How to Make CBD Crystals
Posted on July 20th, 2020
There’s a not-so-new trend on the rise in this country, one that has gained traction over the past couple of years… Any guesses? If you’re here, you probably already know the answer: we’re introducing cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis plants.
This compound’s rapidly rising popularity has allowed for countless new CBD products to hit the market. Now, CBD isn’t the only cannabinoid; there are 100s of them, including THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid responsible for marijuana-driven highs.
If you buy a full-spectrum CBD product, it will still contain trace amounts of THC. While these minuscule amounts of THC won’t trigger psychoactive experiences, they may still create problems if you’re drug tested. So, if you’re worried about the purity of CBD products, you should consider CBD crystals.
And, to help you better understand your options, today we’ll explore the most pressing questions surrounding CBD crystals, so you can shop for CBD products confidently.
What Are CBD Crystals?
CBD crystals are one form of CBD isolate available to users. CBD isolate is the purest form of cannabidiol, composed of at least 98% CBD. Through a unique extraction and purification process, manufacturers remove all other plant extracts from hemp-sourced CBD oil. What remains? An incredibly pure, white powder that is tasteless and odorless. Basically, these crystals are pure cannabidiol without other cannabinoids or other compounds. This means that the CBD crystals don’t have any traces of terpenes, flavonoids, THC, or the other compounds that are usually present in your typical full-spectrum CBD products.
Manufacturers moved to produce CBD crystals in order to offer people a strict control over how they use CBD and the amount of CBD and other cannabinoids they consume.
How Are CBD Crystals Made?
Like other CBD products, the first step in making CBD crystals involves extracting CBD oil from industrial hemp plants. The initial extraction process can be achieved using supercritical carbon dioxide or organic solvents. After CBD oil has been obtained from hemp, the extract is still full of other compounds, including other cannabinoids. So, when making CBD isolate, the next step is a purifying process that eliminates the extra compounds still present in the CBD extract.
The purification process filters all other residual plant materials. Then, after extraction and filtration, the CBD extract goes through another process referred to as “winterization”. The winterization process removes any traces of additional products left behind after filtration. And what remains is a fine white powder that is 99% pure CBD.
Technically, CBD crystals are classified as pure CBD isolate. Cannabidiol crystals are available in the solid, diamond-like form. But, how do they get from a white powder to a crystal form? Just keep reading to find out.
Making CBD Crystals
In order to make CBD crystals, you will need special equipment. This is not something you can make at home unless you have chromatography equipment at your disposal.
To crystallize CBD, you need to start with distilled and winterized cannabis. Before starting the process of crystallization, CBD oil must be winterized. That’s because, in its natural state, the whole outer layer of the cannabis plant is covered in cuticle wax (composed of fats, waxes, and lipids). As we noted, winterizing is an extraction process: it eliminates undesirable elements such as fats, lipids, and waxes from the hemp extract with the help of an alcohol wash that’s heated to about 120 degrees. It is then immediately allowed to freeze for over 24 hrs. The product of winterization is a CBD distillate. This distillate should not be cloudy. If the distillate is cloudy, then it means impurities are present. To make the distillate clearer, winterize the distillate again until it is clear. This is important if you want to yield the purest product.
Crystallization Process Using a Chromatography Machine
After winterization comes the crystallization process, which requires a chromatography machine. Chromatography is a method of purifying and isolating cannabinoids. There are different levels to this machine, depending on the batch sizes you are interested in. The chromatography machine consists of a column with a filter inside it, an air compressor to apply pressure, and a collection chamber with some evaporable solution inside. Forming CBD crystals is not a complicated process, but it does require some basic chemistry.
First, you will need a filter for your chromatography machine. You can use sand as a filter, but it must be very fine to yield the best results. After setting up, you pour unpurified extract into the column. The sand will act as a filtration machine, and a pump or pressurized hose will help push the CBD molecules through the sand for further purification.
As the molecules pass through the filter(sand), the smaller particles reach the bottom first. Due to the difference in the molecular sizes of the elements in the extract, CBD will be extracted first; any remaining THC filters through at the very end of the extraction process. This can be done without any pressure, but it will take some time.
At the bottom of the column, the purified extract is collected and stored together with the evaporable solution. For maximum purity, this process can be repeated several times. However, with every repetition, the quantity of the end product is reduced. In order to obtain the finished crystal product, you have to heat your solution so evaporation can occur, leaving behind purified CBD crystals.
How Are CBD Crystals Used?
CBD crystals are pretty versatile and can be used in many different ways. Because they are tasteless and odorless, your options for using them abound. Here are some popular ways to use them:
If cooking with CBD, crystals are great additions to recipes, since they don’t add flavor or taste. However, it’s essential to note that high temperatures will make CBD lose its potency. For this reason, if you want to cook with CBD crystals, dissolve the crystals in cooking oils or butter, and maintain the cooking/baking temperature between 350- and 400-degrees Fahrenheit. Cooking at a higher temperature will cause the crystals to lose their potency.
Mixed in Beverages
Another great way to take your dose of CBD is to mix CBD crystals into your favorite beverages. These are excellent for on-the-go drinks and will blend nicely with smoothies, tea, juice, and even your morning coffee.
Are you wondering if CBD can mix with alcohol? If so, you’d be happy to learn that you can also mix CBD crystals in your cocktails. Cheers!
Taking CBD sublingually is the easiest way to use CBD crystals. While most people associate this CBD delivery method with tinctures, it is also an excellent and straightforward way to take CBD crystals. To do this, simply measure your dose, place it under your tongue, hold in place for at least 60 seconds, then swallow. Couldn’t be simpler, right?
Dabbing or Vaping
Yes, it’s possible to vape and even dab cannabidiol crystals…as long as you have the right equipment.
To dab CBD crystals, you need a device, known as a rig nail, that’s similar to a marijuana bong. First, use a blow torch or other heat source to introduce warmth to the device. Then, wait for 30-40 seconds, place your CBD crystals on the nail, and inhale the resultant vapor.
Prefer the vaping option? To vape CBD crystals, place your dose into your vaporizer’s concentrate holder, choose a temperature, and inhale when ready. Vaping presents you with a discrete way to enjoy CBD crystals.
Mixed With Oils or Used as a Topical
Want to tweak the way you use CBD crystals? Try creating your own unique CBD oil. Or get crafty and make some CBD topicals.
CBD crystals can be transformed into a tincture or oil by dissolving them into your oil of choice. The best oils to use when making CBD tinctures are hemp seed, olive, and coconut oil. You will need to heat the carrier oil in order to allow the crystals to dissolve.
You can also mix them with skin oils or creams to create your own unique CBD topical. Topicals are excellent for targeting arthritic aches and inflammation.
How to Dose CBD Crystals
Keep in mind that each individual reacts to cannabidiol differently, which means you might have to experiment before you can pick the dose that suits you best. Remember, CBD crystals are 99 percent pure. So, if you’re new to this product, we recommend starting with a low daily dose of no greater than 10 mg. After a week or two at this level, you can choose to increase your dose until you achieve the desired effect.
Note that since CBD crystals are 99 percent pure, each gram of CBD crystals will contain 990+ milligrams of CBD. This means that users get one milligram of CBD from one gram of the crystals. This makes it easy for users to measure precise doses and know the amount of CBD they are getting from each dose.
If you buy a full-spectrum CBD product, it will still contain trace amounts of THC. You should consider CBD crystals if you're looking for pure CBD products.
How to Make CBD Oil
In a world of virtually endless CBD products, there’s something to be said for the people who want to go through the steps to make it at home. When you buy a bottle of CBD oil, you might feel a disconnect as to how a cannabis plant was transformed into the bottle of liquid you see in front of you.
Making CBD oil at home is actually a lot easier than it might seem. Once you understand the basics and have the right tools at your disposal, there’s not much standing in your way from creating your own personal batch of the good stuff.
Updated: March 10, 2020
The Only CBD Oil Recipe You’ll Ever Need
If you do a quick search, you’ll probably find hundreds of CBD oil recipes, each one as complicated as the next. If it’s your first time making CBD oil, it’s best to take a simple approach and gain a foundational knowledge of the process before you get fancy with the type of oil you make. Our CBD oil recipe is about as simple as it gets.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- CBD (cannabidiol) isolate or concentrate
- Cooking oil (The best choices are coconut oil, MCT oil, olive oil, or canola oil)
- Pot and Stove Top
- Optional: Food thermometer
Step 1 – Gathering your ingredients
If you live in a state where growing is legal, you might have already gotten your hands on some marijuana seeds, and are planning your first grow. While this is a great way to take the entire process into your own hands, you don’t have to grow your own marijuana to make CBD oil.
With this recipe, we recommend you start with CBD isolate or concentrate. The purest CBD isolate usually comes in the form of crystals. If you’re having a hard time finding CBD crystals, we’ve made some recommendations for our favorite CBD crystals and concentrates. Check out that list here.
Once you have the CBD content, it’s time to choose a carrier oil. Depending on your preferences, you can select virtually any type of oil, but most people use either coconut oil, olive oil, or canola oil. If you want to use this CBD orally, it’s best to choose a carrier oil that you won’t mind tasting. If your main priority is for topical use, coconut oil works great on the skin and is not as pore-clogging as canola oil or olive oil.
The last thing you’ll need is a large pot and a stove or burner.
Step 2 – Mixing your ingredients
Add 1 cup of your carrier oil to a pot. Put the pot on the stove, on low heat, and wait for the oil to simmer. You’ll know it’s ready when it starts to form small bubbles on the bottom of the pot. Then, crush 1 gram of your CBD crystals or concentrate into a powder form, and put the concentrate into the pot. Now, stir the mixture until the CBD has completely dissolved. To know your CBD is completely dissolved, there should be no more powder or chunks of crystal in the oil. If you notice that your crystals are not dissolving entirely, you can also use a cheesecloth to strain the oil and remove the excess crystals.
Note: Do not let the oil exceed 118°C/245°F, as this will burn the CBD. This is where a thermometer will come in handy. If you let your oil get too hot, the CBD will dissolve and burn, leaving you with just plain oil.
Step 3 – Let the mixture cool
Turn off the stove and let the mixture cool down in the same pot. Once the oil is cool, then you can transfer the oil into another container and store it at room temperature.
That’s it! If you follow the recipe, your final product will be 48 teaspoons of homemade CBD Oil at 20mg of CBD per serving. Of course, you can adjust the recipe to make higher or lower quantities. You can also add more isolate or crystals if you want to make a high-CBD blend.
To do this, simply divide the amount of CBD you used by the amount of oil you used in teaspoons. For example, 600mg of CBD isolate in 48 teaspoons(1 cup) of oil would result in potency of 12.5 mg CBD per teaspoon.
When stored at room temperature, CBD oil can last at least two months. If you want to extend its shelf life, you can also keep it in the fridge.
How to Use Homemade CBD Oil
We mentioned choosing a carrier oil that supports how you want to use the CBD you create. All four of the carrier oils we recommended (MCT, coconut, canola, olive) are edible, making any of them an excellent choice for adding CBD to your food or drink or taking the CBD orally. The benefits of CBD oil are endless, so you can use the oil you’ve made in a variety of ways.
Taking CBD oil orally
To take CBD orally, just add one teaspoon of the oil directly onto your tongue or into your favorite food or drink. Wait about 5-10 minutes after the first dose, and see if it’s working. If you need more, go ahead and take one more teaspoon, or a half, until you achieve your desired dose.
Cooking with CBD oil
If you don’t want to consume the oil directly, you can mask the taste and texture by cooking with it. The same way that you would use THC oil to make edibles like brownies and cookies, you can do the same with your THC oil. You can incorporate CBD oil into virtually any recipe that calls for oil. Depending on the quantity of what you’re cooking, you can swap out a few tablespoons of CBD oil with the cooking oil the recipe calls for.
Using CBD oil topically
Your homemade CBD oil can be applied directly onto your body to ease sore muscles, itchiness, or chronic pain. If the texture of the oil is not to your liking, you can also mix some CBD oil into a cream or salve and apply it the same way you usually would.
The Benefits of Making Your Own CBD Oil
Now that you know the “how,” let’s talk a little bit about the “why.”
Why would anyone choose to make their own CBD oil, when there are so many amazing brands on the market? Well, for the same reasons that people cook at home, and even grow marijuana at home. The benefits come down to price, quality control, and potency.
- Price: A lot of what you pay for when buying CBD oil is branding. By making your own CBD oil, you can cut costs because all you need to do is obtain the raw materials to produce oil. While most oils around 1000mg can cost up to $150, you can make your own blend using our recipe for about $40.
- Quality: CBD oil is still highly unregulated, making it hard to test for things like quality and consistency. In some cases, there might be added ingredients that a brand does not disclose on the bottle. The best way to know exactly what’s in your CBD oil is to make it yourself using natural ingredients.
- Potency: The cost of high-potency CBD oil can be quite high. And even then, the strength listed might not be entirely representative of how well the blend will work for you. You can control the potency of your oil by formulating it yourself and testing different recipes to achieve your desired potency. You can also choose strains that contain specific potencies of other cannabinoids like cannabinol or cannabigerol.
The Downside of Making your own CBD oil
We’ve highlighted the benefits of making your own CBD oil, but the DIY route isn’t for everybody. Some downsides come with taking this process into your own hands, including missing out on professional oil extraction, fewer flavor and taste options, and a steep learning curve for first-timers.
- Extraction: Retail CBD brands use professional extractors and extraction methods to remove the CBD from industrial hemp plants. These extractions result in a full spectrum range of cannabinoids and terpenes within the CBD. Our CBD oil recipe uses CBD isolate only. Depending on your needs, you may want broad-spectrum or full-spectrum CBD, which tends to be much harder to produce at home, with limited resources.
- Time: If you value your time, you’ll likely want to buy CBD and have it delivered to your door. It can be fun to learn the process and go through the steps to make your own oil, but it can be a time-consuming process, especially for first-timers. If you have the budget and lack the time, it’s worth it just to order the tincture from a trusted seller.
- Learning curve: On a similar note, you may have to experience the process a few times before the oil comes out perfectly to your liking. Even though our recipe is as simple as it gets, if you want to experiment with different quantities or potencies, there is a slight learning curve involved. Just as with regular cooking, you may end up making a mistake that ruins the entire batch forcing you to start over.
- Flavors and options: One of the best things about CBD becoming more mainstream is the number of different flavors and CBD products on the market. YOu can find everything from flavored oil and gummies to CBD rice crispy treats, to CBD beverages. It’s not unheard of to make these things yourself (we even gave a few suggestions above), but for you to enjoy a CBD edible, you need to be able to produce high enough quantities and potencies of CBD for them to truly work. Sometimes it’s best to leave it to the professionals to enjoy the results of their many trials and errors.
There are hundreds of high-quality CBD oil brands on the market. (Trust us, we’ve tried A LOT of them). Learning how to make CBD oil at home is a great way to know exactly what’s going into the CBD oil you use, and save you some money along the way. If you’re a person who likes to learn new things and take on DIY projects at home, making CBD oil is a relatively low-risk project that can lead to pretty favorable results when done right. Our CBD oil recipe keeps it simple so that even kitchen novices can follow along and make their own blend. A with any new project you embark on, have patience in the process, and most of all, have fun!
Learn how to make your own CBD oil. This straightforward recipe is perfect for beginners and outlines the steps to make high-quality CBD oil at home.