If you are a cannabis enthousiast and follow the news in this industry, you may have heard about THCA. once extracted, It looks like small white/yellowish/transparant crystals and this cannabinoid has major medicinal values wich makes it more and more populair for patients. Because of how it looks, people often mistake it for a chemical drug like cocaine or MDMA and avoid it. This is absolutely un-necessery! THCA is safe to use.
THCA is only found on very fresh cannabis plants so extracting this substance can only be done with fresh material. Also extracting a pure crystal of THCA is pretty hard. The proces requires special equipment and training to handle the machinery.
Difference between THC and THCA
THCA stand for Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid and is the biosynthetic precursor of the well known THC. Though it’s features and medicinal benefits are very different! Why? Let me explain:
The main reason cannabis gets dried, hardened and heated to feel it’s desired effects is because of a proces called decarboxylation. (wich simply means it deletes a carboxyl group) By doing this, you will transform 9-Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) into the psychoactive cannabinoid THC. So THCA (found on fresh living plants) will turn into THC when it get’s in touch with fresh air, lightning or heat.
This chemical reaction happens when fresh cannabis gets dried/hardened or even fatser when it gets exposed to heat. (For example when you smoke it, make canna-butter or put it in a rosin press) Combined with other aspects like oxygen and sunlight will also speed up the decarboxylation.
Simply said: THCA is THC in a acidic, non-psychoactive form and excists before THC. This means you won’t feel it’s effects without the decarboxylation proces.
Even without the ability to get “high” from THCA, it has some major other uses and effects specially in medical terms. Too bad laws make it hard to study and research the effects of cannabinoids. So the exactly finding out how it can help te human race may take some time. however we already now a few things abou THCA!
Medicinal Effects of THCA
What makes THCA so populair are it’s medicinal benefits. While research is still happening and new things are discoverd it’s hard to claim definitive cures or therapeutic effects, but that doesn’t mean they don’t excist. Researches point out possible strong medicinal benefits of THCA like:
-Reducing vomiting and nauseu
-Reducing lost of appetite
-Neuroprotective properties when treating neurodegenerative diseases. (parkinsons, dementia)
-Slowing down the growth of prostate cancer (anti-proliferative)
-Anti-inflammatory effects wich can be helpfull in multiple diseases. (often used for arthritis)
If you are planning to consume or use THCA in a medicinal way, you need to think about a few things. Especially saving up a load of THCA is not always easy. As it’s such a sensitive substance (It turns into THC very quickly) you need to store it at -20 Degrees celcius. This way it stays good for +-3 months.
Once you’ll get it out of the freezer it will be a matter of days before it starts to give off CO2 and turn into it’s neutral, non acidic form (THC). So users who only consume it for medicinal purpose and don’t want to get “high” should stock the THCA in their freezer.
Fun fact: Did you know that in labs, THCA is used to calculate the THC percentage in cannabis? Find out how it works!