THC, THCA, and THCV… Oh My!

    Posted by Diane Campbell on Jun 4, 2015 10:00:00 AM


    Gone are the old, simple days when the only component of marijuana we talked about was THC. Not only are we discussing the benefits of CBD, CBG, terpenes, and more, but we also have multiple THCs to think about. To help you sort it all out, here are the basics on THC, THCA, and THCV.



    Of all the compounds that make up marijuana, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the best known and has received the greatest amount of study. Once thought to be “the” active ingredient in cannabis, it is the plant’s primarily psychoactive component and is well known for creating the euphoric high that recreational users seek (although current research indicates that a number of cannabinoids and terpenes are likely to exert their own influences that high).

    THC has also shown to have a number of therapeutic benefits, including relief from pain, nausea and vomiting, asthma attacks, insomnia, PTSD, and glaucoma symptoms.[1] THC also helps to stimulate appetite and has demonstrated promising results in a clinical study of patients with Crohn’s disease: 45% of subjects experienced complete remission, and 90% showed clinical improvement after 8 weeks of smoking THC-rich cannabis twice per day.[2]

    Contrary to the type of drug war propaganda that was widely distributed in the 80s and still finds believers today, THC does not kill brain cells.[3] In fact, THC has been found to have neuroprotective qualities as well as the ability to promote the growth of new brain cells. This is in contrast to true drugs of abuse, which commonly suppress brain cell growth.[4]



    Have you ever tried to get high by eating marijuana in an uncooked form? If so, you were probably disappointed. The reason most marijuana edibles begin with slowly infusing some type of oil over heat is that without the heat, the vast majority of the THC in marijuana is still in the form of its precursor, tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA).

    THCA is not psychoactive, but it does show promise as an important therapeutic cannabinoid, making it particularly appealing to medical users who want to be able to take large doses of cannabinoids without having to deal with the high. Researchers are only beginning to study THCA, but preliminary findings suggest that it may provide a number of benefits, such as

    • Reducing inflammation
    • Protecting brain cells
    • Controlling nausea and vomiting
    • Modulating the autoimmune system
    • Controlling seizures
    • Stimulating appetite
    • Inhibiting cancer cell growth[5]


    Consequently, many patients suffering from ailments as diverse as MS, chronic pain, cancer, and autoimmune diseases such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis are now using THCA preparations. The most commonly recommended ways of taking THCA are as fresh cannabis juice or alcohol-based extract. One company is already making a THCA patch, and a broader range of choices will likely become available as research progresses and more clearly reveals the benefits of this exciting cannabinoid.



    Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) is what Steep Hill Labs calls “the sports car of cannabinoids”; it’s known for its highly euphoric effect and considered to be more psychedelic (although quicker to wear off) than THC. THCV has historically been most prevalent in African landrace sativa strains, but recently, growers have begun to successfully breed strains specifically for high THCV content.

    Aside from being the life of the party, THCV has also been found to decrease appetite, which makes it a great choice for those who wish to lose weight, (particularly if you’re someone who likes to get high but tends to get the munchies). Other potential benefits of THCV currently being investigated include

    • Controlling anxiety and panic
    • Stimulating bone cell growth
    • Reducing tremors and brain lesions in Parkinson’s patients[6]


    Lab-Tested Marijuana in Pueblo West 

    Nature’s Gift Shop recreational marijuana dispensary in Pueblo West provides many strains of lab-tested cannabis so you can find the cannabinoid profile you want for your recreational or medicinal use. We are dedicated to providing our customers the best and safest marijuana products at reasonable prices. If you ever have any questions about our products, feel free to ask our friendly and knowledgeable budtenders.


    Want to make edibles at home from your favorite strain? Our free guide gives you the essential information you need about decarboxylation and dosing as well as tasty, easy-to-follow recipes.

    Free eBook: Nature's Gift Shop's Guide to Homemade Marijuana Edibles

    [1] "7 Proven Medical Benefits of THC." LeafScience. n.p., n.d. Web. 29 May 2015.

    [2] Naftali, T., et al. “Cannabis induces a clinical response in patients with Crohn’s disease: a prospective placebo-controlled study.” American Gastroenterological Association Institute, 2013. Web. 15 Jan 2015.

    [3] Kirschheimer, Sid. "Heavy Marijuana Use Doesn't Damage Brain." WebMD. Web MD LLC, 1 July 2003. Web. 29 May 2015.

    [4] "6 Surprising Facts About THC." LeafScience. n.p., 16 March 2014. Web. 29 May 2015.

    [5] Colbert, Mitchell. "Cannabinoid Profile: A Crash Course in THCa." The Leaf Online. The Leaf Online, n.d. Web. 29 May 2015.

    [6] "THCV: The Sports Car of Cannabinoids." Steep Hill Labs. Steep Hill Media, 9 May 2014. Web. 20 May 2015.

    The Nature’s Gift Shop blog is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be legal advice or a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice a qualified health care provider if you have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of anything you read on this website.

    Topics: cannabinoids