There are many diseases referred to as “mito” diseases, for example: Alzheimer’s disease, muscular dystrophy, Lou Gehrig’s disease, diabetes and cancer. Muscle weakness, as well as other serious symptoms, occur as a result of these conditions.

These are diseases linked by the degradation of mitochondria.

Mitochondria are the “powerhouses of the cell.”  They are the parts of cells that turn sugars, fats and proteins that we eat, into forms of chemical energy that the body can use to carry on living. 

Mitochondria are primarily responsible for creating energy for the cell and for the body. 

Mitochondria exist in every cell in the body other than red blood cells. 

With that being the case, a question to ask is this:  What impact do cannabis molecules have on mitochondria?


What I Discovered

Over the past several years we have been using more and more THC-Acid (THC-A.)  Many of you may be familiar with the differences between THC and THC-A. 

For those that aren’t, below are the chemical structures of both the THC-A and THC molecules. 


Simply put, THC-A is the precursor to THC, before it’s been decarboxylated (heated.)  When heated, the O and OH group in the THC-A molecule breaks off as carbon dioxide and becomes THC.  (See curved arrow in the illustration on left.)

Benefits of THCA?

Although THC is the most psychoactive molecule found in Whole Plant Cannabis, it has many medical benefits, including treatment for pain, cancer, nausea, neuropathy and much more.  By contrast, until a few years ago, very little was done with THC-A. 

As there was not much data on it, I must admit that I was somewhat dismissive of THC-A.  The reason for the lack of data was because it was very difficult to make a synthetic version in the lab. 

However, since THC-A is obviously “made” quite easily in nature, more recently we have been able to witness just how patients benefit that have a variety of disorders, including those with cancer, seizures, Myasthenia Gravis, and other neurological disorders and myopathies. 

Take Home Message

I have every reason to believe that THC-A helps promote mitochondrial energy formation, thereby potentially being very effective and a great benefit to anyone with a mitochondrial disease.  Please refer to the links below for further detailed information.

Allan Frankel, MD Dr Allan Frankel is one of the few physicians in the US who truly understands Cannabis as a medicine. All treatments suggested have been well studied. Every patient seen by Dr Frankel is given a personally created Treatment Plan created with the patient's specific issues defined. Plant medicine requires "tuning" of the dosing. Dr Frankel works with his patients thru a messaging portal. The use of this portal, allows quick and simple follow up contact with Dr Frankel. Patients are not charged for these messages, as this is how Dr Frankel has learned what he has learned. Follow up appointments in person or by phone/video are also available when needed

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