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THC and THCa Cannabinoids


THC and THCa Cannabinoids

Professor DeBacco

Research Article
Russo, E. B. (2011). Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid‐terpenoid entourage effects. British journal of pharmacology, 163(7), 1344-1364.

The Famous One…
THCA or tetrahydrocannabinolic acid is one of the most recognized cannabinoid ever to be discovered.
While there are multiple compounds in cannabis that offer medicinal effects, and many more that modulate the impact of THC, there are none with such a psychoactive impact as THC.

THC Effect
The effect of consuming decarboxylated THCA, or THC, in high doses can cause near hallucinations for some.
Although the effect is not technically “intoxicating,” it is certainly inebriating and often very psychedelic.

The Molecule That Started the War
It is this cannabinoid that is the target of the now fading drug war, which characterized cannabis as a dangerous and addictive drug.
In the absence of THCA, there may never have been a war against cannabis.

Original Source is CBGA
THCA, like CBDA, is synthesized from CBGA in the apoplastic space of the secretory vesicle in the trichome.
The enzyme that does the work is THCAS or THCA synthase.
Again, there is a peroxide byproduct which is toxic to the cell, and therefore THCAS biosynthesis must occur in the trichome secretory vessel.

THC and Regulations
Current regulations require that all CBD hemp flowers with a THC content greater than 0.3% are thereby classified as “marijuana,” and must be destroyed.

There are a few exceptions to the rule of THCAS producing THCA, and CBDAS producing CBDA.

Biological Expectations vs Regulations
Research from Oregon CBD company has shown that in vitro, CBDAS will produce one part THCA for every 20 parts CBDA.

Therefore, with cannabinoid contents of hemp exceeding 20%, it may be totally unreasonable to have the THCA content requirement set to 0.3% or less, because we can biologically expect a minimum of 1% THCA for every 20% of CBDA produced by CBDAS, the required synthase for CBDA production.

THC Interactions
THC primarily interacts with the CB1 receptor in the endocannabinoid system.
For the majority, these receptors are found on the nervous system tissues.
When bound by THC, they modulate the electrochemical systems that allow us to perceive the world, presumably resulting in the psychoactive effect.

THC vs Aspirin
This may also explain its analgesic, muscle relaxant, and antispasmodic properties (Pacher et al., 2006).
THC has been shown to have “20 times the anti-inflammatory power of aspirin and twice that of hydrocortisone” (Evans 1991, Russo 2011).

Link to Lecture Slides: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1lon5qsVTq6Hwgvrtx37riCX6fRc4Yfqv/view?usp=sharing

*Due to the description character limit the full work cited for “THC and THCa Cannabinoids” can be viewed at… https://drive.google.com/file/d/1sHnZpOj_WtjS1bkmNuMQpxnXca9DzCL3/view?usp=sharing


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