MCR Labs Researchers Obtain Crystalline Structure of THCA-A

WALTHAM, Mass. – Researchers from Brandeis University, MCR laboratories, and Skell Labs have determined the crystal framework of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid A (THCA-A) for the time that is first a discovery that paves the way for further research on the cannabinoid as well as the more well-known product derived from its decarboxylation, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

As the precursor to the primary psychoactive cannabinoid THC, THCA-A has been of interest to researchers for some time. Studies of the compound that is pure been restricted due to problems both in purification and crystallization. Both problems had been resolved simply by using a carefully-designed extraction that is selective fractionation process with liquid carbon dioxide. Unfortunately, THCA-A also appears to be difficult to stabilize, which has been a roadblock to study that is further medical research regarding the cannabinoid.


Chemical security is a significant section of research during medication development into the industry that is pharmaceutical as different forms of crystalline drugs will affect how the body absorbs that drug. If there are two forms of a solid drug, one may be so insoluble that it has no beneficial effect, while another more soluble form could offer an bio-delivery option that is ideal. Item storage space is likewise a problem whenever confronted with unstable substances.

All compounds, such as for instance cannabinoids, are at the mercy of degradation, whether it does occur obviously as time passes, or perhaps is instigated by temperature, light, or an interaction with another ingredient. This degradation frequently results in a loss in effectiveness, adversely impacts the efficacy that is product’s and introduces potentially unwanted byproducts.

Obtaining the pure crystalline form of a compound, such as THCA-A, gives researchers a clear look at the structure of the compound and opens avenues to solve stability issues. During the process, researchers noted that each molecule within the structure had an intramolecular hydrogen bond and that pairs of molecules were connected by intermolecular hydrogen bonds.

“The hydrogen bond pattern could be an key that is important unlocking alternate methods to the security conditions that happen seen for THCA-A,” said Dr. Bruce Foxman, Professor Emeritus of Chemistry at Brandeis University. “THCA-A might be a form that is useful the storage and production of THC, as the compound decarboxylates relatively cleanly into the product THC with minimal side reactions.”

Knowledge of the hydrogen bond pattern will also be helpful for further research on polymorphs or co-crystals, which might have different arrangements and thus might affect the compound’s decarboxylation behavior.

Skell, J. M., Kahn, M. & Foxman, B. M. acid that is δ9-Tetra­hydro­cannabinolic, the precursor to Δ9-tetra­hydro­cannabinol (THC)Acta Cryst. (2021). C77, 84-89,

About MCR Labs
MCR laboratories is the very first separate cannabis laboratory that is testing be certified by the state of Massachusetts. We are ISO/IEC 17025:2017 accredited providers of analytical cannabis product r&D and testing services focused on assisting certified cannabis establishments, clients, scientists, business owners, and advocates. We of chemists and pharmaceutical boffins concentrate on advancing health that is public security through leading-edge chemical analysis of cannabis products and providing unparalleled guidance and help for lovers, regulators, therefore the communities we provide. To find out more visit

Latest posts