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What is THCA vs THC: What’s the difference?

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Although both THCA and THC are cannabinoids that are present in cannabis plants, their unique chemical makeup and characteristics cause them to have different physiological effects. THC attaches to cannabinoid receptors in the brain directly to cause a high, whereas THCA is non-psychoactive and needs to be transformed into THC to have any psychoactive effects.

What is THC?

Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the compound that gives marijuana most of its psychoactive effects. It functions similarly to the body’s natural production of cannabis compounds.

Certain parts of the brain linked to thought, memory, pleasure, coordination, and time perception have a high concentration of cannabinoid receptors. THC binds to these receptors, activating them to change a person’s perception of pleasure, memory, and mobility, thinking, concentration, coordination, sensory and time perception.

What is thca?

What is thca

Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid is known by its acronym, THCa. It is a non-euphoric component of cannabis and the progenitor of the well-known hallucinogenic substance delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in cannabis. Cannabis plants do not naturally create THC; instead, they produce THCa. THCa concentrations are generally higher in fresh, non-dried cannabis plants.

Plants that produce hemp and cannabis (Cannabis sativa) naturally contain tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, also referred to as Delta-9 THCA. This acidic “precursor” of THC is primarily present in young, recently harvested plants. Up until non-enzymatic processes take place and convert thCA to THC, it is not psychoactive. The pleasurable properties of cannabis are reawakened by this process, known as decarboxylation.

Thc vs. Thca

It is essential for cannabis users to comprehend these variations in order to make well-informed decisions regarding their usage.

Properties and Chemical Structure

Cannabis has two chemicals, THC and THCA, however they differ slightly. Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, or THCA, is the acidic form of THC that isn’t cooked. Unlike THC, it does not get you intoxicated.
Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, on the other hand, is psychoactive and causes the “high.” Heat or heat exposure causes THCA to change into THC. This indicates that the molecular structure of THCA differs from that of THC since it contains a carboxyl group connected to its molecule.

These two substances differ in ways that impact their characteristics and physiological consequences. Although THCA doesn’t result in a high because of its non-psychotropic nature, THC has psychoactive effects when consumed.

Effects on the Mind

Cannabis contains a chemical called THC that has the ability to elevate you and change your perception and mood. THC affects your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors by attaching itself to certain receptors in your brain and nervous system.

However, because it binds to these receptors less readily than THCA, it does not have the same intoxicating effects. The main distinction is in their molecular makeup and how they work with the systems in your body.

Knowing the differences between THCA and THC when browsing for cannabis goods online will help you make well-informed judgments about the kind of cannabis-consuming experience you want.

Legal Position

After discussing the psychotropic properties of THC and THCA, it’s critical to comprehend the laws governing these substances. Because of its psychotropic qualities, THC is regulated and categorized as a controlled substance in many places.

Nevertheless, since THCA does not, in its unadulterated form, create drunkenness, different regulations apply to it. When you buy or use any cannabis products, it’s important to understand the laws in your area regarding both THC and THCA.

Being aware of the legality will enable you to follow local laws and make wise consumption selections.

The Process of Conversion: THCA to THC


Raw cannabis contains THCA, which does not make you feel high. Heat or light exposure causes it to transform into THC, the hallucinogenic substance responsible for the buzz. The decarboxylation mechanism is crucial for releasing the euphoric effects of cannabis.

An acid group that is present in the chemical structure of THCA is eliminated during the conversion process to THC. If you want to utilize cannabis for medicinal purposes or to avoid getting high, you must comprehend this shift.


THC is created when THCA is decarboxylated, triggering the euphoric effects of cannabis. Heat converts inactive THCA into active THC, which interacts with your body’s receptors to change your mood, much like a key turning on an engine in a car.

Understanding this chemistry gives you the power to manage how you use cannabis, choosing wisely when and how to unleash its benefits.


To sum up, the non-psychoactive version of THC present in raw cannabis is called THCA. The psychotropic compound THC is created when THCA is heated. Although both substances function inside the endocannabinoid system of your body, their chemical makeup and characteristics cause them to have distinct effects.

Knowing these variations can help you select the appropriate cannabis products for your requirements and tastes. It is imperative for consumers to remain knowledgeable about the legal status and potential advantages of both THCV and THC in order to make well-informed judgments while utilizing cannabis products.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you get high with THCA?

Because THCA is not psychoactive, it does not get you high. You ingest THCA when you consume raw cannabis. It doesn’t have the same intoxication effects as THC. To experience the high, THCA needs to convert into THC by heat or aging.

What makes THC and THCA different from one another?

Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, or THCA, is what is present in unprocessed cannabis plants. It won’t make you feel euphoric because it isn’t psychoactive. Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the chemical that does provide euphoric effects when heated from THCA.

Is it possible to employ both THC and THCA in medical marijuana products?

Of course! Depending on their intended purpose, medicinal cannabis products may contain one or both of these substances. For example, Epidiolex, which contains cannabidiol (CBD) to treat specific seizures, or Nabiximols, which treats spasticity caused by multiple sclerosis, both contain CBD.



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