We get it, it’s a tad bit difficult to keep up with the growing world of cannabinoids. You must have recently completed your masters in THC and CBD – the star cannabinoids. From their effects to legal aspects and everything else in between, there’s a lot on the cannabinoid front to explore. After THC and CBD, HHC came into the picture, and you were put up to the task to learn all about this newly hyped rare cannabinoid. But the struggle doesn’t end there. The THCA, a compound found in cannabis and hemp plants, requires your attention, too.

While you may not know it, THCA has carved a significant niche in the hemp market, quietly spreading its realm. All those newbies and oldies are assembling to learn more about it. It’s about time you, too, became familiar with THCA.

Read More: What is THC-V?

What is THCA?

THCA, also known as Tetetrahydrocannabinolic acid, is the acidic form of THC. When the plant matures and its buds grow, the first cannabinoid developed in the plant is CBDA, which is also called the “mother of all cannabinoids”. CBGA then eventually breaks down and produces primary cannabinoids such as THCA and CBDA.

In its raw form, THCA does not have any psychoactive effects, meaning it is not intoxicating in nature. It has a different chemical structure than THC, having an additional molecular ring that prevents it from binding to CB1 and CB2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system.

THC is formed when THCA undergoes decarboxylation, a process that typically occurs with heat exposure, such as smoking, vaporizing, or cooking cannabis. When heated, THCA loses its carboxyl molecule, converting it into THC and producing psychoactive effects commonly associated with cannabinoids.

What are the effects and benefits of THCA?

Cannabis in its raw form does not produce the traditional high. You might be thinking ‘What’s the point if it doesn’t get me high? Well, consuming raw cannabis for its THCA content comes with many pros. It provides you with all those benefits usually associated with THC and other cannabinoids sans the intoxication. While research on THC is still in the early stages, anecdotal accounts and preliminary studies have suggested the following potential benefits.

  1. Anti-inflammatory properties: THCA has shown promising results against inflammation associated with various health conditions such as autoimmune disorders and arthritis among others. Anecdotal experiences have suggested THCA helps in reducing inflammation and alleviating related symptoms.
  2. Anticancer potential: THCA is known to have anticancer properties. While research is limited on this topic, initial findings suggest that THCA has potential anti-tumor effects which could help in inhibiting the growth of certain types of cancer cells.
  3. Appetite stimulation: THCA could potentially benefit those suffering from appetite loss or eating disorders.
  4. Anti-nausea properties: THCA has been reported to provide instant relief from nausea and vomiting. It could be of great help to those undergoing chemotherapy or experiencing motion sickness.

Read More: Does Delta 8 THC make you hungry?

How to use THCA?

Using THCA is simply consuming raw cannabis that is little or not processed. Here’re a few methods to consume cannabis.

  1. Raw cannabis consumption: Individuals can ingest THCA by directly consuming raw cannabis leaves or flowers. However, consuming THCA in a raw form can leave you with a bitter taste. Some also prefer to intake THCA with honey, while others choose to blend it with raw smoothies and juice. To each their own.
  2. Tinctures and extracts: There are some tinctures and extracts in the market which are minimally processed and have high THCA content.
  3. Topical applications: Some companies have launched THCA-infused topicals such as balms or creams that are reported to help with chronic pain and inflammation.
  4. Vaporizing: There are some vaporizers that come with temperature settings to preserve the THCA content in cannabis flowers or concentrates. 

Is THCA legal?

 THCA is legal under the 2018 farm bill. However, the legality of THCA is subject to jurisdiction. In many states where cannabis is illegal, THCA would be considered illegal as well. 

In areas where cannabis and hemp-derived products are legal, THCA may be available in various forms such as flowers, tinctures, and concentrates. You can obtain these products from a licensed dispensary or a reputed online store like D8 GAS.

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Does THCA show up on a drug test?

Despite its nonintoxicating nature. THCA has the potential to show up on a drug test. However, it largely depends on the type of drug test being used and the cutoff threshold set for THC content.

THCA won’t show up in Drug tests typically designed to detect the presence of THC and its metabolites in the body. However, THCA can be converted into THC through a process called decarboxylation. If THCA present in the body undergoes decarboxylation, it can be detected as THC, showing up on a drug test. 

THC and its metabolites can e detected in urine tests for up to 30 days in regular cannabis users. If you need to undergo a drug test, it’s advised to avoid cannabis use or any products that may contain THCA or THC prior to the test. 

About the author
Adrian Mota

Hi there, I'm Adrian! I'm passionate about cannabinoids – My journey into this fascinating world began with a curiosity to understand how these compounds interact with our bodies. I've been digging into how they work in our bodies and what benefits they might offer. From exploring their various uses and perks to understanding the importance of safety considerations, I'm here to deliver clear and concise information to empower others. My aim is to help everyone get a grasp on cannabinoids so you can make smart choices as you browse through different brands and products.