For those that might not know. THCA is really what is in the plant initially and it turns into THC with heat. (or age)
For many years people smoked it, so that converted it to THC. Many extraction techniques and solvents we used usually required heat to remove the solvent therefore turning it to THC too. It is only in recent times that we get access to modern equipment such as C02 high pressure extraction systems and vacuums that we are able to extract these ‘acids’ without ‘decarboxylating’ or converting them into the THC. The same is true of many of these beneficial acids (THCA IS Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid ) and terpenes etc.
I first thought THCA was important medically when I felt I was achieving better results than some of my friends doing similar compassion work with similar plants. I have never considered myself a ‘great’ grower, competent yes but not great so it wasn’t a quality issue and we all knew each others strains so it wasn’t the differences in the strains.
We did consider all sorts of reasons, the different environment just a few km away? the techniques or timing or different bulbs. In reality many of us ‘small’ cultivators are growing in similar ways with similar tools and equipment so it didn’t seem to be that either. They did often seem to ‘finish’ their harvests slightly quicker than me a lot of times tho and eventually that made me click on one thing that I had in abundance when it came to the plants that they didn’t have so much of; patience.
Now patience has several forms, I am the worst possible when it comes to waiting in queues or mundane things like that but with the organic/nature/growing side of life, for me it’s like settling into a big comfy chair, if my nature around me is happy then I am happy and that usually equates to me not rushing my plants during the grow, nor through my curing.
Yes, curing was the one single big difference that we had when it came to extracts. I spent years ensuring my own supply and growing perpetually but I was always a harvest ahead so I didn’t run out in the case of a bad harvest or something. When it came to extractions rather than using the freshest material I always used the material that was this 2 months old. It had naturally cured and much of the THCA had decarboxylated and turned into THC but it left a fair percentage of ‘unactivated’ THCA in there still.
My friends were generally doing one of two things, heating and decarboxylating the THCA in an oven prior to extraction or heating the oil to decarboxylate after extraction, usually to remove the solvent that was used to extract with. So basically they were converting practically all of the THCA into THC as oppose to my way was perhaps 70-80%. When it comes to medical this is now the way all this particular group friends do it now for people, in our experience THC and THCA work better in conjunction for many people than when its mostly THC.
A familiar sounding theme? CBD and THC work better together, THC and THCA work better together. We are seeing this first hand. Remember the ‘entourage effects’ we have spoken about? Much like life, we need as many of the good healthy things as we can possibly have in our diets in a balanced way, all the vitamins, antioxidants, acids and sugars and fats of as many colours as possible, variety is the spice of life after all and cannabinoids in all their forms are part of that healthy diet.
Nowadays we have advanced even more, now we are producing extracts with high pressure equipment and co2 using super cold temperatures to remove these cannabinoids without decarboxylating them at all at this point (meaning more choice of options) but also these cold temperatures allow us to keep many of the terpenes that were being lost in the other methods.
But that’s all for another post….subscribe and you won’ t miss it 😉