What Is THCA

Most cannabis consumers know the two most prevalent cannabinoids in marijuana: cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The THC compound creates intoxicating effects like the high weed users usually experience. However, THCA is another cannabinoid that can influence your mind-altering high, but few people know about it.

So, what is THCA? Read the guide below, then head to Cannabis & Glass in Spokane, Spokane Valley, and Liberty Lake, Washington, to buy products containing the cannabinoid.

What Is THCA?

THCA is short for tetrahydrocannabinol acid, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid. It’s one of the hundreds of chemical compounds in the marijuana plant. THCA is the acidic form of THC, but unlike THC, it won’t produce a high.

Both cannabinoids have a similar chemical structure with different functions. Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid is a cannabinoid stemming from CBGA, the “mother of all cannabinoids,” which forms as the marijuana plant matures. Since THCA has an extra molecular carboxyl ring, the cannabinoid can’t bind to the brain’s receptors to create the euphoric THC high.

Though you can’t get high by directly consuming THCA, it still affects your weed experience. THCA benefits include numerous positive health effects. The compound could also convert into THC with heat exposure via smoking, cooking, dabbing, or vaping weed.


What is THCA, and how does it compare to THC?

When exploring THC vs. THCA, you will see that the most prominent difference between the two chemical compounds is the ability to produce intoxicating effects. THC is a natural psychoactive cannabinoid, and THCA isn’t.

However, you could burn THCA to change its molecular structure by removing its carboxyl ring. Then, the compound can convert to THC and bind to the brain’s CB1 receptors to produce a high.

THC and THCA have many similar effects. Either option works as an anti-emetic or anti-nausea remedy. However, THCA is more effective at minimizing inflammation than THC and may help people with seizure disorders.

How THC and THCA Work

vaping thc

Decarboxylation or decarbing is a chemical reaction you initiate by heating raw cannabis. The process is essential for activating therapeutic cannabinoids like THC and CBD.

THC exists in raw cannabis in its acidic form. The plant must undergo debarbing to convert THCA to THC and release its chemical effects. You can initiate decarboxylation of raw cannabis through:

  • Direct heat from smoking, vaping, or consuming concentrates
  • Sunlight
  • Increased room temperatures


Since THCA converts to THC, you might wonder which compound should have a higher concentration to produce your desired euphoric effects. If you’re smoking, cooking, dabbing, or vaping cannabis, you want to look for products with a high THCA amount.

When you apply direct heat to THC, you could unintentionally burn away some of the cannabinoid content and minimize the compound’s effects. However, weed’s THCA content represents the product’s full potency potential when it converts to THC. It would be best to focus only on THC content when buying premade edibles.

Potential Benefits and Effects of THC and THCA

You won’t get high off THCA, but it does have several medical uses. According to scientific studies, THCA benefits may include:

  • Anti-inflammatory properties for chronic pain
  • Appetite stimulants for people with cancer or eating disorders
  • Relaxing properties to help with insomnia
  • Antispasmodic properties for epilepsy and multiple sclerosis

Despite these possible benefits, more studies and clinical trials are necessary to explore the full potential of THCA.

Possible Drawbacks of THC and THCA

Weed consumers sensitive to THC may experience similar mild side effects when consuming THCA. However, many say they have little to no adverse impacts after ingesting either cannabinoid. Common THC side effects are:

  • Dizziness
  • Cottonmouth
  • Fatigue
  • Red eyes
  • Rapid heartbeat

How to Use THCA

thca tinctures

As a cannabis consumer, you indirectly ingest converted THCA every time you heat weed to achieve a pleasant high. The best way to consume unconverted THCA is by eating raw cannabis or adding it to a juicing routine. Some dispensaries sell THCA topicals and tinctures.

Explore THCA Products with Cannabis & Glass

Cannabis & Glass is a respectable north Washington dispensary located conveniently in Spokane, Spokane Valley, and Liberty Lake, Washington. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff will gladly help you find the best THCA and THC products at affordable prices.

Now that we’ve answered the question, “What is THCA?” stop by one of our Cannabis & Glass locations to try quality THA products.