In the photo above, you can see crystallization in the cartridge.
If you are here, the chances are good that you are wondering why is my CBD oil vape cart forming crystals? Is it safe to use a crystallized vape cart? What can I do when my CBD oil vape cart crystallizes?
Chronic Haze is here to clear the air. Being the top dispensary in Mississauga, Brampton and Etobicoke, we have decided to put together this explainer article to provide an in-depth explanation. However, if you don’t want to read everything then jump to the end and we’ll tell you how to deal with your crystallized cartridge.
For some reason, there’s an increasing perception that CBD vape carts that have crystallized are faulty or defective. Some naysayers (not our customers) have gone so far as to say that these crystallized carts are contaminated or low quality.
No! That couldn’t be further from the truth.
Let’s get three things straight right off the bat:
First, crystallized CBD oil vape carts are NOT a sign of a defective product.
Second, crystallization of highly concentrated or high potent CBD oil vape carts is a NATURAL and SAFE phenomenon that will not harm you, your vaping tool or the actual vape oil.
Third, contrary to rumours going around, the formation of crystals is, for a lack of a better term, a GOOD thing and a surefire sign of high-quality CBD oil. So, don’t even think about throwing your crystallized CBD vape cart out, unless you like to waste a good product and your money.
So, Why Does Highly Concentrated CBD Oil Crystallizes?
What you’re seeing is actually perfectly natural, safe, and normal. You see, at such high potency, CBD will start to granulate out of the concentrate. It’s just science and the process is due to the chemical and innate properties of CBD. In fact, the higher the concentration of the CBD in the vape cart, the harder it’s to prevent the oil in the concentrate from forming crystals or hardening.
To explain this better, allow me an analogy. If you have bought or used high-grade, natural honey, then you know that it tends to crystallize. While some consumers might assume that the crystallized honey is spoiled or adulterated, it’s not.
What happens is that water in honey consists of more sugar (glucose & fructose) than it can naturally hold. The overconcentration of sugar makes honey unstable, forcing sugar to granulate and therefore crystallize. As such, it’s only pure honey that crystallizes, and not the fake syrups you find in some stores. The same can be said about an overabundance of CBD in a vape cart solution.
The more crystals in the vape cart concentrate, the better actually, when it comes to CBD as it’s indicative of high quality. The good news is that the crystallization does not in any way affect the vape carts’ performance.
For the CBD to crystallize out of the oil concentrate, there are two factors that need to be conducive:
(1) Temperature – The melting point for cannabidiol as a chemical compound is around 160 Fahrenheit. Since the potency is too high, the CBD might actually harden or crystallize at temperatures higher than this, which brings us to the next factor.
(2) Concentration – We’ve mentioned it a number of times, but it’s worth reiterating that CBD will tend to solidify at high concentration. The higher the potency, the more likely it’ll crystallize.
Down to the Science
Let’s take you back to Chemistry class, shall we?
Not all molecules are created equal. Molecules of CBD and its cousin THC, as well as sugars like sucrose, fructose, and maltose, have varying tendency to dissolve or crystallize in solvents (solutions they are contained in).
It’s the alcohol (-OH) group that binds these molecules together. Table sugar (sucrose) comprises 8 alcohols per molecule, which is why it tends to crystallize faster. CBD, on the other hand, has 2 alcohols per molecule, which is one more alcohol than what THC molecules have.
Oftentimes that means that the more the molecules of CBD in a solution, the closer the alcohol (-OH) groups are. When the temperatures are right, the alcohol groups will force the molecules to bind tightly together, forming crystals.
How Does Crystallization Show That your Vape Cart Has High-Quality CBD Oil?
This is where things get really interesting. The very thing that got you worried could be the reason you should be smiling after every vape!
It so happens that only highly pure CBD oil tend to crystallize. Anything less potent, adulterated or flimsy CBD vape carts will not crystallize unless you freeze the darn thing.
Of course, some vendors add some crystallization inhibitors to prevent the whole thing, but that’s not our style. Our mission is to provide you with high-quality full-spectrum vape carts that are made with a pure organic CBD distillate. We choose to offer highly concentrated, pure CBD oil that’s additive-free. There’s no VG/PG/PEG or MCT oil. You shouldn’t be inhaling such adulterations or additives!
What to Do when your CBD Vape Cart Crystallizes?
CBD is equally good, safe and effective whether oil or crystals. However, we must admit that a crystallized CBD vape cart is hard to work with. Again, CBD crystals melt at approximately 160 Fahrenheits so your best bet is heating.
You can remedy this in one of the following ways:
(a) Put your vape cart in a zip-lock bag or any other waterproof bag. Ensure to squeeze out as much air as possible. Run the zip-lock bag under hot water for about five minutes to dissolve CBD crystals and turn them into fluid again.
(b) Alternatively, you can place the vape cart in an oven preset at 200 Fahrenheit for between five and ten minutes. Ensure that the cart is positioned upright to prevent leakages through the mouthpiece. Please remember to not put your battery piece in the oven!
(c) You can also lightly run a flame under the glass as it will heat the distillate up and liquify again.