THC differ from THCa: How and The Similarities

The bulk of cannabis consumers are familiar with THC. The level of THC is generally a primary consideration when choosing new cannabis strains and products. THC is a cannabinoid often associated with marijuana’s psychoactive effects. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol is the correct spelling, however -9-tetrahydrocannabinol is also common. While cannabis includes hundreds of additional active chemicals and dozens of other cannabinoids, THC is by far the most well-known of these compounds. Nonetheless, many people feel disoriented when THCa is discussed. What are the differences between THC and THCa, and why is it crucial to make that distinction? So, the goal of this essay is to introduce readers to the topic and answer some of the most common queries that arise.

The Distinction

It’s important to note that although sharing an abbreviation, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THCa) are completely separate substances. THCa, or tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, is a cannabinoid present in the trichomes of freshly harvested, living cannabis. It lacks any psychotropic properties. The cannabinoid with psychotropic properties is called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Freshly harvested pot does not have it. THC and THCa have very similar chemical structures; thca flower, however, contains an extra carboxyl group. THCa is often called a “precursor” to THC since it is thought to be the first chemical step in the production of THC.

The Constructing Options

In contrast to THC, THCa has trouble binding to the CB1 and CB2 receptors in human endocannabinoid systems. Because of its massive size and three-dimensional shape, it cannot enter the CB1 receptors. THCa can not cause intoxication because it cannot bind to the CB1 receptor, which is required for cannabinoids to have psychoactive effects. One of the most common, but also most false, beliefs about cannabis is that the plant can efficiently store THC until it is harvested. But in reality, all that happens is THCa is made. Live or raw (just harvested) marijuana has negligible quantities of the psychoactive compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). So, how exactly does THCa become THC?

What chemical reactions?

In order to convert THCa into THC, a chemical event called decarboxylation must take place, which involves the removal of one carboxyl group from the cannabinoids. Light and/or heat power this process. Decarboxylation allows various cannabinoids to interact with the endocannabinoid receptors in your body. Keep in mind that we said earlier that THCa differed from THC by including an extra carboxyl group. If you decarboxylate it, the extra carboxylic acid group is removed, and you’re left with THC. THC’s well-known intoxicating and mind-altering effects are made possible by a change in its molecular structure that makes it well suited for attaching to CB1 receptors.

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