THCA flower bud held in tweezers

What is THCA and What Are Its Effects?

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD) are generally the most well-known cannabinoids sourced from the cannabis plant. They’ve been around for decades, with THC most often being what people refer to as marijuana. The latest trends in cannabis, however, have revealed many other uses for various cannabinoids from the same cannabis plant. 

THCA is just one example, and users are responding with interest, but what is THCA exactly? Why use this cannabinoid instead of the more familiar THC or CBD? Does THCA get you high like THC, or does it perform more like CBD, with a mellow sensation without the psychoactive component? Let’s explore THCA’s benefits, effects, and legality together. 

What is THCA?

Just like THC and CBD are abbreviations, THCA is short for tetrahydrocannabinolic acid. THCA is considered a minor or primary cannabinoid because, as the cannabis plant matures, buds grow and CBGA is formed. This structure of the plant then breaks downs and creates primary cannabinoids, one being THCA. This process is actually what yields THC, so without THCA and the evolution of the cannabis plant, we would not have THC. 

The Discovery of THCA

Originally THC was isolated by scientists in 1963. Then, in 1965, Professor Friefhelm Korte at the University of Bonn identified what THCA is, as an additional component of the cannabis plant. The discovery was significant because it led to further research that postulates that THCA can represent up to 90% of total THC content within the plant. With that information, scientists are better able to study and predict the benefits of THCA. 

How Does THCA Work?

THCA has been shown to bind to the TRPM8 receptor in the brain as its antagonist. This area of the brain is responsible for making the consumption of mint feel cold. When consumed in higher concentrations, THCA may also activate two other receptor centers. One being a heat-sensing receptor called TRPV4. The other receptor, TRPA1, helps us experience spices like cinnamon and mustard. 

What are THCA’s Benefits?

While further research on the creation of THCA within the cannabis plant and how it impacts the human body is needed to gain a better understanding, when we ask “what is THCA and what are its benefits?” THCA offers many of the same benefits as THC but without the psychoactive component, actually making it more similar to CBD overall. 

How are THCA and THC Different?

Gloved hand holds up some cannabis leaves

THCA and THC are structurally similar but the main difference is that THCA includes a carboxyl group. When THCA goes through the drying process, it eventually becomes THC. The addition of heat removes the carboxyl in THCA, so when it is cooked, smoked, or vaped, the chemical reaction converts THCA to THC. 

Can THCA Create a High Like THC?

With all of the similarities between THC and THCA, many assume that the effects are identical. While there are parallels between the effects of THC and those of THCA, the impact most associated with THC is a more potent experience than the felt effects of THCA. As already discussed, the addition of heat creates THC and therefore, the high sensation reported comes from THC, not THCA. 

Will THCA Use Show Up on a Urine Analysis Drug Test? 

While more research is also needed in this area, the short answer is yes, both THCA and THC will show up on a drug screen. The reason is, there is no way to fully decarboxylate the flower, a huge part of what THCA is, and how it is categorized. While the effects of each substance are different, THCA and THC show up the same way on the current design of most drug tests.

Is THCA Possession and Use Legal?

The hemp plant and all of its derivatives that contain 0.3% or less of Delta 9 THC were made legal by the 2018 Farm Bill. Therefore, on the federal level, cannabinoids from the hemp plant are also presumed legal. When you look at laws state by state though, legalization varies. So you know what THCA is but can you legally use it in your area? The answer will depend on which state you’re in and what laws that state has enacted. Always ensure that you research your local laws before making any purchases.

When You’re Ready to Try THCA For Yourself

Buying THCA and any similar products should be done with great awareness of who is producing the cannabinoid, what proof you have of the process, and what quality you are being promised. As a consumer, an important aspect of the buying process is trustworthiness in both the items an outlet sells and in the information they report on each product. There are many sources for purchasing THCA, but without transparency on each product, how do you know what you’re buying? 

At Your CBD Source, we only sell products from companies that test their products with a third-party lab and can offer a certificate showing the results. With this level of clarity up front, you know that everything you buy from Your CBD Source is high quality. When you’re ready to buy THCA flower and experience THCA’s benefits for yourself, we have lots of options. 

Your CBD Source, The Best Online Shop for THCA

For fully reliable products, all third-party tested with certification to match, shop for THCA at Your CBD Source. You can buy cannabis online with peace of mind, knowing all our products are sold with a full money-back guarantee. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff is here to help you find exactly what you’re looking for and even explain more about what THCA is and its potential benefits. Check out our selection of THCA products today and don’t forget about our premium CBD for sale.

20 thoughts on “What is THCA and What Are Its Effects?”

  1. I’ve tried THCa recently, not sure what it was but it was as potent as the real thing! Thanks for proving some background on what this is exactly.

  2. Never heard of THCa, sounds like it is a good thing since I dont live in a legal state. Thank you

  3. Thank you! Finally I got a website from where I be able to really take useful information concerning CBD and THCa.

  4. Heard of THCa recently, thought I would give it a try. Going to order one of your THCa vapes. Thanks for the post.

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