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What Is THCA Cannabinoid? A Beginners Guide!

November 29, 2022
What is THCA - BiowellnessX
Table of Contents

You might have been able to finally wrap your head around the usual THC, but now you hear of THCA and think, what is THCA Cannabinoid? Isn’t it the same as THC? Don’t worry we’re here with the full THCA guide!

Main Keypoints

  • THCA is one of the cannabinoid acids existing in cannabis plants.
  • Unlike THC, THCA is non-psychoactive and doesn’t influence the central nervous system to create a high.
  • Studies show that THCa has many therapeutic potential benefits.
  • THCA is the mother cannabinoid that later converts to THC.
  • THCA needs heat to convert to THC.

What is THCA?

Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCa), for short, is one of the many chemical compounds found in cannabis and hemp plants. It’s the acidic form of THC, the main psychoactive compound in cannabis.

You might ask what that means; let’s break it down. When a cannabis plant starts to develop, it produces cannabinoid acids, and as the plant starts to mature, these cannabinoid acids start to break down, giving us the cannabinoids that we know.

The cannabis plant starts with CBGA (an acidic form of CBG), then CBGA breaks down to THCA and CBDA, then pressure and heat exposure convert THCA and CBDA to our beloved cannabinoids THC and CBD. Read more about the mother of all cannabinoids CBGA.

Unlike THC, THCA doesn’t produce intoxicating effects, so if you ingest raw cannabis, it won’t get you high; it needs heat exposure to break down to THC.

How Does THCa Work?

Like other cannabinoids, THCa interacts with our body’s endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for regulating many body functions to keep us in balance.

The endocannabinoid system consists of cannabinoid receptors, enzymes, and own cannabinoids.

THCa works by interacting with these cannabinoid receptors by imitating the body’s natural cannabinoids, helping manage our stress response, pain response, nausea reflex, and more.

What are THCa’s effects?

THCa, if ingested, doesn’t have intoxicating effects. You’d feel pain relief without getting high! You could get a euphoric feeling resulting from the entourage effect if you take THCa with other cannabinoids such as CBD or THC.

But if you’re looking to get a high unlike anything else, get some THCa Diamonds and heat it up for the purest THC experience. (Sign up for our newsletter to be the first to know of our new THCA Diamonds launch.)

Learn more about the high from THCa in our guide here.

Benefits Of THCA

Cannabinoid research into THCa is relatively scarce, but the research we have so far shows that this cannabinoid acid has very promising medicinal benefits.

THCa Has Anti-inflammatory Properties That Can Help With Chronic Pain

A study suggests THCa and other cannabinoids showed anti-inflammatory properties in lab studies which can help alleviate chronic pain.

THCA shows great potential as a treatment for fatty liver disease in another study because of its anti-inflammatory traits. 

THCa Has Neuroprotective Properties

A study conducted on mice published in the British Journal of Pharmacology suggests that THCA’s might have the ability to help protect against neurodegenerative diseases.  

Preliminary findings suggest that THCA may also help with seizure disorders. 

THCa Has Anti-emetic Qualities

Anti-emetic means the ability to decrease nausea. A study found that THCA was even more effective than THC and CBD in reducing nausea and vomiting in rat models.

Any side effects I need to be aware of with THCa?

Most cannabis consumers didn’t report any side effects of THCa. But some small percentage did report mild symptoms such as dry mouth and red eyes.

How do you use THCa?

Before the rise of all these new products, you can find articles and research online that indicate that some cannabis consumers used to ingest THCA by eating raw cannabis leaves alone or even in a salad! Some users liked “juicing” freshly harvested cannabis leaves of THCA-rich cannabis strains with other fruits and vegetables.

But with modern science, manufacturers can now extract THCA and make many THCA-infused products such as oils and edibles.

Does THCa Show up On a Drug Test?

The drug tests screen for THC metabolites, and considering how similar THCa and THC are in their structure, chances are they will show up on a drug test. So if you have any tests coming up, we highly advise against consuming THCa products.

Is THCA Illegal In My State?

That depends! THCa products extracted from hemp, with less than 0.3% Delta 9 THC content (dry weight basis), are federally legal.

THCa extracted from a marijuana plant is still illegal federally!

Even though it’s not psychoactive by nature, some states consider THCa to be intoxicating, as it breaks down to THC when heated, so check your local laws about hemp-sourced THC before buying.

What THCa products can you find on the market?

While the most common method of getting THCa was ingesting fresh cannabis for its THCa content, companies now are paying more attention to THCa, and there are many products now available on the market, such as:

  • THCA-rich cannabis flower

  • THCA Edibles

  • THCA Oils and Concentrates Tinctures

  • And the best one of all: THCA Diamonds

THCA Diamonds - As Close to The Real Deal - BiowellnessX

THCA Diamonds – As Close to The Real Deal!

THC Diamonds look a lot like the diamonds you’re already familiar with, hence the name. THCa Diamonds are pure THCa concentrates about (97-99%) in the shape of crystals.

These crystals are made by extracting live resin from cannabis, making pure THCa crystals.

THC is the main compound that breaks down to THC when heated, so diamonds get you the purest form of THC.

That’s why diamonds are typically smoked in a dab rig or vaporizer. Joints and bongs don’t burn hot enough to make this transformation.

So you can imagine why THC fans are so excited to find such a pure form of THC.

Want to learn more about the differences between THCA and THC? Read our in-depth guide here.

Final Thoughts On THCA

With many turning to cannabis medicine for answers, more and more cannabinoids are coming into play! And THCa is the new cannabinoid on the block.

Whenever you consume cannabis or roll a joint from a marijuana plant, you’ve already had a little bit of THCA.

But with more research into the health benefits of THCA, the more we understand why it’s making such a buzz. 

THCA could help with discomfort, nausea, and seizures, amongst many other benefits, without getting you high.

On the other hand, THCA Diamonds promise THC fans a perfect mix of THCA and the purest form of THC when heated! 

If you’re a THC fan, look at our best THCA options here.

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Interested in THCA Wholesale? Click here for options.

More topics that might interest you:


  1. (THCA-A) reduces adiposity and prevents metabolic disease:

  2. THC is a potent PPARγ agonist with neuroprotective activity:

  3. THCa markedly alleviates liver fibrosis and inflammation

  4. THCa inhibits prostate cancer tumor growth

FAQs on THCA Cannabinoid

Does THCa make you high?

If you ingest THCa by itself, without heating it, it won’t make you high.

What is the purpose of THCa?

THC is the acidic precursor of THC, the cannabis plant produces it to protect itself, and that’s why the compound has many health benefits.

Do THCa and THC have the same benefits?

The two chemical compounds overlap in some areas; they’re pretty much father and son, so they do have similar benefits. However, the biggest difference is that this is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, and THC is a highly intoxicating cannabinoid.

What happens when I smoke THCa?

THCa converts to regular THC when exposed to heat; it loses the extra carboxylic acid group and transforms to THC. So when you smoke it, or even dry it in room temperature, expect the same intoxicating effects of THC.

Do I need a medical marijuana card to buy THCA?

Federally, you don’t need a medical card to buy hemp-sourced THCA with less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC content. However, your State laws may vary and ban THC.

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