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Does THCA Get You High? THCA vs. THC

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Does THCA Get You High? THCA vs. THC

Welcome to the intriguing world of cannabinoids. You’ve probably heard of THC, the psychoactive component in cannabis that gets you high. But what about its lesser known cousin, THCA? Does THCA get you high? Is THCA psychoactive? In this article, we’ll delve into the fascinating chemistry of these two compounds and answer that burning question.

What is THCA?

THCA, or Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid, is a naturally occurring compound found in the raw cannabis plant. Unlike THC, THCA is not psychoactive, meaning it won’t get you high. It’s the acidic precursor to THC and serves as the building block from which THC is formed. When you look at a cannabis flower, the THCA content is usually high, especially if it’s a high THCA strain. But here is the kicker – If you smoke THCA flower, it turns into THC.

What is THC?

Delta 9 THC, commonly known simply as THC, is the cannabinoid that has gained fame for its psychoactive properties. Unlike THCA, THC gets you high, affecting both your mind and body in various ways. When you consume cannabis flower, it’s the THC content and THC percentage that most people are interested in, as these factors determine the potency and the potential to get you high. But we’re going to show you how to use THCA testing numbers to find what you want!

Does THCa Get You High

The Process of Decarboxylation

Decarboxylation is a chemical reaction that transforms THCA into THC. This process occurs when cannabis is heated, such as during smoking or cooking. Known as decarboxylation, this heat driven transformation is what converts THCA into the psychoactive THC. So, if you’re looking to get high, it’s essential to understand that raw THCA must be converted to THC through this process.

How Decarboxylation Works and How to Achieve It

Decarboxylation is more than just a fancy term; it’s a crucial process for anyone looking to unlock the psychoactive properties of THC. But how does it work? Essentially, decarboxylation involves the removal of a carboxyl group from THCA, turning it into THC. This transformation occurs when you apply heat to cannabis, usually at temperatures between 220-245°F (104-118°C).

To successfully decarboxylate THCA, you can use various methods. The most common way is to bake the cannabis flower in an oven. Spread the ground cannabis evenly on a baking sheet and bake it for about 30-45 minutes. Another method is through smoking or vaping, where the heat instantly converts THCA into THC. For those interested in making edibles, decarboxylation occurs during the cooking process, especially when you infuse cannabis into fats like butter or oil.

Understanding decarboxylation is essential for anyone looking to get high or make use of THC’s psychoactive effects. It’s the gateway to converting non-psychoactive THCA into the THC that produces a high.


When it comes to lab reports, understanding the difference between THCA and THC is crucial. Most cannabis testing labs provide a “Total THC” value, which is calculated based on the amounts of THCA and THC present in the sample. The formula generally used is:

Total THC= (THCA content×0.877) + Delta 9 THC content

The factor 0.877 is used to account for the loss of a carboxyl group during the decarboxylation process, converting THCA into THC.

So, if you’re examining a lab report and see high THCA percentages, it’s an indicator that the cannabis flower has the potential to produce significant amounts of psychoactive THC when decarboxylated. Conversely, a high THC content would suggest that the decarboxylation process has already occurred to some extent, making the product ready to consume for those looking to get high.

Understanding these lab reports can help consumers make informed decisions about the cannabis products they choose, whether they’re interested in the psychoactive effects of THC or the non-psychoactive potential of THCA.

Decarboxylation of THCA Flower

Consuming THCA

When it comes to consuming, you have a variety of options. One popular way to consume THC-A is through raw cannabis. Yes, you read that right. Eating raw cannabis can provide you with a good dose of THCA. However, it’s essential to note that raw THCA will not produce a high although it may have anti inflammatory properties. To experience the psychoactive effects, THC-A must be converted to THC through decarboxylation.

Another avenue is THCA isolate, a concentrated form that allows you to consume higher doses. THCA products like tinctures, oils, and even THCA diamonds are also available for those who prefer a more refined experience. These products usually contain a high THCA percentage, indicating their potency.

If you’re not looking to get high but still want to explore the benefits of THC-A, these products offer a way to consume THCA without converting it into psychoactive THC. On the other hand, if you’re interested in the psychoactive properties of THC, you’ll need to decarboxylate the THCA, either by smoking it or through other heat based methods.

Understanding the various ways to consume THC-A can help you tailor your cannabis experience to your preferences, whether you’re interested in the psychoactive effects of THC or the potential benefits of THCA.

Benefits of THCA

While THC is renowned for its psychoactive effects, THC-A has been gaining attention for its potential benefits. Though research is still in its early stages, preliminary studies suggest that THCA may offer similar benefits to THC and CBD. From anti-inflammatory properties to potential neuroprotective effects, the benefits of THCA are becoming a hot topic in the cannabis community.

Is THCA Legal?

Navigating the legal landscape of cannabis products can be confusing, especially when it comes to compounds like THC-A and THC. Generally speaking, THCA is federally legal if it’s hemp derived, meaning it comes from a cannabis plant containing less than 0.3% THC. However, laws can vary from state to state, so it’s crucial to be aware of local regulations.

When looking at lab reports, pay attention to whether they contain Delta 9 THC above the legal limit. This could impact the legality of the product in your jurisdiction. Always do your due diligence before purchasing any cannabis or hemp derived THCA products to ensure you’re in compliance with local laws. Some states use THCA x .877 + Delta 9 to determine legality, though this is agains federal guidelines.


In the ever-evolving world of cannabis, understanding the nuances between THC-A and THC is crucial. While both originate from the same plant, their effects are as different as night and day. THCA will not get you high unless it’s converted to THC through the process of decarboxylation. So, whether you’re interested in the psychoactive effects of THC or exploring the potential benefits of THC-A, knowing the difference is key to tailoring your cannabis experience.

As we’ve discussed, THCA is not psychoactive and must be converted to THC to produce a high. On the other hand, THC is the compound that has made cannabis famous (or infamous, depending on your perspective) for its psychoactive effects. The choice between the two ultimately depends on what you’re looking to achieve: a high or potential health benefits without the psychoactive effects.

That concludes our article. We hope this has been an enlightening journey into the complex world of cannabinoids.