THCA vs. THC: What's the Difference?

THCA vs. THC: What's the Difference?

20th Jan 2023

Most people are familiar with THC but what about THCa? This lesser-known molecule is quickly taking the cannabis world by storm. But before we dive into THCa vs. THC, it’s important to get a few things cleared up. First, let’s quickly clarify what people mean when they refer to THC. From a practicality standpoint, they’re usually looking for the psychotropic, “high” effects that THC delivers.

Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the cannabinoid most commonly associated with giving users a “high” but that doesn’t mean straight up THC is the only way to get it. Additionally, legal regulations that vary from state to state can make it difficult to acquire Delta-9 THC products, which means accessibility isn’t the same for everyone. What if there was a better, still legal way to acquire the effects of THC? As it turns out, there is: THCa flower or THCa concentrates.

THCa vs. THC

"They just took THC and added an A at the end." Not quite. THCa is Tetrahydrocannabinol acid and is the precursor to THC. THC wouldn’t exist without THCa. Here are some quick notes to help you understand the differences between THCa and THC:

  • THCa is an inactive cannabinoid found in freshly harvested and live forms of the hemp cannabis flower.
  • THC is the active or psychotropic version of the same cannabinoid. THC is not found in freshly-harvested cannabis. Instead, the hemp plant has to be decarboxylated (which involves heat and light exposure to remove one carboxyl group) to result in the THC effects users are typically looking for.

Similarities and Misconceptions with THCa vs. THC

In their chemical composition, THCa and THC are very similar, the main difference being the additional carboxyl group that is present in THCa. Remove that extra carboxyl group and the two are one in the same.

It is a common misconception that THCa won’t give you the effects you’re seeking when you look for THC. THCa flower, like that sold at Hemp Generation, is designed to be smoked in a way that specifically transforms a significant portion of its content into THC. Of course, you need to smoke it for that to happen. While the THC content displayed may be low, that will all change once decarboxylation takes place.

Take our Gelato THCA Flower, for example. Its raw form shows that it contains 0.00% Delta 9 THC, which means it can be legally sold online and in the state of North Carolina without any concern. Its THCA content, however, is 15.80%. When smoked or vaporized, a large amount of this will transform into THC. This is the perfect example of having your gelato and eating it, too!

Note: Before purchasing and/or using THCA or related products, always be sure to check with the laws in your state.

Hemp Generation: Providing THCA For a Healthy Body and Mind

Learn how to thrive naturally with Hemp Generation. We help those who are in search of everyday relief for the body and mind. Some of our bestsellers include:

THCA hemp flower CBD oil tinctures Vegan CBD gummies Hemp Generation was founded in 2018 with the goal of changing the perceived healing methods of a conventional nature by using high-quality, natural alternative products. We focus on both long-term wellness and education in the hemp industry.

For questions or feedback, please feel free to contact us at 919-371-1528. You can also connect with us through LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.



DISCLAIMER: The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from healthcare practitioners. Please consult your healthcare professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any product. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act requires this notice. Use products responsibly and at your own risk. Full Spectrum CBD Hemp products contain cannabinoids and some products contain trace amounts of THC that are below the federally legal limit. Hemp Generation is not responsible for any failed drug test. We encourage you to know the laws in your region or state. Upon purchase you assume all responsibility of the product and hold Hemp Generation LLC exempt from legal responsibility for one’s actions.