THCA vs. THC: A Comprehensive Comparison

what is thca vs thc

Do you want to buy THCA but want to ensure it is what you want? This guide is for you. We will clarify all common queries, discussing everything in detail.

Tetradhydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) is a non-psychotropic cannabinoid derived from raw cannabis, and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is an active, psychoactive cannabinoid. While both have a similar chemical structure, THCA has a carboxyl group that differentiates it from THC.

Although many people know about THC, the psychoactive ingredient in many cannabis products, they are unaware of its acidic origin, THCA. THCA is converted into THC, and both are different.

The non-psychotropic nature of THCA comes from a three-dimensional structure, which is larger and prevents it from binding properly with CB1 or CB2 receptors. Additionally, THCA, mixed with other acidic cannabinoid forms, can hinder COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes, helping promote inflammation and pain reduction.

Raw THCA converts into THC when heated because heating causes decarboxylation, whether you smoke or vape it or expose it to sunlight or warm room temperature.

What is THCA?

THCA is the precursor of THC. When developing, cannabis plants produce many cannabinoids. While these productions depend on the plant’s specific strain, nearly every cannabinoid is carboxylic acid at its core. Manufacturers convert them into non-acidic compounds through decarboxylation. Any cannabinoid with an “a” signifies its acidic form, such as THCA, CBDa, and CBGa.

What Is THCA? An In-Depth Look Into Its Benefits

THCA and Its Interaction With the Human Body

The human body has an endocannabinoid system (ECS) with unique receptors. This system is integral in maintaining the body’s homeostasis, affecting our immune system, brain, and other systems.

Since THCA is not psychoactive, it produces no high, unlike THC. It results from the THCA molecule, which is significantly large and does not bind to the ECS receptors, namely the CB1 and CB2 receptors, two important cannabinoid receptors.

Ongoing studies suggest that cannabis extracts may comprise neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory properties. User reports show that it helped them reduce vomiting and nausea.

Potential Benefits of THCA

  • Appetite stimulation
  • Anti-spasmodic - prevents muscle spasms
  • Anti-inflammatory - treats diseases like fibromyalgia and arthritis
  • Analgesic - relives pain
  • Antioxidant - counteracts the adverse effects of free radicals
  • Helps sleep better
  • Anti-emetic - treats nausea and vomiting
  • Neuroprotective - helps treat neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s

What is THC?

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a chemical that produces psychoactive effects upon consumption. It is similar to cannabinoid chemicals your body creates naturally.

Different brain areas consist of cannabinoid receptors that directly influence memory, thinking, and time perception.

THC is one of the many substances in the resin that the cannabis plants' glands release. The plants' reproductive organs have more of these glands than any other part of the plant. This resin contains more cannabinoids, which are substances exclusive to cannabis. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, CBD is one of the few cannabinoids that is not psychoactive and prevents a high.

Differences Between THCA and THC

Key Differences between THCA and THC

The non-psychotropic cannabinoid present in raw and live cannabis is known as THCA or tetrahydrocannabinolic acid. The psychoactive cannabinoid that is active is called THC, or Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. They have remarkably similar chemical makeup. The presence of a carboxyl group in THCA distinguishes the two cannabinoids from one another.

The CB1 and CB2 receptors in our ECS do not respond well to THCA. Due to its three-dimensional form and bigger size, which prohibit it from fitting into CB1 receptors, it is not psychoactive. Moreover, it seems like THCA and some of the other cannabinoids in acid form may function to inhibit COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes, potentially reducing pain and inflammation. These enzymes generate prostaglandins, which support heat, discomfort, and inflammation.

Possible Benefits of THC

In addition to the potential advantages of THCA previously mentioned, THC may also have the following benefits.

  • Increased Metabolic Output may reduce Body Max Index (BMI), diabetes rates, and obesity caused by nutrition.
  • THCAis found in topicals, tinctures, capsules, and raw cannabis juice, whereas THC is present in every cannabis delivery modality.
  • By lowering the urge to use reward-based substances like opioids, heroin, and alcohol, addiction treatment options are available. It makes finishing an opioid treatment program more likely
  • Anxiolytic by boosting levels of anandamide, a natural brain chemical that regulates anxiety and several other bodily processes.
  • Vasodilation, which could lessen glaucoma-related discomfort and ocular pressure.
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Final Words

So, despite the similarities between THCA and THC, they are different in their raw forms. If you heat THCA, it will turn into THC and produce specific THC effects like psychoactivity. Consult an expert if unsure and understand which is better for you.

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