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What is THCA and How is it Different from THC?

In the advancing demand for marijuana worldwide, one evident thing is due to its effects and benefits it can provide. As cannabis is composed of hundreds of cannabinoid substances, one of the very popular composites that are being regarded nowadays is its THC inclusion. 

Whenever you buy marijuana online, you may notice that THC levels are always present as long as the information is available. But if you read blogs about marijuana, you may also encounter the word THCA. Have you ever wondered what is THCA? 

In this article, we will be talking about what THCA means and its difference between the famous cannabinoid composition THC. We will also discuss all the underlying factors you should know to better understand it. 

What is THCA? 

THCA by definition is the parent substance of THC. Also known as tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, THCA is a cannabinoid substance that can be found in living plants and mostly regarded as raw cannabis. This cannabinoid composition is non-psychoactive. Its content as such molecular properties is pretty small when observed to living plants. 

Being an acidic precursor of THC, THCA slowly becomes THC as soon as it dries up. More often, it will turn as THC when exposed to extreme heat or sunlight. That is the main reason why other cannabis users that produce edibles need to decarboxylate the raw cannabis to turn the substance to THC, and for it to be very psychoactive. Hence, it can make someone high. 

Though others sometimes see it as similar, THC and THCA are different in various aspects. They may be very similar when it comes to their chemical bond or structure but some of their chemical links and molecules are different. Hence, their effects and impact on the human body system, especially the brain are way a lot different. 

As THCA does not include any psychoactive properties, or in a simple explanation, it does not get someone high. It does not affect the human brain in any way. This is the main reason why even if you eat loads of cannabis, without lighting it up, it is very difficult for you to get high. 

With the absence of its psychoactive properties, this does not mean that THCA does not have any effects at all. Various cannabis users considered this substance as very helpful medicinally as there are several effects it can give to the human body. 

What are the effects of THCA on the human body?

Going through scientific evidence, there is not much study and investigation that is very definitive when it comes to the degree of effectiveness of THCA in the human system. However, there are various proceedings and narrative effects that THCA has and has been presumed that has worked significantly important in the field of medicinal cannabis society today. 

Just like what THC does, THCA functions as a cannabinoid receptor that, once triggered, can create a natural response, to some degree. It can cause the following: 

  • THCA can stimulate one’s appetite

If you have noticed, a lot of negative effects when getting sick is a loss of one’s appetite. One thing is clear, it is very difficult to force someone to eat if the human system does not want to. This effect is pretty common for those who have hepatitis, undergoing chemotherapy sessions, dementia, and even kidney failure. With the properties that THCA includes, its anti-emetic composition will be able to restore one’s appetite and even stimulate it at its fullest. 

  • THCA can relieve body-related pain 

One that includes anti-inflammatory properties, THCA can soothe one’s pain related to the body such as inflammation, seizures, and arthritis. It is a perfect cannabinoid substance that will be able to help you in easing grieving pain and other ailments that cause grave pain.

  • THCA can treat those with Parkinson’s disease and the like

With its neuroprotective properties, THCA can limit or prevent the development of the disease by slowing down neuron deterioration.

  • THCA can treat nausea

Just as was mentioned earlier with the effects of THCA with its enhancement of one’s appetite, THCA can also treat vomiting or nausea. With its anti-emetic, one will be able to help people who suffer from nausea. 

  • THCA can help those who have epilepsy and seizures

With its anti-epileptic properties, THCA is far and a better cannabinoid composition that can be of help to those who have seizures and epilepsy. With various research and studies made by many specialists and experts, THCA has been found as a perfect aid for seizures with its results to many experiments of 90 percent reduction rate for seizure and other underlying factors like enhanced sensitivity to temperature variations and fluctuations

  • THCA can stop cancer cell growth

You may not be aware of terms, but when we are talking about cancer, there is one cell responsible not only for regulating the health of the prostate gland but also in maintaining the malignant prostate cells in one’s body, it is the androgen cells. 

Based on the conclusion recorded with a 2013 study, it has been found that THCA is a great cannabinoid substance in limiting or blocking the growth of cancerous cells in the body. 

Though this study is pretty much bounded in various aspects, this just defines that THCA has the capacity to at least prevent or inhibit destructive cancer cells in the human system. 

With its various present properties, THCA is not just a cannabinoid substance that does not produce any benefits. It includes great properties in many aspects very helpful in the human body. It just does not cause anyone high. 

To better understand THCA, we will be differentiating the two: THCA and THC. In the next section, we will talk about their differences. 

What is the difference between THCA and THC? 

Being comparatively different, THCA and THC are very distinct when it comes to their chemical structure. As discussed above, THCA can become THC through the heating process. This is why raw cannabis goes through smoking, vaping, and other types of processes to heat raw marijuana for many cannabis users to get the desired psychoactivity which THC has. 

Are you familiar with the decarboxylation process? This is the process wherein raw cannabis is exposed to extreme temperatures in a given time for the THC to be extracted through heat and light. The decarboxylation process eliminates the carboxyl group for the THCA molecules to transform into THC which can interact with the body’s cannabinoid receptors. 

The following are the most common differences between THC and THCA: 

  • THCA and THC have a different chemical structure (THCA (C-22 H-30 O-4) – THC (C-21 H-30 O-2))
  • THCA is present in raw or living plants while THC is present one’s gone through a heating process
  • THCA has no psychoactive properties while THC has
  • THCA is much more regarded as medicinal and THC is recreational
  • THCA is considered as the wall protector of a plant’s immune system and THC is not


THCA is not an inactive substance. Though it seems that it is perceived as inactive based on its structural molecular design, this cannabinoid substance is far active due to its effects and benefits to the body. 

THCA and THC are far different in forms and their effects. One that doesn’t make someone high, THCA can be made as THC one’s exposed to extreme heat. Meanwhile, as for its medicinal influence, THCA can be of help in many things in medical aspects. 

It does a lot of good in the body. 

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