THC-A (Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid) is one the most prominent cannabinoids found within the trichomes of living cannabis plants. Both THCA and CBDA are precursors to their pharmacologically active, commonly consumed analogues, THC and CBD. As a living cannabis plant cycles through the final stages of senescence, these unstable cannabinoid precursors slowly decarboxylate and become active. Once a plant is harvested and dried, various forms of heat application can also decarboxylate cannabinoids into their active compounds.
Crystalline cannabinoids work well for oral ingestion as they can be prepared into foods and even portioned into pills or capsules. Because these cannabinoids are so pure, they are easy to dose.
Those who wish to rapidly activate their crystalline cannabinoids often do so through vaporization and dabbing. By dabbing or vaporizing THCA crystalline, decarboxylation occurs near instantaneously, breaking down the inactive, acidic cannabinoid into THC. CBDA crystalline may be vaporized and dabbed as well, although activated CBD is not intoxicating. However, it can still be used to harness medical benefits and temper the intoxicating effects of THC.
Crystalline THCA and CBDA have very little to offer in flavor, which is why many producers enhance these pure extracts with additional terpene blends. The combination of terpenes and cannabinoids can provide a more robust experience, not only by adding flavor, but also through more nuanced effects