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CBD Crystals: The Crystalline Bones of Hemp Extract

Janet Miller

Janet Miller

Last updated: December 13, 2019

Shutterstock / Roxana Gonzalez

CBD crystals are the form hemp extract takes after it is further distilled and purified. Manufacturers first extract the substance from hemp plants to create oil. The oil is then filtered again to dilute and remove impurities. After this process, all that remains is pure CBD in crystalline form. CBD crystals have many uses.

CBD crystals are not full-spectrum cannabidiol. The crystals sometimes contain 99.8% or 99% pure CBD. The extra filtration strips the extract of other cannabinoids, lipids, or terpenes. Some people say crystals are better. Others say full-spectrum is the way to go.

What Are the Effects of CBD Crystals?

The effects of cannabidiol isolate are, more or less, similar to those of full-spectrum CBD products. Only, there is still no concrete evidence that cannabidiol – isolate or full-spectrum – indeed does what everyone says that it does. Research has shown that cannabidiol has potential as:

Beyond that, cannabidiol has been proven to be an effective treatment for children afflicted with epileptic seizures. The FDA approved Epidiolex, a CBD-based medication, for the treatment of childhood seizures in 2018. According to the promotional materials of the company that makes the drug, Epidiolex is made using pure CBD isolate.

How Should I Take the Crystals?

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CBD crystals, like cannabidiol itself, has many uses and ingestion methods. The isolate, despite its powder form, is not water-soluble, so it cannot be mixed in that easily with liquids, hot or cold. Some people do put crystals into their tea or coffee, but, again, it does not dissolve and remains in its powder form.


Another popular way to use/consume the crystals are orally or sublingually (under the tongue). The taste might not be agreeable, but the glands in your mouth will absorb the compound. This absorption method will prevent it from passing through the liver, where it will lose some of its potency.


Dabbing means taking a small number of crystals and adding them to a dab pen or vaping device and inhaling the aerosol. There are electronic dabs as well as dabs that use a butane torch to get hot. In any case, dabbing involves heating a ceramic plate and then placing the crystals on top where they vaporize immediately.

Consumers could also add the crystals to a favorite e-juice, give the bottle a good shake to dissolve the crystals, and then vape it with a regular e-cigarette. The only drawback is that if you have no dabbing or vaping equipment, you would have to get some. If you’re not a fan of vaping or inhaling an aerosol, then this also might not be the ideal consumption method.

Oil Tinctures

Dissolving crystals in oil (olive, coconut, palm) can help you create your own CBD tincture at home. Using pure CBD crystals also makes dosing much more straightforward. Users can measure out a specific amount of hemp extract with a measuring cup or spoon and know that is the exact amount. They can add an exact amount – 100mg, for example – to a carrier oil and then heat the oil in a hot water bath, so the extract dissolves into it.

After about ten minutes, the oil should be ready. Pour the oil into an opaque bottle and keep it in a cool, dark place. Cannabidiol reacts badly to light and air, so the less light that it is exposed to, the better. With pure isolate, consumers know exactly how much of the extract they are getting, so they can use the oil however they like, including:

  • Taking sublingual drops
  • Mixing it into foods
  • Mixing it into creams and lotions


Making CBD edibles using crystals is another, more discreet way of ingestion of the extract. As the crystals are pure cannabidiol, users can be sure that they are giving themselves the correct dosage. And as the crystals have a similar consistency as other baking or cooking ingredients, users can add a scoop of extract to whatever they’re making.

The biggest drawback to edibles, though, is that the cannabidiol will pass through the digestive system, which will breakdown the compound. With edibles, at least users know how much CBD they’re getting so they can add more to compensate for the lost extract.

Creams and Lotions

With its anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and anti-bacterial properties, cannabidiol crystals make an ideal ingredient to use on skin, both for cosmetic or non-cosmetic reasons. Studies on animals have shown CBD cream to be an excellent anti-inflammatory agent. There are currently no human studies to back up those claims, but cannabidiol’s non-toxic nature also does not make it a hazard to use.

For DIYers, creams and lotions are another way to use their homemade CBD tincture. They can add a few drops to a favorite body balm or also make their cream by adding crystals to a popular carrier oil like shea butter, cocoa butter, or any preferred cream and use it as part of a daily beauty regime.

What Is the Right Amount of CBD to Take?

One of the benefits of using CBD crystals is that consumers know exactly how much of the compound they are taking. As the crystals are pure cannabidiol, a 10mg portion of the extract is equal to 10mg of CBD. With that said, how much extract a person should be taking depends on the person and why they are taking the supplement in the first place.

If people want to take cannabidiol as a supplement or for medical reasons, they should first consult a doctor. While cannabidiol is organic and non-toxic, it could potentially interfere with other medications, dampening their effects. If you are taking medicines for a specific ailment, make sure that you are cleared by your doctor to start taking hemp extract.

If someone wishes to use hemp for non-medical reasons (cosmetic, stress-relief), then one thing to remember about CBD is that it does not need a lot. Studies on humans and animals have found that only a small amount of the extract is necessary to have noticeable effects; taking more than that peak amount does not increase or heighten CBD’s potency.

If you are entirely new to cannabidiol and you have approval from a doctor, you can try low doses to begin with. If the compound is not having the desired effect, you can up the dosage and keep going until you feel a change. The study cited above looked at CBD’s potential to treat anxiety and sleep problems. They used only a 25mg dose and found it was enough for an ‘adequate clinical response.’

The Advantages of CBD Crystals

CBD crystals have many advantages over other hemp-derived products. A few of the main ones include:

  • Purity
  • Stability
  • Easy to work with
  • Accurate doses
  • Absolute zero THC

The last one – no THC whatsoever – is a big draw for a lot of people. All hemp-based products made and sold in the US must, by law, have less than 0.3% THC. While the code is clear, a lot of CBD products may have higher levels of THC than allowed by law or, as one study found, negligible amounts of cannabidiol.

With a CBD isolate or crystals, users can feel secure that they are getting cannabidiol, nothing more, nothing less, which is especially useful for people who regularly have to submit to drug testing. The stability of the compound, as well as its versatility, are also things that make CBD crystals easy to work with.

Full-spectrum CBD suffers from the fact that it is a volatile substance. Exposure to air and light degrade the material, especially when it is suspended in oil. Pure isolate is fortified against those variables, and exposure to air or light does not break down its potency.

Why Should I Buy CBD Crystals?

Shutterstock / Wut.ti.kit

CBD crystals are ideal for DIYers and people who would prefer to make their CBD products. Short of extracting and processing raw hemp to produce CBD distillate (a costly, complicated process), CBD crystals offer people the chance to experiment with the extract and use it in a variety of ways. All without having to get a degree in biochemistry or buy expensive, industrial equipment.

Making CBD products at home ensures that you are getting:

  • The dosage you want
  • The purity you want
  • The quality you want

FAQ about CBD Crystals

Why Does CBD Crystalize?

Cannabidiol forms into crystals because particles seek out particles similar to themselves when they are being separated from a base, in this case, CBD oil. It is a natural process that happens when a target material – cannabidiol, for example – ‘crashes out’ from a carrier liquid and then starts to group, forming a crystal. Because the particles only bond with similar particles, all other cannabinoids or impurities will be excluded from the crystal form, leaving only pure cannabidiol.

How Are CBD Crystals Made?

CBD crystals begin with distillate. ‘Distillate’ is CBD oil that has been extracted from the plant material. The oil contains all the other cannabinoids (like THC), terpenes, and other plant chemicals that make-up full-spectrum CBD. Manufacturers take that liquid solution they have and soak it in a solvent – pentane is a popular one.

They then apply heat and pressure to stir the compound out of the solvent. As the cannabidiol crashes out of the solution, it starts looking to form a chemical bond with similarly structured molecules, namely, other cannabidiol particles. The disparate cannabidiol particles come together to form crystals. The crystal formation leaves out any dissimilar particles, like THC, or terpenes or flavonoids, which is the ultimate goal of this process – pure, cannabidiol crystals.

Are There Any Side-Effects to Using CBD Crystals?

Despite being an organic, all-natural compound, CBD could have potential side-effects in some instances. A statement released by the FDA pointed to several possible adverse effects, including:

  • Liver damage
  • Adverse interaction with other drugs
  • Adverse reaction to alcohol and anti-depressants
  • Drowsiness
  • Diarrhea
  • Mood swings
  • Loss of appetite

The FDA also recently sent out warning letters to fifteen companies for ‘marketing CBD products to treat diseases or for other therapeutic uses for humans and/or animals.’ For these reasons, and more, no one should begin taking hemp extract until they have consulted a physician. CBD should also not replace medically prescribed medicine as a primary form of treatment unless a physician allows it.

Final Thoughts about CBD Crystals

CBD crystals are a versatile way to get a daily dose of hemp extract. Aside from their versatility, their cost is another main feature of the cannabidiol isolates. Buying a jar of high-quality isolates is much cheaper than buying a high-dose, hemp-derived product like oil or capsules or edibles.

Of course, the price depends on the manufacturer and other factors, but with the crystals in hand, users can make CBD products at home for whatever reason they like. The crystals can be dissolved in carrier oils; it can be added to creams and lotions; it can also be mixed in with food and beverages.

With crystals, users can also always be sure they are getting the correct dosage. The amount they use is equal to a dose of cannabidiol, so there’s no wondering about how much exactly they are taking. And the final cherry on top is the myriad of ingestion methods that CBD crystals offer, which appeal to all users.

Have you ever used CBD crystals? Did you like the effects? Share your experiences with us in the comments section below.


Janet Miller

Janet Miller

Janet is a medical specialist with 10 years of experience as a physician and writing passion. She aims to help people and expand humans mindset. Chat with Janet on Twitter @Janet_Miller_MD or via our contact page.


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