Ladies and gentlemen it’s time… for another “new” cannabinoid! THCA has been generating a lot of buzz lately as we learn more and more about how to use our favorite plant to its full potential. But what exactly is THCA? I found a lot of conflicting information while researching, so let’s set the record straight.
What is THCA?
Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, or THCA, is essentially a precursor to THC. Raw cannabis and hemp contain significant amounts of THCA. When you add heat to the equation, THCA evolves into THC. This heating process is called decarboxylation. If you’ve ever made edibles before, you know you have to decarb the flower in the oven before you make it into an oil or butter. Smoking a bowl, preroll, or blunt? That’s another example of decarboxylation. This heat essentially activates the psychoactive element of the flower by converting THCA into THC. Same thing when you indulge in a vape. Heat is essential at some point in the process if you’re looking to get high.
THCA, unlike THC, is not psychoactive. It’s more comparable to CBD or CBG in that regard. This is exciting because it creates yet another opportunity for people to enjoy the benefits of cannabis and hemp that don’t want to get high. If you’re looking to experience THCA, you have to skip the heat. One consumption method I came across was to grind up some “raw weed” and throw it in a smoothie which, quite frankly, sounds like a smoothie I wouldn’t want to drink. Currently, THCA products are on the rise in the form of oils, tinctures, capsules, and edibles.
Is THCA legal?
Time to refer to ol’ reliable: the 2018 Farm Bill. This bill legalized hemp on a federal level. Legally, hemp is defined as cannabis that contains no more than .3% delta 9 THC. Raw cannabis does still contain small amounts of THC alongside more abundant quantities of THCA. So, by legal definition, a plant that contains 20% THCA and .2% THC would still be defined as hemp. So, as it stands, THCA is legal on a federal level. As we’ve seen with delta 8 and HHC, individual states have cracked down on specific cannabinoids despite their federally legal status. Since THCA is not psychoactive, hopefully it will not face the same scrutiny as delta 8 and HHC. Regardless, be aware of local laws in your area before assuming or consuming anything.
What the future holds
The landscape of hemp and cannabis has drastically changed over the last several decades. Once upon a time, it was believed that the only non-psychoactive uses for the plant was in the form of using hemp for fibers, or hemp seeds for food. Today, we now know that there’s many uses for hemp and cannabis that don’t involve getting high. THCA is the latest non-psychoactive cannabinoid to join the ranks of CBG and CBD. Every day we understand more and more about hemp and cannabis, and legislation paves the way for creative new discoveries. THCA can potentially work alongside psychoactive cannabinoids like THC or delta 8 in the form of edibles or tinctures to create a more immersive experience (a la the entourage effect). This is also an exciting option for consumers who don’t want to smoke or vape.
To sum it all up, THCA is the Pikachu to THC’s Raichu. It evolves into THC when heat is added. In its original form, THCA will not get you high and is more comparable to CBD. As it stands, it is currently legal on a federal level thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, but you should still be aware of your local laws. It’s taken the market by storm in the form of tinctures, concentrates, and edibles. Stay tuned to see what the future holds in store for THCA at DVNT!
In the meantime, for those of you who like your hemp to get you high, choose from our wide selection of delta 8 and HHC products. Whether you’re looking for a sativa, indica, or hybrid, we’ve got you covered. Check out our HHC disposable vapes, HHC or delta 8 prerolls, and delta 8 blunts. Whatever your need, we’ve got what it takes to get you there.