Hemp-Derived THCa Explained – A Complete Guide to Diamonds

Everybody knows about Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), right? In case you don’t, Delta-9 THC is the cannabinoid that’s widely known for making you feel “high” after using marijuana products. There’s also an ever-explosive popularity of the effects experienced after using minor cannabinoids such as Delta-8 THC, THCp, and HHC. But have you heard of THCa, the newest “it kid” on the block?

Here we’ll take a deep dive on THCa, and how you might immediately fall in love in what the cannabinoid can offer you the next time you use Eighty Six products.

What is THCa?

Short for tetrahydrocanabinolic acid, THCa is one of the most common cannabinoids in both cannabis and hemp. Unlike regular THC, otherwise known as Delta-9 THC, THCa is non-psychoactive – in its raw form.

That’s because THCa is technically just the precursor to THC. It’s actually THCa that’s abundant in freshly harvested cannabis. Before it undergoes a decarboxylation process, THCa is non-intoxicating. When exposed to heat, a process called decarboxylation occurs. That’s when THCa converts into THC.

Hemp-derived THCa is synonymous with legal THCa products. They derive from hemp rather than marijuana. That makes them federally legal, and it’s how brands like Eighty Six are able to sell it across most of the country.

Thanks to its non-intoxicating base, THCa has garnered attention recently for its potential. It’s time to explore that potential more in-depth.

Why ‘Hemp-Derived’ THCa?

The term “hemp-derived” THCa is used to specify the source the THCa compound. Hemp, a variety of the cannabis plant, is naturally rich in cannabinoids. For some hemp strain, that includes THCa.

Using the term “hemp-derived” indicates the brand the sources the THCa from rather than other cannabis varieties. These other varieties may contain higher levels of THC, which makes them illegal in certain states.

The distinction is important, particularly in regions where hemp-derived products are legal. They’re regulated separately from cannabis-derived products due to differences in THC content.

Likewise, highlighting the hemp-derived nature of some THCa emphasizes its legality. That improves its accessibility to a broader audience who want to explore cannabinoids for wellness.

Is THCa Psychoactive?

Since THCa is the precursor of traditional Delta-9 THC with its only differentiating factor being the presence of the carboxylic acid group, one would think its effects are just as close between the two, right?

In short, the answer is far from that.

The presence of the carboxylic acid group alters how our endocannabinoid system receives the THCa. The compound in its natural state will not get you high.

While they may seem similar, THCa and Delta-8 THC are two very distinct cannabinoids. The two vary even down to its respective chemical structures. THCa is the acidic precursor to THC, while Delta-8 is a different isomer of Delta-9. THCa also contains a carboxylic acid group, which Delta-8 THC lacks.

In its raw form, THCa is non-intoxicating. It doesn’t produce any psychoactive effects. Only when converting it into THC through heat can you feel a high from it. Meanwhile, Delta-8 is outright psychoactive. Generally, though, it’s considered less potent than Delta-9 THC, the primary psychoactive component in pot. Altogether, the effects from Delta-8 are milder than traditional THC.

Hemp-derived THCa comes from hemp strains with minimal levels of THC. That makes THCa-rich products legal in regions where THC is otherwise prohibited. On the other hand, Delta-8 occupies a legal gray area in some jurisdictions. Its potential to cause intoxication causes a stir, though it is still hemp-derived.

Overall the two cannabinoids differ. They have distinct chemical compositions, effects, and legal considerations. That makes them unique entities that are both worth trying for one reason or another.

Wait, So if THCa Doesn’t Get People High, What’s All the Hype For?

While THCa may be the hottest new kid on the block, the fact that the cannabinoid in its natural state does raise reluctance to pay that higher ticket price. At least, initially.

Heat must be applied to THCa to effectively burn off the carboxylic acid group. This chemical reaction then converts the THCa into Delta-9 THC.

In other words, you need to light the pre-roll, or inhale away on one of our THCa Disposables to create this chemical reaction. The result is a stronger, exponentially more potent product.

If Heat is Needed, How Does This Affect THCa Gummies?

Products like tinctures and gummies contain active THCa that is already decarboxylated. This pre-decarboxylated THCa is known as diamonds.

THCa diamonds is a type of extracted concentrate composed entirely of THCa. It’s physical appearance resembles golden-looking crystals, hence the name, diamonds.

Diamonds stand to be one of the purest THC-dominant extracts in the market, containing up to 99.9% THC once it’s heated and consumed.

Products such as the THCa Gummies contain THCa diamonds alongside other cannabinoid distillate to effectively double or triple the dose as you consume.

What Makes THCa Different from Other Cannabinoids?

THCa stands out among cannabinoids for several distinctive reasons. Overall, these factors distinguish THCa from other cannabis compounds. They highlight its unique properties and therapeutic potential.

How is THCa Different from Delta-9 THC?

Delta-9 is well-known for its psychoactive effects. They commonly produce euphoria, relaxation, an altered perception of time, and more. In contrast, THCa is non-intoxication, as its’s the raw form of THC. If you were to consume THCa in the raw plant, it won’t a high. Heating it to trigger decarboxylation is what you need. And then, THCa doesn’t get you high – the Delta-9 THC it becomes, does.

Both THCa and Delta-9 THC are identical in terms of its chemical structure, with the former possessing an extra carboxylic acid group. The presence of the extra acid grouping lends THCa an upper hand in helping users respond better to inflammation and neuroprotection.

Additionally, while traditional Delta-9 THC’s main benefits stems from its medicinal applications as a powerful anti-nausea treatment for chemotherapy patients, THCa may prove even more effective in it as less of the cannabinoid can achieve similar results.

How is THCa Different from Delta-8 THC?

How is THCa Different from CBD?

THCa and CBD share the same differences as the other two cannabinoids already mentioned. The two cannabinoids each have unique properties and its own array of potential benefits. Beyond chemical compositions, however, THCa and CBD vary even further.

While THCa is non-intoxicating in its raw form, CBD is always non-intoxicating. CBD is a non-psychoactive compounds and can’t produce a high, regardless of heat exposure.

Hemp-derived CBD products that contain 0.3% Delta-9 THC or less are legal under federal law. Meanwhile, the legality of THCa-rich products may vary depending on regional regulations.

Finally, the effects off THCa can happen faster than those of CBD. For many users, a consistent routine of CBD use allows one to see results over time. After approximately 4 weeks, you’ll notice the pronounced effects of the cannabinoid. Conversely, THCa hits as soon as it is heated. As THC, the effects are almost immediate.

What Does THCa Feel Like?

Like any cannabinoid, the experience of consuming THCa varies from person to person. Individual differences in biology, tolerance, and dosage will cause different results.

THCa is non-psychoactive in its raw form, so it produce a high without heat. Consuming unheated with THCa products will not result in a high, though it may have mild effects. Some consumers report a sense of relaxation and mild relief from certain symptoms like pain or inflammation. In addition, some users report feeling a general sense of well-being.

More research is necessary to understand how THCa interacts with both the body and brain.

But when THCa is heated, the cannabinoid is more effective and arguably more fun. That’s because THCa undergoes decarboxylation, converting it into THCC through heat. In this activated form, THCa may produce the psychoactive effects you may be familiar with.

Activated THCa surges forth a sense of euphoria in some users. It stimulates intense relaxation and helps a stabilize the mood. Some users react uniquely, so it’s good to start low and go slow to discover what THCa feels like for you. Increase the dosage as you need to while monitoring your response to find your sweet spot.

Is There a Therapeutic Benefit to THCa?

Much like the other cannabis & hemp cannabinoids, THCa possesses inherent effects regardless of whether it is decarboxylated into psychoactive Delta-9 THC or not.

Increased Relaxation

This one is a no-brainer. THCa, once it’s decarboxylated, converts to Delta-9 THC. And Delta-9 THC’s inherent effect is to deliver increased relaxation.

Should you consume non-decarboxylated, the relaxation would be minimal, but present nonetheless. Think of this effect as being closer to the effect cannabidiol, or CBD delivers – a minimal and non-intoxicating psychoactive buzz.

Natural Analgesic Against Physical Discomfort

Physical discomfort is largely the result of inflammation. And while research into cannabis and hemp-derived cannabinoids is largely ongoing, we do know that both THCa and traditional Delta-9 THC inherently help the body respond better to inflammation.

Safeguards Against Neurodegenerative Conditions

While other cannabinoids such as traditional Delta-9 THC and even other minor cannabinoids such as HHC has ongoing research on the subject, studies show definitely that THCa shows promise on delivering increasingly neuroprotective activity.

Anti-Emetic Relief

As mentioned above, several cannabinoids possess inherent abilities to safeguard against nausea. THCa in particular, is known for chemically converting into Delta-9 THC, which in turn, would exponentially increase its potency. By this logic, THCa may prove to be more efficient in providing anti-emetic relief as less would be needed to achieve the desired result.

The Typical Psychoactive Effects

Since THCa exponentially increases the potency of Delta-9 THC once decarboxylated, you can reasonably expect to feel ‘high.’

And the typical effects of being high include, but are not limited to:

  • Intense euphoria
  • Increased relaxation
  • Altered perception
  • Stimulated appetite (aka The Munchies)
  • Increased sedation and/or increased mental energy

Does THCa Have Side Effects?

As with any substance, THCa may potentially cause side effects. However, they’re considered mild and less common compared to THC.

Some potential side effects of THCa consumption may include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Dizziness/lightheadedness
  • Increased heart rate
  • Sedation or fatigue
  • Nausea or gastrointestinal discomfort
  • Anxiety or paranoia

Rest assured, these side effects are normal and temporary. They vary from person to person, so you may not experience any side effects yourself.

How Does THCa Interact with Drugs?

In its raw form, THCa may not interact with prescriptions to the degree in which activated THC does. Regular THC can interact with nearly 400 prescription medications, though, However, not all of these interactions are severe. Some drugs that result in more severe interactions with THCa might include:

  • Sedatives (or CNS depressants)
  • SSRIs and/or antidepressants
  • Anticoagulants
  • Blood pressure medication
  • Psychotropic medications (antipsychotics, mood stabilizers, etc.)

Users who are taking prescription medications should exercise caution before consuming THCa. Consult with your healthcare provider if you think you’re taking a prescription that may interact severely with THCa. Always monitor for any signs of adverse reactions or changes in your medication if you begin combining with THCa or other cannabinoids.

What is the Legal Status of THCa?

As it stands, THCa is legal in 32 of the 50 states along with Washington D.C, Guam, and Puero Rico. Hemp-derived THCa falls as federally legal under the 2018 Farm Bill; however, your access to the cannabinoid is pooled alongside other hemp-derived compounds such as Delta-8, Delta-9, and THC-P. This means the state you live in may or may not have regulations and/or restrictions in place.

While its natural state is not inherently psychoactive, once the minor cannabinoid is heated up, it converts to Delta-9 THC. We urge you on the side of caution as you come across products infused with THCa, especially as it may be present in its natural state with the intent for it to be smoked. Once the THCa is decarboxylated and the Delta-9 THC potency skyrockets, it is highly likely that the finished product will be over the legal limit of 0.3% thus making it illegal.

What are the Most Common Ways to Consume THCa?

If THCa sounds like something you’d be interested in trying, there are several ways to go about getting your hands on it. In a nutshell, THCa can be smoked, dabbed, vaped, eaten, taken sublingually, and even rubbed on your skin.

Smoked via THCa Coated Flower

THCa covered flower, otherwise known as a ‘Snowball,’ is exactly as it sounds. Flower coated in THCa. The final product looks a lot like a snowball. The user would break off a piece of the frosted flower and packed into a bowl or rolled into a pre-roll to be smoked. The heat of a flame would be low enough of a temperature to decarboxylate the THCa to be converted into a stronger THC high.

Legally speaking, the typical user wouldn’t be able to find these products as the decarboxylation process of the THCa would skyrocket the Delta-9 THC content well above the 0.3% legal limit. Nevertheless, these products are available, somewhere.

Vaped as a Liquid Diamond Distillate Blend

Vaping THCa as a liquid diamond distillate blend is by far the most affordable and accessible way to consume the cannabinoid. Liquid Diamonds are simply the extracted form of THCa to exist as a distillate. These are usually coupled with other psychoactive cannabinoids such as hemp-derived Delta-8 THC, Delta-9 THC, and other minor cannabinoids to mimic a full spectrum blend one would normally experience with smoking marijuana flower.

One of the other benefits of vaping THCa as Liquid Diamonds is the ability to attach strain specific and/or botanically derived terpenes to effectively mask its natural aroma and deliver instead a more pleasing flavor. In fact, check out the PRISM Series THCa Disposables, two strain-specific flavors reconstructed to deliver a Cherry Pie and an Apricot Mimosa respectively.

Eating THCa as an Edible

If inhaling cannabinoids into your lungs aren’t your vibe, eating edibles are a fantastic option. THCa-infused treats such as our THCa Gummies are historically a super convenient and longer-lasting way to enjoy the cannabinoid.

Unlike smoking and vaping THCa which would enter your bloodstream through your lungs, edibles must first be digested and processed through the liver. This means the onset time before you’d feel the effects is longer, but the end result is a longer-lasting and often more potent experience.

The PRISM Series also offers THCa Gummies, available in three flavors: Hawaiian Haze, Melon Drop, and Pinkberry Kiwi. Each 1000MG jar contains THCa Liquid Diamonds as a blend alongside Delta-8 THC, THC-P, and THC-H.

Eighty Six Brings You Quality You Won’t Find Anywhere Else

Whether you’re a seasoned user of alternative cannabinoids or reading this for the first time, Eighty Six has the products you need at the safety guarantee you demand. Our products prioritize flawless, lab-tested quality and transparency at every step of the process. Shop the site and fall in love with your next favorite cannabinoid blend today.

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