Written By: Faith Steele
If you are a user of cannabis in any compacity, by now you’ve definitely heard of THC and CBD, the main cannabinoids looked for in cannabis products. However, did you know there are many many more cannabinoids that contribute to the affects you feel when consuming cannabis? One of these fascinating Cannabinoids is called THCa. This is not because of the effects it has but the way it behaves as well.
How THCa is Produced
As many of us are already aware, THC is the component of cannabis that is psychoactive and is responsible for the “high” you feel, but it does not start out this way. As far as we know currently, all cannabinoids actually start out as CBGa. During the plants maturing process, most of the CBGa will turn into either THCa or CBDa, the acidic forms of and precursors to THC and CBD. In this state, the THCa is not psychoactive and will not trigger the high THC is known for.
With all this being said, even without the psychoactive effects there is still reason for consumption as it has many benefits that are comparable too CBD. If your are someone who enjoys the calming, relief effects of CBD then this cannabinoid is definitely something for you to try.
Some of you might be thinking that it’s cool THCa has these uses, but it isn’t really what you are looking for out of your cannabis experience, so why would you care about it? Well, cannabis flower contains very little THC at first.
What THCa Does
Over time the THCa will slowly turn into THC, but through a process called decarboxylation (removing the acidic compound) you can force this process at an extremely fast rate. This process happens rapidly when it is exposed to heat, at around 230 degrees Fahrenheit, meaning that if you have ever smoked cannabis flower you have already completed this process. This is also why decarboxylation is a key step while making edibles.
Now that you know a little bit about this cannabinoid, you can start taking advantage of some of the THCa heavy products on the market. What products interest you will depend on your reason for consuming cannabis, but one of my favorite products you can find at your local Nectar are tinctures made by Peak extracts. Peak has many different strain specific tinctures ensuring an option no matter what your desired experience is, as well as some THCa heavy ones. I have even seen Peak put out tinctures that were high in both THCa and THC, delivering the best of both worlds.
Another high THCa product we carry would be diamonds for dabbing by both Oregrown and Bobsled. While stored and sold as a typical dab, you will quickly find this option to pack a punch not found with a standard shatter or badder. THCa diamonds are exactly what they sound like; literal rocks of it that you can vaporize and quickly achieve that psychoactive effect you are looking for.
While the above are some of the THCa products that first come to mind, other products you can find are things like pre-rolled infused joints or topicals enhanced with its medicinal benefits. In fact, I have even made my own THC/THCa tincture by only decarboxylating half of my flower first.
As someone who has worked in a cannabis dispensary setting for years, I know first-hand how important proper education can be regarding cannabis and its many properties, and while we have learned so much about cannabis, there is still a lot of things waiting to be discovered. Although brief, I hope I was able to shed some light on one of cannabis’s most abundant cannabinoids. If this has only peaked your interest further in cannabinoids then be sure to check out our articles on terpenes, CBD,CBG, and CBN!