What is the difference between THC and THCa

Cannabis is known for it’s powerful and intoxicating effects but these effects usually come from THC or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol which in reality is not present in the raw form of the plant. The natural form has THCa or tetrahydrocannabinolic acid which is the acidic form of THC and it has no psychoactivity at all. 

As the plant dries, THCA converts to THC slowly. Heat expedites this conversion in a process known as decarboxylation. Even though THCa is the precursor to psychoactive THC effects, their chemical composition and effects on the body are different. So why does THC give psychoactivity and THCa doesn’t? The reason is because THCa has a three-dimensional shape and it’s larger molecule doesn’t fit into our cannabinoid receptors, specifically the CB1 receptors.

How does THCA become THC? The answer is through heat and light — or the process of decarboxylation. Heat removes a group of atoms from THCA called carboxilic acid, altering the THC chemical structure, thus becoming the perfect shape to fit into our endocannabinoid system (ECS) CB1 receptors and producing the elevated experience.

THCA is believed to have an assortment of medicinal properties. There isn’t a lot of evidence to definitively support this claims so more research needs to be done. Here are some of its properties:

  • Anti-inflammatory properties for treatment of inflammatory conditions like lupus and arthritis
  • Neuroprotective properties for treatment of neurodegenerative diseases
  • Anti-emetic properties for treatment of lack of appetite and nausea
  • Anti-proliferative properties noted in studies of prostate cancer

Decarboxylation Process 

From Weed Maps

The acidic precursors are considered “thermally unstable,” so they will alter their form when exposed to heat. Because of this instability, the molecules lend themselves to several different methods of decarboxylation.

Here are some ways that weed is decarboxylated:

Sunlight conversion: Over a period of time THCA converts to THC through exposure to heat or light. So eating or juicing raw buds that have been exposed to the sun for a long time might cause unwanted high in some patients.

Smoking: The hot temperature from the combustion process of burning the dry weed will rapidly convert THCa to THC.

Vaporizing: Similarly to smoking it, the heat of the vaporizer unit will convert THCa to THC in a very efficient way.

Cannabis concentrates:  THCa can be extracted, isolated and made into crystals that can be consumed in dabs. When heated up THCa will convert to THC.

Conventional oven: Raw Cannabis needs to be activated before making edibles. Usually material gets ground up, spread evenly across a baking sheet, and baked around 230 degrees Fahrenheit, or 110 degrees Celsius, for 30-90 minutes. This will decarboxylate the Cannabis and activate it.

Blue River™ THCa is a solvent-less concentrate, made through extreme pressure, filtration, and controlled temperatures.

In Conclusion

Understanding the plant’s properties and how and why they interact with our bodies the way they do is extremely important in achieving the maximal benefits while avoiding adverse side effects. Cannabis molecules each have their own benefits and as raw cannabis is further studied, we will learn more about their benefits.

covid-19 virus

Coronavirus and Medical Cannabis patients in Florida

By now you should all be aware that we are facing a Pandemic that will either directly or indirectly affect each and every one of us. COVID-19 virus, a member of the Coronavirus family, has made its way to U.S. soil and it’s in every single state with exception of West Virginia. It has claimed the life of almost 80 people with thousands of others getting sick from it. These numbers will only continue to climb as more people get tested and time goes by. The good news is that is has a pretty low mortality rate and almost 80% of the people affected have a mild/moderate disease and recuperate after a few weeks.

In order to help reduce the transmission rate here in the USA, several measures have been put in place by federal and local authorities and it is up to each and every one of us to do our best to follow these steps and help reduce the spread of this virus:

🚫 Avoid traveling unless necessary

✅ Wash hands with antiseptic soap for at least 30 seconds

✅ Use hand sanitizer with 60% alcohol content or more

✅ Avoid gatherings, even family gathering unless necessary

✅ When going for necessary things like grocery shopping, appointments, etc. try to keep at least 6 feet of distance from other people around you

🚫 If you have any chronic respiratory conditions avoid using the inhalation route at all

🚫 Do not share blunts, joints, bongs, pipes, vapes, etc with anyone (it’s illegal in Florida to share your medicine with anyone anyway…)

✅ Wear a face mask only if you have symptoms, if you are exposed to someone sick or if you are at high risk.

High-risk individuals include but are not limited to anyone over the age of 65, anyone with underlying health conditions including heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes, or with weakened immune systems.

Nothing is more important to us than patient safety and health, and we need to protect those most vulnerable to the coronavirus. Since medical offices can be a place where people gather and wait in a small space for sometimes up to 1 hour, the OMMU and FL DOH has allowed doctors to do follow up visits (7-month recertifications) via Telemedicine/Telehealth and avoiding having to come into the office and risking getting infected with COVID-19.


This is a temporary measure that is in place for 30 days (could be extended depending on the course of this novel disease) and applies for established patients only, new patients or patients that wish to transfer will still have to be seen in person.


Are these small buds really worth it?

The price for good quality flower from an approved dispensary can be very steep when compared to the black market. A 1/8 of high-quality bud usually ranges between $40 and $50 with some even as high as $60. Some dispensaries came out with a more affordable option giving you an 1/8 that can range between $23 to $33. According to the MMTC’s, it’s the same high-quality bud but just smaller. Every dispensary has come up with different unique names for this option like Minis or Little’s. Some patients are criticizing the quality while most are loving it. They only issue is actually the availability since most are sold just a few hours after hitting the shelves.

Littles™ by Growhealthy

1/2 OZ for $99 | 1/8 OZ for $35

Littles™ is exactly what the name implies. Smaller-sized flowers of your favorite strains at lower prices like… 50% Off 1/2 Ounces & 30% Off Eighths! Sure, you like bigger flowers. Who doesn’t? But we bet you’ll like bigger savings even more. You get your favorite strains with the same: quality, potency, & terpenes you expect. The only difference is the size of the flowers – and the size of the price tag. Initial quantities are limited, so be sure to buy and try your Littles™ now!

Mini Monday’s by Trulieve

1/8 OZ for $27

TruFlower minis are 3.5 grams of cannabis approved for smoking.  Each package is individually labeled to show the amount of active ingredient which ranges based on flower potency.  In order to comply with Florida law, TruFlower must be carried and stored in its original opaque packaging at all times. Limit 4 per patient (1/2 OZ).  You can now order TruFlower Minis online. Make sure you visit their website every Monday after 9:00 AM.

Popcorn Flower by Liberty Health Science

1/8 OZ for $23

Popcorn from Liberty Health Sciences and Papa’s Herb is modestly priced for maximum benefit. One price for every available strain. Enjoy $23 1/8 oz cannabis including the strains below. Be sure to keep an eye out for more strains as they become available!

Flower T3 (Small nugs) by MUV 

1/8 OZ for $32

Get MÜV Tier 3 Flower 3.5 grams for $32. While Supplies Last! Same Great Flower in a Smaller Size. In order to comply with Florida law, Flower must be carried and stored in its original opaque packaging at all times.

Smalls by Rise

1/8 OZ for $32

Popcorn buds, as the name implies, are buds just about or a little smaller than popcorn. These are usually B-grade buds that don’t have the bag appeal of large, lustrous A-grade nugs. Same Great Flower in a Smaller Size. Popcorn buds at Rise are very limited. Visit Rise online every morning before 10 AM to order online.

Comment your thoughts below!


Vaping your Medical Cannabis

Cannabis can be used in many forms and via many different routes. The inhalation routes is one the most often used since it gives patients a rapid onset and quick relief of their symptoms.


Options in the inhalation route include vaping or smoking the medicine. There are some risk associated with smoking it. The tar released from the combustion process has known carcinogenic and the smoke acts like an irritant to the airway leading the increase in secretions and eventually symptoms of bronchitis.


The other option is to vape the medicine. Patients are used to vaping cannabis oil that comes inside a cartridge or a pod. These oils are obviously man-made, extracted from the Cannabis plant and then some terpenes are added along with other cannabinoids, additives and cutting agents. Even though they might be safe, we have no idea what’s going to happen when someone vapes these oils for 20-30 years. Simply no one has done it for so long.

Blue dream in orlando florida

Vaping whole flower

There’s is another option that most patients don’t use and it’s vaping the whole flower. By using the whole flower and not a man-made oil, patients get the full entourage effect without extra additives. And, since patients are not burning it, there are no carcinogens released making it a safer and cleaner option. Another added benefit is that the vaping process only heats up the material to a specific degree, usually around 400 degrees. This leaves Cannabinoids present that can be later heated up pass that 400 degrees and made into Cannabis butter or Cannabis oil for making mild edibles. Most patients that are using this method say they save money because they get medicated twice, once from vaping it and them from cooking with it.

How To You Use A Dry Herb Vaporizer

You need to find a good dry herb vaporizer which might be different from your cannabis concentrate vaporizer. Make sure you do your homework since performance varies a lot between these.

Must units include these basic parts:

  • Heating Chamber: This is where cannabis flowers is inserted and heated to produce vapor for inhalation. High-quality vaporizers use the “convection method” of heat which maximizes the heating process. Cheaper ones use “conduction” in which material is heated up from one side only so it’s less efficient.
  • Power Supply: Some use a rechargeable battery supply and some are connected directly.
  • Mouthpiece or Reservoir: This is the part of the device through which the cannabis vapor is inhaled. Patients can inhale directly from it or attached it to an inflatable bag for multiple inhalations.
  • Temperature Control: Patients can adjust the temperature to their liking. Some even include a remote control.
  • Cleaning Supplies: Vaporizers often come with small brushes and swabs to help you keep them clean.

Tips for using a vaporizer:

  • Warming Up the Unit: Most require a minute of two to warm up. This process usually starts once the unit is turned on. Usually, an indicator light tells you when the desired temperature has been reached.
  • Loading the Chamber: The most important step is to grind your material finely before loading it into the chamber. This allows the heat to penetrate the material and activate the cannabinoids efficiently. Most units can take between .25 and .5 grams of ground cannabis. Make sure to seal it properly after loading the chamber.
  • Adjusting Temperature: A range of about 360-400° F is commonly used, but lower or higher temperature can be used depending on the patient’s preferences and depending if the devices allows you to change it.
  • Inhalation: Once the device is warmed up, you are ready to begin taking inhalations. You should be able to see and taste the vapor if used properly. Remember to start low and go slow. Wait at least 5 minutes between inhalations to avoid overdoing it.
  • Completion: This vaporization process turns the buds from green to brown during use but will not turn it into ash. If the vapor has less flavor or becomes too thin, means the cannabinoids have been used and new material need to be added to the chamber. Leftovers can be saved and used for making edibles.

Purchasing a Vaporizer for Flower

There’s a ton of different vaporizers in the market. From small, handheld devices ranging between $50-$200 to large and complex tabletop one ranging between $200 to even $800. Make sure to do your homework and find the one that fits your needs and your budget. This tips might help you when buying one:

Handheld vaporizer
Arizer Solo II
Tabletop vaporizer
Arizer Extreme Q

Flowers vs. Concentrates: Some high-end products can work with both dry herb and concentrates but usually they are designed for one or the other. Before making a purchase, make sure the device is designed for the cannabis product you’re planning to use.

Hand help vs tabletop: Vaporizers vary in size from small hand-held units that fit in your pocket and use rechargeable batteries to larger units more suited to a table or desk. Pick between a portable unit with a rechargeable battery or a tabletop one that plugs into the wall.

Price & Features: Dry Herb Vaporizers usually range in price from around $80 to $500 or more. The lower-priced products have limited features and functionality, but provide the basic benefits of vaporized cannabis. Higher priced vaporizers frequently offer a better user experience. Most patients start with a lower-priced one and then upgrade to a better quality one. My suggestion is to avoid the cheap ones and go straight to a higher-end option, you will not regret it.

Authenticity: Like with any other electronic product, vaporizers are often counterfeited, so there are risks associated with ordering online. Buying it in a store or dispensaries gives you the opportunity to see in person and you might spot the fake ones but keep in mind that you will pay more there.


Vaporizing the whole flower is probably one of the best way of medicating. It gives the patient the opportunity of a getting a quick relief with all the plants Cannabinoids while avoiding the harmful effects of smoking it. Make sure you get one that fits your needs and your budget and always use the least amount possible needed to get the desired relief. Keep your leftovers and get medicated twice.


Juicing Cannabis: Relief Without The High

The act of juicing leafy greens like kale and spinach as a nutritional supplement may not come as a surprise to many of you, but have you ever thought about juicing the raw cannabis plant? Believe it or not, Marijuana is one of the most nutritionally complete food sources known to man. And what many patients don’t realize is that raw cannabis delivers therapeutic effects without the traditional ‘high’, similar to CBD.

According to Dr. William Courtney, a dietary raw cannabis specialist and a strong believer in the plants healing powers, “you are actually walking away from 99% of the benefits cannabis provides when you cook or smoke cannabis.”

Why is Raw Cannabis good?

The seeds contain fatty acids like Omega-6, Omega-3, Omega-9, and palmitic acid. It also has vitamins like Vit A, B1, B2, B6, C, & E and minerals like iron and calcium. In its protein, it contains important amino acids which we cannot synthesize on our own. The leaves contain vital antioxidants, minerals and elements like calcium, iron, potassium, carotenoids, zinc and selenium. It shares limonene with lemons, beta carotene with carrots, and high levels of anthocyanins with blood oranges/cherries. Anthocyanins are known to be a non-narcotic but highly effective analgesic.

What are the benefits of raw Cannabis?

Raw cannabis and it’s acidic form is rich in cannabinoids and nutrients capable of preventing and healing some diseases. While vaporized or smoked cannabis can be used as a medicinal therapy, juicing raw cannabis can help prevent health issues before they even arise. Since it can assist with immune system function, provide anti-inflammatory benefits, improve bone metabolism and neural function it has been labeled the “most important vegetable on the planet”. In your daily life, it can enhance your health, boost your energy level, reduced inflammation, gastrointestinal relief, and decreased muscle soreness.

The primary cannabinoids found in raw cannabis are THCa and CBDa – the ‘a’ designating they exist in their acidic form. Given that THCa is non-psychoactive, patients are able to take large therapeutic doses without having to lose functionability or deal with negatives side effects of too much THC.

Dr. William Courtney says, “If you don’t heat marijuana, you can go up to five or six hundred milligrams and use the plant strictly as a dietary supplement by upping the anti-oxidant and neuro-protective levels which come into play at hundreds of milligrams of CBDA and THCA. It is this dramatic increase in dose from 10 mg of psychoactive THC to the 500 mg – 1,000 mg of non-psychoactive THCA, CBDA, and CBGA that comprises the primary difference between traditional medical marijuana treatments and using cannabis as a dietary supplement.”

How to juice your Cannabis!

The important part here is that you use raw, freshly harvested plant material as the decarboxylation process begins to occur immediately after harvest. Take extra caution to avoid any plant material that may have been exposed to pesticides or other microbiological contaminants. Do not be surprised if your local dispensary here in Florida does not have a fresh supply of good raw cannabis available. This is why having a program that supports home grown here is really important.

You can juice nearly any part of the cannabis plant; colas, leaves, and even the seeds. A masticating juicer (aka cold pressed juicers) is a must. It use a slower, crushing and squeezing action as opposed to centrifugal juicers, which use sharp teeth and high speeds to spin pulp around in its chamber. This is an important since the high speeds associated with some juicers cause heat, which can inadvertently convert your THCa into THC.

Raw cannabis juice is best when consumed immediately following the extraction. Also can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days or frozen into ice cubes and stored in the freezer for several months. The raw juice has a strong, bitter, leafy green taste; therefore, we recommend combining the cannabis with the juice of other fruits and vegetables.

Easy Receipt Juice Extractor Method

Preparation time: 15 minutes

15-20 fresh cannabis leaves
1-2 raw buds

Metal strainer or cheesecloth
Medium bowl

1. Thoroughly wash your plant material and soak in cold water for 5 minutes.
2. Turn on the juicer and feed the leaves and bud through the chute.
3. Once the juice has been extracted, remove the pulp.
4. Squeeze pulp by hand over a cheesecloth or strainer to release remaining juice. Discard pulp.
5. Consume immediately or store in the fridge for up to 3 days