Do you know the difference between THCa and THC in cannabis? To many people, they might sound like two sides of the same coin but there are some key distinctions between them.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what makes these compounds differ from one another so that you can better understand their unique properties and uses. We’ll dive into topics such as their origins in cannabis plants, how they interact with human bodies, and which one could be a preferable option for certain ailments.
So, if you want to learn more about THCa vs. THC, read on!
What is THCA?
THCA has become incredibly popular over the last year or so, and if you have stumbled across the name, you are probably curious to find out what it is. THCA stands for tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, and as the name would suggest, it is the acidic form of THC.
Most people use THCA and THC interchangeably, which is an easy mistake to make. However, they are different on a molecular level. You could say that THCA is the precursor to THC, since when the cannabis plant is growing, CBGA is the first cannabinoid to develop, and then THCA and CBDA develop.
To reap THCA’s benefits, one can apply it as a tincture under the tongue or dab it with a dab pen. THCA carts are another popular way to use this cannabinoid. They allow users to vape the compound, and experts at Nature & Bloom say the best THCA cartridges are known for delivering a clean and potent hit.
The most important distinction between THCA and THC is that if THCA is not exposed to heat, it won’t provide any intoxicating effects; in other words, you won’t get high if you ingest THCA.
What is THC?
Now that you have a better idea of what THCA is, it’s time to look at THC. As mentioned above, you could consider THCA as the precursor to THC. This is because, for THC to be what it is, it needs to be exposed to heat. Or in other words, when THCA is exposed to heat, it converts to THC.
The reason you won’t get high or experience intoxicating effects if you ingest THCA without exposing it to heat is that it has a carboxyl ring, which is an additional molecule that basically prevents it from binding to the cannabinoid receptors in the brain.
THC, which is without the carboxyl ring, can bind to the CB1 receptors in the brain. This leads to a host of benefits, as well as the intoxicating effects that everyone expects to experience when consuming cannabis.
Benefits of THCA
At this point, you are probably wondering, why would you want to consume THCA if it does not provide any intoxicating effects. As it turns out, the research that is being performed, although in its infancy, does suggest that THCA does provide benefits, at least if you consume it as a powder.
One of the primary benefits and most well-known is the fact that THCA can provide anti-inflammatory benefits. These benefits can help treat symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, fibromyalgia, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, ALS, lupus, nausea, and more.
Benefits of THC
Perhaps one of the biggest factors that differentiate THC and THCA is that THC offers much more benefits than THCA. As mentioned above, THCA does provide anti-inflammatory benefits; however, so does THC.
In addition, research also shows that THC is quite effective at reducing the symptoms of social or general anxiety. THC is also very effective at improving the quality of sleep, as well as improving sleep duration. However, perhaps one of the most famous benefits of THC is the treatment of chronic pain, specifically neuropathic pain.
How to Consume Either
The last thing you are probably wondering is how to consume either. As mentioned above, if you just want to consume THCA without the intoxicating effects, you will want to consume THCA powder, since it isn’t exposed to heat.
If, on the other hand, you would like to consume THC, or convert THCA to THC, you will want to use a consumption method that uses a form of heat. A few methods to help you do this include dry herb vaporizers, bongs, joints, one-hitters, and more.