THCa, or Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid, is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis. It has been gaining popularity over the last few years as a recreational high because when heated, THCa transforms into THC, the primary psychoactive compound that is exactly like the THC found in marijuana.


THCa, or Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, is a non-psychotropic cannabinoid found in raw and live cannabis. In contrast, THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) is the active, psychotropic cannabinoid. Although they share a very similar chemical composition, THCa contains an additional carboxyl group which distinguishes it from THC and would need Decarboxylation to release and change it to THC.

From Non-psychoactive to Active THC

THCa has a 3-dimensional shape and larger size which prevents it from binding to either CB1 or CB2 receptors in our endocannabinoid system, thus making it non-psychoactive until heated.

Man lights a THCA pre roll to turn it into THC.

Heating THCa = Decarboxylation

Decarboxylation is a chemical reaction that occurs when raw THCa is heated, resulting in the conversion of THCa into THC. This process is necessary in order to activate the psychoactive effects of THC. During decarboxylation, the carboxyl group (COOH) is removed from the THCa molecule, releasing carbon dioxide (CO2) and leaving behind the THC molecule. The process of decarboxylation can be completed by baking the raw THCa at a low temperature for a period of time. This process causes the THCa molecule to break down and release its carboxyl group, resulting in the formation of THC. Decarboxylation can also be completed using a vaporizer or dab rig, both of which heat the raw THCa to a higher temperature than baking, resulting in a faster conversion of THCa to THC. Decarboxylation is an essential step in the process of consuming THC, as it is required to activate the psychoactive effects of THC that are the same as smoking a premium weed product.

THCa Health Benefits

THCa, along with other cannabinoids, is thought to interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system is composed of receptors and enzymes that are found throughout the body. It is thought that THCa and other forms of cannabis may act on these receptors and enzymes to produce therapeutic effects by inhibiting COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes which produce a health positive effect.

Woman prepares to light a THCA pre roll.

Positive Effects & Benefits of THCa products

These effects can include pain relief, anti-inflammatory effects, and anti-anxiety effects. Additionally, THCa and other cannabinoids have been studied for their potential to treat certain types of cancer, neurological disorders, and other medical conditions. Research is ongoing to further explore the potential medical benefits of THCa and other cannabinoids.

Consumer Reported Benefits of THC and THCa

Pain relief: THC has been found to be effective in reducing pain and inflammation. Studies have shown that THC can reduce pain in conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, and multiple sclerosis.

Nausea relief: THC has been found to be effective in treating nausea caused by chemotherapy and other conditions.

 Appetite stimulation: THC has been found to stimulate appetite, which can be beneficial for people with certain medical conditions, such as AIDS or cancer.

Anxiety relief: THC can help reduce anxiety and stress, which can be beneficial for people with anxiety disorders.

Sleep aid: THC can help people fall asleep and stay asleep, which can be beneficial for people with insomnia.

Neuroprotective effects: THC has been found to have neuroprotective effects, which can help protect the brain from damage caused by Alzheimer’s disease, and other conditions.

 Anticancer effects: Studies have found that THC can help reduce the growth of cancer cells and can even kill them.

Scientist examines a bud of Cannabis

THCa in Science and Health Research

THCa (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid) is the non-psychoactive precursor of THC and is found in raw cannabis. It has been studied for its potential therapeutic benefits, including anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, and anti-cancer properties. Research into the effects of THCa is still in its early stages, but a few studies have been conducted in animals.

One recent study found that THCa has anti-inflammatory effects in mice. The study found that THCa reduced inflammation in a mouse model of colitis, suggesting that it may have potential therapeutic benefits for inflammatory bowel diseases.

In vitro scientific studies have also demonstrated that THCa has anti-cancer properties. It has been shown to induce apoptosis (cell death) in several types of cancer cells, including breast, prostate, and lung cancer cells. This suggests that THCa may have potential as an anti-cancer treatment.

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THCa Heated Conclusion

For those looking for a new, easy, legal and affordable recreational high that is hemp derived THCa might be just the thing for you. For those looking to consume raw cannabis the natural THCa seems to carry some good benefits.

Stop in to Asheville Dispensary and ask about our THCa products or buy online!

Asheville Dispensary Deal - Free Pre Rol

Asheville Dispensary – Quality HHC products at the lowest prices in town.

Give this wonder of plant medicine a try for yourself! Asheville Dispensary offers some of North Carolina’s highest-quality legal weed, and we always have great deals for those on a budget. HHC and Delta products can vary widely based on quality and price point – so do your research before making any purchases! 


As always remember our frequent sales–we’re constantly upgrading inventory to bring you top-notch hemp-derived products without breaking your wallet or sacrificing good old-fashioned fun times!