Lansterdam in Review: A curious cannabinoid for curious medical marijuana patients

Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid tablets espouse medical benefits but offer no high

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RISE — THCA Tablets

Price — $47/30 tablets

THCA content — 10mg/tablet

Be aware: There isn’t much proven research out there on the actual medical benefits of THCA.

This cannabis compound certainly doesn’t get you high, nor is it intended to do so. But early statistical and anecdotal evidence both suggest that THCA (or tetrahydrocannabinolic acid) can help medical marijuana patients alleviate inflammation, insomnia, anxiety, muscle spasms, chronic pain and a number of other ailments commonly treated with medical-grade cannabis.

It’s worth noting here that I don’t necessarily consider myself a patient who actually requires medicine for any of these ailments, except for perhaps some mild social anxiety and brief bouts of back pain. Believe it or not, frequent interviews don’t always come naturally to this reporter. Sometimes, I need to smoke a joint to help take the edge off and help get my thoughts together — especially if I’m sitting down to flesh out some type of complicated city finance story.

It’s also worth noting that after two weeks of taking one of these tablets every morning after breakfast, often in tandem with a joint, I really didn’t notice any substantive curative effects.

Here’s the deal: THCA (or tetrahydrocannabinolic acid) is a cannabinoid with a distinctly different chemical composition from familiar THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, which is responsible for the couch-locking effects that we’ve all learned to know and love. Instead, THCA exists only within the raw and live marijuana plant, and can only be converted to the THC when heated.

Researchers have uncovered hundreds of types of cannabinoids, all of which work synergistically to produce a head or body buzz, or other specific medical effects. Ever notice how some weed makes you hungrier than others? Blame that specific cannabinoid cocktail.

Think of THCA like a precursor to THC, perhaps more similar to CBD than any recreational marijuana product. Again: This stuff is not supposed to get you high. It’s only meant for patients to reap the medical benefits of cannabis without being knocked on their asses after a few tokes.

While THCA might not be the most entertaining cannabinoid on the market, consumers for years have vouched for its superfood-like ability to ease arthritis, fibromyalgia and neurological issues. For that reason, some people have been known to consume raw marijuana directly.

I’m intensely skeptical about whether this was actually related to the THCA tablets, but I did notice that I had a bit more energy and mental clarity than usual over the last week. I also didn’t find myself nearly as stressed out amid an ongoing avalanche of local, state and national news.

I’m still hesitant to attribute any of this to the THCA directly. There were a couple days where I forgot to take one, and I didn’t necessarily notice any type of fatigue or increase in stress. But I’d imagine, however, this is a must-try product for those looking to get the most from their medical marijuana prescription without totally mentally checking themselves out for most of the day.

Lansterdam in Review is a weekly column written by Kyle Kaminski, a City Pulse staff writer and cannabis enthusiast who has been smoking marijuana just about every day for the last decade. Kaminski samples some of the best bud in Greater Lansing, gets real high and writes about it.

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