What’s Up With THCA & What does THCA heal?

What’s Up With THCA?

We get high on THC but not THCA. One letter makes all the difference. Unlike THC, THCA is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in raw and live cannabis. As the plant dries, THCA slowly converts to THC.

THCA stands for tetrahydrocannabinolic acid) and is the non-psychoactive acid form of THC found in the plant when raw. THCA converts to THC (the cannabinoid that gets you high) when it is decarboxylated. Decarboxylation is the process that heats the cannabis to expedite its conversion. This is the process that happens when you smoke or vaporize flower. It can also happen when you expose THCA to heat or sunlight.

THCA is the acidic form of THC as they share a very similar molecular composition. The differentiation is due to an additional carboxyl group in THCA. In its raw form, THCA’s prevalence in the cannabis plant has several therapeutic and healing applications. It’s particularly attractive for some due to its non-psychoactive nature.

So, why exactly does THC get us high and THCA does not? The reason is because of the 3 dimensional shape of the THCA molecule.

What does THCA heal?

While there isn’t enough research on THCA to definitively and scientifically claim its benefits studies have shown that it has anti-inflammatory properties for treating arthritis, lupus, menstrual cramps, muscle spasms, pain, and auto-immune conditions. It’s also an effective neuroprotectant which can be beneficial in the treatment of such conditions as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

In fact, a July 2017 study observed THCA to hold stronger anti-inflammatory properties than CBD, which is pretty astonishing, considering how CBD is the breakout cannabinoid star and taking the mainstream by storm. 

THCA may be found in topicals, tinctures, capsules and raw cannabis juice. As such, the most direct form of consuming is via ingestion. Check out what’s currently in stock at ECO to see what’s the best option for you. Of course, our resident weed nerds are always available for you at our shop.


Is CBD Better with THC?

Today, cannabidiol, or CBD, has become such a trendy health ingredient that you can find it in a wide range of products like coffee, ice cream, and even dog food. With this ascension of CBD, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has been demonized as the compound that gets you high. But many researchers support whole plant therapy medicine that includes THC.

Is CBD Better with THC molecules

So is CBD Better with THC?

Project CBD receives many inquiries from people seeking “CBD, the medical part” of the plant, “not THC, the recreational part” that gets you high. According to Dr. Ethan Russo, that’s because modern medicine has a tendency to separate compounds and dismiss botanical solutions.

“…traditionally people have used plant drugs to treat their problems. It’s only been in the last 75 years there’s been this shift toward synthetics. So, a botanical doesn’t rely on one compound to produce the beneficial effects.”

In other words, all parts of the plant—cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids— enhance each other’s therapeutic effects.

This post will identify the reasons why THC and CBD work better together.

THC Works with CBD

CBD and THC have the exact same chemical makeup: 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and 2 oxygen atoms. Both have similar physiological effects. For instance, both compounds can have analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects. However, they have different molecular structures and act through different mechanisms.

While CBD and THC both bind to the same endocannabinoid receptors, because of its different molecular structure, THC binds directly with receptors, called CB1, which are found throughout the body, including the brain. The result is the psychoactive effect of “getting high.”

Is CBD Better with THC vials

Research shows that CBD does not bond directly with the CB1 receptor, and it may come between THC and the CB1 receptors, negating the psychoactivity associated with THC but still providing the physiological benefits.

So is CBD better with THC? Having THC and CBD together can potentially improve an outcome such as pain relief by attacking it in different ways.

Manage Your Dose According to Your Needs

Lots of people worry THC will make you “couch-locked” or, even worse, anxious and paranoid. In fact, only small amounts of THC are needed to be effective. This makes sense when you know that originally, the cannabis plant contained far less THC than it typically does now, and a lot more CBD. Breeders only created high-THC strains because that’s what sold for the best price.

Is CBD Better with THC bottles

Bottom line, when somebody asks you— is CBD better with THC—tell them many sources would support that, taken in very small amounts, THC will not get you high and CBD will work better.

Ultimately, the products you choose and use should reflect your goals. At ECO Cannabis, we believe that cannabis can be part of healthy living. By focusing on your goals and sharing them with our skilled Experience Guides, together, we can find the best products to achieve your desired effects. Want to learn more? Drop by our Oakland dispensary!


Why Terpenes Matter When Picking a Strain

When you visit a dispensary, you’re generally provided with THC and CBD percentages for the available products. There’s also a tendency to classify strains by whether they’re indica or sativa-dominant. At ECO Cannabis, we believe there’s a better way to help people shop for cannabis products.

Cannabis flower is full of compounds beyond cannabinoids. In fact, terpenes (or terpenoids) can have an amazing effect. Let’s take a look at what terpenes really are and why they matter when choosing a strain.

What Are Terpenes and Why Are They Important?

Why Terpenes Matter When Picking a Strain: buds around cbd oil

Terpenes are the naturally occurring organic compounds that give plants their smell and flavor. They’re the reason you can tell the difference between a strawberry and pineapple without even looking. Just like how rosemary and lavender essential oils have their unique aromas and therapeutic values, the terpene profile of a strain will set the tone for how it will affect you. Understanding terpenes, then, can be a vital part of including cannabis in a wellness routine.

There are over 20,000 different terpenes with at least 100 that can be found in the cannabis plant. Before current cannabis research, people mostly chose cannabis strains based on the basic effects of sativas and indicas. We now understand that terpenes not only influence the smell and flavor of buds, but can also enhance, change, or reduce the duration and intensity of a strain’s effect. This synergistic relationship between terpenes and cannabinoids is known as the “entourage effect,” and plays a significant role in how cannabis makes you feel.

Lemon surrounded by cannabis buds with terpenes

Terpenes to Look for When Choosing a Strain

We’ll be covering individual terpenes in more detail soon. For now, here are a few the most common terpenes you will come across when shopping for cannabis:

Limonene – Found in citrus fruits and your favorite cleaning products, this high-energy terpene can boost mood, reduce stress, and help with digestion.

Caryophyllene – Known for its spicy and woody aroma, caryophyllene boasts strong anti-inflammatory properties and can help with ulcers, arthritis, GI problems, as well as anxiety and depression.

Myrcene – With its musky, earthy scent, myrcene is the most common terpene found in cannabis. It can help ease muscle pain and tension and promote sleep. Indica strains often have large amounts of myrcene, which contributes to the stoned, “couch-lock” feeling they produce.

Linalool – With its sweet, floral scent, linalool relieves stress and boosts mood. It can balance out the anxious feeling that THC sometimes produces.

Pinene – Perhaps unsurprisingly, pinene smells like pine as well as orange peels. It is the most common terpene in the plant world. It can help fight inflammation and reduce the memory loss associated with THC. It can also promote alertness and boost airflow to your lungs.

One of the best outcomes of cannabis legalization is that consumers now have such a large selection when it comes to choosing strains. Making selections based on terpene profiles rather than just the amount of THC or CBD can bring a whole new dimension to the way you use an enjoy cannabis. You’ll be able to utilize synergistic effects to enhance the benefits of cannabis for treating conditions like pain, insomnia, anxiety, depression, infections, and more, or just for boosting your overall wellness.

Not sure where to start with terpenes? No problem! Visit our new Oakland dispensary. Our Experience Guides are highly trained and ready to help you find the perfect strains for the experience you desire.