Does THCA Become THC When Heated?

A woman delicately holds a vape cartridge in her hand, with her mouth slightly ajar in anticipation

Because of recent studies and the legalization of hemp-derived cannabinoids and other compounds – we discovered that THC isn’t the only cannabis or hemp compound that can get users high. There are a lot more cannabinoids from cannabis and hemp that could get users baked, such as HHC, CBN, Delta-8, Delta-10, and many more!

We get it. Learning about all cannabis and hemp compounds can be overwhelming, so if your goal is to learn more, learning about THCA is the best place to start.

Without knowing what THCA is, you probably have an idea that it is similar to THC based on what it’s called. And that statement is true because THCA is the raw form of THC or Delta-9 THC.

In this article, we will learn more about THCA and THC, their differences, and methods of how THCA becomes THC. With heating being the most popular method to convert THCA into THC, long-time smokers have been unconsciously doing decarboxylation and converting THCA into THC without knowing.


Key Takeaways

  • THCA is the inactive form of THC, and it is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that cannot get you high unless it goes through the activation or decarboxylation process.
  • THCA can turn into THC through the process of decarboxylation, which naturally occurs as the cannabis or hemp plants grow and mature. You can speed up the decarboxylation process by burning THCA flowers or heating up THCA concentrates with a vape pen or dab rig.
  • Making edibles with THCA is also an effective way to convert it into THC and feel the psychoactive effects.
  • Consuming THCA alone will not have intoxicating effects unless it goes through the decarboxylation process. However, users report that THCA may have therapeutic benefits on its own even if it cannot get you high.


What Is THCA?

THCA, or tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, is the most abundant compound found in cannabis and hemp plants. Unlike THC, THCA is non-psychoactive, which means that consuming THCA cannot get you high.

The reason is that THCA contains a carboxylic acid group that prevents it from binding with the cannabinoid receptors in your endocannabinoid system.

The origins of THCA trace back to 1995. However, it only gained popularity in the cannabis community just recently because of its potential benefits.

Although more research is needed to prove its therapeutic effects, many users report that THCA may help in areas like pain and relaxation.


What Is THCA vs. THC?

Although THCA and THC are highly similar and basically the same compound in different stages, their main difference is that Delta-9 THC can get you high and THCA cannot.

You can also define THCA as the inactive form of cannabis or hemp-derived Delta-9 THC, which only becomes active when the plant is cured or when burned at a specific temperature to get the most Delta-9 THC out of the THCA percentage.


Does THCA Turn Into THC When Heated?

Aside from naturally converting into THC as the plant matures, THCA will also convert to THC when heated – which is a process called decarboxylation. This process eliminates the carboxylic acid group in THCA and turns it into Delta-9 THC.

The most common heating method is by smoking or burning THCA flowers. However, there are also other ways to convert THCA into THC, such as exposing the plant to direct sunlight or increasing room temperatures. Other methods include dabbing THCA diamonds or vaping THCA concentrates.


What Temperature Does THCA Turn Into THC?

Although THCA will eventually turn to THC as long as it is exposed to heat, and no matter the temperature, there is a sweet spot where you can get the most out of your THCA product. The sweet spot for THCA decarboxylation is around 230 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

This amount of heat successfully decarbs THCA while preserving other beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes.


Does THCA Turn Into Delta-9 When Smoked?

You can burn and expose THCA flowers to a lighter flame to convert them into THC. In fact, smoking is one of the most popular ways to decarb THCA and turn it into THC to get high – and long-time smokers have been doing this for a very long time.


What’s The Difference Between THC And THCA?

THC and THCA almost have the same chemical structures. The only difference is that THCA contains a carboxylic acid group, the “A” in THCA. This acid group prevents THCA from binding with your CB1 receptors, making it non-psychoactive – which also means that as long as it’s in its inactive form, you also won’t experience the risks of consuming Delta-9 THC.


Is THCA The Same As Delta-9?

THCA is similar to Delta-9 THC. They are not entirely the same, but similar in some ways. They are both cannabinoids, and they are both found in cannabis and hemp plants, but THCA will not get you high unless it is converted to Delta-9 THC – which is THCA’s active form.

When you create an edible or cannabutter from THCA by heating and cooking the plant, the THCA will turn into THC – which will then be used to make edibles like brownies or gummies.


Where To Buy Delta-9 Products And Other Cannabinoids Online?

While we don’t have THCA products (yet), we do have an extensive selection of live resin disposable vapes and gummies with other cannabinoids like Delta-8, Delta-9, Delta-10, HHC, and HHCO!

Here are some of our best-selling live resin vapes. They all offer smooth draws, lip-smacking true-to-strain flavors, and potent effects.

And for the sweet-toothed stoners, here are some of our favorite gummies. They’re an absolute treat you don’t want to miss:

All our products have been made with the finest hemp extracts and the best ingredients and are thoroughly lab-tested for potency and safety.


Final Thoughts

THCA might not be a psychoactive substance yet, but heating it up by burning, vaping, dabbing, or cooking will convert the abundant amount of THCA in plants and products will result in potent THC that will get you high.

If you are new to THCA and don’t want to get too high for your own good, it is best to learn about THCA percentages and how they can affect the potency when converted into THC.

If it is your first time-consuming THCA, it is always better to start small, so you won’t get too high. The key to enjoying a good high is to only consume the right amount and remember factors like temperature, THCA percentage, type of products, and decarboxylation method. With that said, we think that wraps it up for this article! Have fun on your next toke!


Frequently Asked Questions

Is THCA Psychoactive?

THCA is not psychoactive, meaning consuming THC without decarboxylation will not get you high. You will get high if you burn THCA flower, dab THCA diamonds, cook THCA edibles, or vape THCA concentrates.

Does THCA Get You High?

THCA can get you high if you consume it by smoking, vaping, dabbing, or turning it into edibles through heating. But technically, the THCA has already been converted into THC. Therefore, it’s the THC that really got you high and not THCA.

Is THCA Stronger Than Delta-9?

THCA, when heated, will turn into Delta-9 THC, which means the strength or percentage of THCA in a specific product, as well as the heating method, will determine how potent it is going to be when consumed. The higher the THCA percentage, the higher you will get when it turns into Delta-9 THC.

What Is A Good THCA Percentage?

A good THCA percentage in products like flowers, concentrates, or diamonds, is around 23%. Anything above this amount can get too potent and strong, which can have heavy side effects, such as fatigue, dry mouth, dry eyes, anxiety, and other issues related to smoking more weed than you can handle.

Is THCA Illegal?

THCA and all other compounds derived from marijuana are still considered a Schedule I Drug by the FDA – which means marijuana-derived THCA is still illegal at a federal level and in states where the recreational and medicinal use of marijuana is not yet legal. However, because of the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp-derived THCA is legal at a federal level as long as it doesn’t go over the 0.03% THC limit on a dry-weight basis.

Does THCA Show On A Drug Test?

There is a slight chance that THCA will show up on a drug test, depending on how you consumed it. THC is one of the main substances that is searched for in a drug test, so if you burned THCA, it probably turned into THC, which will show up on a drug test. If you are expecting a drug test anytime soon for work, it is best not to consume THC, THCA, and other forms of cannabinoids to be safe.

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