Why Does CBD Crystallize? CBD Vape Crystals Explained
13 Apr 2021
So you’re in the middle of a CBD vape sesh only to realize that the CBD is crystallizing inside the vape cartridge.
Your first inclination is likely to think the product itself is low quality, faulty or defective. However, in reality, this is not the case.
In fact, it’s an indication of its purity and high quality!
If reading that last sentence makes you skeptical, stick with us as we expand on what we mean.
Contrary to what many may think, the molecular composition and science behind CBD make it so that when crystallization occurs in pens with a high CBD percentage, it’s a sign that your product is of supreme quality.
If you’re curious as to why your CBD vape cartridge is forming crystals, whether they’re safe to consume, and what to do when this happens, you’ve come to the right place!
We’re here to set the record straight about CBD crystallization and explain the nature behind this phenomenon to clear up any concerns or hesitations.
That said, let’s get started so you can get back to enjoying your CBD vape sesh that much sooner!
Why Does CBD Crystallize?
The scientific process of your CBD crystallizing involves the CBD starting to granulate and separate from the concentrate. What’s left is a hardened, diamond-like yet slushy consistency.
While it may seem as though this isn’t supposed to happen, when the oil starts to crystallize, it’s a signal that the product is of a higher concentration, making it more pure and higher quality.
In other words, the more pure the CBD, the more likely it is to crystallize. Bear with us as we get a little scientific with it.
CBD has two OH groups compared to THC’s one OH group.
Suppose you compare the two when exposed to the appropriate temperature and the right level of purity. In that case, CBD will be much more likely to crystallize than, say, THC, depending on the concentration ratio.
This is a natural chemical process due to the properties of CBD.
Generally speaking, the purity of a CBD distillate must be between 80 and 85% for it to crystallize on its own. If your vape pen crystallizes by itself, it’s an indication that your CBD oil’s purity is 80% or higher.
To put it in a greater context, let’s compare it to another natural product – honey.
There’s the honey you buy from grocery stores that’s lower in price but full of preservatives, artificial ingredients and the like. Then, there’s organic, natural honey that costs a bit more but is also higher quality.
The natural honey will crystallize on the shelf, which may lead consumers to think that it’s spoiled or gone bad.
However, pure honey contains more sugar (glucose and fructose) than it is naturally able to hold. In some instances, this causes an oversaturation that creates an unstable molecular environment.
This imbalance causes the sugar to granulate and crystallize. A process that will not occur if your honey is full of additives and artificial syrups.
The same goes for CBD, except in this example, the CBD is the sugar. When there is oversaturation, the molecular environment becomes unstable, causing the CBD to crystallize.
So, following this logic, vape pens that don’t crystallize could be a bad thing.
It could mean that producers are filling their cartridges with defective products. Some may also integrate ingredients to inhibit crystallization, which may seem like a good thing, but diminishes the product’s overall quality.
Additionally, there is also an increased health risk resulting from customers not fully knowing what types of chemicals or additives the ingredients used to hinder crystallization contain.
In our opinion, we prefer to keep things au naturel!
Are CBD Vape Crystals Safe to Consume?
The answer to this question is a full-fledged, unadulterated YES!
CBD oil is safe and effective whether it’s in oil or crystal form. While crystals are a bit more challenging to work with, they are entirely safe to consume.
So, the next time you find yourself yearning for a vape sesh and discover that your CBD has crystallized, don’t worry! The product isn’t faulty or defective. It’s just a matter of science. So, to repeat ourselves, yes, CBD crystals are completely safe.
If anything, it means that your product is pure and of high quality. Who doesn’t want that!
What to do When Your CBD Vape Cartridge Crystallizes
Like we said, while perfectly safe, CBD crystals are not the most versatile and can be a bit challenging to work with.
Have no fear! We have the answer.
The approximate melting temperature for CBD crystals is 70°C (160°F). So, ultimately, the best solution is to simply heat it back up!
There are a couple of methods for heating your CBD. Both of which you can perform using materials you likely already have lying around the house. The first solution would be to run a hair dryer on the warm setting while pointing it directly at the cartridge for about five minutes. Be sure to take the appropriate precautions if you choose this approach, and protect your fingers!
Secondly, you can place your CBD oil cartridge in a tightly sealed waterproof bag or container. Then, run it under hot water for about five minutes or until the CBD crystals dissolve and return to liquid form.
Both of these methods are reliable ways to return your crystallized CBD to oil form without losing any of its potency or effectiveness.
That said, you shouldn’t use the vape cart right away, as the metal mouthpiece could still be extremely hot. It’s best to wait for at least a couple of minutes before puffing!
CBD Vape Crystals – Clearing the Air
We hope this explanation has provided you with peace of mind regarding the CBD vape crystals you might be seeing in your device.
The next time this happens, don’t throw your product away! All you need to do is use one of our go-to tricks for returning it to the oil form you’re more familiar and comfortable with. That said, they are safe to consume in either form.
Ultimately, CBD crystals form due to the molecular composition and natural compounds that comprise your favourite CBD. It’s a completely normal phenomenon that provides further insight into your CBD’s quality, purity, and concentration.