Welcome to THC-A 101
Over the last couple of years, there’s been something of a “cannabinoid boom,” as a seemingly endless parade of new hemp derivatives has made its way onto the market. If there’s one cannabinoid that absolutely shouldn’t get lost in the mix, it’s THC-A, which is actually a naturally occurring cannabinoid that was discovered many years ago.
THC-A is a big deal right now, acting as one of the most sought-after cannabinoids one can get their hands on, mainly thanks to its unique relationship to a heavily restricted cannabinoid in the United States – delta 9 THC. Let’s take a closer look at THC-A, and what makes it such a must-try amidst the other countless cannabinoids we’ve been reading about lately.
What in the World is THC-A?
THC-A is short for tetrahydrocannabinolic acid – a raw cannabinoid that is found only in raw cannabis flower. Basically, when you handle the raw buds of the cannabis flower (hemp or marijuana), you’re looking at THC-A. THC-A also just so happens to be the precursor to delta 9 THC. When THC-A is heated through a process called decarboxylation, THC-A no longer exists, as its chemical structure is converted into delta 9. Decarboxylation can occur through smoking or vaping the plant, baking or cooking with it, or heating it as part of the process of producing a cannabinoid extract, such as a distillate.
All cannabinoids start out as raw cannabinoids. For example, the hemp plant in its raw form doesn’t actually contain CBD (cannabidiol), but rather CBDA, aka cannabidiolic acid. It’s the process of decarboxylation that changes these cannabinoids into the ones that we consume for their various effects, as their properties are different when they’re consumed raw, in their acidic precursor forms.
Are THC-A Products Intoxicating?
When it comes to the THC-A products on the market, their intoxicating properties are a bit complicated. THC-A in its raw form is not intoxicating – raw cannabinoids simply can’t attach to the receptors in the brain that cause psychoactive responses – but of course, once THC-A is heated to turn into delta 9 THC, you’re now getting high off of delta 9, as the THC-A no longer exists in the product.
Basically, this means that some types of THC-A products will get you high, and some won’t. Products that are meant to be heated, like flower (including pre-rolls), concentrates (aka dabs), and vaping products all provide you with delta 9 rather than THC-A, because they’re heated as part of the consumption process, which enables the THC-A to become delta 9. Other types of products, like gummies, capsules, beverages, baked goods, and tinctures, do not give you delta 9 THC, but rather THC-A, as the products remain unheated (non-decarboxylated) when they’re consumed. That means that these types of products will not get you high.
Can THC-A Provide Health Benefits?
THC-A is a cannabinoid that naturally occurs in cannabis, and all cannabinoids so far have been found to offer potential benefits. Of course, we said that THC-A and delta 9 THC are two different cannabinoids, which means that which type of product you take determines which types of benefits you might experience.
THC-A, as a raw cannabinoid, does offer perhaps a surprising number of potential benefits. The cannabinoid seems to offer regulatory effects on serotonin levels, which control not only our mood, but our appetite, sleep, and more, and are responsible for feelings of nausea.
“Heated” THC-A products, that actually give you delta 9, are obviously going to give you the known potential benefits associated with delta 9 THC. These include effects related to inflammation, sleep, mood, physical discomfort, nausea, appetite, neurological balance, and more.
Is THC-A Dangerous?
THC-A is not any more dangerous than any other cannabinoid. By nature, cannabinoids found in cannabis are nontoxic – as long as you’re of adult age – and are not associated with any major health concerns in the short or long term. Of course, cannabinoids can cause mild, temporary side effects, such as:
- Dry mouth/dry eyes
- Anxiety/paranoia (if psychoactive)
- Decreased blood pressure
- Increased appetite
Is THC-A Legal?
THC-A is a federally legal cannabinoid under the 2018 Farm Bill, as the law clearly states that all hemp-derived products are legal as long as they contain no more than 0.3% delta 9 THC. Even though THC-A is the precursor to delta 9, and even though some THC-A products actually provide the user with delta 9 THC, on paper, these products are fully compliant with federal law.
However, there are some states that have gone ahead and banned products containing more than 0.3% “total THC” which is the combination of delta 9 and THCA. These states include:
- Rhode Island
Keep in mind that as THC-A products become more and more popular, more states may actually end up banning certain THC-A products. Elyxr only ships products to states in which the cannabinoid is legal.
Where Can I Buy THC-A?
The good news is that THC-A is easy to find nowadays as it’s become extremely popular. So, you don’t need to search too far and wide for THC-A products. But, keep in mind that not all THC-A products are going to give you the quality, freshness, or effectiveness that you deserve. It’s important to be very particular about where you buy from, and that’s why we always recommend going through a trusted online retailer rather than in-person, as standards are generally higher online.
Of course, you never want to buy a THC-A product without looking through reviews, ingredients, and third-party lab reports. Third-party lab reports confirm that the product has been tested by a state-authorized laboratory for safety, purity, potency, and legal compliance.
Discover THC-A’s Effects for Yourself at Elyxr
Overall, THC-A is an extremely popular cannabinoid for a reason. Left raw, it comes with lots of positive effects, but when decarboxylated, like it is with flower, vapes, and concentrates, you get to enjoy a legal delta 9 high without any restrictions on its strength.
At Elyxr, we’re ready to provide you with the highest-quality THC-A that the market has to offer. Our THC-A products are intended to offer a satisfying delta 9 high, as they come in diamonds (concentrates), flower, and vapes. Pir products have undergone extensive third-party testing, and are sold fresh to ensure maximum effectiveness. Our products are also fully compliant with the law, while being available in a variety of strains so that you can enjoy a fully personalized experience with this extremely sought-after cannabinoid.