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Discovering THCa and Its Key Differences with THC

Consumers who have tried every medical marijuana product may notice their medicine contains a much higher content of the cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinolic acid or THCa than other compounds like cannabidiol (CBD) or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). They can find the cannabis offerings’ labels detailing their exact terpene profiles and cannabinoid makeups.

Consumers will also witness their medical marijuana’s ingredients featuring percentages of THCa and THC on the product labels and wonder what they mean. This online discussion defines THCa and its relationship with THC. Furthermore, it tells apart these two common elements found in medical marijuana products. Readers will find information regarding the many wellness benefits of THCa.

A) Explaining the Fundamental Nature of Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid

Medical marijuana patients curious about tetrahydrocannabinolic acid or THCa will discover that this element is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid. Being a cannabinoid like CBD and THC, THCa is a unique raw acid compound. Moreover, this non-psychotropic cannabinoid is found in live and raw cannabis.

Unprocessed medical marijuana plants or raw medical marijuana leaves contain an abundance of THCa. Additionally, medical marijuana in its pure form contains less of and does not comprise sufficient amounts of the intoxicating THC compound to induce psychoactive reactions.

THCa and THC have a complex relationship. They also have different features, and it would help if medical marijuana users learned more about them.

B) Comprehending the Non-Psychoactive Cannabinoid and THC’s Salient Disparities

Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid or THCa comes from cannabigerolic acid or CBGA. The latter is known as the “mother of all cannabinoids.” CBGA is also where all of the major cannabinoids present in cannabis are derived. Enzymes unique to every cannabis strain convert the CBGA into some combination of the three major cannabinoid precursor compounds as the cannabis plant matures.

These compounds include tetrahydrocannabinolic acid or THCa, cannabichromenic acid or CBCA, and cannabidiolic acid or CBDA. Medical marijuana users eager to know more about their treatments may wonder what makes THCa and THC dissimilar from each other. The following two features are their key differences:

1. THCa is actually a precursor to the intoxicating THC compound.

THCa is a unique compound from which the cannabinoid THC comes. The latter, also known as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, is the active psychotropic cannabinoid. Decarboxylation is the process in which medical marijuana or THCa’s raw form gets heated, dried, and vaporized.

Furthermore, this scientific expression pertains to the procedure in which the non-psychoactive cannabinoid THCa expeditiously gets converted to THC. Several ways that facilitate the decarboxylation process to happen include the medical marijuana product undergoing:

  1. Sunlight exposure;
  2. Heat exposure through concentrates, smoking, oven decarboxylation, and vaping; and
  3. Room temperature exposure.

Users would normally not feel anything if they chewed some freshly harvested cannabis as THCa is still intact. They will also find out that very little time for sunlight or other energy sources encourages THC formation in this process.

However, in decarboxylation, THCa loses its acidic carbonyl group to become THC. Indeed, THCa quickly becomes THC when it gets exposed to heat from various sources.

Therefore, users can expect relatively minimal THCa remaining in cannabis products they consume through cooking and eating the cooked food, inhaling, vaping, and smoking.

2. THCa has no psychoactive effects.

Although THCa and THC share a very similar chemical composition with each other, THC can lead to mind-altering effects for consumers. It can also result in users feeling psychoactive impacts like euphoria and being “high.”

After all, tetrahydrocannabinol is the chemical compound responsible for the intoxicating reactions that come with cannabis use. On the other hand, THCa is different from THC since this cannabinoid’s molecular structure does not fit into the human body’s CB1 cannabinoid receptors.

After all, THCa has a larger size and three-dimensional shape. Furthermore, THCa does not bind well with either CB1 or CB2 receptors in the human body’s endocannabinoid system. Thus, consuming THCa in its original state does not result in experiencing psychoactive effects, no matter how much users ingest.

THCa only interacts with the human body’s CB2 receptors, which do not play a role in altering the human state of mind. Medical marijuana users are aware of THC’s many health benefits. This cannabinoid is similar to THCa as the latter also delivers many advantages to users’ wellness.

C) Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid’s Potential Health Benefits

Cannabis users may find raw cannabis juices, tinctures, and edibles widely available in the market delectable. These products include high levels of THCa and other unprocessed cannabinoids.

Additionally, raw cannabis edibles, juices, and tinctures enable consumers to relish the nonpsychoactive cannabinoid for therapeutic and medicinal purposes without getting “high.” Consuming THCa products for recreational or medicinal reasons can deliver the following health benefits:

  1. Insomnia relief;
  2. Pain mitigation by serving as an analgesic;
  3. Appetite stimulant and relief from nausea and vomiting through THCa’s anti-emetic properties;
  4. Avoiding free radicals’ hazard by THCa being an antioxidant;
  5. Muscle spasm antidote via THCa’s anti-spasmodic properties;
  6. Healing from fibromyalgia, lupus, and arthritis through THCa’s anti-inflammatory properties;
  7. Treatment of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS, Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, and other neurodegenerative illnesses via THCa’s neuroprotective features; and
  8. Prostate cancer and other major cancers’ treatments through THCa’s anti-proliferative properties.

THCa, which is available in various consumable forms, including raw cannabis juices, topicals, capsules, and tinctures, is advantageous in treating the abovementioned ailments, including its original form. Early research efforts also exhibited this cannabinoid’s potential in decelerating brain and nervous system damage, thanks to its neuroprotective properties.

For patients seeking relief from fever, inflammation, and pain, THCa is a remedy. This nonpsychoactive cannabinoid may act together with other acid forms of cannabinoids in inhibiting COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes.

The latter produce prostaglandins promoting health concerns in patients. THCa’s functioning and the other cannabinoids lead to the potential reduction of inflammation and other wellness problems. Consumers today relish cannabis juices available on the menus of trendy cannabis wellness cafes and shops.

They do not get that “high” feeling they may not want, as juicing can extract THCa from the cannabis material without converting significant amounts to THC. These avid weed users should remember to carry on with their healthy habits since these wellness-giving products comprise the significantly healthful cannabinoid THCa.

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