Let’s break it down. THCA is THC acid, the precursor to THC, the most abundant and intoxicating cannabinoid found in cannabis. When exposed to heat, non-intoxicating THCA converts to intoxicating THC and produces that classic cannabis high. Diamonds are another term for the crystalline structures that form in sauce, a cannabis concentrate with high levels of terpenes and a runny texture. Put two and two together and you get a term for the THCA-rich crystals that form in sauce.
Sauce is made using a closed-loop system (explained in further detail below) that allows the resulting solution to settle under various pressures and temperatures. This environment promotes the natural separation of the major cannabinoids, including THCA in the form of diamonds (or THC diamonds as they’re sometimes erroneously called), from the terpene-rich, liquid portion.
The resulting sauce can contain a mixture of both terpene-rich liquid and THCA diamonds. Further processing can also separate the THCA diamonds and refine them into crystalline THCA, a powdery concentrate comprised almost purely of the cannabinoid acid.
Concentrate enthusiasts will be familiar with sauce carts, or vape cartridges loaded with terpene-heavy sauce. Cannabis diamonds may also refer to the crystalline structures left over after terp sauce has been removed from the initial sauce mixture. These diamonds are usually coated in residual terp sauce. Diamonds can also refer to pure crystalline THCA that has been isolated from refined oil.
The central difference between these types of diamonds is the way they’re extracted and further processed. Whether presented as a saucy, high-terpene extract or packaged as isolated THCA, diamonds are always crystalline structures of pure THCA. Remember, these diamonds may be inaccurately referred to as pure THC, but in reality, they come in the form of pure THCA.
To produce cannabis crystalline, a supersaturated solution is created by mixing a solvent with a highly refined cannabis concentrate that has had all lipids and terpenes removed. Heat and pressure are then applied and the solvent slowly evaporates, creating the right environment for crystals to form.
If THCA crystalline is being produced, any THCA will precipitate, or separate, out of the solution and fall to the bottom of the vessel. Under the right temperature and concentration, the THCA will chemically bond to other THCA molecules to form crystalline structures.