What Is THCA Flower?
Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid or THCA is one phytocannabinoid out of over 100 compounds and counting that are found in the cannabis plant. It is considered to be the precursor of the more well-known cannabinoid THC.
When the cannabis plant grows it matures and its buds begin to grow. As the buds grow, it develops its cannabinoid and terpene profiles.
CBGA is known as the “mother” of all cannabinoids and it is the first compound to develop. The CBGA along with an enzyme known as THCA-synthase is what helps produce the THCA compound. Of course CBGA also breaks down into CBG and creates CBDA, as well. THCA, CBGA and CBDA are the acidic forms of the well-known THC, CBD and CBG compounds.
As the plant ages, through natural heat and exposure to oxygen, carboxyl groups are slowly removed transferring these compounds into CBD, THC and CBG. The amounts of the cannabinoids may still be quite low in some cases. The process of decarboxylation will then be necessary to completely activate the compounds. This will ensure proper attachment to CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain and body, and will elicit chill effects THC is known to offer.
Is THCA Hemp Flower Illegal?
Production of American grown hemp THCA flower is legal under the 2018 Hemp Farm Bill. It is not a federally banned substance as the Agricultural Improvement Act (Farm Bill) legally authorized the removal of hemp plants and seeds from the Drug Enforcement Administration schedule of controlled substances.
Will THCA Get Me High?
THCA does not deliver any type of euphoric effects when ingested raw. The THCA compound includes a carboxyl ring and it is this ring that prevents the THCA from binding to CB1 receptors in the brain and CB2 receptors in the body.
However, when THCA is exposed to heat during vaporization, combustion while smoking or dabbing, as well as from cooking, it will convert to THC through a process known as decarboxylation. As it is converted to THC, it will then bind to CB1 receptors and induce a type of euphoria.