Research based articles

Antibacterial Effects of THCA

Understanding The Importance Of An Antibacterial

An antibacterial is an agent that interferes with the growth and reproduction of bacteria. Both antibiotics and antibacterial agents attack bacteria. However, the terms have evolved over the years to mean different things. Antibacterial agents are most commonly described in commercial products made to eliminate bacteria. Antibiotics, on the other hand, are most recognized for their clinical role in healthcare studies, though both work the same.
There are two main types of antibacterial agents. Those that act rapidly to destroy bacteria, not quickly disappearing and leaving no active residue, such as alcohol, peroxide, and chlorine. Then there are antibacterial agents that consist of compounds that leave long-acting residue on a surface and have a prolonged antibacterial effect. These include triclosan and triclocarban, two ingredients that are very common for household use. In fact, our homes are filled with antibacterial products we use on a daily basis. Until two decades ago, antibacterial products were strictly for use in healthcare settings. Currently, soaps, lotions, and many cleaning agents have triclocarban, and products like plastic kitchen tools, cutting boards, kid’s toys, and fabrics are being infused with triclosan. This poses a potential problem, as both of these agents are not widely studied for their effects on human health. According to the FDA, short-term animal studies found exposure to triclosan is associated with decreased levels of thyroid hormones. There have also been studies done linking triclosan to antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria have become a serious problem in recent years, and it is prominent more research is being done to find therapeutic options to help fight harmful bacteria, without causing any health risks. Research has found cannabinoids may be a great option for use as an antibacterial agent for a wide range of product applications, without inducing any harm to those who consume them. Let’s take a look at the antibacterial effects of THCA.

What is THCA?

THCA is an acidic cannabinoid that can be found in both the cannabis and hemp plant. THCA serves as the precursor to Delta 9 THC. This means when THCA is decarboxylated, a process where cannabinoids are exposed to heat, it converts to Delta 9 THC. This poses a problem when extracting the acidic cannabinoid, as the majority of extraction processes must utilize heat for sufficient extraction. At Essentia Scientific, we remedied this by using water as the solvent when extracting cannabinoids, thus eliminating the need for heat, and allowing for the extraction of acidic cannabinoids at a mass scale.
THCA interacts with many of the same receptors as Delta 9 THC, suggesting it can deliver similar therapeutic effects. However, research has found THCA has some advantages when compared to Delta 9 THC, including its heightened bioavailability. Additionally, THCA has a greater affinity to various receptors, making it a more potent therapeutic in a variety of instances, including reducing pain and nausea. Unlike Delta 9 THC, THCA is not psychoactive meaning it will not induce euphoria to those who consume it. This makes it a favorite among consumers, as they can gain the benefits of THC without the uncomfortable euphoria that accompanies it.


THCA has exhibited potent antibacterial activity in research. A 2022 study found THCA has inhibitory effects against e. coli, s. aureus, p. aeruginosa, and b. subtilis. S. aureus is a bacterial infection that has demonstrated drug resistance to a wide range of antibiotics and is one of the 12 bacterial infections listed by the World Health Organization that poses a threat to global health. THCA’s ability to inhibit the bacteria suggests it may help with bacteria that have developed a resistance to standard antibiotics. Within the study, THCA also showed antioxidant activity and was able to scavenge free radicals, protect against oxidative processes, and reduce metal ions.
THCA can be a great addition to a wide range of products, including hygiene products and wellness supplements to harness the antibacterial properties. The reduction of bacteria can be beneficial for those with weakened immune systems that are susceptible to bacterial infections as well. With bacteria becoming drug-resistant, it is prominent more research is being done into the antibacterial effects of THCA.
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