Research, Treatment

What is THCA? How Does it Work? What are the Benefits?


by Lauren

August 27, 2019 06:46 pm ET
What is THCA? How Does it Work? What are the Benefits?

Many are familiar with the cannabinoids THC and CBD. THC is the notorious cannabinoid that’s responsible for the euphoria you experience after consuming cannabis. CBD is the cannabinoid that doesn’t get you high but still comes with a variety of medicinal benefits. As cannabis research paves more way, more information about its other constituents is becoming available. 

Cannabinoid Acids

Cannabis plants aren’t automatically equipped with cannabinoids. They begin first as cannabinoid acids. When cannabinoid acids undergo the decarboxylation process that removes the carboxylic acid ring from its molecular structure, they become converted into cannabinoids and produce the desired effects that most consumers enjoy. 

Take a look at the 8 known cannabinoid acids and their corresponding cannabinoids: 

8 cannabinoids infographic veriheal

Raw cannabis is naturally dense with THCA and CBDA. The other cannabinoid acids are present but just in substantially smaller amounts. While cannabinoid acids don’t produce any known intoxicating effects, they do have antimicrobial and insecticide properties. 

Benefits of THCA

If it’s not converted to THC, what benefits does THCA offer? While research is still in its beginning stages, there is evidence that THCA has been beneficial in alleviating certain symptoms and has the following properties: 

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Inhibits tumor growth in prostate cancer
  • Anti-emetic for nausea treatment
  • Neuroprotectant
  • Effective pain management

Where to Get THCA and How to Use it

All cannabis flower has THCA in it. Fresh cannabis and high-THC strains will have the most especially. If you purchase raw flower that has been tested in a lab, you’ll notice that the label will properly indicate the percentage of THC or THCA. As THCA is the unconverted form of THC, these percentages essentially mean the same thing. THCA can be found in products such as balms, oils, tinctures, and transdermal patches. Juicing with raw cannabis leaves is also another popular method of consumption. If you would like to tap into the benefits of THCA without risking intoxicating effects, we recommend that you avoid applying any sort of heat that will convert it to THC.  

There is still so much to learn about cannabis and all of its components that make it valuable. We are excited to see what research has in store for us and for the world to become aware of the benefits of all cannabinoids. Until then, be prudent by consulting a medical professional to see if cannabis is right for you! 

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