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What Is THCA? What You Need To Know

THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid) has gotten the whole cannabis community talking right now, and it may very well be one of the most misunderstood cannabinoids on the market today.  But, as it’s beginning to take over the shelves of our favorite hemp companies’ stores, in sought-after product forms like flower, dabs, and vapes, we want to go over everything you need to know about this cannabinoid.  In fact, we’re pretty confident that THCA is going to be the biggest seller on the hemp market as we move into the new year.


THCA: The Basics

THCA is a naturally occurring cannabinoid found in both marijuana and hemp, being the dominant compound in the marijuana plant, and existing in more trace levels in hemp.  THCA is, ultimately, the raw, acidic precursor cannabinoid to delta 9 THC, just like CBDA is to CBD, and CBGA is to CBG.

See, when we’re handling raw cannabis – take flower, for example – we’re not actually looking at THC, CBD, CBG, and these other cannabinoids that we’ve come to learn a lot about in recent years.  We’re seeing these cannabinoids in their raw forms, as for THCA to become THC, the raw plant material must be decarboxylated – in other words, heated to a specific temperature – which converts THCA and other raw cannabinoids into their respective “activated” forms.  Basically, in simpler terms, delta 9 THC is THCA that’s been heated.  

When cannabinoids are decarboxylated, they change in their chemical structure, and take on new properties that affect us in entirely different ways.  THCA has properties that are different from THC, and so the two cannabinoids actually have different uses.

THCA is, again, just raw THC.  Because it’s ultimately a different compound from THC, it’s protected under federal law, which states that no hemp product may contain more than 0.3% delta 9 THC.  Federal law says absolutely nothing to single out THCA, and so products can contain any amount of THCA without becoming unlawful.

One thing you need to know, however, is that a number of states have actually banned products containing more than 0.3% “total THC”, which refers to the combined amount of different THC cannabinoids.  These states do include THCA in their “total THC” description, which means that any product containing more than 0.3% THCA are banned.  Those states are:

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Maryland
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Washington

Can THCA Get You High?

Like we said, when THCA is heated to the right temperature, it turns into delta 9 THC.  This means that any product that must be heated to be consumed isn’t actually feeding you THCA, but THC.  These products include vapes, flower and dabs, all of which must be heated to a specific temperature in order to be used.  Because of that, these types of THCA products are giving you a high no different than a delta 9 THC product.  In fact, that’s the biggest part of THCA’s appeal – it gives us a legal way to enjoy a powerful THC high.  

That being said, there are some products that keep THCA raw, and those products will not get you high.  They include tinctures, capsules and edibles.

What are the Benefits of THCA?

THCA actually has some pretty useful benefits on its own, when left raw.  This is something that we’ve seen consistently with raw cannabinoids, since they interact with the body in a way that’s different from their decarboxylated counterparts.  Some of the noted benefits of THCA include:

  • THCA is a potentially powerful antioxidant, meaning that it can prevent premature cell damage caused by free radicals.
  • THCA has also been shown to offer impressive anti-inflammatory effects, through its relationship to enzymes in the body that produce our inflammatory response.  Particular interest is in THCA’s role in minimizing respiratory inflammation, and inflammation that causes intestinal diseases like IBS.
  • Ample research has shown that THCA can boost serotonin uptake, which can improve mood, minimize nausea, increase appetite and aid in sleep.

Of course, products that are decarboxylated, like flower, vapes and dabs, are not going to give you the benefits of THCA, but of delta 9 THC.  Most of us are very familiar with the positive effects of delta 9 THC, but let’s go over them as a refresher.

  • Improved mood
  • Improved sleep
  • Relief from pain
  • Stress relief
  • Nausea relief
  • Improved appetite
  • Improvement in neurological function
  • Anti-inflammatory effects

What Types of THCA Products are Out There?

THCA has arrived on the hemp scene, so let’s take a look at the most common product types that you can find.  As you’ll see, the product type you choose actually determines whether you’re consuming THCA, or delta 9 THC.

  • Edibles: THCA edibles like gummies, capsules, and beverages are infused with THCA distillate, and because they’re not decarbed, you’re consuming raw THCA – not delta 9.  These products deliver effects that can last for several hours.
  • Tinctures: Like edibles, THCA tinctures are not giving you THC, but THCA, since they remain undercarboxylated.  These sublingual oils come in a variety of milligram strengths.
  • Vapes: THCA vapes are decarboxylated, and so you’re actually getting delta 9 THC when you vaporize them.  Available as both pre-filled cartridges and disposable vape pens, THCA vapes come in a variety of strains, as the THCA distillate is blended with terpene extracts.
  • Dabs: THCA dabs are also decarboxylated, so you’re actually getting delta 9 THC.  THCA dabs are known as “diamonds:, as they offer a 99% purity level, and can be combined with other types of terpene-rich concentrates to give you a full spectrum, strain-specific high.
  • Flower: Available in lots of strains, THCA flower is raw hemp flower infused with THCA distillate, and when the flower is smoked, vaporized or turned into edibles, the THCA is converted into delta 9 THC.

Binoid Makes Exploring the Properties of THCA Even More Fascinating!

As you can see, the hemp community has a lot of reasons to be excited about the new THCA products coming out on the market.  And, at the forefront of the THCA craze is Binoid, who has crafted some of the purest, most effective and highest-quality THCA dabs, vapes and flower on the market. 

If you want to see what all of the fuss is about for yourself, we encourage you to explore Binoid’s THCA products, which come with full lab-testing, and all offer THCA in product forms that allow the cannabinoid to become delta 9 THC, for a seriously gratifying and perfectly legal high.


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