Today, we’re diving into the world of THCA, a unique compound in cannabis. You might be wondering, does THCA get you high? Well, we’re here to uncover the truth.
In this journey, we’ll explain what THCA is and its connection to the marijuana “high.” Get ready for a simple and exciting exploration of THCA and its potential to elevate your experience with cannabis.
What Is THCA?
THCA, otherwise known as Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, is the raw form, or acidic form, of the Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) cannabinoid.
Raw cannabis contains THCA, meaning that it has not been dried, cured, or consumed through smoking or any other form of heat application.
What Is the Difference Between THCA and THC?
THCA is an acidic precursor of THC. This means that there wouldn’t be any THC if THCA wasn’t produced first.
The main differences between THCA and THC include:
- Chemical Structure: THCA does not have a carboxyl attached to its molecule. The chemical difference between raw THCA (non-psychoactive) and THC (psychoactive) is the reason for their different properties.
- Natural Potency: THCA naturally occurs in raw plants in concentrations that are typically much higher than THC.
- Potential Therapeutic Effects: THCA & THC both have therapeutic potential, but their properties differ. Raw THCA has anti-inflammatory, anti-nausea, and neuroprotective properties. THC, on the other hand, is used to reduce anxiety, relieve pain, and stimulate appetite.
How THCA Becomes THC
The marijuana plant produces a cannabinoid called CBGA. As the marijuana grows, CBGA breaks down into THCA and CBDa.
And finally, tetrahydrocannabiolic acid converts into active THC in a process called decarboxylation. It’s a fancy term that means that heat is used to convert THCA, as in the case of smoking a joint or vaping cannabis oils.
Smoking THCA transforms cannabinoids into psychoactive THC.
Does THCA Get You High?
The question that everyone wants to know is: Does THCA get you high?
The short answer is no. It’s more complicated than this. Let us explain…
THCA, in cannabis plants, is not intoxicating. It’s in its acidic form so it does not give us the high that we crave.
On a molecular level, tetrahydrocannabinolic acid lacks an essential additional carboxyl ring needed to bind to cannabinoid receptors in the brain in order to create intoxicating effects. If you’re looking for a high that will make you feel euphoric, then raw cannabis won’t do the trick.
THCA, despite its lack of psychoactive properties or even the ability to produce psychoactive effects, is just as important as THC.
Let’s talk about this.
Benefits of THCA
THCA isolate has benefits prior to decarboxylation.
Although more research is required to fully explore the potential benefits of THCA, it has been reported that extracts made primarily of THCA create a variety of benefits including:
- Anti-inflammatory properties
- Neuroprotective properties
- Pain relieving properties
- Anticonvulsant properties
Additionally, tetrahydrocannabinolic acid may be an antiemetic, which means that it could be used to prevent nausea and vomiting. This is ideal for people who are undergoing intensive treatment, such as chemotherapy.
THCA is a powerful substance that has many benefits. However, as mentioned above, further research is needed to discover these benefits.
What Does a High THCA Percentage in Hemp Flower Mean?
Most cannabis enthusiasts choose their favorite strains solely based on the THC percentage.
We won’t go into detail about this debate, even though we are advocates of terpene over THC content.
THCA is still a factor in the overall experience of cannabis. The application of heat to pure THC at a specific temperature could remove some of the cannabinoid contents and result in less potent mind-altering effects.
THCA flower on the other, is converted into THC by the decarboxylation method.
THCA is therefore a better representation of psychoactive properties in a given strain, given that heat is required to consume cannabis.
So does THCA get you high? It is not psychoactive, but the THC can be easily converted into it through a process called decarboxylation.
1. Can you get high by consuming THCA?
THCA does not have any psychoactive properties. Consuming it in its natural form, like eating raw cannabis will not cause a high. THCA is converted into THC by certain consumption processes, such as heating, smoking, vaporizing, or cooking with marijuana at temperatures above or around 220℉.
2. What are the possible risks of THCA consumption?
THCA, in general, is considered safe to consume. However, more research is required to fully understand the effects of THCA on the mind and body. THCA could pose some risks based on the current knowledge we have. These include those related to psychiatric issues, respiratory problems, addiction, and dependence on cannabis.
3. Can THCA be detected in drug tests?
Fun fact: A specialized drug screen is likely to detect trace levels of THCA over a long period of time, even though it has no psychoactive effects. These tests aren’t used as part of a routine drug test and are reserved for situations that require a more detailed analysis of cannabis compounds.
4. How can you consume THCA?
THCA is difficult to consume in its raw state because it does not become psychoactive until after it has been decarboxylated, which converts THCA to THC. If you want to consume THCA raw, there are methods like sublingual administration, but you need more information to determine the optimal dosage.
THCA Legal Status
THCA is not federally prohibited because it does not appear in the DEA’s Controlled Substances List like THC.
In addition, the 2018 Farm Bill of the USDA made THCA legal if it is derived from hemp and contains less than 0.3% Delta-9 by dry weight.
The Farm Bill requires hemp companies to have their products tested by independent laboratories for potency. So long as THCA-based products meet these standards, they’re legal to buy and consume.
You should be aware that certain states may have more stringent regulations than the Farm Bill. For more information, check out our THCA Legality Guide.
Conclusion – Does THCA Get You High?
THCA is a unique compound with therapeutic potential, offering benefits like reducing inflammation, and nausea, and protecting your brain. The good news is, it won’t make you feel high or altered in any way.
In the United States, THCA derived from hemp is legal as long as the final product contains less than 0.3% Delta-9-THC by weight. To unlock its potential, you can heat THCA by smoking, vaping, or cooking with THCA flowers. Keep in mind that the effects can vary from mild to strong, and vapes might have higher cannabinoid levels.
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