The formation of crystals is a common occurrence in some concentrated cannabinoid extracts. Fortunately, it is a completely harmless and natural side effect that in no way alters the quality of your product. Why does this phenomenon occur? And what you can do to fix it?
The Cause of Crystallization
Crystals can form in highly concentrated solutions when cannabinoids begin to granulate out of the oil. This is because some extracts are packed with more cannabinoids than they can naturally hold, and, at lower temperatures, the excess seeps from the oil and forms these crystals. In fact, the more concentrated the product, the harder it becomes to avoid this crystallization.
The same phenomenon can be seen in high-quality honey. Real bee honey commonly crystallizes in the jar, as the sugar granulates from the water. This over-concentration causes the glucose to exit the honey and then crystallize. In crystal form the solution is still usable, however it is far more difficult to work with. That is why it is recommended you address the crystallization prior to use.
Solutions to Crystallization
There are a few easy methods to get rid of the crystals on your product. The first is to apply heat. The increase in temperature will allow the solution to reabsorb the excess, and the crystals will fuse back into the larger product smoothly. This occurs because the introduction of heat increases the solubility of the oil. Companies often use heat in order to create these products in the first place, and heat is the simplest way to return the crystals to a usable state.
The safest way to apply heat to a cannabinoid product is by putting it in a tightly sealed bag, and then placing that bag in a warm water bath. The water will ensure an even temperature distribution, and you won’t need to worry about overheating or damaging the oil.
Otherwise, a hair dryer can be applied at a safe distance to gently warm the product.
In short, if you notice any crystals forming along your cannabinoid extracts, do not fret. It is a natural side effect that you can easily fix. Most distillates and concentrates already require the use of heat in order to work with the extremely vicious oil, so in a sense these two steps overlap.
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