The Many Faces of Tetrahydrocannabinol – Different Types of THC and Their Benefits
Although we started our journey at CBD Testers with a heavy emphasis on small cannabinoids, recently we’ve taken a closer look at the most common one – THC – and all of its many uses and benefits. Another interesting and sometimes confusing point about this connection is how many variations of it exist.
Most people know that THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the dominant compound in marijuana and also possesses the plant’s psychoactive properties. It is the most popular cannabis compound for obvious reasons, and it also has numerous medicinal benefits that we as a society are only now fully understanding.
There are 4 main types of THC that occur naturally in the plant: THCA, THCV, Delta 8 THC, and Delta 9 THC. There is also another type that was only recently discovered – Delta 10 THC – even though this was accidentally man-made, it still has some interesting properties that are worth discussing. All of these different types of tetrahydrocannabinol are chemically unique with different medicinal benefits.
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THCA – tetrahydrocannabinolic acid
For the sake of simplicity, let’s start at the very beginning by looking at THC in its most natural form: THCA. In short, THCA is the type of THC found in raw cannabis plants. So if you go to a pharmacy and examine different bud samples and see how much THC is in each, you are actually seeing the THCA levels. Once heat is applied, THCA loses its carboxylic acid group (in a process known as decarboxylation) and turns into THC.
THCA is found virtually anywhere in the plant, including the stems, leaves, and flowers. It does not have any psychoactive properties on its own. The mind-altering effects come into play after decarboxylation, as THCA is just a precursor to all other tetrahydrocannabinols.
THCA is believed to have a number of therapeutic uses and is commonly used as a dietary supplement and for nutritional enhancement. These benefits can be realized by eating, blending, or juicing the raw cannabis plant mass along with other superfoods such as berries, kale, and avocados.
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