Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) is a non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis. It is the acidic precursor to THC, which is the compound responsible for the euphoric high cannabis is known for.
As cannabis research and product development progress, more consumers are seeking THCA in hopes of experiencing its health benefits without the psychoactive effects. This guide will introduce various types of THCA products and their consumption.
What Is THCA, and Why is it Important?
It is essential to understand THCA's role in cannabis before getting into its product types. When cannabis plants grow, they produce THCA instead of THC. When heated or decarboxylated, THCA converts to THC. The heating occurs naturally as the plant material ages or during consumption methods such as smoking, vaping, or cooking.
THCA is most abundant in raw, fresh cannabis. It converts into THC when exposed to heat, a process known as decarboxylation. That's why those seeking the benefits of THCA consume it as a raw plant. Users can also juice the raw cannabis or add it to salads and other cold dishes.
Tinctures are liquid extracts. They are a convenient way to consume THCA, as you can add drops to food and drinks or take them sublingually (under the tongue), which allows for quick absorption. Tinctures also make it easy to adjust your THCA dosage. Tincture bottles often have a dropper and dosage recommendations, giving you full control over your intake.
Some manufacturers now produce THCA-infused creams, lotions, balms, and oils. Topicals are a good choice for localized relief, as they are applied directly onto the skin in the affected area. They could be beneficial for skin conditions, inflammation, and muscle or joint pain. Since your skin doesn't absorb THCA into the bloodstream, a topical product won't produce intoxicating effects.
Capsules or soft gels are another straightforward, hassle-free way to consume THCA. You take these just like any other pill, with the dosage pre-determined by the manufacturer. Capsules can make adding THCA to your wellness routine as straightforward as taking a daily vitamin.
The term 'edibles' often refers to cannabis-infused food items. However, most edibles are heat-processed, which converts the THCA into THC. But raw edibles (food items using raw cannabis) are a growing trend. This term covers everything from cold-pressed cannabis juice to salads with raw cannabis leaves.
THCA Crystals or Diamonds
THCA diamonds or crystals are highly concentrated, isolated THCA extractions. They are extracted using a combination of solvents and temperature control. THCA crystals reach up to 99% purity, making them the most potent concentration. Consumers often use these crystals for dabbing or vaping. Some users combine the crystals with other cannabis concentrates to boost their products' THCA content.
Transdermal patches are another efficient way to administer THCA. These adhesive patches deliver a precise dosage of THCA through the skin and into the bloodstream. This method offers a steady release of THCA over time, providing prolonged pain relief without psychoactive effects. Transdermal patches may give relief to patients seeking long-lasting relief from chronic conditions.