New Study: Weed Can Protect Brain Cells From Degenerative Diseases
THCA is kind of like the overlooked younger brother of THC. But it turns out that this component of weed can protect brain cells from degenerative diseases.
There’s a large and growing body of evidence suggesting that weed can help treat all sorts of medical conditions. Now, a new study is helping to shed light on some of weed’s more under-explored qualities. The study concluded that weed can protect brain cells from degenerative diseases.
Studying The Potential Of THCA
One of the big things that makes this study unique is that researchers were looking at a cannabinoid called tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, or THCA for short.
THCA doesn’t get a lot of attention in the cannabis world. Other cannabinoids like THC and CBD tend to steal the limelight. But it turns out that THCA may be pretty powerful in its own right.
In the new study, scientists wanted to see if this often-overlooked cannabinoid had any medical effects on the brain. After testing out how THCA affected mice in a series of tests, the researchers reached some interesting conclusions.
They wrote that THCA “shows potent neuroprotective activity.” They added that the cannabinoid is “worth consideration for the treatment of Huntington’s Disease and possibly other neurodegenerative and neuroinflammatory diseases.”
This is good news, especially since there are a large number of neurodegenerative diseases. In addition to Huntington’s disease, these include conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, ALS, and more.
In fact, one report said that there are more than 600 different neurological disorders. Combined, they affect around 50 million people in the U.S. every year.
By protecting brain cells from these types of degenerative diseases, THCA could have significant health implications.
THCA vs. THC
In addition to what this new study suggests, THCA is an interesting cannabinoid for a few other reasons. THCA is nonpsychoactive. In fact, it is the inactive form of THC.
Over time, the THCA produced by a weed plant slowly turns into the psychoactive cannabinoid THC. Heat speeds the process up.
In fact, this is exactly what happens when you smoke, vape, or otherwise decarboxylate your weed.
All of this means that to consume THCA, you’d have to get it before it turns into THC. And so far, it seems the best way to do that is to consume raw weed.
There are already some who claim that juicing raw cannabis has loads of health benefits. In fact, researcher William Courtney said that people can get more or less the same therapeutic effects from eating raw weed as they can from smoking it.
In particular, Courtney claimed that raw weed gives you the “whole profile of the plant.” And while that profile would not include very much THC, it would include a lot of THCA.
Final Hit: Weed Can Protect Brain Cells From Degenerative Diseases
This new study could be important for a few reasons. For starters, it provides more data about the ways that weed can protect brain cells from degenerative diseases.
Beyond that, it also provides information about a cannabinoid that has not received a whole lot of attention.
Interestingly, it’s a cannabinoid that is most prevalent in raw weed—before it’s been decarboxylated. This could ultimately mean that there are more health benefits to raw weed than was previously thought.