Getting to Know Your Cannabinoids

by Brittney Graham

                   Cannabinoids are the chemical compounds secreted by cannabis flowers that provide relief to a vast number of symptoms. There are very popular ones that almost every medical marijuana patient knows such as THC and CBD but did you know there are possible 100s more? We say possibly because there are still so many studies being done it’s like a new one is discovered almost daily.

Upon entering the body, cannabinoids bind to receptor sites throughout our brain (CB-1) and body (CB-2). This is also known as our Endocannabinoid system which regulates a wide variety of processes, such as memory, appetite, and mood.  Different cannabinoids have different effects depending on which receptors they naturally bind too. For this reason, we are starting a mini-series spotlighting different cannabinoids and the benefits they offer. This month we are going to learn about THCA.

Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid (THCA), although it is one letter away from THC it is not the same. A major factor for this is that it is non-intoxicating. THCA is found in raw and live cannabis, as the plant dries it will slowly convert to THC. Decarboxylation is a heat process that speeds up this process which is a fancy word for smoking or vaping flower. You will notice on testing results for strains that there is THCA present, so if one plans on consuming by combustion it would convert to THC. But what are the benefits of THCA if it is not converted?

As stated earlier, research is being conducted on cannabinoids thus, we cannot definitively state benefits of THCA. However, preliminary research evidence suggests that THCA will play a pivotal role in cannabis medicine. Here are just a few benefits that have been uncovered:

    • Properties for the treatment of lupus and arthritis
    • Properties for the treatment of neurodegenerative disease
    • Properties for treatment noted in studies of prostate cancer

Patients have reported that THCA aids with insomnia, muscle spasms, and pain. We will have to wait on the product of the studies to get scientific definitive proof on these claims however. So where can you find THCA? Every high- THC strain has not yet been decarbed contains THCA and the levels are higher with a freshly harvested plant. This is why raw cannabis parts are popular to juice for their THCA-benefits.

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