Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, or THCA in short, is a marijuana compound that seems to have some therapeutic potential. THC is a familiar compound to many people. While THC and THCA may sound similar, the two have different properties. One of the most notable THCA benefits is that, unlike THC, it is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in live and raw cannabis.
What Is THCA?
THCA gradually converts to THC as the cannabis plant dies. Heat also speeds up this conversion in a process referred to as decarboxylation. If you buy lab-tested cannabis, you will notice that either THC or THCA is the most abundant cannabinoid. THCA is the more accurate label for cannabis that is yet to go through the decarboxylation process.
Ways to Try THCA
THCA is available in the flowers, leaves, and stems of marijuana plants. If you want to consume it, you will want to avoid drying or heating your cannabis. Examples of ways in which you can consume THCA raw include:
- Using THCA parches.
- Juicing raw cannabis.
- Eating raw THCA edibles.
- Using raw marijuana tinctures.
If you want to try out fresh, raw cannabis, you should look for strains with raw high-THC. This is because they have higher levels of THCA. Once you have your raw marijuana, you can consume or use it in the ways listed above.
The non-psychoactivity of THCA is the main reason why recreational cannabis users dislike ingesting it in its raw form. However, medical marijuana users are more open to using it since it has similar therapeutic benefits as THC, but without the high. Another way to convert THCA to THC is to cure, dry, or store the cannabis plant.
THCA Benefits and Effects
Research on the benefits and effects of this cannabinoid is inadequate. However, anecdotal evidence and preliminary study suggest that it can play an important role in the medical marijuana industry. Like THC, THCA stimulates the user’s appetite and acts as a cannabinoid receptor agonist. Consequently, it helps in its brain protection or neuroprotective effects. THCA is a powerful anti-inflammatory compound, as well. Other potential THCA benefits include:
- It can help relieve pain.
- It suppresses muscle spasms.
- It reduces nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite. An animal study conducted in 2012 compared the antiemetic properties of THCA to THC. Results suggested that the former has stronger antiemetic properties than the latter.
- It helps with sleep.
- It reduces inflammation for the treatment of lupus and arthritis. According to some studies, THCA can also help those with chronic inflammation, as well as Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome.
- It can potentially suppress and improve the functions of the immune system.
- It prevents the growth of cancer cells, as noted in prostate cancer studies.
- It slows damage to the brain and nervous system, which helps in the treatment of neurodegenerative conditions. Such conditions include Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis.
Some people consider THCA to be a superfood. Initial research on this cannabinoid suggests that it may provide a wide range of health benefits. Many medical marijuana users would agree with it. They say that it improved their health problems, such as chronic pain, insomnia, and muscle spasms.