The most important psychoactive constituent of Cannabis sativa L. is delta-9- tetrahydrocannabinol THC.
Cannabidiol (CBD), another important constituent, is able to modulate the distinct unwanted psychotropic effect of THC.
In natural plant extracts of C.sativa, large amounts of THC and CBD appear in the form of THCA-A (THC-acid-A) and CBDA (cannabidiolic acid), which can be transformed to THC and CBD by heating.
Previous reports of medicinal use of cannabis or cannabis preparations with higher CBD/THC ratios and use in its natural,unheated form have demonstrated that pharmacological effects were often accompanied with a lower rate of adverse effects.
The acid derivatives of THC are devoid of psychotropic effects and do not bind to cannabis CB1 andCB2 receptors, although they possess some anti-inflammatory action. In naturally grown C. sativa, up to 95% of the occurring cannabinoids are in the form of THCA-A and CBDA.
By heating to 200–210°C for 5minutes, they are quantitatively decarboxylized to phenolic THC and CBD, respectively.
Although THCA-A is described as pharmacologically inactive, reports of popular medicinal use of unheated cannabis or cannabis preparations show pharmacological effects often accompanied with a lower rate of adverse effects (anecdotal reports).
It also possesses some anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. Recently, it was shown that unheated cannabis extract was able to inhibit tumor necrosis factor alpha in macrophage culture and peripheral macrophages after LPS stimulation.
Although CBD is devoid of psychotropic activities, it may have some beneficial effects (such as sedating, anticonvulsant, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective properties.
THCA = delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid
The non-psycho active precursor of the primary active constituent of marijuana (Cannabis sativa).
Avoid exposure to oxygen, acids and direct sunlight.
THC-acid is very unstable, decomposing rapidly in the presence of oxygen, light and acids. It is stable for 3months at -20°C, 2 weeks at 5°C, and 4 days at room temperature.
In fresh plant material, about 90% of the THC obtained from Cannabis sativa is available as THC-acid.
THC-acid is the biological precursor to THC, the primary active constituent responsible for the psychoactive and medicinal properties of marijuana.
However, THC-acid itself is not psychoactive. THCA is decarboxylated to form THC.
THC-acid is found in variable quantities in fresh, undried cannabis, but is progressively decarboxylated to THC with drying, and especially under intense heating such as when cannabis is smoked.
Unheated Cannabis sativa extracts and its major compounds THC-acid have potential anti-inflammatory properties not mediated by CB1 and CB2 receptor coupled pathways.
THC-acid holds much of the anti-inflammatory properties, as well as antiproliferative (inhibiting the cell-growth in tumors/ cancer cells,) as well as anti-spasmodic (suppresses muscle-spasms.)