Does Smoking THCa Get You High?

An image of a woman holding a joint in one hand and a smoke funnel in the other, exhaling smoke and visibly enjoying the moment

Shop this article

View all
THCA Cart - Live ResinTHCA Cart - Live Resin
Sale price$35.00
Indica THCA
Crystal Candy THCACrystal Candy THCA
Sale priceFrom $12.00
Fresh Drop! Indica THCA
Cookies & Cream THCACookies & Cream THCA
Sale priceFrom $12.00
Fresh Drop! Indica THCA
Jelly Donut THCAJelly Donut THCA
Sale priceFrom $12.00
Fresh Drop! Indica THCA
Gorilla Skunk THCAGorilla Skunk THCA
Sale priceFrom $12.00
Fresh Drop! Hybrid THCA
Cheetah Piss THCACheetah Piss THCA
Sale priceFrom $12.00
Table Of Contents

One of the newest things to recently hit the market is THCa flower, as well as the THCa cannabinoid contained in a variety of tinctures and edibles. However, what we are really here to focus on today is smoking THCa flower. There seems to be a lot of confusion about whether or not smoking THCa gets you high.

Important to note is that THCa in itself, in its raw form, is generally not psychoactive or intoxicating. This means that if you consume it raw, it should not get you high at all. However, as soon as some heat is added to the equation, things look a bit different. For anybody looking to get a bit of a buzz going, smoking THCa flower could be the way to go.

Today, we are going to cover all of the most important aspects that you need to know about THCa flower, especially when it comes to getting high from it, smoking it, decarboxylating it, and more. By the end of today's article, you'll know exactly how to process your THCa flower so it produces an intoxicating effect.

Key Takeaways

  • THCa in its raw form should not get you high, but once it is decarboxylated and turns into Delta-9 THC, the story is a bit different.
  • The process of decarboxylation converts THCa into Delta-9 THC.
  • Check out some high THCa hemp strains right here!

What is THCa?

THCa stands for Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid and is, therefore, the acidic version of THC. In other words, THC a is the acidic precursor to THC, specifically Delta-9 THC. THCa, along with CBDa and CBCa, are the three main cannabinoid precursors, which then turn into THC, CBD, and CBC, respectively.

Through the process of decarboxylation, which essentially means applying some heat to it, THCa turns into Delta-9 THC.

Although THCa on its own is not psychoactive or intoxicating, the decarboxylation process produces a chemical change that results in Delta-9 THC, a psychoactive compound. However, if consumed raw, it should not produce any psychoactive effects, but may still provide you with a wide variety of potential health benefits.

This means that without THCa, THC itself would not exist. When you go into your local dispensaries and you see that a cannabis flower features X amount of THC, this is technically the potential amount of THC, as the raw flower does not contain much THC, but rather high amounts of THCa. It needs to be decarboxylated first before it turns into Delta-9 THC. Remember that THCa and THCv are not the same!

Is THCa Psychoactive?

No, THCa on its own is not psychoactive. If you consume this cannabinoid without first decarboxylating it, it should not produce any psychoactive or intoxicating effects. It should not get you high whatsoever. Only when it is decarboxylated will it get you high.

The molecular structure of the THCa molecule features an additional carboxyl chain. This carboxyl chain effectively prevents THCa from binding with your CB1 and CB2 receptors, especially your CB1 receptors, with those being mainly responsible for producing A psychoactive height.

Because THCa does not have a great affinity for binding with your CB1 receptors, it therefore also does not produce a notable intoxicating effect. The decarboxylation process changes the chemical structure which then allows the cannabinoid to become psychoactive. 

If you want some tasty Delta-9 THC, take a look at our own Botany Farms Delta-9 Blue Raspberry Gummies.

Can THCa Get You High?

Technically speaking no, THCa on its own cannot get you high. You might think that decarboxylating THCa allows this cannabinoid to get you high.

However, this is technically false. Decarboxylating THCa turns it into Delta-9 THC. Once decarboxylated, and once it has an intoxicating effect, it is officially known as Delta-9 THC, no longer THCa. 

If you want to get high, these Mixed Flavor Delta-9 Gummies could be right for you. 

Will Smoking THCa Get You High?

The interesting part here is of course that smoking THCa will get you high. This is because smoking involves heat, or in simpler terms, fire. When you smoke, you use a lighter or matches to combust the THC  flower, whether in a joint or a bowl.

The combustion process qualifies as decarboxylation, which effectively converts the non-psychoactive THCa into a psychoactive cannabis right, Delta-9 THC, which gets you high. 

Interestingly enough, the temperatures achieved when smoking is around 1000 degrees Fahrenheit, which is roughly four times as hot as is required for the decarboxylation process to occur.

This is important to note because once THCa or Delta-9 THC reach certain temperatures, they start to degrade and dissipate. 

When you smoke THCa flower, although the combustion process allows for decarboxylation to happen, due to such high temperatures, a lot of the Delta-9 THC is lost in the process. As you'll see further below, the ideal temperature for decarboxylation is much lower.

How Does Smoking THCa Get You High?

As mentioned above, smoking THCa gets you high because the fire required to combust the plant matter is more than hot enough to cause the decarboxylation process to occur, therefore converting THCa into Delta-9 THC with every pull off of the joint or bong that you take.

It might be raw THCa when it is still in your joint or bowl, but as soon as the fire hits it, the conversion process happens. It's interesting because THCa is considered legal whereas Delta-9 THC is not, but the only thing separating the two is this decarboxylation process.

If you’d rather take edibles than smoke, and you want to get high, check out our Botany Farms Nano Microdose Pink Lemonade Delta-9 THC Gummies

Does THCa Turn Into Delta-9 When Smoked?

Yes, THCa turns into Delta-9 THC when it is smoked, which is thanks to that decarboxylation process.

Do THCa Edibles Get You High?

Technically speaking, no, edibles that contain THCa will not get you high. Once again, if the edibles are made with raw THCa that has not been decarboxylated, which means that it has not been activated or made psychoactive, it will not get you high.

The THCa is still in its inert form, with that extra carboxyl chain, therefore preventing it from effectively binding with your CB1 receptors and getting you high. Only once that cannabinoid is decarboxylated will it get you high, but then it is technically no longer THCa, but rather Delta-9 THC.

Understanding Decarboxylation

We've mentioned decarboxylation about a dozen Times Now, so let's figure out what exactly this is all about.

What Does Decarboxylation Mean?

As noted above, THCa contains what is known as an extra carboxyl chain. When a certain amount of heat is applied to the THCa, for a certain amount of time, a chemical change occurs, where that carboxyl chain is removed, hence the term decarboxylation. The carboxyl chain is being removed.

This is simply the term used to refer to the process where inactive THCa is converted into active Delta-9 THC, at least as far as cannabis is concerned.

How Does Decarboxylation Work?

To put it in scientific terms, decarboxylation is a specific type of chemical reaction that removes a carboxyl group and releases carbon dioxide, and this usually occurs with the application of heat.

Decarboxylation usually always refers to the reaction of various carboxylic acids, where a carbon atom is removed from a carbon chain.

Once the decarboxylation occurs, and that carboxyl group is removed, the resulting Delta-9 THC molecule is much better able to bind with your cannabinoid receptors, therefore producing A psychoactive effect.

How to Decarboxylate THCa

To decarboxylate THCa, grind your bud into small chunks, put it in a single layer on a baking sheet, and put it in the oven for around 30 minutes at 240 degrees Fahrenheit.

Final Thoughts

The topic of THCa is currently one of the most interesting ones in the world of hemp and cannabis, mainly due to what appears to be a small legal loophole that allows it to remain completely legal. You can consume it raw to reap its potential medical benefits or decarboxylate it to allow you to get high as well.

THCa: Frequently Asked Questions

Before we call it a day, let's answer some of your most frequently asked questions.

Does Decarboxylation Kill Mold?

No, the decarboxylation process does not kill mold in weed or hemp.

Does Decarboxylated Weed Smell?

Yes, due to the chemical reaction and the increased temperatures, decarboxylated weed does have a bit of a smell.

Can You Decarboxylate Directly in Butter When Making Edibles?

As long as the butter is at the right temperature, and as long as you put the THCa into the butter for long enough at this temperature, it should allow for decarboxylation.

How Long to Decarboxylate THCa Flower?

THCa flower requires roughly 30 minutes for effective decarboxylation.

Should I Grind Before Decarboxylation?

You should grind your flower into small chunks before decarboxylation, but not into powder, or else you might burn it.

Reading next

Front view of the Stone Arch Bridge in Minnesota, with people walking across it and buildings surrounding the area
A cannabis flower, accompanied with two cannabis joints, placed on a white surface