which technique is better? Crystallization or chromo-column.

I was discussing with someone and they had mentioned that it may be wiser to use crystallization over using a chromo-column to make isolates.My guess is something about yields? But I was curious what method everyone would recommend for yield, and quality of the isolates?

Crystallization is the go to.

Big Pharma avoids a chromatography purification whenever they can.

really depends which cannabinoid you’re after.

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It’s possible, I’ve posted couple times where I mined bunch large diamonds, washed w cold Ethol thru the b.f… Then decarbbed under full vac… Good luck though buddy!

My avatar is the THC isolate in the decarb process


Any sensory or qualitative difference to the final product from those decarbed crystals and good distillate?

Chromatography: yields and purity should be near 100%, has the advantage of being able to remove other contaminants. Through-put and solvent use are major drawbacks. Must have in-house analytics to develop method, choose fractions.

Crystallization (as discussed around here): yields are much lower, purity in the same ball park but not going to get you pure isolates of individual cannabinoids. Through-put is poor (multiple week runs), low solvent use. No need for in-house analytics, which is why most chose it.

Effects vs distillate. Distillation effects the high, IMO. The thermal effects of the process isomerize/degrade the cannabinoids and effect the overall cannabinoid ratio. Most labs currently do not have the methods or standards to test for the effects of the distillation degradation syndrome (DDS, you heard it here first :wink:) but it is coming. Almost all labs at this point can pick a distilled chromatograph just by the small "mystery’ peaks common to all distillate. It is a finger print for the process. Small amounts of these “off notes” dramatically effect the character, duration, and intensity of the high. Not to mention their effects on the flavor profile of the product.

Clean Crystal, consumed property, is by far the superior experience in my book.


@shinyemulsion: well said. Thank you!

yeah, those mystery peaks are gonna become a regulatory issue in the near future. or they should.

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It’s not just mystery peaks, it’s also small peaks co-eluting with known peaks, effectively masking them.

The methods used right now were not designed to separate what could be 7 isomers of the same molecule, plus the existing 11-13 molecules most labs currently test for. There are still labs out there that have trouble with just D8 and D9!

To me it the Marinol situation all over. Marinol is only ~95% pure. The other 5% are all side products left over from synthesis. The side products are cannabinoid like, and are more than likely responsible for some (all?) of the side effects of Marinol. I think in time we will see the same thing shake out about distillate. People have moved to it because it is relatively low skill, high through-put, and can really clean up poorly extracted product to produced one that usually looks nice in a glass cartridge. Once more Crystal and high purity non-distilled products come to market, customer choice will drive it out.

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what in house analytics are you speaking of?

I think to really test distillate properly you are going to have to switch to hplc-ms, with chrial colums, at least untill standards of all the thc isomers are available.