At Revolutionary Clinics, we love answering your questions about medical marijuana. Lately we’ve had several patients ask us about THCa which is interesting because the vast majority of our patients are primarily concerned with the percentage of THC in their medicine. Before we explain what THCa is, let’s start with a quick review of THC.
THC stands for Tetrahydrocannabinol, the chemical compound within the marijuana plant that’s responsible for how you feel when you consume cannabis. When selecting a medical marijuana product, the percentage of THC is as important as the percentage of alcohol by volume in an alcoholic beverage or how many grams of protein, fat and carbohydrates are in an energy bar. THC percentage helps you understand how a given cannabis product may affect you.
THCa stands for Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, which is what THC is before it is decarboxylated (in words we all can understand, decarboyxylated means activated, converted or changed) through drying or exposure to heat through smoking or vaping. It’s the cannabis equivalent of a kernel of corn becoming popcorn after being microwaved, heated in oil or held over an open flame. When heat is applied to raw cannabis flower, the “a” in THCa acid snaps off to create an entirely new chemical. That chemical, of course, is THC.
Unlike THC, THCa has no psychoactive qualities so it cannot get you high. So what good is THCa to a medical marijuana patient? The truth is, no one knows for sure since research on THCa is still in its early stages. In situations like this, we turn to our friends at Leafly who have cited the following potential benefits of THCa:
- THCa can help suppress inflammation in the treatment of Crohn’s Disease, Lupus, Arthritis and other conditions
- THCa has neuroprotective properties that may be helpful in the treatment of Parkinson Disease, Alzheimer Disease and brain tumors
- THCa has anti-emetic properties that can relieve nausea and stimulate appetite
- THCa has anti-proliferative properties which are being tested to see if they can reduce the rate of cancer cell growth
Those are some pretty significant potential benefits but again, let us stress that none of the bulleted statements above have been scientifically proven.
If you’d like to find out for yourself by trying THCa, you face the additional challenge of availability. Since THCa is only available before a cannabis flower has been dried, you need access to raw, recently harvested cannabis plants. You can get THCa in any of the flower we offer by grinding the raw bud into a salad or mixing it into a smoothie. That’s an important thing for flower users to know. On days when you’re not feeling your best but you’re not in the mood to smoke/vape or your schedule doesn’t permit you to get high, you can experience the benefits of THCa by ingesting the raw flower. THCa is also available in select edibles where it has been chemically distilled from raw cannabis and reintroduced into the edible.
At Revolutionary Clinics, our product team is working hard to add more THCa products to our pipeline. Make sure you’re one of the first people to know about them by visiting our website and subscribing to our bi-weekly e-newsletter where you’ll also learn about the latest arrivals and our very best deals.
In the meantime, we’re keeping track of the latest research and industry writings on THCa. We’re also listening to our patients when they ask questions about THCa after reading about it online or hearing about it from a friend. After all, keeping our patients informed on the latest products, developments and trends in medical cannabis is what Revolutionary Clinics is all about. If you have any questions, we’re happy to live chat with you on our website during regular business hours or give us a call at 617-213-6006.