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What is THCA and What are Its Effects

If you have been smoking cannabis, you are probable or most likely familiar with the two main components that it has. The Cannabidiol, or CBD, and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC are just 2 of the many cannabinoids that can be found in marijuana. They react to the cannabinoids receptors which limit or treat the effect of cannabis in the body.

To be exact there are at least 113 identified cannabinoids and one they are THCA. In this article, we will get to know what THCA and its benefits and effects on the body. According to researchers, the compounds found in marijuana play different roles and affect terpenes and flavonoids. 

Of course, we are all aware that these cannabinoids cause the high and the medicinal value of the weed. CBD and THC are considered as two main cannabinoids but another cannabinoid is now getting attention and that is THCA.

What is THCA?

For experienced cannabis consumers, they are all well aware of THC. THC is responsible for the high you get from the cannabis or the weed. It has psychoactive effects that can produce a psychedelic high, uplift the mood, and boost energy. 

Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid or THCA is the forerunner of THC. In simpler terms, the THCA changes the THC to give cannabis its psychoactive properties. So it is important to know that THC will not work without THCA. This occurs when the plant slowly dries due to the process called decarboxylation.

Though the THCA is responsible for the activation of THC, it is not responsible for the psychoactive effects from the THC. Though these two are almost identical when it comes to their chemical structure they have molecular differences that are responsible for their different effects in the body.

As mentions, THCA does not produce the mind-altering effects it has several medicinal and therapeutic benefits including pain management, neuroprotective properties, and anti-inflammatory.

What are the Benefits of THCA?

Though there are a few established research regarding the benefits of THCA, it has shown positive results and suggests that THCA plays a vital role in the cannabis medical community because of its medicinal benefits. Here are a few of the benefits of THCA that is creating a breakthrough in the cannabis medical community:

  • Neuroprotective – it is very helpful in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.
  • Anti-inflammatory – this is very helpful in the treatment of lupus and arthritis.
  • Anti-emetic – it can help in the treatment of nausea and also appetite loss.
  • Anti-proliferative – can help in the treatment of prostate cancer.

Further studies are still being conducted to explore the benefits of THCA in the medical field and so far researchers are getting positive responses. Though the studies are in the infancy stages, they have already shown positive results as to its medical benefits.

Where can you find THCA?

THCA can be found in raw cannabis strain parts. Meaning, this compound is found in raw cannabis which has not yet been exposed to heat. The THCA is not present to dried cannabis as the weed has already been exposed to the heat to dry thus there is no longer THCA but what is present is the THC which will give the strain it is high. 

For those who want to get a hold of THCA, they are marketed specifically under different brands for example Present naturals and Mary Medicinals Transdermal patches. 

Will THCA get you High?

The answer is no. THCA does not produce the psychoactive and mind-altering effects of a cannabis plant. It helps though by activating the THC. When cannabis is exposed to heat or dried, the THCA is converted into the THC, which is the one responsible for the high in cannabis.

Can THCA be Smoked?

THCA breaks down into THC when exposed to health. Exposing THCA to about 212 Fahrenheit will convert it to THC. It is important to know that when you heat THCA it will be converted to THCA so it is impossible to smoke or vaporize THCA. However, you can preserve the THCA in several ways:

  • Keep in a room with the right room temperature. Do not leave it long enough as it will be exposed to the heat and THCA will be turned to THC. You can preserve it by using olive oil. Keep the THCA exposed to 77 degrees for ten days which will result in a 22% THCA convert. Using ethanol, it will give you 67% extraction. 
  • Sunlight. Just make sure that you won’t expose your plant to sunlight that long as again, it will be converted to THC. A room with a cool temperature will help you preserve the THCA of your cannabis plant.

What are the side Effects of THCA?

So far, there have not been reported side-effects of THCA consumption. If you want to consume THCA instead of enjoying the benefits of THC, it is best to consult your physician especially if you want to use it for medical reasons. A doctor’s prescription will be very helpful for safe dosage and medication.

Will THCA fail you in a Drug test?

Several drug tests will use THCA as a target analyte for cannabis testing. Because of that, THCA can be detected in a drug test and will bring about a positive result. Just a tip though, if you are to be subject to a drug test, make not to smoke weed before it. Do not consume either THC or THCA. These two compounds can be tested in drug tests.

The cannabis community is ever-changing and each day new findings regarding the benefits of this weed are being discovered. It seems that cannabis enthusiasts have enough knowledge on the benefits of THC and CBD. This is good as consumers are becoming aware of the strain that they use as well as finding the right strain that they want to use.

Though the studies on what THCA is on the infancy stage, it is good to know that it has shown positive results as to its benefits especially in the medical field. With this notion, we can be assured that there is more to what has been explored right now and it will no longer be a surprise if there will be more breakthroughs that this THCA compound will bring about.

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