What is THCA? A Comparison with THC and Its High Percentage Benefits

As you venture into the vast world of cannabis, you’ll often come across these curious molecules named THCA. But what is THCA, really? Let’s embark on a journey of unraveling the fascinating secrets of the cannabis plant.


The cannabis plant, an intriguing world of chemistry, holds countless secrets within its green leaves. One of those secrets is THCA, a compound that is often misunderstood, but holds significant importance. By the end of our journey, you’ll appreciate the remarkable value and potential benefits of THCA.

What is THCA (Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid)?

THCA, short for tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, is one of the many cannabinoids found in the raw cannabis plant. You could think of it as the precursor, or the ‘raw form’, of the more famous THC.

Unlike its end product, THC, which is well-known for its psychoactive effects, THCA is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid. It’s the raw cannabis, where no heat has been applied, that is abundant in THCA.

To understand THCA, let’s peek into its chemical structure. THCA contains a carboxyl group (-COOH), an extra component that distinguishes it from THC. This carboxyl group makes THCA an ‘acidic form’ of THC, hence the name tetrahydrocannabinolic acid.

THCA is formed in the cannabis plant through a process called biosynthesis, where its precursor CBGA (cannabigerolic acid) transforms into THCA, ushering in a significant change in the cannabis plant’s chemical profile.

THCA vs THC: Understanding the Differences

To transform THCA into the more familiar THC, a process known as decarboxylation occurs. This process involves applying heat to THCA, causing the carboxyl group to break off. This ‘decarboxylation’ results in a fundamental change from a non-psychoactive cannabinoid (THCA) to a psychoactive one (THC).

The intoxicating effects of THC are well documented. This is due to THC’s influence on the CB1 receptors in our central nervous system, resulting in those psychoactive properties people often associate with cannabis use. THCA, however, doesn’t have the same effect, given that it doesn’t bind well to these CB1 receptors, which makes it non-intoxicating.

But wait, there’s more to this tale! Let’s use a table to visualize the differences clearly:

Psychoactive PropertiesNoYes
Effects on Central Nervous SystemNegligibleSignificant
Presence in Raw CannabisHighLow
Requires DecarboxylationYesNo

The Presence of THCA in Cannabis Products

You’ll find THCA primarily in raw cannabis and cannabis flowers, where no heat or aging process has occurred. However, the moment you light up a joint, vape, or cook your cannabis, the heat initiates decarboxylation, converting THCA into THC.

With the rise of cannabis products, understanding THCA content becomes essential. While most products aim for high THC levels, others are beginning to recognize the potential benefits of keeping THCA intact.

The 2018 Farm Bill indeed made a significant shift in cannabis product regulation, allowing the sale of hemp products with less than 0.3% THC. However, the bill doesn’t address THCA, which led to an interesting opportunity for growers and manufacturers to explore the potential of this non-psychoactive cannabinoid.

Potential Health Benefits of THCA

While THCA doesn’t give you a ‘high’, it’s speculated to have numerous potential health benefits. For instance, research has shown anti-inflammatory properties of THCA, making it a possible natural remedy for inflammation-related issues.

Furthermore, studies indicate that THCA may help with pain relief. It does so by inhibiting COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes, similar to how NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) work.

Moreover, THCA plays a vital role in the endocannabinoid system, a complex body system involved in regulating a range of functions and processes.

One exciting area of research is the potential benefits of THCA in multiple sclerosis. Preliminary studies suggest that THCA might alleviate symptoms related to this debilitating condition.

THCA Products and How to Use Them

At Pure CBD, we’re constantly expanding our ever-growing range of products to meet your needs. We’ve recently added Torch products to our collection, which you can check out here.

Today, a variety of THCA products are available, including raw cannabis flowers, hemp flowers, and THCA-infused products. A notable product is the THCA flower. It’s a type of cannabis flower, where THCA levels are preserved by avoiding any heat application. With the growing interest in cannabis sativa and hemp plants, these flowers are becoming popular due to their high THCA content.

To explore our entire library of THCA products, click here. We’re committed to providing you with the highest quality products to enhance your understanding and experience of the cannabis plant.


In conclusion, THCA is a fascinating component of the

cannabis plant, an acidic precursor to THC with a plethora of potential benefits. As we continue to delve into this exciting world, the potential of THCA seems limitless.

As always, more research is needed to fully understand THCA and its benefits. But for now, it’s safe to say that this non-psychoactive cannabinoid holds great promise for the future.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

  • What is THCA and what does it do?
    THCA is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in raw cannabis, serving as the acidic precursor to THC. It is believed to possess numerous potential health benefits, including anti-inflammatory properties and pain relief.
  • What percent of THCA is high?
    The ‘high’ associated with cannabis is not linked to THCA but to THC. However, in terms of content, raw cannabis flowers can contain up to 20-30% THCA, which is considered high.
  • How does THCA work?
    THCA works by interacting with the endocannabinoid system, a complex body system that regulates various functions and processes. However, its exact mechanism of action is still under investigation.
  • What is the best way to use THCA?
    THCA is best consumed in its raw form, such as in raw cannabis or hemp flowers. It can also be consumed as a THCA-infused product, such as a tincture or capsule.
  • What is a high level of THCA?
    A ‘high’ level of THCA in a cannabis product is usually considered anything above 15%. High THCA levels can be found in raw cannabis flowers and certain hemp flowers.

Check out our guide on where to find high-quality THCA flowers.

Now that you understand what THCA is and its potential benefits, you can make informed decisions about your cannabis use. Always remember, education is power, especially when it comes to harnessing the power of the cannabis plant.

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