The difference between the two cannabinoids is the addition of a carboxyl group to THCa.
THCAdoesn't bind well to the CB1 or CB2 receptors of our endocannabinoid system. It is not psychotropic due to its three-dimensional shape and its larger size, which prevents it from fitting into CB1 receptors. THC is the psychotropic or active version of the same cannabinoid.
It is not present in freshly harvested cannabis. THCA has been closely compared to THC, but most people now describe THCA as the precursor to THC. While it's easy to confuse them, it's important to know that they produce very different effects when consumed. THCA molecules have different shapes and sizes than THC.
While THC molecules can fit into CB1 cannabinoid receptors, THCA molecules cannot. The interaction between THC molecules and cannabinoid receptors is the main cause of the stimulating effects associated with cannabis. Although THCA is very different from THC both in its chemical composition and in the way it interacts with the body, that doesn't mean that it has no effect. Keep reading to learn more about THCA and why its popularity is growing as research uncovers more of its unique properties.
Since crystalline THCA can be sold in very high concentrations, applying one of these methods to THCA to convert it to THC can have very powerful effects. When a flame is used to smoke dry, cured buds, the high degree of heat applied over a short period of time quickly converts THCA to THC. Recent research has suggested that marijuana extracts composed primarily of THCA may have anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties for some people. THCA is not federally banned in the U.S.
Department of State, but their sale or possession could be prosecuted under the Federal Analogs Act. While cannabis plants are commonly described using the THC and CBD cannabinoid ratio, these important plant compounds are first produced in acid form, such as THCA. THCA, or tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, is one of the hundreds of cannabinoids found in cannabis plants that are believed to offer several therapeutic benefits, although their possible benefits are being investigated. Because THCa molecules are physically larger than THC molecules, they cannot bind to the receptors of the endocannabinoid system.
Almost all of these cannabinoids start out as carboxylic acids, such as THCA, and are then converted to non-acidic compounds through the process of decarboxylation or “decarbonization”. THCa (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid) is an inactive cannabinoid contained in the trichomes of live and freshly harvested cannabis. Unlike THCA, THC molecules are properly shaped to fit into the CB1 receptors of the endocannabinoid system that runs through the central nervous system, creating the intoxicating effects of THC. The first Israeli research on the benefits of THCA compared to THC has yielded some very intriguing initial conclusions.
As a result, most of the THCA in cannabis will have been decarboxylated into THC when it enters the body. If a cannabis plant stays under the warm sun for an extended period of time, its THCA molecules will slowly convert to THC.