Does THCA Get You High?


In the past few years we’ve seen an explosion of different cannabinoids make their way onto the market.  Some are psychoactive, some are not, and in terms of potency, there are players on both ends of the spectrum, and everywhere in between.  It’s a lot of information for anyone to take in, especially if you’re looking for which cannabinoid is right for you.  One of the latest cannabinoids to hit our store is THCA.  You may be wondering: does THCA get you high?  The answer is actually not just a simple yes or no.  Read on to learn all about this cannabinoid, and what you can expect when you smoke it.

In the meantime, if you’re interested in doing some field research on this question for yourself, be sure to check out our online store.  Choose from THCA blunts and prerolls.  Rest assured that our products are lab tested, so you can skip the stress and enjoy the journey.

What is THCA?

THCA (short for tetrahydrocannabinolic acid), is the acidic form of THC.  This cannabinoid occurs naturally in hemp and cannabis.  In its true, original form, THCA does not get you high.  This probably sounds like a bummer, but bear with me.  The reason that THCA is not psychoactive is due to its extra molecular carboxyl ring.  This ring essentially renders the cannabinoid incompatible with our CB1 receptors located in the brain.  Since it can’t attach to these receptors, it does not produce a high.

So this sounds like a pretty done deal: there is a carboxyl ring in the way, and THCA won’t make the necessary attachment to get its users high.  However, the story doesn’t end there.  What is fascinating about THCA, is that it loses that pesky ring and converts to THC when you add heat.  When you add heat, THCA does get you high.  This is because technically, it’s no longer THCA.  This heat can come from a lighter, a vape pen, or the oven when you decarb your flower before making edibles.  This structural change is the whole reason we decarb in the first place: to activate the THC.  

What can you expect from consuming THCA?

If you’re looking to enjoy THCA in its true form (as in not psychoactive), then you need to stay away from the heat.  There is no smoking THCA where it remains THCA.  To truly enjoy actual THCA, you would need to grind some raw weed into your food (like a smoothie, for instance), or consume a specific THCA tincture.  In its original form, THCA provides many of the same benefits of THC, without the high.

In its raw form, THCA even shows some medical promise for those looking for relief without the high.  It has potential to act as an anti-inflammatory, and may even help those struggling with insomnia.  More research is needed, and it will be exciting to see where we’re at with THCA in a few more years.

THCA high

You’ve probably consumed THCA that has been converted to THC before.   Once that THCA is heated up and converted to THC, it absolutely does get you high.  This is because the cannabinoid can now bind to your CB1 receptors.  The effects of this experience can include euphoria, relaxation, being more amused or giggly, creativity boost, appetite, and an increased sensitivity to your five senses.  Side effects are possible, and since THC is more potent than other cannabinoids like delta 8, you do run the risk of experiencing paranoia.  The best way to avoid this is to start with a lower dose and work your way up.

The bottom line

To sum it all up, THCA in its original form does not get you high.  However, if you add a heating element, like the flame from a lighter, this cannabinoid converts to THC and does get you high.  You can expect to experience all the classic effects of a THC high when you smoke THCA.  If you wanted to experience true, non psychoactive THCA, you need to ingest raw flower, or purchase a specially made tincture.  If you’re looking to get lit, DVNT has you covered with our selection of THCA blunts and prerolls.  Shop our store today, and do some cannabinoid conversion in your own home, no chemistry set necessary.