It seems like every day, a new cannabis-based product is launched. Take THCa flowers, for example. Even seasoned recreational and medical users may find it tough to keep up with these newly-released products. In this blog post, you will learn about the THCa flower, its potential benefits, uses, and other interesting facts about it. WHAT IS THCA? But first, what is THCa exactly? Cannabis plants contain hundreds of cannabinoids which affect user experience. This applies to practically all cannabis products - from the flowers you smoke to the vape carts you vape, even the various edibles you ingest. THCa or Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid is one of these cannabinoids. THCa is the acidic form of THC, one of the more popular cannabinoids found in marijuana plants. Cannabis plants begin to develop cannabinoids and terpenes when begin to produce flowers. Initially, marijuana plants produce CBGA. According to some experts, CBGA is the precursor of other cannabinoids. Later on, as a marijuana plant matures, CBGA is broken down so that the plant can produce other cannabinoids, including THCa. CONVERTING THCA TO THC Some cannabinoids are classified as precursors to other cannabinoids. THCa is one of those cannabinoids. Specifically, THCa is the precursor to THC. Initially, a cannabis plant produces THCa. Later on, through the process known as decarboxylation, THCa is converted into THC. Decarboxylation can happen naturally as the marijuana plant consumes heat and oxygen. Both heat and oxygen remove THCa's carboxyl groups, transforming it into THC. It should be noted that the THC content in marijuana is low. To convert more THCa into THC, full decarboxylation is required. This can only happen when heat is applied to the marijuana plant and the products derived from it. Full decarboxylation can occur when you smoke cannabis flower, vape, or during processing in a laboratory. THCA VS. THC THCa and THC are two entirely different cannabinoids. Although THCa is converted to THC, the two have different qualities and offer different benefits. THC vs THCa - potency THC is associated with the high you get from cannabis. Naturally, you might think that THCa can get you high since it is the precursor to THC. However, that is not the case. In fact, THCa does not have psychoactive properties. To get high from a THCa flower, you need to decarb it by applying heat to it. Once THCa is decarbed, the resulting THC can bind with the endocannabinoid system in your body. THC vs THCa - effects Both cannabinoids have similar effects. Specifically, both can help in managing the symptoms of nausea. However, for the management of the symptoms of inflammation and seizures, THCa may be the better option. On the other hand, if you want to get restful sleep, THC is your best bet. CONVERTING THCA INTO THC Decarboxylation can occur naturally in cannabis plants. However, there are a variety of ways people can facilitate this process. Sunlight exposure The most convenient and fuss-free way to convert THCa into THC is to expose cannabis plants to heat and light. You do not need to use specialized equipment for that task. All you have to do is expose your raw cannabis plants to sunlight and the sun will take care of everything for you. Store your cannabis plants at room temperature You can also convert THCa into THC by leaving your marijuana plants in a room with a temperature of about 25 C. But if you wish to convert more THCa into THC, you can submerge your plants in olive oil or ethanol. Applying direct heat Exposing raw cannabis plants or leaving them in a room at room temperature can take days. If you want to enjoy THC immediately, you will need to apply direct heat. For cannabis buds, the easiest way to do that is to smoke joints. Heat will take care of converting the THCa from the THCa hemp flower into THC. However, the drawback of this method is that it isn't as efficient as other methods like vaping. When it comes to efficiency in converting THCa into THC, vaping has the upper hand. Plus, the effects you get are more intense. Dabbing is the ideal method of converting THCa into THC if you are using THCa crystals. However, it does have a few notable disadvantages, starting with the loss of flavor and aroma. THCa crystals have little to no terpenes and flavonoids. To counter this, you can add terpenes. WHAT IS THCA FLOWER? Isn't THCa flower the same as regular marijuana bud? Is it just regular marijuana flower marketed as something new? Although the two may share some similarities, the two are entirely different things. The term THCa flower refers to hemp flowers that naturally contain a huge amount of THCa. One important thing to note about THCa hemp flower is that the buds must have a THCa level of 0.3% or less in order to satisfy the requirements set forth in the 2018 Farm Bill. THCa flowers are rich in THCa but contain smaller amounts of Delta 9 THC. This means that THCa hemp flowers on their own cannot make you high unless they undergo decarboxylation. If you eat them raw, you won't experience the psychoactive effects typically associated with THC. The main reason behind that is that THCa has an extra carboxyl ring, making it impossible for this cannabinoid to bind with the CB1 and CB2 receptors in your body. However, when heat is applied to THCa flowers, whether by smoking, dabbing, vaporization, or cooking, their THCa content is converted to THC. BENEFITS OF THCA FLOWER Currently, there has been a small amount of research done on THCa and THCa hemp flowers. But surveying the existing body of research, THCa has shown some promise in managing the symptoms of a variety of conditions. However, further studies need to be done to validate these theories. Here is a brief look at the potential benefits of THCa flowers. Protection of the nervous system In one study conducted in mice, it was revealed that THCa has the potential to fend off brain degeneration. With this in mind, experts are hoping that the cannabinoid may help protect the brain against degenerative diseases like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases. Weight loss Some scientists are exploring the possibility of using THCa for helping people lose excess weight. Excess weight has been associated with a variety of lifestyle diseases, including diabetes and heart disease. According to the current body of research, THCa may be able to help in tackling both insulin resistance and glucose intolerance in diabetics. Prevention of nausea and vomiting A research paper published in 2020 outlines the potential antiemetic properties of two relatively new cannabinoids: THCa and CBDa. In clinical trials conducted with mice as research subjects, it was discovered that the two cannabinoids were more effective in this area compared to CBD and THC. Anti-inflammatory properties According to anecdotes of people who have used THCa, the cannabinoid has the potential to help in managing both joint pain and inflammation. With daily consumption of THCa products like THCa hemp flower, patients saw a marked improvement in their conditions. Some studies highlight THCa's ability to regulate the production of prostaglandin. Prostaglandin is one of the main culprits in many types of inflammations. Some scientists are also exploring the possibility of using THCa to reduce liver inflammation which is one of the signs of fatty liver. POTENTIAL SIDE EFFECTS OF THCA FLOWER Not much is known about THCa, especially when you compare this cannabinoid to THC and CBD. However, people who are sensitive to THC are cautioned against using THCa hemp flower because both THC and THCa have the same side effects. However, if you are not sensitive to THC, you can try using THCa hemp flower. Among the common signs of THC and THCa sensitivity are dizziness, increased heart rate, dry mouth, fatigue, and red eyes. THCA IN THE BODY What happens when you smoke THCa flower? According to scientists, THCa binds to a single cannabinoid receptor in your body - TRPM8. This receptor is associated with the cold feeling that results from consuming something minty. Aside from that, when you consume a high dose of this cannabinoid, your heat-sensing receptors are activated. Curiously, these receptors are the same ones that are activated by spicy food. Some scientists theorize that THCa can also inhibit MAGL. When MAGL is inhibited, the 2 AG levels in your body increase, and with that, the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors can be activated easily. Finally, experts are optimistic that THCa may be able to manage a diverse array of conditions and even protect the body against different diseases. But to date, the efficacy of THCa remains to be proven, especially against the more well-known cannabinoids like Delta 9 THC and CBD. DOES THCA HAVE THE SAME POTENCY AS REGULAR CANNABIS BUDS? As previously mentioned, THCa hemp flower is different from conventional marijuana buds. In terms of potency, the similarities between the two cannabis buds remain murky. THCa hemp flower contains THCA. THCA is non-psychoactive unless it is converted into THC. Once converted to THC, THCa can produce the familiar effects of THC. However, it is worth mentioning that the flavor and potency of a THCa flower are dictated by factors like strain type, personal tolerance, dosage, and potency. As with normal cannabis buds, it is a good idea to start with a low dose when trying THCa hemp flower for the first time. This can help keep unwanted side effects at bay. Subjecting THCa flower to heat converts THCa to THC. However, you do not have to smoke or vape THCa to enjoy its benefits. One of the advantages of THCa hemp flower over regular cannabis buds is that it is quite versatile. Instead of smoking THCa flower, you can eat it. However, if you do not like the taste and texture of THCa hemp flower, you can add it to your juices or smoothies. With these ingestion methods, you aren't converting THCa into THC which means you won't experience any psychoactive effect. WHAT IS A HIGH THCA HEMP FLOWER PERCENTAGE? If you are browsing the different types of THCa hemp flowers offered in brick-and-mortar stores or online, you might notice different pieces of information on the product labels, including THCa percentages. If you are new to this type of product, you might be wondering what is a high THCa flower percentage that is ideal for beginners. On average, cannabis strains have a THC percentage hovering around 15%. However, it is not unusual for some of the stronger strains to have higher THC percentages. These high THC strains contain higher levels of THCa prior to decarboxylation. The label of cannabis products will often list percentages for both THC and THCa. The THCa indicates the potential amount of THC that you can get from it. But take note that the actual THC level that you will get may be influenced by different factors, including the method of consumption and product type. Additionally, the THC percentage on a product label indicates the amount of this cannabinoid that you will actually get after ingestion and not in its raw form. THCa products, including THCa hemp flower, contain THCa in different levels. It should be noted that what is considered by some as a high THCa hemp flower percentage may be low or just enough for others. But broadly speaking, a THC percentage of 15% is high for most people. WHAT TO DO BEFORE PURCHASING THCA FLOWER Planning to buy THCa weed? When you want to buy THCa flower online, you might be bombarded with different pieces of information, making the task daunting. Before purchasing THCa flower, there are a few things that you need to consider. Start by choosing the THCa hemp flower strain Like regular cannabis flowers, THCa flower is available in different strains, including those that have been beloved by the cannabis community. What this means is that each strain will have its own set of properties, effects, flavor, and potency. As such, find as much as you can about each strain on your shortlist. THCa flower can be broadly classified into three main strain types: sativa, indica and hybrids. Check the THC content THCa is not a psychoactive cannabinoid. However, if you apply heat to your THCa flower, its THCa content will be converted to THC, leading to the typical effects associated with the cannabis plant. If you are trying THCa flower for the first time, it is better to buy a strain with lower potential THC content so that you can avoid some of the potential adverse effects. Review terpene profile Aside from cannabinoids, the cannabis plant also contains terpenes. Terpenes contribute to the scent and flavor of a THCa flower. These compounds may also contain properties that can aid in the management of some conditions, like anti-inflammatory properties, for example. Determine your ingestion method A THCa flower can be consumed in a variety of ways, including eating it raw, smoking, vaping, and making edibles. Take note that some THCa flower strains are better for one ingestion method. And as such, you should factor that before you buy THCa flower online or offline. Quality above everything else Whatever cannabis product you intend to buy, you can never go wrong with choosing the one that is high quality. With THCa flowers, there are two main things to look for: potency and product integrity. To check for both, review the packaging or do some online research. The best THCa hemp flower manufacturers subject their products to stringent standards and testing. IS THCA FLOWER LEGAL? That depends largely on where you live and what are the existing laws on cannabis there. In the United States, THCa is legal with a few important caveats. For starters, the cannabinoid must come from industrial hemp with a THC level of 0.3% or below. Take note that some states and cities consider THCa products, including THCa flower to be illegal. THCa is federally legal due to the passage of the Farm Bill of 2018. Additionally, the cannabinoid is not included in the Agricultural Improvement Act's list of federally banned substances. This means that you should learn the existing laws in your area before you purchase THCa hemp flower or other THCa products. It is also worth mentioning that existing laws are in a state of flux and may change. Again, be mindful of this and check the laws in your area. HOW TO USE THCA FLOWER That depends largely on your goals. People who use THCa flower for its purported therapeutic benefits prefer eating it raw. It can also be mixed with some types of food like salads, smoothies, and juices. You can also make baked edibles by decarboxylating THCa flower and infusing it with either oil or butter. If you want to go old school, you can smoke it like the flower of a regular cannabis plant. Others prefer vaping or dabbing THCa flower. With these ingestion methods, you can convert THCa into THC. These methods are ideal if you want to enjoy the psychoactive effects of THC. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS Does THCa show up on drug tests? Unlike THC, THCa does not show up on most drug tests. The main reason behind that is that THCa is not psychoactive. However, it is still possible that some drug tests can detect THCa. Immunoassay tests, in particular, have been designed to screen for cannabinoids. Does a THCa hemp flower make you high? That depends on how you use it. If you smoke, dab, vape, or bake a THCa flower, you are converting THCa into THC. After that conversion, you can experience psychoactive effects. Does THCa flower expire? Like other organic substances, THCa flower expires. Cannabis products have different shelf lives, depending largely on the ingredients used in making them. Factors like exposure to light, air, and heat can hasten a product's degradation. And when a product is already lapsed, it is better to throw it away. How to dose THCa flower? There are several factors that you need to consider when determining your THCa hemp flower dosage. These include strain, personal tolerance, and method of ingestion. According to experts, you do not need a high dosage of THCa flower compared to THC flower because the former may be more potent. What is a high THCa hemp flower? A high THCa hemp flower means that the cannabis plant strain has been selectively bred to have higher levels of THCa. Some people believe that the higher THCa content of these weed buds can help in the management of the symptoms of their conditions.
Written By Apothecaco.org June 15, 2023