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What Is THCA? The Ultimate Guide

The cannabis plant is a beautiful, unique, and fascinating thing. The cannabis market is also growing at a staggering rate, and experts predict it will reach a market volume of an eye-watering $102 billion by 2028. As a retailer, you must have a strong understanding of all elements of the cannabis plant, including the various compounds and product types. One of the key compounds is THCA, a compound found in the raw cannabis plant. THCA products are heavily in demand as they have wide-ranging potential benefits without the need to get high (which isn’t always practical!). This post will provide you with everything you need to know about THCA. Interested? Keep reading to find out more.

What Is THCA?

THCA Diamonds / Crystals

So, what exactly is THCA? THCA – Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid – is the precursor to THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive compound that results in a high when ingested. This means that THCA is non-psychoactive, so users will not experience the feeling of being stoned when they eat raw THCA. THCA becomes THC through decarboxylation (heating, drying, or curing).

Think of THCA as the cake mix – you can certainly enjoy it on its own (THCA has numerous therapeutic and medicinal benefits that we will get into) – but you will need to bake it to turn it into a cake (if you want to experience being high).

Potential Benefits

Research suggests that there are various potential benefits to THCA, but more studies and human clinical trials need to be done. A few of the main potential benefits include:

Anti-inflammation: Studies suggest that THCA could be used to manage various conditions that involve inflammation due to its anti-inflammation properties. This includes conditions such as arthritis, joint pain, and chronic pain.

Antiemetic properties: Studies also suggest that consuming THCA could help alleviate feelings of nausea and vomiting, owing to its antiemetic properties. This means that it could be helpful for those undergoing chemotherapy.

Neuroprotective: THCA may also have neuroprotective properties, which could protect the brain and nervous system from neurodegenerative conditions, such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and Huntington’s.

Muscle relaxant: THCA may also have muscle relaxant properties, making it helpful in managing tension, pain, and muscle spasms.

Appetite stimulation: Everyone knows about the famous “munchies”, but you do not necessarily have to get stoned to experience this. THCA can stimulate the appetite, which could be helpful for those who have a suppressed appetite from any health issue or medical treatment.

Sleep aid: Following this, THC is also known to make people feel relaxed and sleepy, but you do not have to get high to experience this. Many people find that consuming THCA is an effective sleep aid, which could help anyone with a sleep disorder or simply someone feeling stressed.

Calming effects: Leading on from this, THCA could have calming effects that help people unwind and relax. This could also be helpful for those suffering from anxiety, stress, and/or depression. A lot of research still needs to be done in this area, but anecdotal evidence is promising.

Potential Risks & Side-Effects

Potential risks and side effects are not as prevalent as THC, but there are some to be aware of.

Allergic reactions: Some people are allergic to cannabinoids, which could result in a reaction when THCA is ingested.

Gastrointestinal issues: Some people could experience gastrointestinal problems, such as stomach discomfort or diarrhea. This is generally only if people consume THCA in large amounts.

Medication interaction: If you are taking any medications, THCA could potentially interact with them, affecting their efficacy or causing unwanted side effects. Therefore, it is always wise to consult a doctor before using THCA products, especially if you have a health condition and take medication. 

Ways to Consume THCA

A few methods are available if you want to consume THCA without turning it into THC. These include:

Raw cannabis: The most obvious way is to eat raw cannabis (or juice preserves). It will not have been exposed to heat, so you will have a non-psychoactive experience by consuming raw cannabis. The flavor can be intense, though, and is not for everyone.

Capsules: You can also take THCA in pill/capsule form, which is an easy way to consume and allows for precise dosing.

 Tinctures: THCA crystals or extracts can be dissolved in alcohol or oil to create THCA tinctures. These tinctures can be placed under the tongue or mixed with food or drink. This can be a discreet, precise, and easy way to consume THCA.


Of course, you must know the law surrounding cannabis products, including THCA. These can vary by state and even city by city, so cannabis consumers should always research local laws. THCA in its raw form does not have psychoactive properties, so it is not on the controlled substances list and, therefore, is legal under the 2018 Farm Bill. However, THCA is illegal in a handful of states:

  • Arkansas
  • Idaho
  • Hawaii
  • Minnesota
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island

Additionally, if you plan on heating THCA products to transform them into THC, you must ensure that this is legal in your location.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between CBD and THCA?

CBD is also a non-psychoactive cannabinoid but differs from THCA with a different chemical structure. This also means that the potential effects of CBD and THCA are different from one another.

Is THCA Addictive?

THCA is not considered to be addictive. THC, meanwhile, can be addictive because of the euphoric high that is produced.

Will THCA Show Up in a Drug Test?

Generally, drug tests target THC and not THCA, but it will depend on the type of test and sensitivity. Sometimes, THCA can create a false positive for THC.

It is easy to see why THCA is such a popular product in the cannabis market right now. Here at Eagle Moon Hemp, we believe that solid knowledge is critical to a fun, safe, and beneficial experience. If you have any questions about THCA or any other cannabis product, do not hesitate to get in touch.

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