Despite its youth as a scientific discovery, THCA, or tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, is gaining traction for its medical applications. Have you heard of THC before? THCA is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in raw and living cannabis that isn’t intoxicating like THC. Over time, when the plant dries up, THCA converts to THC. When smoking or vaporizing flowers, decarboxylation occurs because heat hastens this conversion (decarboxylation).
There are 113 chemical components in marijuana. According to specialists, there may be hundreds of additional chemicals in addition to terpenes and flavonoids. Cannabis’ illegal status, on the other hand, limits study into its properties. Because they’re generally the most plentiful cannabinoids, we’re most familiar with THC and CBD.
It’s easy to believe that these are the only cannabinoids with medical applications. However, in reality, further study on other chemicals yields a different conclusion. It appears that components found in cannabis and hemp work best when used together than they do alone. The “entourage effect” is what this term refers to.
It’s also conceivable that each cannabinoid and terpene has its own purpose. There are a variety of non-intoxicating cannabinoids in cannabis, as well as several that can make you high. Obviously, alone, there isn’t enough of any psychoactive cannabinoid present to cause this reaction on its own.
The thcacannabinoids are one of the cannabinoids that is drawing attention. We look at it and see how it differs from THC in this post.
What Is THCA?
THC is the chemical in marijuana that makes people feel euphoric. It’s the component that produces the pleasant sensation so many individuals enjoy. Breeders today strive to create plants with as much THC as possible. While raw marijuana has a lot of THC, it does so in minute amounts.
Decarboxylation may be achieved by heating marijuana. The act of vaporizing or smoking cannabis accomplishes this operation automatically. Drying and curing the buds also aids in “decarbing” the buds. This method takes a long time to complete. THCA is the “precursor” acid to THC, whereas THC and THCA have similar molecular properties but minor chemical variations. While they are almost equivalent in terms of chemical composition, they differ somewhat in structure .
THCA is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid present in raw cannabis plants that THCV lacks. THCA, as previously said, does not produce any mind-altering effects. This is why you may theoretically eat an awful lot of raw marijuana buds and still not get high at all. THCA, on the other hand, has hundreds of health benefits that doesn’t cause intoxication. It can aid with pain alleviation (analgesic), inflammation reduction (anti-inflammatory), and brain protection (neuroprotective).
THCA has a chemical structure that is quite comparable to THC’s, but it differs in one key aspect: it is created from CBGA instead of CBD. Plants produce three cannabinoid precursor chemicals (THCA, CBDA, and CBCA) as they get older.
Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THC) and tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) are two different cannabinoids. THCA, on the other hand, is too big to fit into cannabinoid receptors in three-dimensional form because it contains THC. As a result of fitting into CB1 receptors, THC produces intoxication. When THCA is heated to high temperatures (i.e., when you smoke or vaporize it), it transforms into THC. At this point, it generates an euphoric sensation.
What Properties Does THCA Possess?
To begin with, there must be a disclaimer of sorts. There isn’t enough research on THCA to determine what it can do. Nonetheless, studies investigating cannabinoids have shown promise. It has been discovered to function as a cannabinoid receptor and have neuroprotective effects in the lab.
Here’s a more in-depth analysis of the features connected with THCA, as well as its advantages. Keep in mind that there’s still much to discover:
- Helps with insomnia
- Modulates the immune system
There have been a few studies published on the health benefits of THCA. In 2011, researchers at Ruhaak et al., in Biological & Pharmaceutical Bulletin, conducted a study that looked at six cannabinoids. The researchers wanted to know if the cannabinoids had an anti-inflammatory effect. They discovered that THCA has anti-inflammatory effects.
In June 2012, Moldzio et al. studied THC and THCA in Phytomedicine. According to the study, THCA may protect against neurodegenerative diseases.
A study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology in July 2013 investigated the effects of THCA and CBDA on nausea and vomiting. Nausea and vomiting were said to be relieved by THCA and CBDA. Their effectiveness exceeded that of THC and CBD, to say the least. The research was done on rodents, but it was fascinating nonetheless.
However, much more research is needed. According to recent studies, cannabis may offer benefit for physical and mental health issues such as chronic pain, anxiety disorders, depression and insomnia. Because scientists struggle to get funding for THC and CBD research, it’s no surprise there hasn’t been much new study recently.
What are THCA’s Effects and Benefits?
There isn’t enough published research on THCA to figure out what it can cure and with what degree of success, but preliminary study and anecdotal evidence suggest that the chemical will have a significant role in cannabis medicines as the sector expands. Here are some of the potential benefits studies are beginning to reveal:
- Anti-inflammatory properties for treatment of arthritis and lupus
- Neuroprotective properties for treatment of neurodegenerative diseases
- Anti-emetic properties for treatment of nausea and appetite loss
- Anti-proliferative properties noted in studies of prostate cancer
Chronic pain, sleeping disorders, muscular spasms, and other illnesses are just a few of the alternative medical therapies promoted by patient testimonies. Unfortunately, additional study will be required to validate all of these benefits before we can fully comprehend what THCA stands for.
How Can I Use THCA?
What medical applications does THCV possess, and how can you make the most of them while avoiding smoking it and converting it to THC? Trimming raw cannabis buds and “juicing” the plant material are two options. We offer a fantastic raw cannabis smoothie recipe on our website, which is a quick and easy approach to get the most out of THCA.
Under ideal circumstances, you can eat it raw. It’s also feasible to decarboxylate THCA by putting it in a tea and calling it THCA Tea. This procedure reduces the temperature of the chemical, preventing it from converting into THC. Sprinkling it on salads or using it in salad dressings is one other option.
It’s also essential to remember that the cannabis must not be exposed to a temperature higher than 250°F. This will happen if you do so. According on Dr. William Courtney of California’s Cannabis International group, raw cannabis has 1,000 times more therapeutic cannabinoid acids (i.e., THCA) than its smoked or vaped counterpart (see graph above).
According to study, CBD oil has a lot of the same characteristics as THC oil. It’s also non-intoxicating. For more information on CBD hemp oil, go see this informative article. Proponents claim that it may help with sleep, pain management, and anxiety relief.
Can You Smoke THCA?
When THCA is exposed to heat, the answer is definitely ‘no,’ according to studies. It is estimated that heating THCA at 212 degrees Fahrenheit for four hours will result in THC conversion entirely. If you burn or vaporize raw marijuana, a substantial portion of the THCA will be destroyed.
You now know that THCA is converted to THC when smoked or vaped. You’re also aware that the chemical transformation is more gradual after the plant has been dried and cured. However, there are various ways to decarboxylate:
- Room Temperature: In the presence of light, THCV is changed to THC in the body. 22% of THCA content in olive oil will be altered for ten days at 77 degrees Celsius when exposed to 22%. The proportion rises to 67 percent during an ethanol extraction. Even if marijuana is kept for many months in a room with limited light, 20% THCB is transformed to THC.
- Sunlight: The quality of the product is comparable. A lot is determined by the overall temperature. THCA molecules are transformed into THC when they are exposed to UV radiation for an extended time period.
- An Oven: Cannabutter is one of the most common ways to decarboxylate cannabis. Sprinkle raw cannabis on a piece of parchment paper and bake at 230°F for 30-90 minutes, or until soft. Activated THC may be generated in as little as 30 minutes if the moisture level in the bud is low enough. However, it could take anything from 90 to 90 minutes.
Why Do Dispensaries Label THCA Content?
Have you ever seen a strain‘s strength measured in THCA, rather than THC? As a result, when determining a strain’s potency, you must consider it.
One of the most popular methods to assess cannabis potency is by GC/MS. This method heats the plant material you’re examining. Cannabis is decarbed and its THCA is converted to THC using this procedure. The amount is expressed as a percentage, which allows us to have a clear and tidy number. At the very least, that’s how it’s intended to work.
THC, on the other hand, can be detected in cannabis even if it doesn’t have an abundance of THC. The weight of cannabis decreases significantly during the heating and decarbing processes. This is due to a loss of carbonyl groups on THCA molecules. As a consequence, this formula may be used to reveal THC:
THC = (% THCA) x (Final Mass/Initial Mass) + (% THC)
For some, the formula above represents a “low-toxic” THC level. However, not all of the THCA is transformed to THC when you smoke marijuana. It’s overly reductive to claim that 30% THCA equals 30% THC when smoking cannabis. nOnly about 30% to 70 percent of any specific strain’s THCA is changed into THC when you smoke it.
When cannabis is uncooked, it has a lot of THCA. When you decarboxylate it, the chemical is changed to THC, the psychotropic cannabinoid that gives you a high. In terms of molecular size, they’re not very different. THCA does not produce intoxication in humans.
Even if you don’t hurt yourself or others, smoking raw marijuana may have a variety of health benefits. Whether you want to learn more about this kind of cannabis is another issue. Keep in mind that heat exposure at high temperatures will ensure that the THCA is “eliminated” from the cannabis plant. To discover whether THCA is safe, you can make a raw weed smoothie or consume it as a leafy green!