by Sarah Mann, MD

While science has been focusing on the most prominent cannabinoids, THC and CBD, there are several others that have been flying under the radar. Among them are the acidic cannabinoids – THCA and CBDA. These are the compounds that are destined to become CBD and THC before they are heated. 

The acidic cannabinoids posses medicinal properties independent of their more well known counterparts. The raw flower will have a significantly higher terpene content, which can have a wide range of medicinal properties both independently and synergistically with the cannabinoids. They are also appealing because they do not contain any psychoactive properties, allowing patients to maximize their dose without adverse effects. 

THCA has shown promising benefits:

  • Anti-inflammatory properties for arthritis and lupus
  • Neuroprotection for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases
  • Anti-proliferative properties noted in studies of prostate cancer.
  • Antiemetic in the treatment of nausea and appetite loss
  • Sleep aid for insomnia
  • As a muscle relaxant for spasms
  • As an effective pain treatment

CBDA has shown promising benefits: 

  • Anticonvulsant for seizures
  • Antiemetic in the treatment of nausea
  • As an analgesic and anti-inflammatory
  • Inhibition of cancer cells
  • Antidepressant properties
  • Seems to possess antibacterial properties

The fresh, raw cannabis flower can be eaten directly. If chewed for a few minutes, the onset will be faster. It can be prepared into an oil, although an extraction process that does not involve heating would be required. It can be brewer into a tea, a recipe is included below. 

Simmer cannabis 1g cannabis flower in 1L water for 15 min. Ideally consume within 24 hrs as it rapidly loses potency. Storing in a refrigerator will slow down the transformation of the components. 

This simple recipe will produce a cannabis tea with 90% THCA/CBDA and 10% THC/CBD.