THC vs THCA at CannaBuddy


What is THCa?

Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, better known as THCa, is a naturally occurring cannabinoid found in live cannabis plants. Before the cannabis plant undergoes the decarboxylation process—exposure to heat or light—THCa is its dominant form.

 If ingested, THCa doesn’t induce the “high” associated with THC. It needs to be smoked in flower or concentrate form. This is because heat is required for the transformation of THCa into THC to create a psychoactive state.

Researchers are continuously exploring the potential of different cannabinoids and pinpointing new possibilities for therapeutic uses of cannabis.  Most people are familiar with THC, the compound responsible for the psychoactive effects of marijuana, but its precursor, THCa, is gaining attention for its unique properties and possible benefits.

Potential Benefits of THCa

Even though studies are still early about THCa benefits, what researchers have found is promising. Studies  suggest that the cannabinoids could provide a long list of benefits, including:

  • Anti-Inflammatory Properties: Early research points to the potential of THCa in reducing inflammation, making it a subject of interest for conditions like arthritis and Crohn’s disease.

  • Neuroprotective Abilities: Preliminary studies suggest that THCa might possess neuroprotective properties, which could benefit neurodegenerative conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis.

  • Nausea and Appetite Control: Some evidence indicates THCa’s ability to reduce nausea and stimulate appetite, positioning it as a potential aid for chemotherapy patients.

How Does THCa Interact with the Body?

THC binds directly to CB1 receptors in our endocannabinoid system, inducing its euphoric effects. THCa is a larger molecule, and its size prevents it from effectively binding to these receptors. This doesn’t mean THCa has no noticeable effects. Rather, its interaction pathways and potential therapeutic applications are subjects of ongoing research.

THC vs. THCa: Key Differences

Although THC and THCa share nearly identical names, they have very important differences that play an important role in your experience. Depending on your personal preferences and goals, one or the other might be a better fit for you.

Here are the crucial differences between THCa and THC:


THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the very compound that gives recreational users euphoria and altered perception. When cannabis is smoked, vaped, or cooked, THC is the predominant active ingredient that interacts with our brain, leading to profound changes in perception and mood.

You can experience a traditional “high” with THCa through heat. This is due to the fact that THCa converts to THC when decarboxylated. 

THCa is non-psychoactive until it is heated, but the most common form of consumption is smoking it. Since exposing THCa to heat results in its conversion to THC, methods like smoking or baking are perfect for those explicitly aiming for all of THCa’s benefits.



THC isn’t as abundantly present in the raw cannabis plant as many might think. Instead, it mainly materializes through the process of decarboxylation.  This is a process of breaking down THCa when exposed to heat or light. This transformation is what turns fresh, non-intoxicating cannabis into the potent marijuana recognized by many.

On the other side of this chemical equation, we find THCa in its natural, dominant state in fresh cannabis plants. It serves as a precursor or the “raw material” that eventually leads to the production of THC.


Discover the Right THCa Products for You from CannaBuddy

Figuring out the complexities of cannabis compounds can be a big task, but understanding their unique properties is essential in leveraging their benefits. If you are ready to try the therapeutic promise of THCa, it’s crucial to source high-quality products.

CannaBuddy takes pride in offering premiumTHCa products backed by rigorous third-party testing and transparent sourcing practices. As you navigate your many options for reaping the benefits of these cannabinoids, let CannaBuddy be your trusted guide and provider. 

Browse our full selection of THCa products at CannaBuddy today!

Photo credit: New Africa