Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabinoid that has been studied for only a short time and yet appears to have therapeutic qualities. You’ve probably heard of THC, but THCA has some interesting characteristics. Raw and living cannabis contains non-intoxicating cannabinoids called THCA that convert to THC as the plant dries. When you smoke or vaporize flowers, decarboxylation occurs, which is a fancy term for what happens when you do so.
Cannabinoids are a class of chemicals found in the cannabis plant. According to researchers, there may be hundreds of additional chemicals in addition to terpenes and flavonoids. However, because marijuana is illegal, research on its properties is restricted. Because they’re the two most prevalent cannabinoids, generally speaking, we know about THC and CBD.
It’s assumed that these are two of the only cannabinoids with medical applications. In fact, while more study has been done on other chemicals, it paints a different picture.
According to the study, certain cannabis and hemp compounds work better together than they do individually. The term “entourage effect” refers to this phenomenon.
It’s also conceivable that cannabis’ cannabinoids and terpenes have distinct applications. Cannabis includes hundreds of non-intoxicating cannabinoids as well as a few that can cause intoxication. Of course, aside from THC, there isn’t enough of any intoxicating cannabinoid to produce this response on its own.
The endocannabinoid system is a set of natural chemicals that helps to maintain homeostasis in the body and brain. Researchers have been researching what impact cannabinoids have on this system for some time. THCA is one particular cannabinoid that is getting a lot of attention these days. We investigate it in depth and discover how it differs from THC in this post
What Is THCA?
The most well-known chemical in cannabis is THC. It’s the chemical that gives users a euphoric high. modern breeders have been known to create plants with as much THC as possible. Only trace amounts of the substance are present in raw marijuana, according to many people.
It is possible to decarboxylate cannabis by heating it. The procedure for vaporizing or smoking marijuana is completed automatically. Drying and curing the buds may also be used to “decarb” them. This technique, on the other hand, takes a long time.
CBD, the acid contained in cannabis plants, has no psychoactive effects and lacks the same effects as THC. Hemp’s Cannabidiolic Acid (CBDa) cannabinoid does not bind effectively to CB1 receptors and has relatively little affinity for other CB receptors. The second most prevalent cannabinoid in cannabis after THC, it is known as “the good stuff” because of its wide range of medical applications. It’s sold as a nutritional supplement or an analgesic, among other things. Its chemical name is cannabigerol; its popular names are CBG, cannabigerolic acid, or simply “CBGA.” When consumed, CBD and THCA are acidic chemicals that produce little to no psychoactivity.
Cannabidiol (CBD) does not cause any psychoactive or mind-altering effects, making it an ideal cannabinoid for medical applications. This is why you could theoretically eat a big amount of uncooked marijuana buds and only experience a little change in your state of consciousness. CBDA is CBD’s most abundant cannabinoid by far; it accounts for over 99% of all cannabidiols found in cannabis plants.
The non-psychoactive cannabinoid THCV, on the other hand, has been shown to have immunomodulatory effects. While it is not as potent as CBD and lacks psychotropic effects in humans, it may still have a significant impact on our health. It exhibits anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties that rival those of THC.
CBGA, like THC and other cannabinoids, is transformed into THCA by enzymes in plants. CBGA is changed into one of three cannabinoid precursor molecules during plant growth: THCA, CBDA, and CBCA.
Cannabinoids are chemicals derived from cannabis that include both tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Cannabinoid acids include THC and CBD. THCA, on the other hand, has an unshaped three-dimensional structure that prevents it from fitting into cannabinoid receptors, particularly CB1 receptors. It’s because it fits into CB1 receptors that cannabis makes you high. When THCA is overcooked at high temperatures (particularly if smoked or vaped), it transforms into THC. It then gives you a sense of euphoria.
What Properties Does THCA Possess?
To begin, a disclaimer is in order. There isn’t enough knowledge about THCA to say what it can do at this time. That said, studies that have looked at cannabinoids in general have given promising results. It has been claimed that THCA functions as an appetite stimulant and that it acts similarly to THC in doing so. It functions as a cannabinoid receptor without being psychoactive and might deliver neuroprotective benefits.
This is a more in-depth look at the possible characteristics of THCA. Keep in mind that we still require considerably more research:
- Helps with insomnia
- Modulates the immune system
THCA has been the subject of several research studies. Ruhaak et al., writing in Biological & Pharmaceutical Bulletin in 2011, studied six cannabinoids for this study. The researchers wanted to see whether these compounds had anti-inflammatory effects. They found that THCA has anti-inflammatory properties.
In June 2012, Moldzio et al. published a study on the effects of THC and THCA in Phytomedicine. According to the findings, THCA may help prevent neurodegenerative diseases.
In July 2013, researchers from the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the Rocky Mountain Poison Center released a study in the British Journal on Pharmacology. THCA and CBDA were found to aid in decreasing nausea and vomiting. In fact, their impact surpassed that of THC and CBD. The study was done on mice, yet it was still fascinating.
However, as you can see from the dates of these studies, there has been little recent research. Scientists have a hard enough time obtaining funds to conduct THC and CBD tests as it is!
What are THCA’s Effects and Benefits?
There isn’t enough research on THCA to figure out what it can cure and in what degree of efficacy, but preliminary study and anecdotal evidence suggest that it will have a significant part in cannabis medicine as the sector develops. Here are some of the potential benefits that studies are now revealing:
- 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
According to user experiences, cannabis may assist with insomnia, muscular spasms, and pain. Unfortunately, further study will be required to verify all of the aforementioned advantages before we can truly comprehend what THCA means for cannabinoid-based medicines in the future.
How To Use THCA?
What exactly is THCA, and how can you utilize its medical potential while avoiding smoking it and changing it to THC? Trimming fresh cannabis buds and “juicing” the plant material are two methods. We have a fantastic raw cannabis smoothie recipe on our website. It’s a simple approach to get the most out of THCA.
Place the cannabis in a pan with enough water to cover it by about an inch and bring to a boil. Steep for approximately 15 minutes in boiling water before straining.
It’s critical not to expose cannabis to temperatures above 250 degrees Fahrenheit, as doing so will degrade it into THC. Dr. William Courtney of the Cannabis International Network says that raw cannabis contains 1,000 times more therapeutic cannabinoid acids (THCA) than smoked or vaporized cannabis (i.e., THC).
According to study, CBD has some of the same characteristics as THC oil. It also does not produce intoxication. For further details regarding CBD hemp oil, see this article. According to supporters, it may help with sleep, pain, and anxiety alleviation.
Can You Smoke THCA?
In practice, however, if THCA is exposed to heat the answer is no. When THCA is heated to 212°F for four hours, it will convert entirely into THC. THCA will be lost when you burn or vaporize raw cannabis.
THC is converted to THCA when smoked or vaped. You’re also aware that during the drying and curing process, the conversion rate slows down. Other decarboxylation methods exist, including:
- THCA can transform into THC after it is exposed to light for long enough. THCA will convert to THC if it is kept in the open for lengthy periods of time. After ten days, 22% of THCA might be converted to THC if it’s immersed in olive oil at 77 degrees Fahrenheit. The percentage rises to 67 percent when ethanol is used as a solvent. Marijuana stored under low-light conditions may yield 20% THCA content as THC after extended exposure.
- The following data is applicable to both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.
- A Convection Oven: When decarbing cannabis using a convection oven, is one of the most common techniques. Decarboxylate the raw cannabis by baking it at 230°F for 30 minutes to 90 minutes, depending on the bud’s moisture level. It might take as little as 30 minutes or more, depending on the quality of your material and how well you decarb it.
Why Do Dispensaries Label THCA Content?
Have you ever seen a dispensary label the percentage of THCA in a strain rather than THC? As a consequence, when determining the strength of a strain, this must be considered.
Gas chromatography is the most common approach to measure marijuana potency. In this method, the plant material is heated. During this process, decarbs and decarbines THC are produced. The proportion of drug strength is calculated by measuring the percentage of THCA in the plant material, which must be at least that aim with this technique.
In reality, the weight loss caused by cannabis decarboxylation and reduction is significant. THCA molecules lose a lot of their carbonyl groups as a result of the heating and decarbing processes. This formula may be used to determine the amount of THC in marijuana:
THC = (% THCA) x (Final Mass/Initial Mass) + (% THC)
For others, the above is a “maximum” THC level. When you smoke marijuana, however, not all THCA converts to THC. It’s ridiculous to believe that 30% THCA translates to 30% THC when you smoke any particular strain. Only 30-70 percent of the THCA in any given strain is changed to THC when you smoke it.
When cannabis is uncooked, it contains a lot of THCA. When you decarboxylate it, this chemical is converted to THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid that provides an intoxicating high. In terms of molecular structure, they are relatively similar. However, their effects on the human body and brain are significantly different. THCA does not cause intoxication.
Despite this, advocates of raw marijuana maintain that it has health advantages. Another thing to think about is whether you wish to learn more about cannabis in general. Keep in mind that high temperatures will cause THCA to be “replaced” by THC. You may consume THCA as a leafy green or make a raw weed smoothie!