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Exploring the Universe of Cannabinoids and Terpenes: Your Gateway to Understanding and Industry Insights

Welcome to GalaxyGroves.com, where we embark on an enlightening journey through the ever-expanding universe of cannabinoids and terpenes. Our Learning Center Blog is your trusted guide, illuminating the intricate world of these remarkable compounds. Here, you'll uncover the myriad benefits of different cannabinoids and terpenes, delve into their unique characteristics, and stay updated with the latest trends and news in the industry. Whether you're a curious newcomer or a seasoned connoisseur, our insights will enrich your understanding and enhance your experience in the vibrant cosmos of cannabis. Join us as we explore the depths of knowledge and bring the most exciting discoveries right to your screen!

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THCA Hemp Flower

THCA Flower or Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid hemp flower is yet another exceptional phytocannabinoid to add to your dynamite cannabis collection. These beautiful hemp buds are grown to achieve high percentages of THCA and can be enjoyed in a myriad of ways. THCA flower is for vaping or smoking, but it does not stop there. THCA hemp flower is also excellent for preparing homemade edibles, topicals and more. Experience high THCA hemp flower today and reap the benefits of its activation!

 

What Is THCA Flower?

Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid or THCA is one phytocannabinoid out of over 100 compounds and counting that are found in the cannabis plant. It is considered to be the precursor of the more well-known cannabinoid THC.

When the cannabis plant grows it matures and its buds begin to grow. As the buds grow, it develops its cannabinoid and terpene profiles.

CBGA is known as the “mother” of all cannabinoids and it is the first compound to develop. The CBGA along with an enzyme known as THCA-synthase is what helps produce the THCA compound. Of course CBGA also breaks down into CBG and creates CBDA, as well. THCA, CBGA and CBDA are the acidic forms of the well-known THC, CBD and CBG compounds.

As the plant ages, through natural heat and exposure to oxygen, carboxyl groups are slowly removed transferring these compounds into CBD, THC and CBG. The amounts of the cannabinoids may still be quite low in some cases. The process of decarboxylation will then be necessary to completely activate the compounds. This will ensure proper attachment to CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain and body, and will elicit chill effects THC is known to offer.

Is THCA Hemp Flower Illegal?

Production of American grown hemp THCA flower is legal under the 2018 Hemp Farm Bill. It is not a federally banned substance as the Agricultural Improvement Act (Farm Bill) legally authorized the removal of hemp plants and seeds from the Drug Enforcement Administration schedule of controlled substances.

Will THCA Get Me High?

THCA does not deliver any type of euphoric effects when ingested raw. The THCA compound includes a carboxyl ring and it is this ring that prevents the THCA from binding to CB1 receptors in the brain and CB2 receptors in the body.

However, when THCA is exposed to heat during vaporization, combustion while smoking or dabbing, as well as from cooking, it will convert to THC through a process known as decarboxylation. As it is converted to THC, it will then bind to CB1 receptors and induce a type of euphoria.

What Is Considered “High Level” THCA?

Many folks new to hemp are curious what the percentages mean when it comes to high THCA hemp flower. Understanding the cannabinoid levels is helpful to understand what type of experience you will be looking forward to. Dr.Ganja consistently has 3rd party laboratories test their flower buds to ensure compliance to the 2018 Farm Bill and the safety of their customers.

Dr.Ganja makes all lab result paperwork available on the page of the product it represents. When looking at the lab results the THCA content will be what you are looking for. The percentage of THCA will be the full potency potential of the buds when you smoke it, dab it, vaporize or cook it. THCA requires decarboxylation, which is activation by heat, to convert its structure that will be received by CB1 or CB2 receptors.

Low to high levels of THCA flower are as follows:

Rating Category THCA Percentages
Low 0-5%
Medium 5-10%
High 10-15%
Very High 15-20%
Extremely High > 20%

What Are The Benefits Of THCA?

Many of the benefits of THCA are yet to be conclusively determined. There are more studies being conducted than ever before and THCA has shown its legitimacy as a beneficial and useful cannabinoid.

Like many other cannabinoids, THCA has shown high levels of anti-inflammatory properties, as well as a treatment for seizure prevention and anti-nausea.

Some recent studies have found THCA to have anti-neurodegenerative properties and may be quite useful for treatment of Parkinson’s diseases and more.

What Is The Difference Between THCA and THC?

A precursor is something that precedes another. The originator or parent, if you will. THCA is a precursor to THC. THCA is one of three major cannabinoids in acidic form that eventually transforms into THC through time, and exposure to heat and oxygen. This is how CBG, CBD and THC develop from their acidic forms.

Will THCA Show Up On A Drug Test?

It is common for most drug tests to analyze chemical substances or analytes. Cannabis compounds always have the potential to elicit positive results during a drug test. If you plan on being tested or are tested regularly, you should avoid THCA.

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Boston Hemp Inc. releases THCa flower and generates record breaking sales at launch.

BOSTON, Dec. 1, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Boston Hemp Inc. is pleased to announce the launch of THCa, the newest hemp strain to hit the cannabis market. THCa is reported to have similar effects as smoking cannabis. The major difference is, cannabis is not legal in many states and THCa is. Because it is hemp, it falls under federal law.

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What is THCA and How is it Different from CBD?

In This Article

As public and scientific interest in cannabinoids continues to increase, so too does the mounting body of evidence that suggests that the endocannabinoid system, and indeed cannabinoids, have a huge role to play in our mental and physical wellness.

While CBD continues to increase in popularity, other cannabinoids are also starting to make headlines as research reveals that it’s not just CBD and THC that possess therapeutic properties.

In this article we’ll take a closer look at THCA, explaining the differences and similarities between THCA and CBD, helping you answer questions like:

  • What is THCA?
  • THCA vs THC Delta-9
  • Does THCA make you feel high?
  • What is the difference between THCA and CBD?
  • What is THCA flower?
  • CBD and THCA: Shared therapeutic properties
  • What is THCA CBD?

 

What is THCA?

THCA, short for tetrahydrocannabinol acid, is one of over 113 known Phyto cannabinoids that can be found in raw cannabis and hemp plants.

THCA is naturally produced within the glandular trichomes of cannabis and hemp flower buds and, along with CBDA, is responsible for inducing cellular death (necrosis) within the plant. Necrosis is a vital process needed to keep the plant healthy, by eliminating damaged, dead, or dying cells.

In a way, these acidic compounds act as the plant’s immune system.

How to Make CBD Oil from Flower

THCA vs THC Delta-9

Despite sounding similar, THCA and THC delta-9 are very different compounds and the more we learn about THCA, the more it seems to have more in common with CBD than it does with THC.

This is unlike Delta-8 THC which is quite similar to Delta-9 THC.

THC delta-9, more commonly referred to as simply THC, is one of the most well-known and studied cannabinoids. It has many unique therapeutic benefits and you may know it as the compound that makes the user feel high by binding to CB1 receptors in the brain, but THC wouldn’t exist without its acidic precursor, THCA.

THC’s acid form, THCA, only transforms into THC when it’s exposed to heat, age, or light, through a process called decarboxylation, in which it loses its carboxyl group.

THCA and THC are naturally occurring cannabinoids that can be found in the hemp and cannabis plant. THC-O on the other hand, is a synthetic cannabinoid with strong psychoactive effects. Try our federally compliant Delta 9 gummies here.

 

Does THCA make you high?

No, THCA in and of itself is a non-intoxicating compound. It doesn’t bind itself directly to CB1 receptors in the central nervous system like Delta-9 THC does and therefore cannot make the user feel high.

However, this is only true if THCA is ingested in its raw state. If you decarboxylate it (or smoke it), the THCA will transform into Delta-9 THC and that in-turn will make you intoxicated provided that the THCA percentage is high enough.

This intoxicating effect is causing some issues in hemp legislation since we now see an increase of THCA flower (flower that is high in THCA) sold as CBD flower. More on that below.

Endocannabinoid System and CBD

What’s the difference between THCA and CBD?

THCA and CBDA are acidic compounds that are found abundantly in raw hemp and cannabis flowers that convert into THC and CBD respectively, when heated, cured, or aged.

Despite the fact that THCA transforms into THC, it actually has a lot in common with CBD. Early research into THCA suggests that although the way each compound exerts influence on our body is different, the resulting therapeutic benefits are remarkably similar.

Both CBD and THC start out as CBGA or CBGV in the cannabinoid cycle.

What is THCA flower?

THCA flower is a new word for “hemp flower” that is high in the cannabinoid THCA. According to interpretations of the law, THCA flower can legally be sold as CBD flower as long as the total Delta-9 THC is below the limit for hemp flower which is .3% of dry weight.

What makes things complicated is that, when you smoke THCA flower, it turns into THC which makes the smoker feel high. The high is exactly like the high one feels when smoking cannabis. In fact, regular cannabis is often times quite low in Delta-9 THC (around 0.5-1.0%) but very high in THCA (20-30%).

CBD and THCA: Shared therapeutic properties

Unlike THC, neither CBD nor THCA exerts its therapeutic potential by directly binding with cannabinoid receptors in the brain and body. Instead, both of these cannabinoids seem to work by enhancing or inhibiting the release of various neurotransmitters that are responsible for helping our bodies achieve homeostasis.

Research into THCA is more limited than CBD at this point, but early studies have already revealed that THCA may possess anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties.

What early research studies say about THCA

1 – Anti-inflammatory properties

Research suggests that CBD and hemp terpenes are great for their anti-inflammatory properties. One of the ways they are able to support inflammation is by binding to TRPV1 receptors and inhibiting an enzyme called COX-2. CBD also acts as a reuptake inhibitor of adenosine, thereby boosting levels of this neurotransmitter, which helps to improve blood flow and oxygen consumption.

Published research on inflammation in colon epithelial cells showed that cannabis sativa extract effectively reduced inflammation. The results suggested that these anti-inflammatory effects were largely due to the presence of THCA and, at least partly mediated by the GPR55 cannabinoid receptors.

Interestingly, the researchers also noted that the cytotoxic activity of THCA was enhanced by the presence of other compounds, providing further evidence that supports the existence of the entourage effect.

2 – Neuroprotective Properties

CBD has also been shown to be an effective neuroprotectant and it’s thought that this is largely due to CBD’s role as a reuptake inhibitor of anandamide, one of our body’s natural endocannabinoids. CBD has a strong affinity with various fatty acid binding proteins that are responsible for breaking down anandamide, resulting in boosted levels of anandamide in the brain, which helps to protect our brain and nervous system from damage.

3 – Antiemetic Properties

A 2020 research paper showed that both THCA and CBDA were effective in reducing nausea in rat models, more effective than THC and CBD even.

Cannabinoids in Hemp

THCA in Practice

The potential use and effectiveness of THCA clearly needs a lot more research, but even in these early days this acidic compound is showing great promise.

As research into these “raw” cannabinoids continues, more and more people are adding raw cannabis or hemp into their diets, recognizing it as the amazing superfood it is. You can sprinkle ground up cannabis or hemp onto your food, add a couple of nugs to your morning smoothies, or you can even juice it. Yes, cannabis juicing is now a thing.

Cannabis expert, Dr. Bonni Goldstein, recently told ProjectCBD that she’s seen for herself what daily consumption of THCA can do. She says just 10-20mg per day can effectively reduce pain in a variety of conditions, as well as improve cognitive function.

 

So what is THCA CBD?

There are vendors of CBD flower who offer high THCA flower with THCA levels of around 20%. When that THCA gets heated and converts to THC, you get a fairly strong buzz that is similar to that of regular cannabis. Legal changes are happening throughout the nation however, that are making these THCA rich strains regulated (and many times illegal) so ordering online should be done with caution.

The D8 THC craze that took place in 2021 made legislators revisit the 2018 farm bill that first made hemp federally legal. The wording in the farm bill was not specific regarding different variations of THC and led to conclusions that only Delta 9 THC needs be be below .3%. Now some states are enforcing a .3% total THC limit which would make THCA flower more difficult to come by.

Read more →

THCA

THCA and Whats the Difference

THCA and THC: What’s the Difference?

Why we get high on THC and not THCA, how cannabinoids convert, and raw cannabis as a superfood

Surprise! You’re just not going to get high by eating that freshly picked weed. At all. When cannabis is harvested and raw, no matter how much potential resides within, there is practically none of marijuana’s most famous and intoxicating cannabinoid, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). There is, however, a wealth of tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), an inactive compound found within the trichomes of living cannabis plants. 

So, if someone ever asks you “what does THC stand for?” don’t confuse the two similar terms. As you’ll soon discover, they are vastly different in both chemical structure and how they interact with the human body.

THCA is a cannabinoid that until recently has been closely compared to THC. Though THCA doesn’t get one high and THC certainly does, there is a relation: THCA is the precursor to psychoactive THC effects.

So why does THC get us elevated and THCA doesn’t? The reason is due to the three-dimensional shape of the THCA molecule. It is a larger molecule that doesn’t fit into our cannabinoid receptors, specifically the CB1 receptors. A cannabinoid must fit into a body’s CB1 receptor in order to have an intoxicating effect at all.

The cannabis plant produces hundreds of cannabinoids, the chemical compounds responsible for the therapeutic and psychoactive effects of cannabis. Only a few cannabinoids contribute to the euphoric high that is unique to the cannabis plant, though. The most celebrated, researched, and sought after is THC.

It’s commonly assumed that during the marijuana plant’s growth process that it is ramping up THC levels until ripe for the picking, but the primary cannabinoid being produced is actually THCA. How does THCA become THC?

The simplified answer is through heat and light — or the process of decarboxylation. Heat removes a carboxylic acid group of atoms from THCA, converting it into a molecule and altering the THC chemical structure, thus becoming the perfect shape to fit into our endocannabinoid system (ECS) CB1 receptors that run throughout the central nervous system, producing the elevated experience.

The non-intoxicating effects of THCA are a big part of the reason that fresh, raw, unheated cannabis is a superfood. You may have heard of juicing cannabis or adding raw cannabis to smoothies for health enhancement. There’s good reason.

Like other superfoods, including avocados, kale, Greek yogurt, green tea, and garlic, raw cannabis has potential to ease arthritis, chronic pain, fibromyalgia, and other ailments. 

THCA is believed to offer an assortment of medicinal benefits, and is commonly used as a nutritional supplement and dietary enhancement for its:

  • Anti-inflammatory properties  – A 2011 study published in the Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin suggested that, along with other cannabinoids, THCA demonstrated anti-inflammatory properties. 
  • Anti-proliferative properties – A 2013 study that analyzed cell cultures and animal models concluded that THCA could prevent the spread of prostate cancer cells.
  • Neuroprotective properties – In a 2012 preclinical study published in Phytomedicine, researchers found that THCA showed the ability to help protect against neurodegenerative diseases.  
  • Antiemetic properties (increasing appetite and decreasing nausea) – A  2013 study conducted by researchers at the University of Guelph in Ontario found that both THCA and CBDA were effective in reducing nausea and vomiting in rat models, even moreso than THC and CBD, respectively. 

Most cannabinoids, including cannabidiol (CBD), cannabigerol (CBG), and tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), are in the acidic form (CBDA, CBGA, and THCVA) when cannabis is harvested. The unactivated forms of THC and CBD, along with other cannabinoids, have benefits themselves that we are still learning about.

The human body is not capable of converting THCA into THC.

It’s only after these unactivated cannabinoid acids go through the decarboxylation process, though, that they become the cannabinoids we’re most familiar with and that most interact with our ECS.

The acidic precursors are considered “thermally unstable,” which is another way to emphasize that they will alter when exposed to heat. Because of this instability, the molecules lend themselves to several different methods of decarboxylation.

THCA vs. THC: Decarboxylation Process 

Here are the most common ways that weed is decarboxylated:

Sunlight conversion: THCA converts to THC in varying degrees through exposure to heat or light. If a cannabis plant sits in the warm sun for an extended period of time, its THCA molecules will slowly convert to THC.

Room temperature conversion: THCA also converts to THC when stored at room temperature for a long enough time. In olive oil, 22% of THCA will convert over the course of 10 days at 77 degrees Fahrenheit, or 25 degrees Celsius. Under the same conditions, 67% will convert in an ethanol extraction. And over time, cannabis stored at room temperature and with little light exposure, will convert 20% of its THCA into THC.

Smoking: When a flame is used to smoke dried, cured bud, a high degree of heat is applied in a short amount of time, resulting in the rapid conversion of THCA to THC. However, not all THCA will convert and, though smoking is the most common way to enjoy THC’s effects, it’s not the most efficient.

Vaporizing: This is perhaps the most efficient way of decarboxylating ground nugs. When heated at a low temperature, the cannabinoids are converted and released. Continuing to increase the heat with each pull or sesh will make sure that the prime amount of THCA is converted into THC and binds to CB1 receptors.

Vape pens: Even more efficient than vaporizing flowers is the use of already decarboxylated cannabis distillate found in preloaded vape pens. Since the THCA is already mostly converted to THC and the following vaporization takes care of even more, this is a good, efficient method of taking in intoxicating cannabis.  Be sure you’re using a reliable brand of vape pen, for safety’s sake, and do your best to purchase products that are recyclable.

Cannabis concentrates:  By isolating the THCA content from a cannabis plant, THCA crystalline can be extracted and consumed in dabs. Similar to vaporization, decarboxylation transpires rapidly when using the dabbing method, breaking down the THCA into active THC. In its pure form, THCA crystalline has little flavor or aroma, as most cannabis extractions aim to strip away the terpenes and flavonoids to isolate the cannabinoids. But many producers reintroduce cannabis-derived terpene blends back into the concentrate. Not only does the addition of terpenes improve the flavor, but these distinctively aromatic plant molecules also work together with cannabinoids to produce entourage effects that enhance the therapeutic potential of cannabis.   

Conventional oven: When making edibles, you’ll want to activate, or decarboxylate, the weed before adding it to the butter, oil, or other medium. When weed gets ground up, spread evenly across a baking sheet that’s lined with parchment paper, and is baked at 230 degrees Fahrenheit, or 110 degrees Celsius, for 30-90 minutes (depending on the bud’s moisture content), it slowly converts most THCA into THC.

Whether cannabis is smoked, eaten, vaped, or juiced raw, understanding the plant’s properties and how and why they interact with our bodies the way they do is crucial in achieving the desired effects and avoiding adverse side effects. Cannabis molecules each have their own benefits and as raw cannabis is further studied, we can rest easy knowing that it’s safe to integrate it into a healthful diet.