What is THC-A?

Recently, I took a friend to a recreational marijuana shop here in Boulder. I introduced her to THC-A, a newly discovered cannabinoid that has no psychoactive effect. Like me, she has Multiple Sclerosis and was looking for something to help with inflammation and overall health.

How I Discovered THC-A

I started taking THC-A sometime in 2017 when I first found out about it from my friend Karin, founder of Sweet Mary Jane. Karin is incredibly knowledgeable about all things cannabis, and always on the cutting edge. I love learning about hemp, marijuana, and the like from her.

What is THC?

I want to briefly touch on THC before we get to THC-A. THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol. This is the psychoactive component of marijuana. I do not like it. I don’t want to get high and this is the cannabinoid that creates a feeling of euphoria along with the munchies, and whatnot. Personally, I’m not very well versed in that. I’ve heard that THC is fantastic for pain control, but thankfully, that’s not an issue for me. I walk and work out every day which seems to prevent the muscle spasms that most folks with MS deal with.

What is THC-A?

THC-A, or Tetrahydrocannabinolic-acid, is a precursor to THC. Simply put, THC-A is the unheated form of THC. I love THC-A because you get the benefits of the herb without the high. It’s the perfect thing for a middle-aged woman like me.

THC-A is Unheated THC

I have a friend in California, a hippie in his late 70’s who grows cannabis in his back yard. He eats it raw, on his salad every day, and this way he gets the benefit of the whole plant without the high. One day, he decided to have soup for lunch and he tossed his weed into it. He told me he was higher than a kite. Why? He had heated the plant in his soup, converting THC-A into THC. Big mistake if you are avoiding psychotropic effects when you take cannabis.

Medical Marijuana and the Whole Plant

I’ve studied herbs since 1993, and I look at marijuana as a plant-based remedy. It is not perfect, but like many plants, it has numerous uses and benefits. As with most herbs, I believe in ingesting a complete form of the plant. Given that I don’t grow marijuana, this becomes a bit complicated.

2:1 Tincture CBD:THC-A

Right now I’m using a product from Sweet Mary Jane that is a 2:1 ratio of CBD to THC-A. I take it before bed. Every now and then my neck acts up and applying this oral tincture to my neck, thereby using it as a topical treatment, relieves that pain in a couple of minutes.

Does Medical Marijuana Work?

I do a lot of things to improve my health. Although I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2006, I recently learned that I’ve actually suffered from it since 1993. Given that I’ve been living with this disease for almost 30 years, it seems like my lifestyle strategies are working fairly well. Still, one of the issues is that I do so many things at once that I can’t really tell what the exact benefits are from each treatment. Some of us don’t have the time to do one thing at a time, and I’m ok with that. I generally think that using this 2:1 tincture each night has been helpful. Can I tell you exactly why? No.

What Can Cannabis do for Women?

If you’re looking for more in-depth information on Marijuana, you might like to read the book, A Woman’s Guide to Cannabis, by Nikki Furrer, a cannabis lawyer, cultivator, and CEO of Fleur, a cannabis company that develops products with a focus on women’s health. It came out at the end of 2018 and is full of incredibly up-to-date information on the budding herb industry.

What are the Benefits of Medical Marijuana?

Cannabis, or medical marijuana, is thought to relieve inflammation, pain, and the symptoms of arthritis and seizures. I first wrote about it here in an article called, Top Five Alternative Treatments for Epilepsy. In that piece, I described the benefits of Charlotte’s Web, a strain of medical marijuana high in CBD, along with the Keto Diet, as optimum alternative treatments for some seizure conditions. Given that more than 20% of epilepsy patients get absolutely no relief from pharmaceutical treatment,1 it is cruel to not make alternatives like cannabis available to them.

Benefits of Recreational Cannabis?

Have you tried medical or recreational cannabis? Is medical marijuana legal in your state? Here in Colorado cannabis is legal for both medical and recreational use, and its sale is highly regulated and heavily taxed. If you have used cannabis, what was your experience? Has it been helpful or harmful? Leave a comment and let me know!

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84 responses to “What is THC-A?”

  1. I have been given 1 gram of crystalline thc-a and I want to decarboxylate it as it is not to be smoked at all. Do I put it in the oven like I do with buds, and if so, for how long and at what temperature? Anybody’s help with this matter will be appreciated.
    To add to the comments on marijuana, I use it medicinally for my autistic daughter. Believe me it works in that it takes away the worst symptoms of this terrible condition. While she is on it, we have a daughter who is coherent, able to withstand a hug, and able to go out into the outside world,

        • Eli, thanks so much for following up with this and sorry I can’t be of more help! I use the product mentioned above but I haven’t tried decarboxylating crystalline THC-A. I hope you have a fantastic day and thanks again for your comments :-)

  2. Great post! I agree that Cannabis, or medical marijuana, is thought to relieve inflammation, pain, and the symptoms of arthritis and seizures.

  3. Hi, I recently bought some an I’m understanding something here,correct me if I’m wrong….who ever it is that supplies to the dispensarys, are they inducing how much THC OR THCA, a lot of majuna has in it? chemicaly???…how can they do that if they are…..it’s suppose to be naturally grown an harvested an sold…not infused with how much THC is in it an in fused with medical medicine …when I did a couple of hits of the stuff I bought it instantly made me nonfuctional, bad kind of high….something about it wasn’t right..it wasn’t a pleasurable high.., it’s got 0.524 thc..an THCA of 27.285,..so if I heated this stuff up, it really would get me wasted????…I wouldn’t be able to handLe it…..

    • Greg, I would not recommend heating THC-A since it is used as an anti-inflammatory remedy for those who don’t wish to get high.

  4. Hi, there! I’m in the Boulder area and have been DESPERATELY searching for a non-heated, THC-a, CBD-a, etc. only cannabis oil/tincture. I haven’t been able to find one since I lived in Washington. The entire legalized industry is built on getting as high as humanly possible, which is exactly what I’m not looking for. Can you please tell me (even if privately) which dispensary you find this at, and also if there are selections of which type of cannabis they have? I have autoimmune illnesses and the weirdest sensitivities, so some strains don’t feel good for me. Thank you so much for writing this and letting me know the option exists here!

    • Anna, thanks for your comment! I get my 2:1 CBD:THC-A tincture at Boulder Wellness, on Arapaho Avenue. The product is called Creature Comfort, and it’s made by the company, Sweet Mary Jane. Not sure about heated, vs non-heated, but if you contact Sweet Mary Jane, they may be able to provide more guidance on this. Let me know if you have any other questions, I’m happy to help :-)

      • Thank you so much. That’s extremely helpful. Thank you again for writing about this in the first place!

        • Anna, you’re welcome! If you have other questions LMK! I hope you’ll stay in touch and keep me posted on how you’re doing :-)

    • Hello
      I’m a 58 yr old woman who has tried marijuana back in the 80’s, I didn’t like it then and I don’t want it now. I’m suffering with multiple health issues such as rheumatoid and Osteoarthritis, sciatica and peripheral and diabetic neuropathy. I’m in so much pain constantly and it never eases up. I would like to know what I can use to help my conditions. Right now I have no real life. I can’t sit for long periods of time and I can’t lay down for long periods of time. My grandchildren feel like I am getting real old real quick.
      Please respond with help

      • Adrienne, thanks for reaching out! I’m sorry to hear about everything you’re going through. I would recommend contacting my friend Karin at Sweet Mary Jane to get more information. Tell her you read this blog post and that I sent you. She has helped many people and developed this product. Also, let me know if you would be interested in learning more about my very simple stretching program which got me out of pain –if enough people are interested I’ll share it on Instagram and here too. Please stay in touch and keep me posted :-)

  5. You wrote, “I walk and work out every day, which seems to prevent the muscle spasms that most folks with MS deal with.” I clicked through on “walk “and “work out “to learn more about your walking and workout regimen. There is a very helpful description of how you slowly built up your ability to walk on a daily basis, but I am wondering about your daily workouts. What does a week of daily workouts look like? Thanks! :-)

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