This post was prompted by a very special friend of mine. My friend wants patients and prospective patients to know that if they want to use cannabis as medicine, they don’t have to get the least bit high, (although you may feel so much better you may become elated). I want everyone to know this as well.
I’ve mentioned this before in many posts, but again I will stress that THC, (tetrahydrocannabinol), is not present in raw or un-aged cannabis plants in sufficient enough quantities to get you high. What IS in the plant, in varying degrees depending on strain is THCa, (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid), and it’s not psychoactive, but is arguably just as powerful a medicine as THC. To get THCA to become THC you must decarboxylate. Decarboxylation is the use of heat to convert carbon molecules of THCa into THC, and CBDa to CBD. It is NOT a necessary step to creating all cannabis medicine.
Many experienced cannabis users enjoy a relaxing high, or even something more powerful, but even those folks have things to do, people to see and places to go, (like their job), so they will utilize THCa products to function normally through the day, free of both the high and their illness symptoms. Win-Win! THCa products taken orally have a deep, long lasting effect that will typically stay with you all through the workday. Dosing changes from one user to another, but still, there is no high and no fear of over medicating.
No fear of over medicating? That’s right folks, no fear! This also means THCa is safe for children and they can also use THCa products to help illness and symptoms as well, never having to experience the typical psychoactive side effects that THC may cause at higher doses.
The reason why THCa is non-psychoactive is because it doesn’t bind with the cannabinoid receptors in the brain, (CB1 and CB2). That is because unlike THC or CBD, the bigger/heavier molecules of these acid forms of cannabinoids can’t get past the blood brain barrier, (BBB). Think of the BBB as a protective bubble around the brain that will only let certain things that are present in the bloodstream pass through it to the brain. Things that are small and fat soluble, (like THC), can interact with this protective bubble and slip slide through. Other things that are larger and water soluble, (like acids in THCa and CBDa), are rejected and can’t pass through.
Although an acid itself, THCa can become somewhat unstable in an acid environment, and with some people this may cause their stomach acids to convert some of the THCA into THC, but not all of it. Why this only happens in some people and not others is not really know yet, but your best bet, (just in case you are one of these folks), is to take THCa products 30 minutes to an hour before a big meal, because stomach acids are stronger and more active when working to digest food. When using raw cannabis in a smoothie one must also realize that when using sufficient amounts of fruits containing citric acid, some THCa may also be converted. I know a lot of people who juice raw cannabis, and none of them have experienced this to the extent of feeling high in the least, but technically, it can happen. Although I use raw cannabis, I never mix it with citrus juices anyway, so I can’t weigh in on that, but I do take THCa in capsule form in the daytime, without regard to when I ate last, and I have never felt high from the canna caps at all.
Canna caps can be made with THC, CBD, or a mix of both. They can also be made using THCa and CBDa or any mix of these two as well, and these capsules are becoming very popular especially with people who are treating their illnesses with cannabis, but can’t be high for whatever reason. People who don’t want to smoke or vape are also turning to canna caps. In Albuquerque you may find THCa canna caps at Organtica’s Clinic, (NM Medical Cannabis Card required at all NM Medical Cannabis dispensaries). They come in all varieties and strengths. If you know of another Medical Cannabis dispensary in New Mexico that carries them, please leave a comment below. If you can’t find them, you can make your own, but I will leave that discussion for another day.
For more information about THCa, please try my previous posts.