THCA is a cannabinoid you may never have even heard of until very recently, but it’s already the next big thing in the hemp industry. THCA is simply the raw, acidic precursor cannabinoid to delta 9 THC. Short for tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, THCA converts into delta 9 once it’s decarboxylated – in other words, heated to a specific temperature to turn the cannabinoid into THC, and experience the effects of THC which include its legendary high.
THCA flower, which is the most popular type of THCA product on the hemp market, doesn’t actually involve taking THCA. That’s because flower must be heated to be consumed, whether through smoking, vaping or baking with it to make edibles. So, if you’re using THCA flower, you’re actually taking in delta 9.
All that being said, let’s look at the benefits of THCA, as well as delta 9 THC, since THCA flower is actually giving you the benefits for which delta 9 is known, rather than THCA.
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Effects of THCA
Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid, prior to decarboxylating into delta 9 THC, actually has some unique benefits of its own that we want to touch upon. While you’re not going to be able to get these potential benefits from flower, since, again, flower requires heating it in a way that turns the THCA into delta 9, there are THCA products on the market like tinctures and edibles, which keep the THCA in its raw state. These benefits below come from studies that have been done on raw THCA over the years.
#1: THCA Acts as an Antioxidant
THCA is an antioxidant, which is something we’ve seen with a lot of hemp’s 100+ compounds. This means that THCA may play a role in fighting free radicals that enter the body, to fight cell death.
#2: THCA May Be Anti-Inflammatory
THCA has also been discovered to boast anti-inflammatory effects through its relationship with enzymatic inflammatory precursors. In particular, researchers have found that THCA may be useful in addressing respiratory inflammation.
#3: THCA Boosts Serotonin Uptake
Studies have shown a lot of promise when it comes to THCA boosting serotonin levels, which can improve mood, nausea, sleep and appetite. THCA works with the body’s endocannabinoids that directly relate to serotonin uptake.
What About Delta 9 THC/THCa Effects?
Like we said, if you’re using THCA flower, you’re not actually consuming THCA, but delta 9 THC, as the temperatures required to use flower automatically convert THCA into delta 9. So, because of that, the benefits of THCA flower are essentially no different from the benefits of weed. Let’s go over those now, since a lot of people don’t even consider the potential benefits beyond its ability to get us high.
#1: Delta 9 THC Can Improve Appetite
A study found that delta 9 THC increased appetite in cancer patients who were unable to desire food due to the effects of chemotherapy. And, this study should surprise no one – after all, we’ve all heard (or experienced) the munchies while high on weed. So, the fact that delta 9 is an appetite booster is something many of us know firsthand.
#2: Delta 9 THC May Reduce Nausea
Several studies over the years have shown us clearly that delta 9 can be really helpful for someone who is struggling with nausea, or actual instances of vomiting. Many people are surprised to learn that nausea is actually mediated by serotonin – the same neurotransmitter that has an effect on our mood. By regulating serotonin levels, delta 9 seems to minimize the impact of nausea very effectively.
#3: Delta 9 THC May Be Great for Mood
Research has shown that delta 9 THC can regulate our brain’s neurotransmitters (see: serotonin, above). It’s no secret that weed is a wildly popular way in which people naturally experience a mood boost, as it can produce feelings of euphoria, happiness and stress relief. It’s clear through scientific research that delta 9 THC has a demonstratable effect on these brain chemicals to help with mood regulation.
#4: Delta 9 THC May Be a Good Option for Sleep
For thousands of years, delta 9 has been used as a natural sleep aid. And clearly, there’s something to that. Delta 9 THC has a unique effect on the nervous system that can be sedating, in a way that may relax the body and mind to aid in sleep.
#5: Delta 9 THC May Be an Anti-Inflammatory
We already talked about THCA’s potential anti-inflammatory properties, and the same applies to delta 9 THC. After all, medical marijuana is prescribed to patients throughout the country for inflammatory conditions every day, including arthritis, fibromyalgia and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).
#6: Delta 9 THC May Provide Pain Relief
Delta 9 THC also offers analgesic properties, which are properties that relate to how we feel pain. Analgesics minimize the impact of pain by modifying how the nervous system sends pain signals to the brain. Many people find relief from all kinds of pain after taking delta 9 THC.
#7: Delta 9 THC May Have Neurological Benefits
Many studies over the years have shown neurological benefits associated with delta 9 THC, including benefits that directly relate to neurological disorders including multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Delta 9 THC seems to interact with cannabinoid receptors that regulate neurological function.
THCA: Rich in Effects, Both Raw and Decarboxylated
THCA and delta 9 THC both offer lots of possible benefits, and which of those benefits you experience all depends on how you consume your THCA. It’s clear that left raw, THCA comes with many therapeutic uses.
But, if you’re consuming THCA flower in any form, then you’re going to be getting the benefits associated with delta 9 THC, which have been studied by researchers for decades. Basically, no matter what, it’s worth incorporating some THCA into your daily life.