Cannabis is being used worldwide on a recreational basis studied from medicinal value and has been something humans have interacted with since ancient times. Most people have heard a little bit about cannabinoids and how they are the chemical compounds in the cannabis plant that produce different effects. Products containing cannabidiol, or CBD, a cannabinoid that can be derived from hemp are legal across the United States. Many people have heard of CBD, as well as THC, the cannabinoid known and responsible for creating a euphoric mental state after using cannabis.
If you have ever purchased cannabis from a dispensary you may have noticed the THC/THCA percentage levels listed on the label. We will explain a little further what these two compounds are, how they are different, and how they work together to create the cannabis experience.
What is THC?
THC is an acronym for tetrahydrocannabinol, which is one the cannabinoid chemicals found in marijuana plants. THC is responsible for getting you “high” because it connects with CB1 receptors in the brain. THC can have many therapeutic benefits including relieving pain, fighting cancer cells, and reducing muscle spasms. THC is the main compound in cannabis that is psychoactive.
How THC interacts with your body
THC is responsible for getting you high because it connects with CB1 receptors in the brain. THC also has many therapeutic benefits including relieving pain, fighting cancer cells, and reducing muscle spasms.
THC can be consumed in three ways: smoking, vaping, or eating. When smoked or vaped, the effects of the THC come on quickly and are strong. When eaten, THC can take an hour or more to kick in and the effects are usually longer lasting, some say they are more intense.
The immediate effects of THC include relaxation and euphoria plus a heightened sense of taste and smell. It can also cause red eyes and dry mouth as well as increased heart rate, blood pressure, and drowsiness. THC can also have adverse side effects including anxiety, paranoia, hallucinations, drowsiness, nausea vomiting, confusion, and headache.
What is THCA?
THCA is an acronym for tetrahydrocannabinolic acid. THCA is not psychoactive. THCA is the precursor to THC and is found in raw cannabis. THCA is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis plants and is the raw form of THC. It is not yet biologically active and does not produce psychoactive effects when ingested. THCA has many therapeutic benefits including relieving pain, fighting cancer cells, and reducing muscle spasms.
THCA is important because it is the precursor to THC. This means that it is the compound that is turned into THC. THCA is also non-psychoactive, meaning it does not get you high. This is important because it means that you can ingest THCA without feeling the psychoactive effects of THC. THCA is also a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent.
When you smoke or ingest marijuana, the heat from either process converts THCA into THC. If the cannabis flower is dried and cured, THCA slowly breaks down into THC. This means that dry-cured cannabis contains mostly THC and trace amounts of THCA. This process is called decarboxylation, and is a chemical reaction that occurs, enhancing the bodies’ reaction to cannabinoids. Although some pop culture would want us to believe that raw cannabis will cause one to get abundantly high, that is simply not the case. THCA and THC must go through decarboxylation to have psychoactive effects.
Put simply if you want to turn THCA into THC, all you need is some heat and time! It is as simple as that. In fact, there has been a lot of research done on the cannabis plant showing just how temperatures can affect cannabinoids. There will be more studies, the more we understand about using different temperatures to create different cannabinoids.
How are THC and THCA different?
THCA is a larger molecule than THC and will not bind with cannabinoid receptors in the body. It can also be effective at lower doses than THC. There are some benefits that can be gotten from THCA from raw cannabis without any of the psychoactive feelings. Some people even add it to juices, salads, and other raw foods. THCA can be a good option for consumers looking for relief who cannot handle THC. THC A levels will be much higher in plants that have been recently harvested or are still live. In some circles, raw cannabis is referred to as a superfood. It can also be found in tincture and powder form.
- THCA is found in raw cannabis as opposed to THC, which is found in the plant once it has been dried and heated.
- THCA is non-psychoactive, meaning it does not get you high.
- THCA has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.
- THCA is being studied for its potential to help with a variety of medical conditions such as cancer, arthritis, gastrointestinal disorder, eczema, multiple sclerosis, and chronic pain.
- THCA can be turned into THC with age or heat.
- THC is psychoactive; meaning it can get you high, unlike THCA.
- There are different types of THC, such as Delta-9 THC, which is the most potent and is what causes psychoactive effects.
- THC is being studied for its potential to help with a variety of medical conditions such as cancer, arthritis, gastrointestinal disorder, eczema, multiple sclerosis, and chronic pain.
- THC can be turned into THCA with age or heat.
Legality of THCA
While research continues on how THCA can be used as a health supplement and benefit for both humans and pets, the legality of the chemical is a bit hazy. recreational and medical marijuana continue to be legalized in a growing number of states. THCA is not scheduled at the federal level, however, because it can be turned into THC which is considered illegal on the federal level there is some room for interpretation here. One can generally consider if recreational or medical marijuana is not legal in your area that THCA may not be either.
THC vs THCA – Know the Difference
Both THC and THCA are part of the cannabis experience. Both are naturally occurring compounds in the marijuana and cannabis plants. THC is the chemical compound responsible for creating a psychoactive experience, commonly referred to as a high. THCA is a precursor to THC and must go through a decarboxylation process in order to produce the same mental effects. THCA still has some therapeutic benefits and effects without being converted to THC and can be a good option for consumers looking for the benefit of cannabis without the psychoactive experience.
Rely On Leafy Mate
Leafy Mate can help make your cannabis experience enjoyable and safe. Connect with us online to learn more. Leafy Mate can help locate reputable dispensaries in your area, connect you with medical marijuana doctors, and keep you in the loop on new products and deals. There is a lot to learn about cannabis however you do not have to go it alone! Let Leafy Mate guide you!