What is THCA tetrahydocannabinolic acid
THCA is a non-psychoactive chemical found in raw cannabis. THCA is the most common cannabinoid found in fresh cannabis flowers. THCA is the acid form of THC.
THCA becomes THC when you add heat through a chemical process called decarboxylation.
THCA Chemical Structure
What are the benefits of THCA
In the few studies that exist, THCA was found to have the following benefits:
The anti-inflammatory properties of THCA make it unique from other cannabinoids. For example, researchers have examined the effects of THC and THCA on levels of a chemical that regulates immune cell function, known as tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα). They determined that THC increases the level of TNFα in the body, whereas THCA lowers its production.
This may contribute to the anti-inflammatory properties of THCA, as TNFα plays a role in inflammation and fever. It also suggests that THCA may be useful in treating pain, muscle spasms, menstrual cramping, and immune system disorders.
Marijuana is commonly used to treat nausea and vomiting, due to its anti-emetic (anti-nausea) properties. Interestingly, THCA has been found to have anti-emetic effects that are distinct from other cannabinoids like THC.
In one study, researchers found that THCA significantly reduced nausea and vomiting in animal models, although these effects were not achieved through activation of the CB1receptor.
Much like other cannabinoids, THCA has shown potentially beneficial effects in cancer. THCA has been shown to slow tumor growth in a variety of tumor cell types. These effects however were not found to be as significant as other cannabinoids like CBD.
THCA may also have neuroprotective effects, meaning that it can help protect cells of the brain and nervous system (neurons) from damage. A study using brain cell cultures exposed to a toxic chemical known as MPP found that THCA protected the brain cells from toxicity.
THCA was able to increase the number of living cells after exposure to MPP by 123%. CBD was also tested in the study and showed similar levels of protection (117%). The neuroprotective properties of THCA suggest that it may be useful for treating neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
Scientific research on THCA
Unheated Cannabis sativa extracts and its major compound THC-acid have potential immuno-modulating properties not mediated by CB1 and CB2 receptor coupled pathways.
Evaluation of the Cyclooxygenase Inhibiting Effects of Six Major Cannabinoids Isolated from Cannabis sativa
Effects of cannabinoids Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol, Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid and cannabidiol in MPP+ affected murine mesencephalic cultures.
The tetrahydrocannabinol and tetrahydrocannabinolic acid content of cannabis products
Non-THC cannabinoids inhibit prostate carcinoma growth in vitro and in vivo: pro-apoptotic effects and underlying mechanisms
Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid reduces nausea-induced conditioned gaping in rats and vomiting in Suncus murinus.
How to take THCA
THCA can be taken or consumed in a variety of ways, but because THCA becomes THC when heated, it generally cannot be smoked or vaporized.
The most common ways of taking THCA include topicals, tinctures and raw cannabis juice.
Iain McGregor, professor of Psychopharmacology at the Lambert Initiative For Cannabinoid Therapeutics at Sydney University, said juicing cannabis was not at all like smoking the plant.
“Juicing the cannabis green material … gives a very different cannabinoid profile than smoking cannabis,”
“In many ways, juicing is a positive thing to do because you don’t get nearly as much of the intoxicating element, which is THC [tetrahyrdocannabinol] and you get another component of cannabinoid, which is THCA [tetrahydocannabinolic acid], which has very strong anti-inflammatory properties in the gut.
What are the side effects of THCA?
“Proper clinical trials on THCA have not been done and this is one of the generic problems that we have with medicinal cannabis, this prohibition that we have over the years is really stymieing progress in terms of learning the therapeutic effects of the plant.”
Where can I get CBD oil that is high in THCA
Eternal plants sell entourage CBD oil which is a whole plant extract and contains more of the acidic cannabinoids like CBDA and small amounts of THCA.
The best way to get THCA is from juicing the raw cannabis plant and consuming it straight away.
Is THCA legal
As a single molecule the legal status of THCA is a bit grey since it doesn’t get you high and has no psychoactive effects, It may not be able to be legally sold where cannabis is illegal due to the conversion of THCA to THC inside the body or when it’s heated or decarboxylated.When dealing with RSO/THC oil/Medicinal Cannabis, ie any hemp/cannabis extract with greater than 0.02% THC, things move into the Schedule 8/9 arena, contraventions of which become a federal police matter. Please check with your local authorities to be sure.