April 12, 2024

THCA Flower vs. THC Flower: What’s the Difference?

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THCA Flower vs. THC Flower: What’s the Difference?

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If you are at all interested in cannabis, you may well have stumbled across a new product recently; THCA flower. If you are wondering what exactly THCA flower is and how it differs from THC flower, you’re in the right place. We aim to answer this question as simply as possible and explain all the relevant information you need to know. 

THCA vs. THC 

Most people have heard of THC. It stands for tetrahydrocannabinol and it is the most abundant intoxicating compound in cannabis plants. 

Its mind-bending effects stem from its molecular shape and its ability to bind with specialized receptors in the human brain, producing the quintessential “stoned” feeling associated with weed. This includes increased relaxation, euphoria, time distortion, enhanced sensory perception and in some cases, confusion and anxiety. 

THC also has a range of therapeutic uses, ranging from pain relief to mood improvement to quelling nausea. This has led to a growing trend toward the legalization of medical marijuana throughout the US and various other countries worldwide. 

So, what about THCA then? You may not have heard of it as often as its famous cousin, but THCA is actually even more abundant in cannabis flowers than THC. It is the acidic form of the chemical, also known as tetrahydrocannabinolic acid and it exists in large quantities in freshly harvested bud. 

THCA converts into THC when you apply heat, for instance by smoking or vaping your herb. Up until that point, it is not psychoactive and, therefore, not subject to many of the same strict regulations that THC itself has been bound by for decades. 

THCA also has some potential health benefits of its own, including anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties. However, most people who buy THCA flower are hoping to enjoy its effects on the body and mind by smoking it just as they would with regular weed. 

THCA Hemp Flower

If you are confused and are still wondering “what is THCA hemp flower?” let us break things down a little more. 

Hemp and marijuana are both varieties of the same plant, Cannabis sativa. The difference is that, by law, hemp is defined as containing less than 0.3% THC, while marijuana contains more. Hemp is federally legal and so companies are allowed to sell products manufactured from the plant, including things like hemp oil and edibles, topicals, and vapes. 

In recent years, the cannabinoid industry has become even more brazen and started selling THC analogs like delta 8 and delta 10. Because these can be manufactured from hemp, they are not technically illegal, although some states have seen through the practice and banned their sale. 

The logical next step was to start selling a product that is as close to regular weed as possible, but minus the THC. And, thus, began the new THCA flower trend. Because it contains THCA and not THC, it can be sold as a hemp product, despite the fact that it is very similar to marijuana in its chemical makeup. 

It is extremely clever and enables cannabis lovers throuhout the country to access their favorite strains without the need for a medical card, even in states where recreational laws have not yet been passed. Sweet! 

How to Use THCA Flower

Using THCA flower is really easy. Just think of it as normal bud. You can roll it in a joint, pack a bowl, load up your dry herb vape, or create some delicious edibles. A quick note on edibles though, you will need to expose your THCA flower to heat before making your recipe in order to activate the THC. This process is called decarboxylation and it is a necessary step in cannabis cookery, even when using regular weed. 

Break up the bud into small pieces but do not grind it too finely. Place it on a baking sheet in a low oven for 30-60 minutes until it is toasty and golden brown. Keep checking it regularly so that it does not burn! You can then infuse the decarbed THCA flower into oil or butter to create a tasty and intoxicating treat of your own choosing. Niiiiice!

As with all cannabis products, go low and slow with dosing and do not exceed your limits to reduce the risk of side effects. Use your THCA flower responsibly and most of all, enjoy!

author avatar
Bernard - Side-Line Staff Chief editor
Bernard Van Isacker is the Chief Editor of Side-Line Magazine. With a career spanning more than two decades, Van Isacker has established himself as a respected figure in the darkwave scene.

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