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How many cannabinoids should you be familiar with? There is Delta 9 - THC, CBD, Delta 8, Delta 10, HHC, and so on. This list continues to grow as hemp scientists explore the active components inside cannabis.
Recently, THCA got introduced into the cannabis market. Have you ever heard of this cannabinoid? In this article, we'll explore THCA, how it differs from THC, and the potential benefits it may offer. Whether you're a cannabis enthusiast or simply curious about the science behind this fascinating plant, you'll find plenty of helpful information here.
READ: Is THCA Legal?
THCA, or tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, is a cannabinoid found in the raw form of cannabis and hemp plants. It was first isolated and identified in the 1960s by Raphael Mechoulam, a renowned cannabis researcher who discovered THC.
Nope, THCA isn’t an artificial compound. The resin glands of cannabis flowers produce it as a defense mechanism against predators and environmental stressors. In its raw form, THCA is non-psychoactive, meaning it does not produce the euphoric high associated with THC.
Manufacturers must extract THCA from raw cannabis or hemp plants to acquire it. Solvent-based extraction, which involves extracting the cannabinoid from plant material with a solvent such as ethanol or butane, is a widespread technique. Another method is CO2 extraction, which employs pressurized carbon dioxide to extract the THCA.
Once the THCA has been extracted, it can be further processed and refined into various forms, such as tinctures, edibles, or concentrates. Some manufacturers may also decarboxylate the THCA to convert it into THC, which is psychoactive and produces the well-known high associated with cannabis use.
As a non-psychoactive compound, THCA does not produce the euphoric high associated with THC. It does interact with the endocannabinoid system, which consists of cannabinoid receptors and endocannabinoids (chemical messengers) occurring throughout the body. However, it doesn’t bind to the CB1 receptor, which is why cannabinoids like THC get you intoxicated.
What type of beneficial effects can THCA give you? One of the potential benefits of THCA is its anti-inflammatory properties, which may help to relieve body fatigue. Moreover, this cannabinoid may act as a neuroprotective agent, shielding the central nervous system.
Depending on your preferences and needs, there are a few different ways to take THCA. Here are some of the most common methods:
One of the easiest ways to consume THCA is by eating raw cannabis leaves or buds. When consumed in this way, the THCA is not decarboxylated, meaning it remains non-psychoactive. However, the taste and texture of raw cannabis can be unpleasant for some people.
THCA tinctures are liquid extracts that can be taken sublingually (under the tongue) or added to food or drinks. The onset time for tinctures is typically around 15-45 minutes, making them a relatively fast-acting option.
THCA can also be added to foods or drinks to create edibles. When consumed in this way, the onset time can be longer (anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours) as the liver must first metabolize the THCA.
THCA's legal status in the US depends on federal and state laws. According to the 2018 Farm Bill, products made from hemp containing less than 0.3% THC are legal at the federal level.
At the state level, laws have greater preference over federal ones. Some states have legalized marijuana for medical or recreational use, which may include THCA products.
But even in states where marijuana is legal, there may still be restrictions on how much THCA can be in products and who can buy them. It's also illegal to travel with marijuana across state lines, even between two states where it's legal.
Whether THCA is legal depends on where you live and how you get and use it. It's important to follow state laws and use marijuana responsibly.
Preserving the freshness of THCA products is essential to maintain their potency and flavor. Here are some tips on how to keep your THCA products fresh:
THCA products should be kept away from heat and moisture. Please keep them in a cool, dry place, like a pantry or cupboard.
Air exposure can cause THCA to degrade quickly, so using airtight containers like glass jars or silicone containers is essential.
Light can also cause THCA to degrade, so it's best to store your products in a dark place or in opaque containers.
Oxygen can cause THCA to oxidize, which can decrease its potency. Try using oxygen absorbers in your storage containers to prevent oxidation.
THCA vape carts may have a slight smell of cannabis, but it's typically much less noticeable than smoking or vaping THC-rich cannabis products. The odor is generally milder and dissipates quickly.
The cost of THCA tinctures can vary depending on the brand, potency, and quantity. On average, they can range from $30 to $150 per bottle.
THCA gummies come in various flavors, including fruity, sour, and sweet. The flavor options can vary depending on the brand and manufacturer.
Since THCA acts as a precursor to THC, the cannabinoid may form THC metabolites and cause you to fail a drug test. If you have a drug test scheduled in the coming weeks, avoid using this cannabinoid.
It is not recommended to keep THCA flowers in the fridge, as they can absorb moisture and mold. It's best to store them in a cool, dry place.
The best cannabis products aren’t just available just anywhere. Manufacturers everywhere will claim they have cannabis products but be wary of companies cutting corners and making false claims about them.
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THCA is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in raw cannabis and hemp plants, known for its potential anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties. It can be consumed raw, as tinctures, or added to edibles. If you want to use this cannabinoid, refer to your local state regulations on using cannabis products to avoid facing penalties.