Does THCA Get You High?

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If you’ve been on the cannabis scene for a while, you’ve probably heard a lot about THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and its psychoactive effects. But what about THCA? Does it also get you high?

THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid) is the precursor to THC and is found in raw cannabis plants. However, unlike THC, the psychoactive properties of THCA are not so straightforward.

So, here’s the million-dollar question — will consuming THCA get you high?

The following paragraphs will give you the answers you need. In this article, we walk you through the world of THCA, including its potential effects on the mind and body, and what makes it so unique.

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Key Takeaways

  • THCA is one of the cannabinoids that occur naturally in hemp plants and is the precursor to the more popular THC.
  • On its own, THCA is non-psychoactive and will not get you high.
  • Exposing THCA to heat or light will trigger a decarboxylation reaction, converting it to THC, which is a psychoactive cannabinoid.
  • Consuming decarboxylated THCA will get you high.

 

What is THCA?

THCA is a naturally occurring acidic cannabinoid found in hemp and cannabis plants. However, most people do not know that THCA is the precursor to delta 9 THC. In other words, the THC cannabinoid starts off as THCA before a process known as decarboxylation converts it.

However, unlike THC, THCA is non-psychoactive and will not produce the “high” effects we’ve come to associate with THC. At least, not technically.

But this is where it gets interesting.

When exposed to heat or light, THCA undergoes a process called decarboxylation, which converts it into THC. This is arguably when most THCA enthusiasts prefer to smoke their THCA products rather than just ingesting it, since the heat from the fire triggers the conversion.

THCA itself doesn’t produce any intoxicating or psychoactive effects, thanks to an extra carboxyl ring in its molecular structure. This prevents it from binding with the chemical receptors in the brain. But, when decarboxylation occurs, it becomes the psychoactive THC.

You should note that THCA is unstable, even under controlled storage conditions, and can still undergo decarboxylation at temperatures as low as 4 to 18ºC.

Like many other cannabinoids, THCA products can come in various forms, such as flowers, crystals, or diamonds. However, none of these products are psychoactive in their raw form and require exposure to heat or light to undergo decarboxylation and convert into THC.

 

What’s the Difference Between THC and THCA?

The primary difference between THC and THCA is their chemical structures and effects on the body. 

While both cannabinoids have very similar chemical structures, THCA has an additional carboxyl group attached to its molecule, making it more acidic. In addition, this extra carboxyl group also makes the THCA molecules larger, effectively preventing them from binding with the body’s endocannabinoid receptors and producing psychoactive effects.

With regards to their effects, THC is quite popular as a psychoactive compound as it binds to the cannabinoid receptors in the brain and can produce a range of effects, from euphoria to intense relaxation, altered perception, and more. 

On the other hand, THCA is like THCV; it does not have any psychoactive effects and will not bind to the cannabinoid receptors in the way THC does.

 

What Does THCA Feel Like?

Consuming THCA itself does not result in any intoxicating or psychoactive effects because of the extra carboxyl group in its chemical structure, which prevents it from binding with chemical receptors in the brain. 

In other words, THCA does not get you high. 

As a result, you’re not likely to “feel” anything after consuming THCA, or CBD for that matter. However, this is not to say THCA does not have any effect on the body. Anecdotal evidence from consumers reveals that there are several potential therapeutic effects that THCA offers.

For instance, you may experience pain relief, reduced inflammation, and feelings of deep relaxation after consuming THCA.

However, you should note that these effects are still being studied, and more research is needed to fully understand the potential benefits, drawbacks, and addictive tendencies of THCA consumption. 

If you’re looking to enjoy psychoactive effects or the “high” from THCA, you’ll typically have to smoke or vaporize it.

 

Will THCA Get You High?

The answer’s no. Consuming THCA will not get you high as the cannabinoid itself does not have psychoactive properties. In addition, the cannabinoid does not bond with the chemical receptors in the brain and therefore does not produce any intoxicating effects.

 

How to Get High Using THCA

While THCA on its own will not get you high, exposing the cannabinoids to heat or light will trigger a decarboxylation reaction, thereby converting it to the psychoactive THC. 

Here are some ways you can consume THCA to get high:

Decarb THCA and Make Gummies

If you’re going to get high from THCA, then you must decarboxylate it, which essentially means exposing it to heat. After decarboxylation, you can infuse the resulting THC into edibles like gummies. 

Since decarboxylation has occurred and the THCA has lost its extra carboxyl group, the THC-infused gummies will be psychoactive and can get you high.

Smoke THCA Flower and Pre Rolls

Another way to get high using THCA is by smoking THCA flower or pre rolls. Since the heat from the fire will trigger the decarboxylation process, smoking THCA flower is one of the most effective ways to access its psychoactive effects.

In this case, you may either choose to acquire THCA pre rolls or buy the THCA flowers and add them into your joint before you roll it or dab rig, depending on your preferred smoking method. 

Infuse a Joint with THCA Diamonds

THCA also exists in the form of diamonds, which are highly potent crystalline structures that contain up to 97% pure THCA and no other cannabinoids or terpenes.

Adding THCA diamonds to a joint can increase the potency of the cannabis, and when heated, the THCA diamonds will convert to THC, producing a high.

Rip some THCA dabs

Finally, THCA concentrates can be dabbed for a potent and quick high. When heated with a dab rig, THCA concentrates vaporize and convert to THC, producing a strong psychoactive effect. Besides, vaporizing THCA concentrates may be more efficient as it heats up the concentrates without combustion. 

 

Final Takeaway — Does THCA get you High?

On its own, THCA is not psychoactive and will not get you high. However, if you expose the cannabinoid to heat or light (especially through smoking), you trigger the decarboxylation process, which converts the THCA to the psychoactive THC. 

Consuming the resulting THC will typically get you high, depending on your dosage, tolerance levels, and more.

 

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