Learn | 03.21.2024

Applying The Heat: Are THC And THCA The Same?

Are these two cannabinoids the same? Or what are the differences between them?

Even if you’ve been in the cannabis world for a short time, you’ve probably already heard about the new kid on the block, THCA.

The popularity of this cannabinoid has skyrocketed in recent months and for a good reason. You’ve probably also heard that THCA and THC are the same thing, but let us give you a spoiler: they are not.

What is the real difference between THC and THCA? Let’s find out.


The cannabis plant produces many cannabinoids in addition to CBD and THC; THCA is one of them found in freshly harvested cannabis.

THCA is the acidic, non-psychoactive form of THC found in raw, unheated cannabis, while THC is the psychoactive form of the compound that results from heating or aging cannabis.

THC is responsible for the characteristic high associated with weed use, while THCA, by itself, has no psychoactive effects.

THCA has been shown to have potential health benefits, such as supporting healthy inflammation and promoting relaxation. At the same time, THC has been studied for its analgesic, anti-nausea, and appetite-stimulating properties.

Differences Between THC & THCA

Chemical Structure And Properties

Photo by Tara Winstead/ Pexels

THC and THCA have slightly different chemical structures.

THCA is the precursor to THC and has an additional carboxylic acid group, which is released when exposed to heat to create THC. In simple terms, when THCA is subjected to heat, it loses its “A” becoming THCA and causing the psychoactive effects we already know and love.

This is probably not the most chemically correct explanation, but in practical terms, you understand what we mean.

Psychoactive Effects

THC is known for its psychoactive effects, which include an enhanced mood, increased appetite, and reduced pain perception.

THCA requires heat to generate these psychoactive effects.

Legal Status

THC is a controlled substance in many countries and is only legal for medical or recreational use in certain places.

THCA, on the other hand, is generally unregulated and uncontrolled, as it is in a gray area of legality.

Let’s back up a bit and start at the beginning.

What Is THCA?

THCA is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in raw cannabis plants. This means that no matter how much THCA you consume from freshly harvested (unheated) cannabis, you will not suffer its psychoactive effects. Maybe a stomach ache from consuming raw herbs, but that’s up to you.

What Is THC?

THC is the primary psychoactive compound found in cannabis. It is the chemical responsible for producing the high that we know.

When consumed, THC interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which regulates a variety of physiological processes such as mood, appetite, and pain sensation.

How THCA is Converted to THC

Now, let’s get to the fun part. Up to this point, THCA and THC are two quite different compounds, and not just because of that little extra letter in their names. It is through heat that the magic happens, which makes them quite similar.

THCA is converted to THC through a process called decarboxylation, which involves heating or aging the cannabis plant.

When cannabis is harvested, it contains high levels of THCA and little or no THC.

However, when the cannabis plant is exposed to heat through smoking, cooking, or vaping, the THCA molecule loses a carboxyl group and is converted to THC. This process activates the psychoactive effects of the compound, making it more potent and bioavailable.

Which Is Better: THC Or THCA?

It is difficult to determine which cannabinoid comes out on top, between THCA vs. THC, as it depends on individual body chemistry and the desired effects you are looking for with cannabis.

We all react differently to different compounds; it even depends on the timing of consumption and dozens of other variables.

Best THCA Products

Diamond Heights THCA Flower

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Diamond Heights by Deltax Extrax brings you the best of THCA with a new product line that redefines premium hemp flower.

This highly potent THCA flower is precision-grown and will likely become your favorite. Diamond Heights offers a wide variety of strains, each as unique as the elevated experience it promises:

  • Gush Mints: A flavor explosion with its refreshing, minty scent.
  • Jack Herer: Ignite your senses with this legendary strain, known for its refreshing and uplifting qualities.
  • Jealousy: A mesmerizing strain might make other flowers envy its delicious profile.
  • No Drama Llama: Leave the drama behind and embrace the calm with this soothing and serene strain.
  • RS11: The crown jewel of Diamond Heights, a strain that encapsulates potency and purity.

Diamond Heights 1.3G THCa Pre-Rolls (2-Pack)

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In case you’re more of a pre-roll puffer, Delta Extrax has something for you too. Check out their ultra-popular Diamond Heights 1.3G THCa Pre-Rolls and puff your way to legal bliss.

These potent pre-rolls are crafted with Delta Extrax’s world-class indoor-grown THCa flower, and each pack comes with 2 ready-to-smoke joints. See the available strains below:

  • Blue Dream (Sativa)
  • Gorilla Glue (Hybrid)
  • Watermelon Kush (Indica)

Rolled to perfection, loaded with terpenes, and providing an unparalleled sensory experience, these Diamond Heights THCa Pre-Rolls won’t let you down. Get yours now and see what the hype is about.

THCa Terp Sauce 3G Disposable

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Looking for maximum flavor and effects with every hit? You’ve come to the right place.

Lucky for you, Delta Extrax’s THCa Terp Sauce 3G Disposables were crafted to do exactly that…AND stretch your stash with 3g of potent concentrate. Before we dive in, here are your options:

  • King Louis (Indica)
  • Trainwreck (Hybrid)
  • Sour Tangie (Sativa)
  • Green Crack (Sativa)
  • Northern Lights (Indica)

But what’s inside this potent blend? None other than THCa, THCP, Delta-8 THC, and terpenes for boosted flavor and aroma.

Terp sauce is the most flavorful concentrate available, and now, you’re invited to puff on 3 grams of it with a USB-C rechargeable disposable. Sounds like a no-brainer to me.

Adios MF 7G Disposables - THCA Live Sugar

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Say adios to the ordinary and hello to the extraordinary with the THCA Live Sugar 7G Disposable by Delta Extrax – introducing the Adios MF.

Each pre-heated disposable is a powerhouse, with a generous 7-gram exclusive blend containing Delta-9 THC, THCP, THCA Live Sugar, and a touch of Delta-8 THC.

Stay in control with a state-of-the-art smart display, which ensures you’re always in control of your distillate and battery levels. The Adios MF device fits comfortably in the palm of your hand, offering a sleek and seamless way to enjoy your favorite cannabinoids, THCA included.

Its sleek design, combined with its potent blend, makes it a must-have device. Not to mention its available flavors: Blue Dream, Pineapple Express, Strawberry Cough, Mango Haze, Granddaddy Purp, and Watermelon Kush.

Delta Extrax brings you the best of THCA like no other with Adios MF.

THCa Live Sugar 12000mg Gummies | Adios MF

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You didn’t think Delta Extrax wouldn’t treat edible lovers to their renowned Adios MF line, would you?

We’re thrilled to introduce fellow gummy munchers to the powerful THCa Live Sugar 12000mg Gummies – Adios MF. This powerful blend combines Delta-9 THC, THCP, THCa Live Sugar, and Delta-8 THC. Check out the available flavors below:

  • Purple Paradise (Hybrid)
  • Tropical Sunburst (Hybrid)
  • Strawberry Delight (Hybrid)
  • Watermelon Pucker (Hybrid)
  • Blue Razz Bombshell (Hybrid)

Without a doubt, these are some of the strongest gummies on the market. Each jar comes with 20 gummies, with each piece containing 600mg of Delta Extrax’s Adios MF blend. They’re almost too good (and strong) to be true.

THCa Live Sugar 2G Cartridge | Adios MF

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Sick and tired of lackluster 1g carts? Double the size and potency with Delta Extrax’s THCa Live Sugar 2G Cartridges – Adios MF.

These hefty carts feature the brand’s popular Adios MF blend with Delta-9 THC, THCP, THCa Live Sugar, and Delta-8 THC, not to mention terpenes for mouthwatering flavors. Speaking of flavors, choose from the 3 classic strains below:

  • GSC (Indica)
  • OG Kush (Hybrid)
  • Super Lemon Haze (Sativa)

These ceramic cartridges are compatible with most 510 thread batteries, and with 2g of this wicked blend, you won’t have to rush for a re-up. Order now and see how this blend is changing the THCa game.

Are THC and THCA the Same?

Although they share a molecular connection, THC and THCA are different.

THC is the active form responsible for the psychoactive effects, while THCA, in its original state, does not produce such effects. The key lies in decarboxylation, the process that converts THCA to THC through heat application.

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