One of the most common questions that we hear at Texas Syndicate Weed is, “What is the difference between THCA and THC?”. This is a fair question, as two compounds are found in the cannabis plant but have distinct differences (and one can also turn into the other!). It is important to understand the difference between different cannabis products so that you can find the best product for your needs and preferences. With this in mind, today, we will be breaking down the difference between THCA and THC and exploring where these cannabinoids meet. Keep reading for all you need to know.

First, it is important to define THCA. THCA – tetrahydrocannabinolic acid – is a non-psychoactive acidic precursor to THC found in raw cannabis plants. This is a compound that does not create the feeling of being high when ingested raw, but this changes when it is converted to THC through a process called decarboxylation.

What is THC?

THC, meanwhile, is the psychoactive compound in cannabis plants that produces the euphoric effect of feeling high. THCA is turned into THC through decarboxylation, which is usually achieved by applying heat – this could be smoking, vaping, or cooking/baking.

In the decarboxylation process, THCA loses a carboxyl group (COOH), breaking the bond between the carbon and oxygen atoms. As a result of this conversion, THC can bind to the cannabinoid receptors found in the brain and central nervous system, creating the feeling of being high.

THCA vs THC - Where do They Meet?

So, in terms of THCA vs THC, where do they meet? The two different compounds meet when THCA goes through the decarboxylation process, whether this is smoked, vaporized, or cooked. It is this process that sees THCA become THC which can then absorbed into the body when inhaled or eaten.

Potential Benefits of THCA

What is THCA

THCA does not produce the euphoric effects of THC, but studies suggest that there are various benefits to consuming THCA in its raw form. People are able to enjoy these benefits without getting high, which is not always desirable or practical. A few potential benefits of THCA include:

  • Pain management
  • Appetite stimulation
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Anti-nausea
  • Antioxidant properties
  • Calming effects
  • Mood enhancement
  • Neuroprotective effects

How People Use THCA

One of the reasons why THCA is such a popular product right now is the fact that it can be used in many ways. A few of the most common methods include:

  • THCA tinctures
  • Eating or juicing raw cannabis
  • Capsules
  • Edibles
  • Creams and balms

There are many pre-made products for consumption containing THCA, which can be a quick and easy way to enjoy the benefits of THCA with a tasty drink or snack.

Potential Benefits of THC

In addition to the euphoric feeling that THC provides, studies suggest that there are numerous therapeutic benefits of THC. These include:

  • Enhanced creativity
  • Mood enhancement
  • Sleep aid
  • Stress relief
  • Muscle relaxation
  • Pain relief

How People Use THC

There are many ways that people can enjoy THC. Smoking flower or vaporizing THC are common methods as they can provide an enjoyable experience, and the effects are felt quickly. Baking or cooking are also popular options, and there are many excellent recipes to try online. Baking and cooking allow people to enjoy a delicious snack and enjoy the benefits of THC, but the onset of effects is much slower – this means that you need to be careful when it comes to dosage and give the item enough time.

Legal Status of THCA Vs. THC

Status of THCA Vs. THC

Obviously, it is vital that you understand the legal status of any cannabis product that you intend to purchase. Laws are constantly changing and can vary even between different towns in the same state, so you must always research the current legal status of any product before making a purchase.

THCA has 0.3% delta-9 THC content by dried weight, which makes it legal at a federal level in the USA. This means that it is not considered to be marijuana and is not on the controlled substances list. However, a handful of states have laws in place for THCA. These include:

  • Arkansas
  • Idaho
  • Hawaii
  • Minnesota
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island

The situation regarding the legality of THC is a bit more complex. Many states across the US have legalized cannabis use in recent times, some for recreational and medicinal purposes and some purely for medicinal purposes. Therefore, it is important to check what the laws are in your area (and keep an eye on any changes!).

Buying THCA & THC Products

By now, you should have a good understanding of the THCA vs THC conversation and have an idea of what product you want to purchase. When it comes to buying any kind of cannabis product, it is vital that you buy from a trusted supplier.

When buying THCA or THC products, you should always consult with a doctor first to make sure that it is safe for you to consume. Additionally, be sure to read all the small print and guidance on using the product. When it comes to THC, you should always start off with a low dosage to monitor your reactions. There can be side effects, particularly with THC, so you need to be cautious and use the product in a safe, relaxing setting (ideally with someone else present).

Hopefully, this post will clear up the THCA vs THC issue and allow you to make a decision as to what product is best for you. Although there are similarities, there is a significant difference between THCA and THC, and it is not something that you will want to mix up!

If you want to learn more or have any questions related to THCA, THC, or any cannabis-related product, do not hesitate to get in touch. You can also learn more by browsing our blog which we will keep updated with useful guides, advice, and the latest news from the cannabis world.