What is THCA? Overview and Dosage Information

Posted on February 8th, 2023 to Education by

If you’ve ever decarboxylated cannabis to make your own edibles, you’ve specifically targeted THCA in the plant, and likely had no idea. THCA was once thought to be of little value because it did not produce euphoric effects. However, this major acidic cannabinoid poses the potential for a lot of therapeutic benefits. What is THCA? Take a closer look below.

What Is THCA?

Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) is a major acidic cannabinoid found in cannabis, and in tiny amounts in hemp cultivars. Molecularly speaking, THCA looks almost identical to delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). But when the carboxylic acid components are present, as they are in THCA, the way the cannabinoid interacts with the body is highly different from THC.

THCA is a precursor to THC. In fact, in high-THC strains, THCA is the dominant cannabinoid. However, when THCA is heated, the acidic components are lost, and you are left with THC. Interesting note, this is why you could eat a high-THC strain of cannabis and feel hardly anything as long as the flower has not been heated.

Potential THCA Benefits

Because THCA was once assumed to be an inactive cannabinoid, research really didn’t get started until the last few decades even though this precursor cannabinoid was discovered years ago. However, it is suggested that THCA offers both anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties. While the research is in its earliest stages, these actions may mean THCA is beneficial for things like:

  • Pain and inflammation
  • Certain neurological disorders or conditions
  • Issues related to inflammation of the digestive tract

One important thing about THCA is that it does not generate euphoric effects like THC, but does offer similar therapeutic value. Therefore, people who are looking for the therapeutic potential of THC without intoxication may be more inclined to try THCA. Plus, THCA may be more effective for certain conditions at smaller doses because it is considered to be more bioactive. For example, THCA may be more effective for nausea at just a tiny dose compared to THC which would require a larger dose.

THCA Dosage Guidelines

We are just getting to know more about THCA. Therefore, there are no currently specific dosage guidelines to follow. What we do know is that THCA usually does not require a large dose to be effective due to bioavailability. Therefore, an individual may only need a few milligrams of THCV to see positive effects.

THCA vs THC – What’s the Difference?

Here’s a quick recap:

  • THC is highly psychoactive; THCA is not
  • THCA may be more effective in smaller doses than THC for certain ailments
  • THCA is thought to offer neuroprotective properties without intoxicating effects
  • THCA is a precursor, acidic cannabinoid, while THC is not
  • THCA is more bioavailable than THC, so it may require smaller doses

What Products Contain THCA?

There are a number of products available that contain THCA, including:

  • Tinctures
  • Edibles
  • Vapes
  • Topicals
  • Capsules

While THCA is present in hemp, it is only in tiny quantities due to the fact that hemp is naturally low in THC. Therefore, THCA products are more readily available in states where cannabis is legal for recreational or medical use.

Find THCA and Other Rare Cannabinoids at Southern Sky

At Southern Sky Brands, we believe cannabis represents a new dawn and healthcare. And, cannabinoids like THCA and their value have a lot to do with that fact. If you are looking to find products specifically formulated to support your wellness goals that contain THCA, be sure to take a look at our collection of hemp-based products.

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