We all know THC as a potent cannabinoid, famous for its euphoria-inducing impact. But did you know there’s another cannabinoid that is surpassing THC’s fame as a rapidly growing popular alternate? We are talking about THCs. It is pretty similar to THC but has one major difference. THCa is non-euphoric and does not produce the signature “high” like THC.
So, the question boils down to what makes THCa such a hype? After all, the signature style of THC is what attracted cannabis connoisseurs to begin with.
Don’t worry; we are here to help you break down what THCa is all about and how you can still enjoy the desirable effects, maybe this time, more suitably.
What is THCa?
Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid, or as we commonly call it THCa, is an inactive compound found in fresh raw cannabis plants. Even though it shares the molecular DNA of THC, the THCa compound comes with an additional carboxyl group consisting of an extra carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen atom. This additional compound makes THCa a non-psychoactive cannabinoid. This typically means you can only harvest THCa from pure cannabis flowers, which are not cured or dried under heat.
THCa Vs. THC- What’s the Difference?
To understand what’s the difference between thca and thc, moreover, and how THCa works to benefit you, we have to first talk about its successor we know all too well- THC. Unlike THCa, the compounds found in THC are active and potent, which means it’s ripe with psychoactive properties and can induce euphoric feelings.
To help you understand the difference better, we have listed the 3 major differences that these two compounds possess-
Potency– Being raw and unadulterated in nature, THCa is considered to have a more profound concentration as compared to THC.
Molecular Differences– THC lacks the additional carboxyl group, giving THCa an added advantage. You can benefit from both its non-psychoactive and psychoactive properties, depending on how you choose to consume it.
Therapeutic Advantages– While both compounds may possess potential therapeutic benefits, the influence it has differs slightly. THCa, being raw in nature, may find itself associated with anti-inflammatory or anti-nauseatic benefits. On the other hand, THC may find its usefulness in appetite and mood enhancement or anxiety management.
Can You Get High from THCa?
THCa, in its raw form, contains potentially inactive compounds that are highly unlikely to get you high. Only when you expose it to heat can THCa produce the intoxicating benefits one desires. This process is called Decarboxylation, which converts THCa into a form of potent THC known as Delta-9 THC.
So, the next time you want to enjoy your THCa with the signature benefits, you may have to smoke or bake it first.
What are the Different Ways to Decarboxylate THCa?
THCa can be converted into THC through various methods, all involving the application of heat to transform the acidic cannabinoid into its uplifting cousin.
Let’s explore some popular ways in which THCa is decarboxylated:
- Smoking: When you smoke cannabis flowers, the heat rapidly converts THCa into THC. Smoking is the most common method for decarboxylating THCa. There may be more efficient ways, but it is the most convenient.
- Vaping: Vaping thca is a less harmful alternative to smoking. When you have THCa flower or oil, vaporize them at a temperature of 315°F (157°C). The heat will cause the THCa to convert into THC and get you high.
- Dabbing: THCa concentrates like wax or crumble can be dabbed to get THC. Heat the concentrate enough to melt it, and the THCa becomes THC.
- Cooking/Baking: Raw cannabis can be mixed into edibles and heated at 220-240°F (104-115°C) for around 30 minutes. By doing so, you can decarboxylate the THCa and get delicious treats packed with the kick of THC.
- Sunlight: THCa gradually changes into THC when exposed to natural sunlight for an extended period. The heat and UV rays of the sun slowly decarboxylate the THCa.
Regardless of the method chosen, the result is converting the cannabinoid into THC, which produces the desired effects.
Benefits of THCa
The decarboxylation process may open up multiple benefits of THCa, or the now transformed THC, but did you know the THCa isolate itself may possess some profound benefits?
Even though more sound research is needed to concrete the therapeutic benefits of this compound, some common wellness aids may include-
- Neuroprotective benefits
- Anticonvulsant benefits
- Inflammation control benefits, and
- Help with pain & nausea management
It is important to note that the effects of raw THCa may vary from consumer to consumer based on multiple factors like dependency, tolerance levels, compatibility, and more. While this compound may assist you in your wellness journey, one should not use it independently to heal ailments.
What is a High THCa Percentage?
The high THCa percentage refers to the potency or the concentration of THCa in a particular product, such as a cannabis strain. Cannabis connoisseurs believe the higher the percentage, the better the experience will be. That being said, moderation is always good when looking for ways to increase your euphoria. Responsible usage can help you enjoy the results without letting the adverse effects create an undesirable situation.
We Answered Some of the Frequently Asked Questions
How can you consume THCa without getting high?
We understand not everyone is looking to get high. But if you still like to enjoy the benefits of THCa, here are some popular methods to do so.
Raw Consumption: Add fresh, THCa-rich cannabis leaves or buds to smoothies, salads, or juices. Raw cannabis has a grassy taste, so it may take some getting used to. You can try different ratios until you get the hang of it and increase it as you go.
Tinctures and Topicals: THCa-infused tinctures or topicals are a quick and easy way to consume THCa. These products are made by extracting the THCa from the plant and preserving it without decarboxylation. Tinctures require sublingual consumption (placed under the tongue), while topicals are used directly on the skin.
Capsules: THCa capsules or gels are another way to enjoy the benefits of cannabis. They can be easily carried anywhere and consumed on the go. Think of it like taking any other pill or supplement. Once you’ve swallowed it, your body will do its thing and absorb the THCa goodness.
Is THCa Legal?
Yes, hemp-derived THCa products are 100% federally legal. The Farm Bill legalizes all hemp-derived products as long as they contain 0.3% or less Delta-9 THC.
Can you detect THCa in drug tests?
THCa is highly unlikely to appear in routine drug screening tests due to its nonpsychoactive effects. However, there are specific drug tests for cannabis compound analysis that can detect traces of THCa. These tests do not fall under routine drug screening processes, but it’s always beneficial to consult a healthcare provider if you have a drug test coming up.
THCa is a unique chemical compound that can help cannabis connoisseurs enjoy their favorite strain with or without the high. Depending on your consumption, THCa can provide potent therapeutic and euphoric benefits, but the key to enjoying THCa remains moderation. Despite sharing a family with THC, this compound is more potent and pure, enabling it to satisfy your cannabis desires perfectly.