THC vs THCa: what is the difference and which is better? Most people have no idea. In this article, we’re going to cover both cannabinoids and their corresponding properties. What are these cannabinoids? THC and THCa. According to articles like these, you will find out more about them, such as their chemical composition, subjective effects and legal status. So read on to discover what THC is, what it does, and why you should care if the product you want has high levels of THC or THCa.
What Is THCa?
THCa is an acronym for tetrahydrocannabinolic acid. It is a precursor to the compound THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). In the initial growth stage of cannabis, it produces cannabinoids as carboxylic acids, which are mostly converted into non-acidic compounds through a decarboxylation process. Almost all cannabinoids produced in cannabis begin in their acidic form, having a distinct effect and structure than their non-acidic phase.
Although THCa is plentiful in fresh cannabis, THCa converts to THC when it comes under controlled storage conditions and when exposed to heat or light, it then goes through the decarboxylate process and turns into THC. Studies have shown that THCa decarboxylates when it is stored under a temperature of 25°C.
What Does THCa Do?
THCa is classified as a non-psychoactive compound, which means you can not experience an intoxicated feeling when ingesting it. This is because, unlike THC, the compound THCa does not bind with the CB1 receptors. But these receptors have a high binding for THC. Research shows that THCa does not bind to the two major cannabinoid receptors.
However, it has been verified that the extract that is majorly made up of THCa has beneficial properties such as neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory. It has shown effectiveness in reducing vomiting and nausea.
What Are The Potential Benefits of THCa?
Although THCa does not have any psychoactive effect, it is considered by many people as a superfood, because of its raw and fresh features. You may have come across a smoothie that has an addition of cannabis being juiced in it for health improvement, it has a good reason.
Raw cannabis, like other superfoods such as green tea, kale, garlic, and avocados has medical benefits for your health. It can ease chronic pain, fibromyalgia, and other illnesses.
THCa is mostly used as a nutritional supplement and diet improvement for these properties:
● Anti-inflammatory properties: research has shown that coupled with other cannabinoids, THCa has proven to be an effective anti-inflammatory compound. As it shows great potential in treating fatty liver disease, fibromyalgia, arthritis, and lupus.
● Neuroprotective properties: THCa has the potential to shield you against neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS, Parkinson’s Disease, and Alzheimer’s Disease.
● THCa also has anti-proliferative properties that treat all types of cancer, particularly prostate cancer.
● Antiemetic: THCa has been known to be effective in increasing appetite and reducing vomiting and nausea.
● Anti-obesity: THCa is beneficial in reducing obesity and other diseases related to it, like fatty liver disease and diabetes.
Other medical benefits provided by THCa include:
● Anesthetic for pain relief
● It aids sleep
● Stimulates your appetite
● It helps to stop muscle spasms.
THC vs. THCa: The Decarboxylation Process
The common process of decarboxylation of THCa involves using an oven to toast the cannabis, to convert it to THC. There are several methods THCa can be decarboxylated, including:
- Sunlight conversion: THCa can be converted to THC through exposure to light or heat. If a Cannabis Sativa plant stays in the warm sun for a long period, the THCa molecules then convert into THC gradually.
- Conversion through room temperature: when the THCa molecule is submersed into olive oil, for 10 days at 25°C, it converts only 22% of the THCa. In other words, over a long period, a room temperature with little exposure to light will convert 20% of THCa into THC.
- Smoking: When you light a flame to smoke dry the fresh cannabis plant, the intensity of the heat applied, converts THCa quickly into THC. However, not all THCa will convert; smoking might be the most common method of conversion, but it’s not efficient.
- Vaporizing: this is the most efficient method of decarbing cannabis. When cannabis is heated at a low temperature, the THCa molecule is converted to THC. When you gradually increase the heat, it relatively increases the amount of THCa that will be converted into THC.
- Vape Pens: this is also an efficient method of consuming intoxicating cannabis. Since THCa molecules have almost been converted into THC through the vaporization method. This method is more effective than just vaporizing flowers. You can use a vape pen from a reputable and licensed brand, so there will be no contaminated cannabis oil in it.
- Dabbing: This method allows for the decarbing of THCa from the cannabis plant through heating, and then extracting THC from the plant, leaving a waxy or solid product that contains a high quantity of THC. However, it also reduces the aroma or flavor, as other cannabis extraction tries to shred away the flavonoids and terpenes to detach the cannabinoids.
The Difference Between THC and THCa
Unlike THC, THCa doesn’t induce a psychoactive effect. But both molecules are effective in treating vomiting, inflammation, and epilepsy. While it may be easy to confuse both cannabinoids, it is important to know they are both different substances.
The main differences between THC and THCa include:
● THCa is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in raw and fresh cannabis. While THC is a psychoactive cannabinoid that exists in a decarbed cannabis plant.
● THCa precedes THC. It is not intoxicating and won’t give any high feeling until it has been exposed to light and converted into THC.
● THC is a result of a decarboxylated THCa when it has been exposed to heat. It will incite a euphoric feeling.
● THC molecules are smaller compared to THCa molecules. This makes THCa have a weak binding affinity at cannabinoid receptor 1 and cannabinoid receptor 2, which means it won’t induce a high.
Thus, if you are interested in purchasing a THCa product look no further than our GetHyhr marketplace. Our marketplace carries only industry-leading brands and products that have gone through rigorous testing by third parties and proven to be effective.