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In Photos: Watch Cannabis Diamonds Form at DabX

July 26, 2018

You may have noticed a new trend in concentrates as you view the options available at your local dispensary: diamonds.

These crystalline formations of isolated THCA (or CBDA) are the latest product craze to shake up the concentrate world. On top of being extremely potent, THCA diamonds are visually stunning and to see them form is truly enthralling.

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Commonly isolated from live resin extracts, these faceted formations can command top dollar. They often come soaked in a bath of native, strain-specific terpenes which makes serving up your own ratios of flavor and potency simple and enjoyable.

To get a sneak peek at how these diamonds form, I reached out to my friend Joshua Zeise, lead extractor at DabX in Oak Harbor, Washington. He invited me up to show off all the diamonds he’s been mining in their lab, so I tapped photographer Julia Sumpter to help me capture the beauty of these THCA diamonds as they form.

After a quick, scenic drive, we arrived in the small harbor town on Whidbey Island that hosts the DabX and Bad Ass Grass facility. Once inside, Josh showed us all the exciting creations he’s been producing. Take a peek for yourself!

Formations of THCA ‘diamonds’ stacking and covering the entire base of a jar. (Julia Sumpter for Leafly)

A large faceted formation standouts amongst a field of THCA crystals. These diamonds were formed from a Grease Monkey extraction. (Julia Sumpter for Leafly)

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Small grains of THCA sit suspended in a live resin extract. (Julia Sumpter for Leafly)

Chunks of THCA crystallizing in a Live Resin extract

Here you see nucleation taking place, the very start of a THCA crystal beginning to form. (Julia Sumpter for Leafly)


A puck of crystalline THCA after it has been removed from the jar. (Julia Sumpter for Leafly)

THCA diamonds separated and forming within the liquid, high-terpene extract. (Julia Sumpter for Leafly)

THCA crystalizes into faceted formations as it is isolated.

Pouring off the high-terpene extract to expose the isolated THCA formations at the base of the jar. (Julia Sumpter for Leafly)

Crystalline THCA diamonds soaking a GG4 terpene bath. (Julia Sumpter for Leafly)

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Using subtle oxidization techniques DabX extractor Joshua Zeise is able to tint and manipulate the color of the THCA isolate. Here you see diamonds tinted with a pink hue. (Julia Sumpter for Leafly)

(Julia Sumpter for Leafly)

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Elsewhere in the DabX laboratory, other extractions are taking place. This cannabis flower is being steam distilled for its strain-specific terpene profile. (Julia Sumpter for Leafly)

  • Noah Chapman

    Well, that’s cool.

  • Richard

    OK, first I’m an old dirt farmer who lives an isolated life, away from the hustle & bustle of city life. I’m not HIP to all the new-fangled stuff being developed. I merely Grow, Harvest & Smoke. I would like to understand How to make these concentrates/extracts.
    And more importantly, how do you consume them?
    Is this something an individual can do at home or do I need a PHD & a Laboratory full of high-priced equipment?
    I’m not looking to start a business, just provide for myself. Anyone able to point me to a reliable source where I might learn, I would appreciate it.

    • Sko Hayes

      You do need some equipment,but doing extraction at home can be dangerous, from what I’ve read. The original way to extract was some process that uses butane, I think (which is where the danger comes in), now extraction is safer and cleaner (for the most part), but you cam google “making concentrates from cannabis” and you’ll find thousands of articles and videos that will give you some idea of what you can do at home.

    • justadbeer

      It’s somewhat involved for someone like yourself (no offense). You don’t need a PHD, but you will need some minimal amount of lab equipment to make a quality concentrate. There are a ton of “How to” videos on you tube showing how to make stuff like RSO (which is the only thing I make so I speak from that point of view) and I cringe at how a large portion of people do things and expect a quality product. Also, it takes a LOT of product to make a small amount of concentrate. You may want to consider something bulletproof like a rosin press

    • david
    • 420 farming

      buy a press! search bee nails good stuff they had a press affordable price u put the pot in a filter and press out comes the goodies i believe there is a video. GET an electric nail and a beaker bong at least 16″ tall. i’ve been dabbing for years when i smoke flower i need to use my inhaler when i dab no problem breathing. what u are doing is removing the plant material

  • Daniel Ortega

    Wow, I’ve always been fascinated with tree amber and copal a resin that is used for sacred ceremony by the Aztecs and Mayans. Of course prehistoric amber has insects encased in the resin. I’ve used this golden amber in my Plant Fiber Artworks installed into the sustainable byproduct plant medium I hand sculpt into Bas-Relief works of art. One of the plant fiber powders I use is Industrial Hemp from Hemp-Technologies, they make Hempcrete to build hemp houses. I would love to do a work with THCA or CBDA Diamonds installed into my I-Hemp artwork as a special art project!

  • Sko Hayes

    Wow, those are beautiful pictures! It’s amazing what kind of concentrates are being developed, it’s going to be a huge market.

  • Michael PEARCE#

    I have made Cannabis crystals or Diamonds as you call them Stateside with no specialized equipment other than the time of preparation. I made my extracts always outside during Québec worst Winter Storms and 9 times our of ten I would crystals from about the coveted oil that would then boil off in the Bain Marie or Water Bath with the water being at RTP (Room temperature and Pressure) and cooking off 98 % of the gasses used to express the concentration that is key to superior end products