What is THCA?


This is the Dr.Ganja guide to THCA. In this guide we explain what THCA is and how it compares to THC. We also take a deep dive into the variety of THCA products out in the market today and how they can benefit you. 

The THCA Cannabinoid

Cannabis is an amazing flower that produces over 100 different compounds known as phytocannabinoids. The most popular and widely researched are THC, CBD and CBG. And now that we have the ability to actively research the cannabis plant without legal retributions, many scientists are discovering more and more cannabinoids, as well as recognizing the many benefits one may derive from using these special compounds. 

The cannabis plant actually contains very little amounts of the psychoactive compound THC. Instead you will find Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid or THCA. It is one of the very many active ingredients that contributes to the effects felt from the cannabis buds.

THCA is recognized as a precursor to the well-known THC compound. You may be asking what it means to be a precursor? A precursor is something that comes first before another, which designates THCA as the parent compound to THC.

So before you find THC in cannabis flower buds, you will instead find THCA. We completely understand that this might be extremely confusing, but it’s okay. The main idea to understand is that maximum levels of THCA are found in uncured, super fresh hemp leaves and flowers.

Decarboxylation Converts THCA To THC

Decarboxylation is a term used in chemistry that refers to the chemical reaction that eliminates  carboxylic acid compounds through the exposure to heat. Decarboxylation begins near 230℉. So when you add heat to THCA it rapidly becomes THC and in turn becomes psychoactive.

This process of decarboxylation occurs when you take a lighter to a nicely packed pipe full of THCA flower and smoke it.

The curing process of cannabis actively decarboxylates cannabinoids, but the THC levels in cured buds are still pretty low. So to achieve high levels of THC for that high you may be searching for, it is necessary to fully decarboxylate hemp buds and all extracts.

For edibles, it is ideal to cook flower buds at or around 230℉ for around 40 minutes. And remember that the cannabinoids in bud are activated by heat, but too much heat can completely eliminate them or eradicate the benefits you may receive from them. For this reason, you will not want to exceed 300℉ when you’re making homemade edibles. 

What Is The Difference Between THC And THCA?

THC is short for tetrahydrocannabinol. THCA is the abbreviation for tetrahydrocannabinolic acid. The THCA compound contains a carboxyl acid attached to it that THC does not contain. When the THCA compound is exposed to heat, the carboxyl acid detaches, which is known as decarboxylation. 

The heating process activates THC and is when it will offer psychoactive effects. Without activation through heat THCV will not get you high. For those who are looking for the health benefits that THCA offers, it can be consumed in its raw form. THCA can be ground and added to countless food recipes such as smoothies and salads. It can be used as an herb similar to basil or parsley for flavoring on cooked steaks, fish or chicken and even on top of your favorite pasta dishes. 

What Is THCA Flower?

THCA flower buds are similar to any type of cannabis or hemp plant buds. It is hemp flower or buds specifically cultivated to have increased levels of Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid and lower levels of delta 9-THC. By dry weight specifications, THCA hemp flower buds cannot exceed 0.3% Δ9 THC.

In fact, Rod Kight, an international cannabis lawyer, writes, “The 2018 Farm Bill distinguishes legal hemp from illegal marijuana solely by reference to its D9 levels. Specifically, hemp is cannabis with no more than 0.3% D9 by dry weight…So hemp bud with THCa levels of 20% and D9 levels of 0.15% falls squarely within the 2018 Farm Bill’s definition of hemp and is legal under federal law.”

This federally legal hemp flower can and will get you flying high only after decarboxylation. And while THCA bud flower is typically intended for smoking or vaping, it can be used to make edibles, tinctures and more. 

THCA buds are also considered by some to be a superfood. Many folks who are not looking to get high, but enjoy the advantage of the many benefits THCA offers, consume it raw. THCA has been the subject of many research studies concluding it to offer neuroprotective benefits as well as anti-nausea with the potential to aid in digestive and metabolic functions.  

There are more studies currently being conducted concerning THCA and its effects on regulation on fatty acids in the body. Due to this research, THCA could have potential in helping ease obesity related health issues.

What Is THCA Diamonds?

Hemp THCA Diamonds appear similar to diamonds, hence their name. It is among the finest and purest cannabis concentrates available on the market today. They can contain up to 99.9% of THC after being heated and are extremely potent. For a more extensive learning guide to these illustrious cannabinoid crystals taking the hemp market by storm, click here

How To Use THCA Concentrate?

THCA is a versatile concentrate, it is easy to use and sometimes has no flavorings. Depending on the extractors, after the diamonds form they may go back and add terpenes related to the strain of the buds or add a special terpene sauce for flavor and effects.  

THCA concentrate is typically used in a dab kit or vaporized as it needs a source of high heat. 

It can also be crushed into a powder and sprinkled on some bud flower or in a joint, but it is recommended to use a dab rig setup or a vape mod kit with an atomizer that is designed for dabs and concentrates. 

These diamonds can also be chopped up and eaten too if you are simply wanting to reap the health benefits that THCA offers without the high. You can easily make THCA an addition to your favorite smoothie recipe, add it to your morning coffee, sprinkle it over a leafy green salad or your favorite pasta dish.  

What Is THCA Gummies?

THCA edible gummy snacks are gelatin based chewable sweets that come in a variety of flavors and sweetness that are infused with THCA extract. It not only makes a great hemp snack, but it is excellent for its anti-inflammatory, analgesic and neuroprotective properties.

These hemp based snacks offer several health benefits without the psychoactive effects, as it is very similar to CBD. It works to relieve inflammation in joints and muscles, can relieve pain, which makes it ideal to help treat arthritis and seizures.

Due to its neuroprotective properties, THCA chews can be beneficial for health issues relating to multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. In addition, it can help with concentration and focus.

What Is THCA Vape / Bar Vape? 

THCA is now widely available in vape pens or vape bars. These tiny devices are incredible for those who are non-stop all day and night. Most vape pens come preloaded with your favorite flavors and popular strain extract. 

All vape bars come with a pre-charged battery and some can even be recharged until the THCA juice runs out. These affordable tiny devices can be loaded with 1 gram of premium live resin or can be full with up to 3 ml of liquid.

The best part of rolling with a vape is that you can have all the best live resin in your favorite strains and flavors. There is the perfect vape for different times of the day and with the portability of vape bars, you can always have one in your pocket or purse.

What Is A High THCA Percentage?

High percentages of THCA is for the most experienced smokers or vapers. Below is a basic and quick guide to understanding what you may be getting into when you smoke or vape THCA. 

  1. Extremely High: >20%
  2. Very High: 15 – 20%
  3. High: 10 – 15%
  4. Medium: 5 – 10%
  5. Low: 0 -5%

The Dr.Ganja hemp THCA flower is incredibly high in THCA and will get you flying in no time. It is always recommended to start slow to test your level of comfort. Once this flower is heated either via flame or vaporization, the THCA is decarboxylated and thus turns into Δ9-THC.

To understand how much THCA will be converted when heated to the THC we all know and love, we turned to the guys over at Vaping 360. They shared a formula for how to calculate it because it’s not just as simple as adding THCA and THC content together. The formula is as follows:

Total THC=[(%THCA) x 0.877] + (%THC)

So take for example, Dr.Ganja’s Lava Cake has 20.25 %THCA and 0.09%THC.

20.25 x 0.877=17.76 + 0.09= 17.84 % Total D9 in Lava Cake after decarboxylation only.

According to the quick guide above, a rating of 17.84% is considered a very high percentage of THCA. 

The Wind-Up

And there you have it folks! We hope you have enjoyed this very educational post on THCA hemp. 

THCA is the next big thing in the hemp world and Dr.Ganja is happy to bring you several strains with fully certified lab results to ensure your safety and enjoyment. 

Try the best hemp flower high in THCA on the market today at affordable prices and achieve ultimate satisfaction. 

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below and we will be happy to respond.

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Juliette Constantine is a freelance writer who appreciates the current momentum of cannabis legalization throughout the world. She believes in the goodness that cannabis provides for the human mind and body. When Juliette is not writing, she is usually reading, watching movies or out adventuring throughout the world.


  1. THC-A is the best noid, amazing healing medicine.

  2. I’ve had the real stuff,smoth and relaxing. Dinomite!!!

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