THCA , or Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid, has come into the spotlight and for good reasons. It's what I call a powerhouse cannabinoid. THCA is the precursor to THC, it's non psychoactive and found within the raw cannabis plant. THCA converts to THC only once it is heated (known as decarboxylation), at which point it becomes psychotropic.
THCA has shown a lot of anecdotal evidence of its therapeutic value. In many ways, it is very similar to cannabidiol (CBD) in its medicinal potential. It is a potent anti inflammatory, a neuro protectant, quells nausea, limits some cell growth with prostate cancer, and as with CBD, THCA may help ease spasticity, digestive issues such as colitis, insomina and chronic pain. It is also a powerful antioxidant and has been reported to be an immune supportive.
According to CBDScience, "THCA has been shown to be more effective than THC or CBD for regulating the functions that support the endocannabinoid system while reducing pain caused by inflammation." Unfortunately, as with so much with cannabis, THCA needs more research to be done to absolutely confirm its therapeutic value.
So where to you find THCA? It is most easily found and ingested from the raw plant itself. There are some high quality manufacturers who product cannabis oils with THCA, such as Constance Therapeutics, and I have found some THCA tinctures, such as those available from Treatwell. But ideally, you eat the leaves of the plant, and I can say now, for sure, they taste best in my morning green smoothie!
Let me reassure you, you will not get high after drinking this smoothie, assuming you have not heated the cannabis. I say this, because my partner was extremely concerned I was going to make him high before going to work! He started by saying, "Years from now I'll say, 'Remember that day you sent me to work high after drinking your green smoothie'..." He went to work just fine!
At the HelloMD office with my colleague Chris, 5lbs of sausage and 3 huge bags of cannabis leaves for our juicing film shoot.HelloMD photo
Green Smoothie Ingredients
I am not much for measuring, so these quantities are not prescriptive.
1 dash of nutmeg
1 dash of cinnamon
1 dash of tumeric
a smidge of cayenne pepper (be careful!)
a smidge of pink himalayan salt (yes, it's good!)
1 teaspoon chia seeds
1/2 teaspoon of spirulina or any type of superfood powder
1 teaspoon of local organic unprocessed honey
1 1/2 cup of either vanilla almond milk or coconut water
1 massive handful of organic spinach
1 handful of organic frozen mango (I like this as it makes the smoothie cold)
1 big banana (avocado also adds a creamy, thick texture as a substitute)
1 whole tangerine with the skin (good for the extra terpenes)
1 small apple
2-3 oz. of washed raw cannabis trim-the leaves
Note: The biggest challenge may be finding a source for your leaves. Make sure the plant material is organic and pesticide free. Talk to your local dispensary, or a friend or your neighbor or just harvest from your backyard! The nice thing about cannabis leaves is you can freeze them, so you can bulk buy.
Green Smoothie: How To
Put all the ingredients in your blender of choice and mix it. Drink it immediately!