What is THCa flower? 🐝
When cannabis (hemp) grows in nature (generally speaking), cannabinoids like CBD and THC are in their acid form (CBDa and THCa), which means they will not give you a buzz or produce psychoactive effects. This means you can go right up to a cannabis plant and take a bite out of one of the flowers and it will not cause any head high.
Once heat is applied to THCa flower (through processing, baking, or smoking) we are removing that acid group, converting CBDa to CBD and THCa to THC. Once they are converted, they are now psychoactive, which means full buzz effects can be expected.
THCa flower contains high levels of THCa, but remains within legal limits for the 2018 farm bill. The 2018 farm bill requires all hemp to contain <.3% delta-9 THC, which THCa remains within these legal parameters. Once a heat source has been applied and altered the plant compounds, whether it is through processing, baking, smoking, or vaping, THCa is converted to THC, making it psychoactive.
So, What Can I Do with THCa Flower? 🌲
Flower (the actual bud) can be used in many ways, with the most obvious, smoking. Although smoking flower is common, many are looking into alternative routes of inhalation that have a little better impact on our respiratory system. Alternative methods include dry herb vaporizing (through a device that heats ground flower like a mini convection oven) and vaping.
A dry herb vaporizer is a little handheld device (a little bigger than a lighter) that allows you to pack ground up flower in the chamber and heat the cannabinoids up to vaporize them without putting flame to the plant material. In addition to not containing any smoke, it is discreet and great for those that are looking to dose on the go.
Vape carts are also very popular. The main thing with these is you want to get them from a trusted processor or farmer. What makes cheap, crappy vapes harmful is the additional additives like propylene glycol (PG) or vegetable glycerin (VG) or similar additives. We are working on getting some dry herb vaporizers and vaporizing cartridges (made with live rosin THCa extract with no junk) on the shelf in the near future, so stay tuned!
Another great thing you can use THCa flower is if you want to make your own canna oil or butter that you can take or cook with. Here is a quick “how to” guide on how anyone can make oil or butter at home using flower.
How to make your own canna oil or butter 🧈
1) Decarb flower (decarbing means applying heat, which converts THCa to THC) on a baking sheet in the oven @ 240 degrees F for 20 minutes. Make sure the flower is spread out and not stacked up so even heating is accomplished.
2) Use a ratio of 7g of flower to 1 cup of oil (MCT or Olive Oil) or butter (you can always increase it depending on tolerance, but this is a great starting point). Place ground up flower in a sauce-pan with 1oz of oil or butter and heat on low.
3) Constantly stir the oil or butter for 20 min, making sure that it heats, but does not get hot enough to boil. Boiling will cause the cannabinoids to be destroyed by too much heat, so making sure to keep it stirred is essential.
4) After 20 min of stirring, your masterpiece is complete! Strain off using a cheesecloth and store in an airtight glass jar or a butter keeper in the fridge. The oil and butter contain plant material, so make sure to keep it refrigerated.
The oil can be taken directly under the tongue using a dropper or used in baking to make yummy edibles that can help with anxiety, sleep, or a booze free way to unwind and relax. HERE is a quick YouTube video with some simple instructions. Note: You do not have to cook it for the time that she says in the video because we are speeding up the process by decarbing the flower in the oven first. Also, it is easier to dose using grams for the flower to oil/butter ratio, not the 1 cup to 1 cup ratio that she recommends. This is a quick way to go to the moon 🌕 🤣 start low and slow.