What’s in your bud?
What is THCA?
You likely have heard of THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid most commonly found in, and associated with, cannabis plants. But what about THCA? Is it related to THC somehow, and perhaps most importantly, does it have the same effects?
THCA, known fully as tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, is found naturally in hemp and cannabis plants. It is in fact very chemically similar to THC, with the “A” addition in THCA simply being an acidic group that essentially “falls off” when heat or light are applied to it. While this is an oversimplification, the “falling off” process of the acidic group is called decarboxylation, and it is through this process that the compound becomes active and has a psychoactive effect when consumed. Thus, THCA basically has the same effect as THC because for all intents and purposes after heating it or exposing it to light, it is THC.
If you consume THCA without heating it or exposing it to UV light (that is, you don’t decarboxylate it), it won’t have the psychoactive effects many are seeking because it has not been activated. So, if you are consuming THCA as an edible and are seeking a stone or buzz from it, it must be decarboxylated first which can be easily achieved in the oven. There are anecdotes of consumers feeling the psychoactive properties of THCA after ingesting it and NOT activating it, and an explanation of the stomach acid decarboxylating THCA into THC has been given, however this is not certain, so if you’re looking to get the most bang out of your buck recreationally it is still best to decarb through a heating source such as an oven.
THCA is the chemical precursor to THC and just like there is CBG there is also CBGA, and CBC and CBCA. These XXX-A precursors are basically the mother molecules that change into their active forms, XXX, when placed under the right conditions, in this case again, heat or light. Interestingly, much like these other cannabinoids such as CBGA, THCA has been shown in the research to have some similar properties as CBD. It should be noted however, that these benefits are for its non-activated form of THCA and not THC! Once it is decarboxylated it does not retain all of these properties.
THCA is sold in many different forms from crystalline solids, to larger diamond nuggets, to isolate powders. As a cannabinoid concentrate, they can be used similarly and can be directly vaped, smoked, or dabbed, and are often used to top off bowls or joints to add an enhanced effect. It is important to note that if you are subject to random drug screenings or have a drug screening scheduled in the future, that you DO NOT consume THCA or THCA isolates.
The compound THCA sold on Dr.Ganja is legally derived from hemp and does not contain more than 0.3% Δ9-THC in accordance with the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 (also known as the 2018 Farm Bill). Within the Bill, it states that all derivatives, isomers and cannabinoids in hemp are federally legal provided that all final products contain less than 0.3% D9 THC.
- If you are subject to routine drug screenings, do not consume THCA.
- Each state has their own separate laws regarding hemp products. Please be aware of the laws within your state/province of residence.
- Please do not operate a vehicle after consuming THCA products.
- Consult your doctor before use.
2 Grams of THCA batter
THCA batter can be vaped and used as an additive.
Hemp derived THCA batter, cannabis derived terpenes