What is THCA?

THCA or Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid is the acidic form or precursor to THC! It is the most abundant non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis! All cannabinoids start off in their acidic forms which have differing structures and effects than that of their non-acidic versions. They then convert to their counterpart through decarboxylation or a heat source of some sort. Whether this be a lighter, a torch, or an oven as an element for cooking with THC or making edibles.

THCA is a cannabinoid that is non-intoxicating and structurally has an additional molecular carboxyl ring. This ring prevents it from binding to receptors in the brain that are responsible for the high feeling that THC provides. Now, when exposed to heat it converts to THC and the heat removes the carboxyl ring and helps THC bind to the CB1 receptors in our bodies. The biggest difference between THCA and THC is the high and with THCA being the precursor to THC without THCA we wouldn’t have THC or any of its health benefits.

As far as health benefits goes both THC and THCA have the potential to treat nausea, but THCA has shown more promise addressing inflammation specifically. Providing potential relief for multiple sclerosis, arthritis, and other ailments that suffer from inflammation. It has been looked into as an effective neuro-protectant and can help alleviate and find relief from the symptoms produced by Alzheimer’s and Dementia. It has also been shown to be effective against seizure disorders and could potentially help relief symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Lastly,

THCA has health benefits on its own as mentioned above however keeping it in its acidic form is tough. When you light up a joint or hit a bowl you are introducing it to heat which then triggers it to convert to THC. The only way to experience THCA on its own would be to ingest raw cannabis. Some consumers achieve this by grinding fresh bud into an edible of some sort that doesn’t require heat like a smoothie or some people juice raw cannabis leaves.

Resources?

https://www.crescolabs.com/cannabinoids/thca/#:~:text=What%20is%20THCA%3F,consumption%20such%20as%20cannabis%20juicing.

https://www.leafly.com/news/cannabis-101/what-is-thca-and-what-are-the-benefits-of-this-cannabinoid

https://weedmaps.com/learn/cannabis-and-your-body/difference-between-thca-thc

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