Misconceptions About the Quality of Crystallizing CBD Distillate Vape

By Dennis O’Neill and Maxim Mikheev, Ph.D.
Published: October 26, 2021
Key Takeaways

Many consumers who purchase CBD vape pens believe the product is defective when the CBD crystallizes. However, that’s not the case. Read on to find out why.

If you are interested in purchasing CBD products and have done your own research on them, you likely encountered several blog posts, reviews, or articles depicting how a customer’s CBD oil or pen has crystallized and turned into an unusable product that they now perceive to be “poor quality, garbage, and a waste of money.”


The common misconception consumers have is that crystallizing CBD products reflects poor quality or a defective product. The truth is, science and the molecular composition of CBD gives us a different story. Pens with a high percentage of CBD that crystallizes actually represent a sign of purity and quality.

How Does CBD Become Crystallized?

Crystallization is the scientific process when the CBD will start to granulate and separate from the extract, creating what appears to harden into a diamond-like, slushy consistency. When a CBD vape cartridge or the oil itself begins to crystallize, this is an indication the product is higher in concentration, purity, and quality. To put it simply, the more pure the CBD, the more likely it will crystallize.


In general, the scientific rule-of-thumb is that the purity of CBD distillate must be at least 80-85 percent to crystallize by itself. So if a customer’s pen crystallizes on its own accord, this is an indication that the product has a purity rating of 80 percent or higher.

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The common analogy used to relate crystallization to other household products is high-grade, natural honey and how it tends to crystallize on the shelf. The consumer believes their product is spoiled or adulterated, when, in fact, it is not.


To put it scientifically, pure honey consists of sugar water (glucose and fructose). In some cases, there is an oversaturation of that sugar water in honey creating an unstable molecular environment. This forces the sugar to granulate and crystallize. The same can be said of maple syrup, the purer the honey or maple syrup, the more likely it will crystallize. CBD in a vape cart solution is the sugar water and when there is an oversaturation, it creates an unstable molecular environment and crystallizes.

Pens that are not crystallizing are either loading their cartridges with a substandard product or even will go as far as adding crystallization inhibitors — which alters the product quality. Consumers are left unaware of the specific chemicals and additives used to inhibit crystallization. Inhaling these types of chemicals and additives may pose a serious health risk.


heating a crystallized CBD cartridge with a hair dryerGently heating a crystallized CBD cartridge with a hair dryer can return it to its liquid state.

What are CBD Producers Doing for Consumers About this Problem?

Blissco, a licensed producer and Canadian wellness brand based out of British Columbia, is working on mitigating consumers’ concerns who have encountered this issue by providing educational materials to explain this phenomenon and provide solutions to fix the crystallized pens.

The Blissco Pur Cloud CBD vape pen falls into the category of “high concentration CBD distillates” that can experience crystallization due to the high-quality CBD distillate formulation (derived from whole CBD flower) they put in their pens.

They suggest if your vape cartridge does crystallize, there are a few methods you can take upon yourself at home to fix the crystallized pen.

Here are three effective ways to return the crystallized CBD cartridge to its liquid state:

  1. Run a hair dryer on the warm setting and pointing it directly at the cartridge for five minutes.
  2. Roll the cartridge between your hands.
  3. Place the cartridge in a tightly sealed bag and run it under hot water to dissolve the crystals.

What’s Next for CBD Markets?

The potential of the CBD market is remarkable. The Canadian Health Food Association put out a press release noting if there was a regulatory change to allow CBD products to be sold like any other health product you can purchase in a department store, that the market for CBD health products could grow in size to a whopping $2.5 billion dollars in the next five years. The global CBD oil and CBD consumer health market size is expected to reach US$123 billion by 2027.

This potential needs to be matched with remarkable, high-quality, stable products that consumers feel confident in purchasing. Licensed producers are working tirelessly to perfect product formulations and bring the highest quality CBD products to market. One of the first hurdles in doing that is educating the consumer on what high quality looks and feels like in order for the market to reach its full potential.


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