What Is THC-A? A Comprehensive Guide

What Is THC-A? A Comprehensive Guide

Have you found yourself wondering, “What is THC-A?” If so, we’re here to help. Check out this comprehensive guide for everything you need to know.

Keyword(s): what is thc a

Since about half of American adults have tried marijuana, you’re in good company when heading to the cannabis dispensary. This is especially true because 17% consider themselves active marijuana users. For many, weed is a part of life beyond simple curiosity!

Whether you’re a seasoned cannabis veteran or a newbie looking to have fun, understanding the difference between THC and THC-A is important. But what is THC-A, exactly? How does it differ from Delta 9 THC?

Read on to answer these questions thoroughly.

What Is THC-A?

THC-A is an abbreviation for “tetrahydrocannabinolic acid.”

It occurs naturally in hemp plants and cannabis sativa. Sativa is a strain of cannabis that promotes relaxation and calmness.

THC-A is not part of the cannabis plant that makes those who ingest it high. It’s the raw-flower part of cannabis that hasn’t undergone any treatment. It has no psychoactive properties at all.

This is because its structure contains a “carboxylic acid group” that sets THC-A apart from the THC that you usually think of. This group stops it from binding to brain receptors, which is what causes a high to take place.

However, THC-A is a sort of prerequisite toward making Delta 9 THC, the compound that does give you a high. Heating this cannabis flower gets rid of the carboxylic acid group that blocks its psychoactive properties. So, when experts undergo this process, they change the plant’s chemical structure and make it a super fun plant to smoke or bake into edibles.

How Does It Heat Up?

If you’re trying cannabis gummies, butter, or other edibles, the lab that produced the product will have already put the weed through heat treatment. You don’t need to do anything besides go to the dispensary and buy them.

However, if you buy raw flower from the dispensary, you’re the one who will be heating it up and performing the conversion of chemical compounds. Talk about power!

This is easy and happens naturally when you smoke cannabis. Firing it up in a bowl or lighting a joint easily puts the flower at 230 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature where the switch happens.

In addition to the fumes going directly into your brain and binding with receptors, this is a core reason that smoking weed produces a faster effect than ingesting it in other ways. It’s freshly psychoactive and you ingest it during the conversion process.

The Differences Between THC-A and THC

As we’ve brushed on, THC-A does not make you high while Delta 9 THC does. It’s an inactive compound. THC is completely active.

This is because THC-A is the raw form of cannabis. It’s what you collect from the hemp plant when farming it. Technically, cannabis in its purest live form can’t make you high!

On the flip side, the THC that makes you feel euphoric, relaxed, and high isn’t “pure.” It’s been heated up, burned, and dried out. Making it is a process that goes beyond collecting flower from a plant.

Potency is another core difference since THC-A is considered less potent than other THC varieties. People consider drugs that don’t make you high weaker than those that do. So, THC-A is weed in its least potent form.

However, you can purchase both while at a dispensary, and they come from the same plant. So there are similarities despite the functional difference between the two compounds!

Does THC-A Show Up in Drug Tests?

Yes, when you ingest THC-A from a cannabis dispensary, you will fail drug tests if you take them before they clear out of your system. This depends on how much and how often you use THC-A and how much body fat you have.

Those who smoke or otherwise ingest weed for the first time will fail drug tests for three days. If you use it 3-4 times weekly, it will be detectable for a full week, Those who use it daily will hold it in their system for 30+ days, so plan accordingly.

These timeframes are no different for those who use THC-A vs THC.

The Benefits of Using Cannabis

You can’t easily use THC-A in its purest form unless it’s in THC-A live resin or special cannabis edibles. However, when you convert it to Delta 9 THC, it has a lot of great health benefits that you may enjoy.

One of the most important is that it alleviates physical pain. This applies to short-term pain like headaches and inflammation. However, it also applies to the chronic pain that one in every five Americans lives with daily.

Recent studies from 2022 show that cannabis may improve the lives of those with chronic pain. Preliminary evidence demonstrates that it may reduce both pain interference and the severity of that pain. Three months’ worth of data from 55 study participants showed significantly less self-reported pain over time.

The same study also showed that it may improve people’s mood and sleep, though there have been several other studies that look into this with mixed conclusions.

Relaxation and Anxiety Reduction

If you ask most marijuana users their favorite things about ingesting weed, they’re likely to say that it helps them relax. It’s generally effective and doesn’t come with the serious side effects that other anxiety medications bring. Plus, there are tons of options available for those looking for some relaxation-boosting weed!

Weed stimulates the release of neurotransmitters involved in improving mood. It also helps your body’s natural endocannabinoid system to modify and decrease the prevalence of fight-or-flight fear responses. You release fewer stress hormones like cortisol and feel calmer.

Even pure THC-A can help people reduce anxiety. While it doesn’t have psychoactive properties, THC-A tinctures and live resin do produce physical relaxation properties. It’s kind of similar to CBD in this way – there won’t be a high, but there will be some physical effects.

Euphoria and Enhanced Creativity

Another benefit of using cannabis is that it might make you more creative. Two Washington-based studies (where marijuana is legal) examined 300+ cannabis users in the area.

During the first study, users were asked to list as many creative uses for a brick as possible after vaping or smoking. In the second study, they were asked to come up with creative ideas when pretending to work for a consulting firm.

Participants who were not high were also asked to do this as a control group.

Those who were high reported that they were in a better mood than those in the control group. They thought that they were more creative. However, third-party judges said that there was no real gap in creativity between high vs sober participants.

Still, other studies do show that being happier and experiencing euphoria may intrinsically make people more creative. Conclusively, cannabis does produce this jovialty. It may naturally make many people more creative as well despite the third-party judge decisions in the Washington studies.

Buying THC-A the Right Way

The first step toward buying any cannabis product is to decide on the method you want to use for ingestion. The most common options are:

  • Raw flower that you smoke in a bowl or roll in your own joint paper
  • Pre-rolled joints that you can light up and smoke straight from the box
  • Cannabis edibles, including gummies, chocolates, and pastries
  • THC-A vapes and live resin
  • Tinctures

They all work differently. Smoking generally gives you a faster and stronger high than other ingestion methods, but it’s weaker and shorter-lasting than when an edible kicks in. Do your research and determine which option is best for you. 

Finding Weed

You can’t just buy cannabis anywhere. If you make purchases from unauthorized sources like independent dealers, there’s no guarantee that you’re getting what you buy.

You might get a fake edible and lose a lot of money. You also might buy something laced, which could lead to horrible effects in both the short and long term.

That’s why finding and buying from a licensed legal cannabis dispensary is important. When you buy from places like Sacred Bloom, it’s easy and convenient to get approved cannabis from top-notch brands. We source pure flower from reputable locations to ensure that you get high-quality marijuana and know exactly what you’re ingesting.

We also have a knowledgeable team filled with people committed to helping you find the perfect cannabis options to meet your needs. We’ll talk with you about your goals for using awesome products and point you toward the right strains to meet your needs. Whether you’re looking for euphoria and a creativity boost or are trying to sleep and rest better, we have you covered.

Buy From a Reputable Cannabis Dispensary

So, what is THC-A?

On the most basic level, it’s untreated cannabis in its purest form. It turns psychoactive when heated up in a lab or by a user. Now that you know the ins and outs of this compound, it’s time to start looking at THC items from a reliable dispensary.

Sacred Bloom is committed to providing flower, pre-rolls, edibles, THC vapes, topicals, and THC-A live resin. Browse our online shop or drop into our store to begin relaxing with top-notch marijuana products.


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Recreational cannabis dispensary ◌ Vestal NY


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