In the world of legal cannabis, where potency reigns as king, the race is on to develop the purest, most revered cannabis concentrate on the market. As researchers learn more about the various compounds found in the cannabis plant, chemists and extraction specialists in the industry are refining their processes and developing new products to top the potency charts. As pharmaceutical-grade processes merge with the growing cannabis industry, extract producers are set to deliver some of the purest cannabinoid extracts known to man. Introducing THCa Crystalline.
Mirror, mirror on the wall, which is the most potent concentrate of them all?
The cannabinoid THCa is the acidic, non-psychoactive form, of THC and is abundant in raw cannabis plant material. By applying heat, either when the material is smoked or vaporized, the THCa converts to THC to produce the plant's well-known cerebral effects. As the cannabis industry continues to expand, technology is providing new extraction methods to isolate particular cannabinoids.
The Extraction Process
The process to get to a pure THCa extract is not one which can, or should, be done at home. The chemicals required are highly caustic and the equipment is not cheap. Leave this process to the experienced extraction techs.
By using chemicals like acetic acid and hexane, the plant material dissolves without degrading the THCa. The solution is filtered and cycled through a rotary evaporator. This piece of lab equipment uses pressure, heat, and motion to separate the mixture. Then, through a process called chromatography, more chemicals are used to remove the impurities.
The product left behind looks nothing like cannabis and more like something which might actually belong on the Schedule 1 list. THCa is naturally a crystal structure, which can resemble other more dangerous drugs (without the same hazard). The final THCa crystalline is a 99.96 percent pure cannabinoid extract.
Consuming THCa Crystalline
Once the extract is made, consuming the final product isn't any different than consuming other cannabis concentrates. Dabbing or vaporizing the crystals applies the necessary heat to produce a strong cerebral effect many describe as being very clear-headed and focused. In fact, consumers accustomed to the heavy effects of THC in the plant form may feel somewhat let down by the effects. As with all cannabis products, new consumers should start with low doses and slowly increase as needed.
Edibles may also be an effective way to consume the extract. However, be aware, heat from the cooking process may convert the THCa to THC to deliver psychoactive effects. To avoid the high, but take advantage of the health benefits, consumers may choose to use the crystalline in no-bake recipes, beverages, or smoothies.
In fact, many health-conscious consumers are juicing raw cannabis greens to take advantage of THCa without the extraction and refining processes. Raw cannabis is well-known as a superfood.
The Pros and Cons of THCa Crystalline
While potency is a good thing, there are a few things to know about THCa crystalline before consuming it. Like most substances, there are benefits and detriments:
- THCa crystalline is completely void of any harmful byproducts or chemicals.
- THCa is non-psychoactive, until heat is applied.
- Consuming THCa provides a myriad of potential health benefits.
- With a precise extract, manufacturers and consumers alike can be absolutely certain of dosage.
- THCa crystalline is completely void of ALL other substances ? including terpenes, which give cannabis products their flavors and aromas. Thus, THCa is also uniquely void of any flavor.
- THCa crystalline, although potent when dabbed or vaporized, has a much different effect due to the lack of terpenes and other cannabinoids.
The Benefits of THCa Cannabinoids
Research on the cannabinoid THCa includes various potential benefits, which could warrant further studies on the medical efficacy of the cannabinoid. However, preliminary studies show this precursor to THC may have a wide array of benefits.
- Pain Relief – Preclinical studies show THCa works with TRP receptors to help minimize the sensation of pain.
- Inflammation – Like other cannabinoids, THCa is considered a potent anti-inflammatory to help to control the inflammation response within the body.
- Antioxidant – A study in 2012 showed THCa may help to stop oxidative damage, which is commonly seen in Parkinson's Disease.
- Nausea – THCa may help control nausea and vomiting, which can help treat patients without the psychoactive effects associated with cannabis consumption.
- Cancer – A study in 2013 found THCa may help the proliferation of certain types of cancer-fighting cells. While more research is needed, this is obviously encouraging data.
Where to Find THCa Crystalline
Thanks to innovation and progress in the legal cannabis industry, THCa crystalline is found in many retail establishments in the states which allow cannabis consumption, including Colorado, California, and Washington. Several commercial extraction companies produce a pure THCa crystalline. Fortunately, the price has also declined as the product has become more readily available. When the extract first emerged on the market, prices ranged anywhere from $100 a gram and up. Today, most consumers find THCa crystalline for around $40-50 a gram.