THCA doesn’t get you high on its own, but that doesn’t mean THCA products won’t get you high.
When you understand a bit of the science behind how THCA works, you’ll learn that while THCA lacks psychoactive effects in its raw form, there’s something that transforms it into intoxicating THC.
As an ex dispensary employee, I’ve thoroughly explored the complexities of cannabis. Today, I’m here to guide you through the intrigue surrounding this precursor to THC.
Keep reading to learn what it is, how it works, and determine once and for all if it’s the golden ticket to a federally legal high.
- In its raw form, THCA doesn’t get you high, but when exposed to heat in a process called decarboxylation, THCA transforms into THC which does get you high.
- Dispensary labels display varying THCA and THCA ratios, and high THCA content simply indicates the product hasn’t been decarbed. When heat is applied, however, the THCA will transform into THC.
- High THCA levels are normal in cannabis, especially in products that haven’t been heated, and it’s only when you smoke that all the THCA turns into THC, activating its intoxicating effects.
Does THCA Get You High?
In its current form THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid) will not get you high. But, if it’s smoked, vaporized or heated it will get you stoned as it will turn into THC.
To understand how non-psychoactive THCA transforms into psychoactive THC that induces the high weed is famous for, you must understand a process called decarboxylation.
How THCA Transforms into THCA
In its natural state, cannabis contains THCA, the acidic, non-intoxicating precursor of THC. It must go through what’s known as decarboxylation to become THC.
This chemical reaction occurs when cannabis is exposed to heat such as through smoking, vaporizing, or baking. Decarbing removes the carboxyl acid group from THCA (the “A”) and converts it into THC, the compound responsible for the euphoric effects of cannabis.
When you smoke or vaporize cannabis, this instantly activates the THCA, turning it into THC. The activated THC then binds to CB1 receptors in the brain, which research shows is primarily responsible for weed’s intoxicating effects. When this happens, you’re high. It’s all about the heat to unlock the intoxicating effects of THC.
Interestingly, a 2017 study found THCA has little (if any) binding affinity for CB1 receptors. This could explain why THCA doesn’t cause intoxication on its own.
Understanding THCA Percentage on Cannabis Dispensary Labels
Ever wondered about the mysterious THCA percentage listed on your dispensary label? It’s a big part of the whole experience, but it won’t get you high on its own. Let’s look at some of the science behind it.
Dispensary labels often contain varying THCA and THC ratios. A high THCA content and low THC ratio indicate a product that hasn’t been decarboxylated.
In its natural state, marijuana contains abundant THCA. This is what’s listed on your dispensary label. But it won’t get you high. But remember the next time you pick up an eighth of your favorite strain remember that heat will transform all that THCA into the THC that will get you high.
Pay attention to those THCA and THC ratios on your legal weed labels. They’re what hold the key to your cannabis experience.
Smoking THCA Got Me High AF
Now for my personal experience with THCA flower. When it comes to cannabis consumption, I’m a flower girl all the way. But because I’m old-school, I was honestly a bit skeptical about trying THCA flower. I thought there was no way it would get me high like regular weed.
Botany Farm’s Crystal Candy THCA Flower proved me wrong. Not only did I get high, I got high AF. From the aroma and flavor to the effects and the entire overall experience, I would’ve never known I wasn’t smoking regular weed if I didn’t know I was smoking THCA flower.
Familiar with Botany Farms, I was already a fan of the boutique brand’s commitment to quality. But after smoking their THCA flower, I’ve become a huge fan of their meticulously crafted, perfectly cured, impeccably hand-trimmed bud.
My 3.5g of flower came packaged in a resealable glass jar adorned with Botany Farm’s gorgeous label that screams quality. The moment I cracked it open, the dense, crystal covered nuggets inside had a strong sugary candy/fresh strawberry scent.
I packed a bit in a clean bowl, took a hit, and the flavor was very similar to the scent. Sweet, sugary, and bursting with a strawberry essence with an aftertaste that lingered long after that initial hit. Honestly, the flavor was so on point I forgot I wasn’t smoking regular weed.
Imagine my delight when the high itself was just as impressive as its aroma and taste. After the first hit, I was noticeably uplifted but not exactly high. I do have a high tolerance, however, so gave it a moment and took two more tokes. And that’s all it took.
A gentle sense of euphoria quickly made itself apparent, while the initial uplifting effects increased considerably. But at the same time, there was this gentle, relaxing effect that enveloped my entire body. I could literally feel the tension release from my body.
While Crystal Candy is marketed as an indica, I’d say it offered more of a hybrid effect. It wasn’t overly sedating, nor did it make my mind race. I found it ideal after a long day…calming, soothing, and super relaxing without laying me out.
It was just like regular weed. Only it was THCA flower from Botany Farms. It’s basically just federally legal weed. Well, bud that ships to your door without dispensary pricing!
THCA is Basically Federally Legal Weed
Thanks to the Farm Bill, THCA is basically federally legal weed. According to Farm Bill regulations, as long as Delta 9 THC levels in hemp flower fall below 0.3%, it’s good to go under federal law.
This means that in its unadulterated state, THCA flower doesn’t violate any federal regulations. But things get interesting when you bring in the heat. As in the act of lighting up that THCA preroll or bowl.
Once you do, your THCA flower that contains less than 0.3% Delta 9 transforms into the very compound responsible for its recreational effects. As long as the total THC content remains below that crucial 0.3% mark, it falls within federally legal parameters.
At the end of the day, this means THCA flower provides a federally approved high. Even though this wasn’t ever the intention. Since THCA is federally uncontrolled, it essentially gives consumers who use it the green light to get high.