So, you've probably heard of THC, but what about THCA? What does the “A” mean? THCA or tetrahydrocannabinolic acid is just one of the many cannabinoids found in cannabis and hemp plants. Although many people might not know about it, it's actually one of the most important cannabinoids in these plants.
Technically speaking, no cannabis or weed strain out there would contain THC if it weren't for THCA. If this confuses you, no worries because we will explain this further below. However, the main takeaway here is that Delta-9 THC is formed by the decarboxylation of THCA.
Now, many people wonder what the benefits and effects of THCA are. Are they different from regular THC? One of the main questions that people have is “Does THCA make you tired?”. Well, the simple answer here is, yes, this cannabinoid can make you feel lethargic and help you sleep. However, it's not as simple as that, and in fact, it's actually rather complicated. Let's take a closer look at the relationship between THCA, Delta-9 THC, and your sleep.
- THCA is the acidic precursor to Delta-9 THC.
- Through the process of decarboxylation, THCA turns into Delta-9 THC.
- THC is generally not considered a sedative, although one of its side effects is drowsiness. However, when decarboxylated and turned into Delta-9 THC, it appears to be sedative.
- Don’t confuse THCA with THCV. They aren’t the same thing!
What is THCA?
THCA stands for Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid. However, first, we need to talk about what is known as cannabigerolic acid or CBGA. This is one of the very first cannabinoids that any hemp or cannabis plant produces. Then, as the weed plant grows, they synthesize that CBGA into one of three main precursor cannabinoid groups.
These three precursor cannabinoid groups include CBCA, CBDA, and of course, THCA. In simplest terms, these are the acidic precursors to the actual cannabinoids that you know, CBC, CBD, and THC, respectively.
Now, THCA is generally non-psychoactive and non-intoxicating. It won't alter your state of mind per se, and it won't impair your motor skills or cognitive abilities. It's not like THC that gets you high, but then again, it's not far off. The reason for this is that through the process of decarboxylation.
THCA turns into THC, or Delta-9 THC. Delta-9 THC is of course intoxicating and psychoactive, which means that not only does it provide you with the various benefits of THC, but it also gets you high. For those of you who don't know, decarboxylation is the process of applying heat to cannabis to activate the cannabinoids. In this case, turning THCA into its active form, THC. Here's a look at some of the best hemp strains out there that contain plenty of THCA.
How does THCA Make You Feel?
Once again, important to note here is that THCA does not make you high. It is not psychoactive or intoxicating in any way. It will not make you feel high like Delta-9 THC.
That said, if you take THCA flower and you smoke it, you are effectively decarboxylating it in the process, therefore turning that THCA into THC with every pull you take. In this sense, THCA can technically get you high, if you decarboxylate as you go.
However, just because this cannabinoid doesn't necessarily get you high doesn't mean that it doesn't have any benefits. THCA may be able to help relieve pain and inflammation, it may act as a neuroprotectant and have other benefits too.
This cannabinoid may also act as a bit of a mood regulator, potentially helping to relieve stress, anxious thoughts, and general melancholy. In other words, the THCA cannabinoid should make you feel good in general, all without getting you high or intoxicating you.
Does THCA Make You Sleepy?
Although there is somewhat limited research on this front, THCA does have some side effects. Although THCA itself is not directly a sedative like Delta-9 THC, one of its side effects is that it could make you feel a bit sleepy, tired, and drowsy.
It may also be the case that THC could help regulate your mood and relieve some stress and anxiety, therefore potentially helping you get a better night's sleep because you are in a better state of mind.
However, in general, plain THCA itself, when inactivated, is usually not considered the best sleep aid in the world, although it may have its benefits in this regard.
Can THCA Help You Sleep?
As mentioned above, THCA, as a side effect, may cause tiredness or drowsiness. However, the issue is that not everybody is going to suffer from this side effect. On its own, THCA is not known as a strong sedative. On the other hand, if you decarboxylate that THCA, turn it into active THC, and then consume it, then the story is a little different. Delta-9 THC is known as a sedative, and it will help you sleep.
How Much THCA Should You Take for Sleep?
What you should have gathered by now is that THCA itself, in its inactivated form, is generally not the best sleep aid in the world. Therefore, asking how much of it you should take for sleep doesn't make all that much sense, at least not if you haven't decarboxylated it first.
That said if you smoke or vaporize your THCA, which effectively decarboxylates it in the process, then somewhere between 10 milligrams and 20 milligrams should suffice for most people. If you have a lot of trouble sleeping, you can try taking anywhere between 20 and 40 milligrams of THCA, as long as you remember this whole issue of decarboxylation.
If you do want to give it a try, check out our Botany Farms Delta-9 Watermelon Microdose Gummies.
THCA vs Delta-9 for Sleep
The bottom line here is that Delta-9 THC is generally considered to be a relatively strong sedative, plus it also improves your mood., and potentially relieves stress and anxiety. All of these factors come together to put you to sleep. Delta-9 THC is a fantastic choice if you need to get a good night's sleep but are having trouble doing so.
THCA is not really considered to be a sedative. It may help you get a good night's sleep due to its pain relief and inflammation relief properties, as well as due to its potential to regulate mood. However, it's not actually sedating in nature, at least not until you decarboxylate it and turn it into Delta-9 THC. As you can see, these two cannabinoids are not mutually exclusive, as one turns into the other.
Final Takeaways: Does THCA Help with Sleep?
The bottom line here is that THCA may make you slightly tired because it's one of its possible side effects, although it's not really a sedative. If you want the biggest sedative properties, decarboxylating THCA to turn it into Delta-9 THC is what you need to do. If you want to try some plain THCA to see what benefits it has, check out our very own Botany Farms Delta-9 THC Strawberry Gummies.