back into the liquid of the cartridge.
But hold on. Before you go zapping those crystals under near-boiling water think about your terpenes. Terpenes are fragile. The more gently they are handled, the better protected they are. Extreme temperature swings could cause them to degrade.
Starting softly with your re-warming is the best way to keep your terpenes intact. Remember, CBD is gentle with you! Be gentle with CBD.
To warm your crystals up, start gently. The first thing to try is drawing on the vape. Make sure the device is charged and at temperature. Then take a few good pulls. Often, the heat from the device itself is enough to melt the crystals down right away.
Because the chamber of the cartridge isn’t in direct contact with heat, the crystals may need a little more encouragement.
CBD crystals often only need to be warmed to 30-35 Celsius to melt away. That’s close to normal human body temperature. Rub the cartridge gently between your hands for a minute or two. The heat from your hands will start to transfer into the cartridge and work on breaking the crystals down. You can also keep the cartridge in your pocket for a few hours.
If you still have a few crystals that are holding on, you can add a little more deliberate warmth. Use a hair dryer on a low setting to target the crystals inside and bring them back to their liquid state. Remember to be careful with your handling since the cartridge can heat up too! Let the mouthpiece cool before you try drawing from it.
While crystals are a reflection of high quality, they are also something that proper care and storage can help avoid. After all, you might not want to have to stop to warm up your cartridge if you’re on the go! So what are some ways to minimize crystallization?
Store at room temperature. Crystallization can be triggered by low temperatures. The cooler the storage, the more likely that some of the CBD molecules will start to huddle together and crystallize. Storing between 17 – 20 degrees Celsius will help encourage the contents of your cartridge to stay in their liquid state.
Draw regularly.If you leave your vape abandoned and unused for long stretches, the lack of any agitation can encourage the molecules to start to come together. They get lonely without you! Use your vape regularly, even for just a small pull, to gently agitate the CBD inside and help prevent settling and crystallization.
Celebrate Your Crystals
So if you do find that vape you had forgotten in your drawer and you see some crystals sparkling from inside the cartridge, don’t toss it! Congratulate yourself. You obviously bought a top-quality product.
Reward yourself for your excellent taste. Melt those crystals down and draw them in. You deserve it.
Written by | Infused Amphora Team
The Infused Amphora Team is dedicated to creating resources to educate and engage consumers on the growing evidence of CBD benefits and the extensive health and wellness properties of CBD oil.
Contributors | Angus Taylor + Dr Gaylord Wardell
IPI is a pharmaceutical ingredient company that cultivates cannabis strains curated to extract specific cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids for the formulation of effects-based health and wellness products. Angus is an experienced public speaker, engaging stakeholders, governments and media. Angus was the co-founder of NewLeaf Cannabis, Canada’s most successful retail brand to date, and has been established as a well-known and recognized expert in the field.
Dr Wardell is a practising physician with over 40 years of clinical and educational experience in pain management, medical practices and education. Dr Wardell is past President of the Pain Society of Alberta, and current President of the Alberta Medical Association, section of Pain. He is a popular public speaker, an active blogger on medical and pain-related issues, and proponent for scientific validation for patients experiencing pain.
Infused Amphora “Learn” is intended for informational purposes only and is NOT a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.