As a writer, I've heard that there is a short list of words that you never put into a title if you want a literary agent to read the verbage it's attached to, and one of them is "crystal". It's as much of a kiss of death as admitting that your opus involves talking cats...
It's also a red flag for many pro-cannabis people, who hear in it a potential reference to that dark side of street drugs, the Anti-Weed itself, crystal meth. But in truth, all this misrepresents a lovely, magical, and entirely respectable arrangement taken by friendly molecules, and to complicate matters, the C-word has popped up in the world of extracts and concentrates in connection with THC-A, referred to by some as Crystalline Hash, AKA Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid.
And for good reason, at least in terms of appearance - pure, snowy white THC-A has a crystalline molecular structure (as does THC itself, in fact). And, as most know by now, in itself it's non-euphoric. However, THC-A is the precursor to the definitively euphoric THC, and a batch of 99% pure THC-A is but one small hot step away from conversion into the most concentrated source of THC currently available. A short stay in a vaporizer alters THC-A's chemical structure nicely, and it becomes the powerful, healing medication we all know and love, and often depend on to free us from pain, depression and other ailments.
But wait - there's more! THC-A possesses healing capabilities in it's own right. It's been shown effective for pain reduction, muscle spasms and seizures, nausea, and vomiting, in addition to acting as an appetite stimulant. It is believed to slow the growth of cancer cells, and might be especially effective in fighting prostrate cancer. It is also suspected of having neuroprotective properties, suggesting it's use in combating Multiple Sclerosis, Dystonia and Epilepsy, as well as being an effective anti-inflammatory.
THC-A is produced alongside CBD by the cannabis plant, and requires a process called decarboxilation - basically, applying heat - before being changed into THC. Basic drying and processing partially decarboxilates the plant material, and the process is completed by smoking or vaporizing the dried flowers. In order to access THC-A's healing properties, therefore, it needs to be consumed before heat is applied, which is usually achieved through juicing fresh cannabis leaves, particularly the large fan leaves further down the plant.
Curiously, depending on local legislation, THC-A is not scheduled, and is generally legal - except where it is branded simply for being a natural analog of the Cannabis plant. There's also that microscopic nubbin of converted THC that inevitably remains after extraction... Cops can be excessively painstaking about such things.
BASA now carries Guild Extracts 99.9% pure THC-A crystals. Although they keep their methods shrouded in secrecy, they use no solvents in the extraction. Guild Extracts Crystalline Hash sells for $45 / half gram, and is available at our brick-and-mortar dispensary or by delivery.