What is THCa?
THCa, or tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, is the acidic precursor to THC. Cannabis naturally synthesizes these acidic cannabinoids (CBDa, CBGa, THCa, etc.), and through the process of decarboxylation produces THC, CBD, and the many other cannabinoids we utilize in our hemp-derived products.
Heat must be added to activate this transformative process, otherwise the acidic cannabinoids remain “inactive” and won’t produce any of the effects that their activated counterparts are known for. This can be most easily demonstrated in the ways we consume cannabis, such as smoking, vaporizing, or making edibles. Applying heat is the key, as well as how much and for how long.
Research into the use of the acidic forms of these cannabinoids is still ongoing. Initial findings - specifically for THCa - are uncovering some interesting data, suggesting neuroprotective properties, anti-inflammatory properties, metabolic benefits, and anticonvulsant benefits. More research must be done in order to come to more conclusive findings.