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Is THCa Legal in Georgia? (Updated for 2024)

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Disclaimer: The information in this article regarding THCa is drawn from comprehensive research. We have made every effort to share the most accurate information available at the time of writing. Remember, the legal status of cannabinoids varies by jurisdiction and can change status over time. The reader is advised to check the legal status of cannabinoids before acting and we do not accept liability for this information. This content is for educational purposes only.


If you live in the so-called peach state, you might not know exactly which cannabinoids are legal and which ones are not. After all, the federal government and state governments often have conflicting rules and regulations surrounding the legality of various cannabis products.

One of the most confusing cannabinoids on this front is THCa, a cannabinoid that is closely related to Delta-9 THC.

As you might know, at a federal level, any product containing over 0.3% Delta-9 THC is still considered illegal. However, even though THCa is closely related, its legal status is a little more relaxed. Let's find out whether or not THCa is legal in the state of Georgia.

Key Takeaways

  • THCa is the acid precursor to Delta-9 THC, and which is not intoxicating or psychoactive on its own.
  • THCa is legal in Georgia as long as it’s an extract from low-THC hemp. 
  • In Georgia, there is no possession limit for THCa products made from compliant hemp.
  • THCa is generally safe but might have few (and rare) side effects. 

What is THCa?

THCa, otherwise known as tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, is the acidic version of THC, or more specifically, Delta-9 THC. It is the acidic precursor to regular Delta-9 THC, which means that through a process of chemical conversion, THCa turns into Delta-9 THC.

Hemp and cannabis start with one major cannabinoid, known as the "mother of all cannabinoids," CBGa. Then, through various enzymatic processes, CBGa is converted into either THCa, CBDa, or CBCa, depending on the route of the chemical reaction.

Next, through the process of decarboxylation, THCa is converted into Delta-9 THC. The process of decarboxylation occurs when heat is applied to THCa, causing a chemical change to occur, which removes an extra carboxyl group from the THCa molecule’s chemical structure.

The removal of this extra carboxyl chain effectively turns THCa into Delta-9 THC. On its own, THCa is not intoxicating or psychoactive. If you just eat raw THCa flower or extract, it will not get you high or have any mind-altering effects.

Due to the chemical structure of THCa, which involves that extra carboxyl chain, it has a weak affinity to bind with your CB1 receptors, which is generally believed to be the reason why it does not get you high.

Once that extra carboxyl chain has been removed, the Delta-9 THC is then much better able to bind with your CB1 receptors, thus producing a psychoactive effect. To clear up any confusion, THCa is not the same as THCv or CBD. They are all somewhat similar, but there are also some major differences between them.

THCa and Federal Law

Although there is a gray area involved here, the federal law is quite clear on this front. According to the 2018 Farm Bill, any cannabinoid product that comes from hemp should be considered legal as long as the plant does not contain more than 0.3% Delta-9 THC.

According to the federal government, industrial hemp is considered legal, and any product made with extracts that come from industrial hemp are also legal.

The defining feature is that to be classified as industrial hemp, the plant cannot contain more than 0.3% Delta-9 THC. This means that technically speaking, THCa should be totally legal at a federal level.

When it is tested, THCa does not register as Delta-9 THC, even though THCa turns into Delta-9 THC. But, just because THCa turns into Delta-9 THC through the application of heat, does not mean that THCa itself equates to Delta-9 THC. As you can tell, this appears to be a bit of a legal loophole or gray area, but at this time, it is what keeps THC legal at the federal level.

Georgia State THCa Laws

Georgia State laws fall in line with the federal 2018 Farm Bill. Once again, this means that any cannabinoid product that is derived from the hemp plant is considered legal so long as that hemp plant does not contain more than 0.3% Delta-9 THC.

This means that just like at the federal level, THCa should also be considered legal in Georgia. What qualifies as an acceptable level of THC in hemp can be found in the Georgia Hemp Farming Act, § 2-23-1 et seq., Rule 40-32-1-.02(1), Definitions. It states the following:

"Acceptable hemp THC level:" when a laboratory tests a sample, it must report the total delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol content concentration level on a dry weight basis and the measurement of uncertainty. The acceptable hemp THC level is when the application of the measurement of uncertainty to the reported total delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol content concentration level on a dry weight basis produces a distribution or range that includes 0.3% or less.”

Is THCa a Controlled Substance in Georgia?

As long as the THCa product falls within the rules and regulations set out by both the Georgia legislature and the federal government, it is not considered a controlled substance.

In other words, a THCa product derived from hemp that does not contain more than 0.3% Delta-9 THC, it is not a controlled substance. Industrial hemp has been removed from the Controlled Substances Act.

However, if the product in question contains more than 0.3% Delta-9 THC, it is considered a controlled substance. Remember that cannabis and Delta-9 THC itself, particularly if it is present in quantities over 0.3%, is a controlled substance in the state of Georgia and at the federal level.

THCa Possession Limits in Georgia

As long as the THCa product falls within the limits set out above, there are no possession limits. This means that as long as the THCa product is considered hemp and does not contain more than 0.3% Delta-9 THC, you can possess as much as you want of it.

However, the story is not the same for any products containing more than 0.3% Delta-9 THC, or for actual cannabis itself, and the possession of such products will result in legal penalties.

Is THCa Safe?

Besides some extremely minor and rare side effects, such as tiredness, red eyes, dry mouth, and related side effects, there is no reason to believe that THCa is dangerous, particularly when consumed in moderate quantities. At this time, there are no recorded instances of very severe or life-threatening side effects.

Where to Buy THCa in Georgia

If you want to buy some THCa in Georgia, right here at Botany Farms is the place to be, as we have some upcoming THCa products that everyone is going to love.

For the time being, however, we’d like to recommend some legally compliant Delta-9 THC products, such as our own best-selling Botany Farms Delta-9 THC Sample Pack of Gummies and this Nano Delta-9 Microdose Sample Pack of Gummies. If you’re interested in doing some further reading on THCa, check out this list of the highest THCa hemp strains out there.

References:

  • https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/tetrahydrocannabinolic-acid
  • https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/chemistry/cannabigerolic-acid
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5549281/
  • https://www.usda.gov/farmbill
  • https://agr.georgia.gov/sites/default/files/documents/assets/legal/ocga/ocga-georgia-hemp-farming-act.pdf

Important Note: This article was last updated in April 2024 and the information provided in relation to US federal and state cannabis laws is accurate as of the date provided. Due to the rapidly changing cannabis laws in the US, the information herein may become outdated at any time.

Additionally, and for the avoidance of doubt, this article is NOT intended to be legal advice. Botany Farms does NOT provide any legal advice; neither does any individual nor entity associated with Botany Farms. Please consult official state government websites for current information regarding cannabis laws for your state.

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