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THC vs THCA: What’s The Difference?

Their names are almost identical yet their effects are not. Here's what makes this new member of the THC family different from the rest.

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You will agree that THCA and THC sound about the same and share a semblance, where once the A is off, you have THC. So, what then is THC? Before we hit the nail just where the arrow points, let’s have some deep-soul searching, you will enjoy this ride, trust me.

If smoking cannabis or consuming some edibles can get you high, have you ever imagined; what eating the raw cannabis product can do to your body? And just why it is not getting the publicity as the processed cannabis we can kill for. Don’t doubt this fact; when the weed is just too good, you can kill it, so don’t bother thinking about it twice.

Back to the soul-searching, the truth is that eating the raw cannabis product will only leave you with a bad breath and weed stuck in your teeth. It will not get you high; this logic doesn’t seem to follow popular inclinations; however, in a bid to find meaning to the reason, your worry about what THC and THCA will be answered, so it is like using one bird to kill two stones. You will surely love this adventure.

What Is THCA

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THCA is a natural THC form. They are both by-products of your raw cannabis, the same raw cannabis that cannot get you high, you may say, but here is the line you must have missed. THCA turns into THC – just like the caterpillar and the butterfly, it is a transition.

Let me explain:

THCA, when exposed to heat and light, significantly when this is done slowly, transforms into THC. This process is called decarboxylation. This is the magic that brings out the psychoactive effects of weed. While eating raw cannabis won’t affect you, it produces THC when the raw weed is exposed to heat and light, which is the magic factor.

So, decarboxylation the game changer!

After all, they are two sides of the same divide, in the unprocessed raw form, it is called THCA, and when exposed to heat and light, it gives birth to that stellar component we all love, THC. Why then did I take forever to arrive at this conclusion?

THC & THCA: The Main Difference

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The first self-evident difference is that THCA can’t get you high under any condition. You can eat as much raw cannabis as you want, but you will be disappointed that you cannot that desired intoxicated state.

This is what happens when you take THC; the THC molecule travels through your body, through your bloodstream, and makes its way to your blood-brain barrier. Getting here, the THC molecule binds specifically customized cannabinoid receptors known as CB1 receptors.

It is on breaking into the cannabinoid receptors that you get that breath-taking buzz that affords you the remarkable spiritual healing that a good weed affords.

Unlike THC, THCA has a carboxylic acid, which further impedes the ability to get into our receptors. If it cannot get into your receptors as THC will do, it is as harmless as a gun without cartridges or bullets.

Why Does THCA Not Get You High

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Cannabis in its unprocessed raw form doesn’t contain much THC; instead, it contains THCA. This THCA is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, giving birth to THC; how this happens you just learned.

So, the gist of this section is that no matter the level of raw unprocessed cannabis product you eat, you won’t get high. The reason is simple: it doesn’t have THC, so let’s end the soul-searching here and get back to some serious business right away.

Does THCA Have Any Benefits?

This is still under strenuous medical examination. However, THCA has got a ton of advantages. With THCA focused products hitting the markets lately. They are research showing solid anti-inflammatory properties in raw cannabis and how the product helps with neurodegenerative diseases.

Final Words

With all you now know about THC and THCA, it will not be out of place to rate you a professor of cannabis evolution. If cannabis is a course with all you have studied now, we can say you deserve a doctorate. Just before that, let’s wrap things up with a remedy: THCA is the young unexposed self of THC, and they are part of the same family.

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July 14, 2021
Written by Marcos Heredia
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July 14, 2021
Written by Marcos Heredia

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