Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, typically referred to as THC-A, is one of the latest booms in the hemp industry. Often found in hemp cultivars and concentrates, as well as in an isolated form, THC-A is a non-psychoactive, naturally-occurring cannabinoid that can be used in the treatment of conditions such as seizures, arthritis, nausea, and general pain and inflammation, and has been found to aid in stimulating appetite. Research has also shown that THC-A is a neuroprotectant, potentially beneficial in the treatment of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Multiple Sclerosis.
In its natural, unaltered state, THC-A actually has an extremely low binding affinity to both of our major cannabinoid receptors. This is why ingesting a raw cannabis bud, for instance, will not produce a high; essentially the THC-A has not undergone any changes to convert it into THC, so there is no chance of achieving an altered state of mind by consuming THC-A by itself, whether in plant matter or in an isolated form
THC-A has another interesting quality, that being when it is exposed to enough heat, a process called decarboxylation happens that turns the acidic THC into the regular form of THC we all know and love. This process can happen over a long period of time; for example, a hemp plant’s continued exposure to heat and sunlight in the growing process could cause an amount of THC-A to convert to THC. The process can also happen in nearly an instant when a high-THC-A hemp cultivar or concentrate is exposed to the heat of a lighter/torch or is burning in a pre-roll.
Since THC-A is non-psychoactive on its own and is unscheduled, any hemp product with a high THC-A content and a Delta 9 THC content below .3% remains completely and totally federally legal under the 2018 Farm Bill. As you begin to see more of these products on the market, make sure to do your due diligence and confirm with a lab report that your product is 100% legal. As always, keep your eyes peeled on coloradocures.com for some new and exciting high THC-A products!