Ever wondered what is THCa vs THC is? Here at Minedit, we cover lots of cannabis facts! For the bulk of cannabis consumers, THC is not very unique. THC concentration is typically given high attention when choosing new cannabis strains and products.
The cannabinoid most often associated with the euphoric “high” that marijuana causes is THC, also known as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (or -9-THC). THC is by far the most well-known cannabinoid, despite the fact that cannabis includes hundreds of active substances and dozens of other cannabinoids.
But when THCa is discussed, a lot of people get a bit perplexed. What specifically separates THC from THCa, and why is that distinction important? We’re here to explain the principles and address the most frequent questions regarding the topic.
What is THCa Vs THC: What does it mean?
Apart from the addition of a single letter to their shortened names, THC and THCa vary from one another in a number of important aspects. The trichomes of living, newly harvested cannabis contain the inactive cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCa). THC is the cannabinoid’s active or psychoactive form. It is not present in freshly harvested cannabis.
THC and THCa have many chemical properties, however THCa contains an extra carboxyl group. In the simplest terms, THCa might be considered the “precursor” of THC. Contrary to THC, THCa fails to attach to the CB1 or CB2 receptors found in our bodies’ endocannabinoid systems.
Its large, three-dimensional form prevents it from fitting into the CB1 receptors effectively. Since a cannabinoid must be able to fit into a CB1 receptor in order to have intoxicating effects, THCa cannot cause you to feel “high.”
The idea that marijuana effectively stores THC until it is harvested is one of the most pervasive misconceptions about the plant. But all that is produced is THCa. There is barely any THC in live or raw marijuana that has just been picked. So, how does THCa become THC? To understand more about THC vs. THCa, keep reading.
How is THCa converted into THC?
THCa is changed into THC by decarboxylation, a chemical process that employs light and heat to remove one carboxyl group from cannabinoids. When you “decarb,” various cannabinoids may interact with your endocannabinoid receptors more effectively.
We indicated in our last discussion that THCa contained one more carboxyl group than THC. During decarboxylation, it loses the extra carboxylic acid group and becomes THC. Its altered chemical make-up provides it the perfect shape for CB1 receptors, enabling the well-known, gratifying effects of THC.
Cannabis undergoes decarboxylation when heated, which is caused by.
- high internal temperatures
- You are exposed to heat when you smoke, vape, use concentrates, or undertake DIY carboxylation.
- Potential benefits of THCa
THCa research is still very much in its early stages, so we still have a lot to learn about it. THCa, however, seems to have a lot of potential as a medicine thus far.
- According to current study, the following possible benefits of THCa have been identified:
- Recent study, which was just done this year, has shown that THCa has anti-inflammatory properties.
THCa may also help to block the enzymes that cause inflammation and discomfort.
- Protection from neurodegenerative diseases: THCa may serve as a protective barrier against the side effects of neurodegenerative diseases.
- THCa may be more effective than THC in reducing nausea and vomiting, according to a 2020 research.
- Reduced obesity and the risk of obesity-related diseases including diabetes and fatty liver disease may be helped by THCa.
- According to the same research, the cannabinoid may help with insulin resistance and glucose intolerance, two major factors in diabetes associated to obesity.
What Percentage of THCa Is a “Good” Level?
It’s easy to become confused when trying to determine potency by looking at the THCa %. Since the cannabis industry hasn’t yet chosen a single standardized method for presenting testing data to clients, it might be difficult to read labels and lab findings.
Gas chromatography (GC) and liquid chromatography (LC), two distinct methods, may be used to test for potency (GC). We’ll simply state, without getting too technical, that each of these techniques will provide a different potency number for the identical cannabis sample. The fundamental difference between the two procedures is that the GC technique requires high temperatures, whilst the LC method does not, to decarboxylate the bulk of the THCa. As a result, the readings of the THCa and THC concentrations will differ.
Is THCa an Adder to THC?
THCa does not “add” to the THC content of a certain strain or product. Contrarily, THCa is THC that has not undergone decarboxylation.
Thank you for reading Minedit‘s article on THC vs. THCa.