We can no longer offer products containing Delta-8 THC to the following states: AK, CO, DE, HI, ID, IA, MA, MI, MS, MT, NH, NY, ND, OR, PA, RI, UT, VT, VA, or WA as well as THCA to HI, ID, MN, OR, PA, RI, UT or VT.

THC-A: New Kid on the Block or the Next Big Thing?

Nov 11, 2022

THC-A: New Kid on the Block or the Next Big Thing?

The hemp-derived cannabis market is confusing, no two ways about it. This buzzing industry boasts a veritable alphabet soup of different cannabinoids, from the basics like CBD and Delta-8 THC to THC-O, HHC, THC-V, CBN, CBDLA, and literally dozens and dozens of others, offering us the most niche aspects of the cannabis plant. These cannabinoids are being extracted, combined, and marketed at a staggering rate, leaving consumers to wonder what compounds are most deserving of their attention in a sea of choices. One of the latest compounds to hit the retail market is THCA, and as it is still very fresh on the scene, it’s somewhat of a rarity. You may find yourself asking: What is THCA anyway? Is it worth my time to explore? Well, PharmaCBD has done the research for you and the answer to that last question, in our minds anyway, is ABSOLUTELY.

So, What Is THCA?

Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, or THCA, exists in all cannabis flower. It is the molecular precursor to THC and a massive host of other cannabinoids, and as such, exists prior to almost any psychoactive compound generating within the plant. So, what’s the difference between THC and THCA? Let’s take a look at where these chemical compounds come from.

Crystalline THCA boasting different terpenes

If you were to pick cannabis flower off the branch and eat it raw, you wouldn’t get high. Why? Because raw cannabis flower is naturally very high in THCA and not THC, and in its totally raw state, THCA is a nonpsychoactive compound. The “A” in THCA represents an additional acid carboxyl ring that exists in cannabis flower's early molecular state, preventing THCA from binding to the receptors in the brain responsible for feeling high. This ring degrades during the decarboxylation process, i.e. exposure to light or heat, which converts it molecularly into THC. This allows the psychoactive component to be experienced by the user.

In short, if you expose THCA flower to UV light or applied heat, it becomes THC rich, to the tune of an 87% conversion rate. This is why high THC strains of recreationally legal marijuana are tested for THC levels after curing, giving the flower ample time to convert its THCA stores into the maximum potential THC. So, if you’re thinking about things in terms of thc vs thca, you’re almost looking at the very same thing, just at different points of the flower’s maturation.

Isn’t science fun?

But Is THCA Psychoactive?

Of course, the five million dollar question still stands. Does THCA get you high? The answer: oh yeah. When heat is applied to THCA flower in a bowl, blunt, vaporizer, rig, or cored apple if that’s more your style, the chemical conversion to Delta-9 THC happens instantly, so what is inhaled is virtually the exact same thing that you would buy in a dispensary from a recreationally legal state. This makes smoked THCA the perfect fit for more experienced cannabis users that would prefer a bigger punch out of their THC flower.

How Does the Experience Differ From Other Cannabinoids, Like Delta 8?

If you’re looking for the purest cannabis experience currently available on the federally legal market, we personally think you’ve found it. Even to folks that swear up and down that the Delta cannabinoids are akin to synthetic cannabis (they aren’t), there’s no room for discussion with THCA. THCA flower doesn’t need to be sprayed, infused, dipped, or extracted, it is literally just picked off of the plant. So, we think you’ll find that the taste and aroma are highly superior, just as flavorful and distinct as any dispensary purchased buds. Then, you’re treated to the exact same potent psychoactive effects on top of it. The only difference between the two is that dispensary-sold cannabis has been cured; THCA flower has not. This isn’t an extracted Delta THC, a synthetic, or a semi-synthetic. This is a raw cannabis experience. What are THCA effects like? Our customers tell us that it’s virtually indistinguishable from dispensary marijuana, with a balanced and potent smoke that’s sure to put an irrepressible smile on your face.

If That’s All True, How Is THCA Legal?

We already know what you’re thinking: if THCA is just simply the precursor to THC, how can it possibly be sold under the Farm Bill banner? Remember, according to that bill, all flower that falls under 0.3% Delta-9 THC is considered to be hemp, and is therefore federally legal. Don’t take our word for it though!

In January of 2022, DEA representative Terrence L Boos, published a formal letter, plainly stating that

“Material that is derived or extracted from the cannabis plant such as tissue culture or any other genetic material that has a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of no more than 0.3% on a dry weight basis meets the legal definition of “hemp” and is thus not controlled under the CSA (Controlled Substances Act).”

Trust us, we’re just as amazed (and grateful) as you will be!

Now, just to note, a few states do consider THCA when totalling up their Total THC levels for that 0.3% legality, so it is important to research the legal parameters in your state prior to ordering.

THCA crystals on a dab tool in the laboratory

It should also be noted that as THCA is a THC precursor, it will most definitely show up on a drug test that screens for THC.

What Now?

Is THCA worth it? Hopefully you’ll agree after reading this that the answer is a resounding “yes!” We know you’ll be absolutely blown away by its remarkably potent quality, fresh taste, and smooth smoke. Best of all? It’s available in 1.2g prerolls, 3.5g, and 1oz flower for purchase, right now! As always our products are always based in organic, US grown, farm bill compliant hemp, and third party tested to ensure total transparency on our product contents. Still not sure where to go from here? Contact the team at PharmaCBD and one of our super-friendly team mates will be happy to answer all of your questions, on THCA or anything else cannabis-related.