With cannabis becoming legalized in more places and as people become more aware of the medical benefits of cannabinoids, more people are willing to use it to ease their health conditions. There is also more research into the therapeutic potential of various cannabinoids in the cannabis plant continues to expand. Among the cannabinoids gaining attention these days is tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA).
The THCA flower is the raw cannabis flower containing high concentration levels of tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA). While it is not psychoactive like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and would not cause you to get high, THCA flower has different medicinal properties that make it valuable for treating various medical conditions.
This article discusses the potential benefits and uses of the THCA flower.
Some of the medicinal properties of the THCA flower include the following:
THCA has anti-inflammatory properties, which can relieve health conditions such as arthritis, Crohn’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, and psoriasis. Research has shown that it can modulate the activities of immune cells, such as T-cells and macrophages, to reduce the body’s natural response to injury or infection and subsequently reduce inflammation.
This was proven in a preclinical study published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, which showed that THCA effectively reduced inflammation and oxidative stress in mice.
Regular use of THCA flower can help protect brain nerve cells from damage caused by oxidative stress and inflammation. It influences the expressions of cells that control inflammation, stress response, and neuronal growth to protect nerve cells from degeneration.
It also increases the production of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein that enhances the growth and survival of neurons. This makes it valuable in treating conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and multiple sclerosis.
A 2017 study on the effectiveness of THC for neurodegenerative conditions revealed that THCA reduced inflammation and improved cognitive function in subjects diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
It is common for patients to suffer from nausea and vomiting after chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and some medications. While traditional antiemetics, such as serotonin receptor antagonists, can be effective, they may also have unpleasant side effects. The antiemetic properties of THCA make it ideal for treating nausea and vomiting without experiencing undesirable reactions.
In a 2013 experiment, researchers found that THCA reduced vomiting and nausea induced by cisplatin, a chemotherapy drug. The study also revealed that THCA is a stronger antiemetic agent than THC because it does not readily cross the blood-brain barrier. It is also non-psychoactive, making it a safer alternative for people who do not wanting to get high.
When reactive oxygen is produced in excess, but the body cannot detoxify or repair the damage they cause, it can lead to oxidative stress. This can cause cancer, cardiovascular disease, and neurodegenerative disorders due to damage to cells. THCA interacts with the endocannabinoid systems to eliminate the free oxygen radicals and reduce oxidative stress. Moreover, it has a stronger affinity for reactive oxygen radicals, which allows it to neutralize them more effectively than THC.
There are different ways to use your THCA flower to maximize its therapeutic benefits. Some of them include the following:
You can juice raw cannabis leaves and flowers into smoothies. This is one of the best ways to consume the flower without risking decarboxylation and mistakenly converting the THCA cannabinoid to THC.
The topical application involves rubbing creams or balms that contain THCA directly into the skin. This allows for localized delivery and reduces the risk of decarboxylation. Even better, topical application can improve skin conditions such as eczema and acne.
Tincture application involves dropping a few THCA tincture under the tongue and holding it for a few seconds before swallowing. This sends THCA into the bloodstream via the blood vessels under the tongue. You can also make your THCA flowers into tinctures by soaking the raw cannabis flower in alcohol or oil.
If you want to experience a psychoactive experience, you can also convert your THCA flower into THC by smoking or vaping the flower. Applying heat strips the THCA molecule of the carboxylic acid atom, converting it to THC, which readily binds to the CB1 receptor of the endocannabinoid system.