If you live in the Lone Star State, you might be wondering whether or not it is legal for you to purchase and possess THCa. In case you don’t know what THCa is, no worries because that’s what we’ll start with. Either way, the legal status of various cannabinoids is tenuous in the USA, especially in relatively red states such as Texas.
However, luckily for hemp and cannabis supporters, things are beginning to change across the country, and Texas is one such example. In Texas, CBD and hemp-based products are generally considered legal, but what about THCa? Let’s find out what THCa is and if it’s legal in the great state of Texas.
What is THCa?
THCa stands for tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (not the same as THCv), the acidic version of THC, or Delta-9 THC to be specific. It is known as the precursor or acidic precursor to THC because without THCa, you would not have THC. THCa, through the process of decarboxylation, turns into THC.
The application of heat to THCa effectively changes its chemical structure and removes a carboxyl group from the THC molecule, hence the name decarboxylation. Prior to decarboxylation, THCa is considered to be non-intoxicating and non-psychoactive (just like CBD), which means that it really does not produce any sort of high.
This is believed to be because of the molecular structure of THCa, specifically that the extra carboxyl group it contains prevents THCa from effectively binding with your CB1 receptors, which are believed to be responsible for producing a high.
However, the decarboxylation process removes that carboxyl chain, turning THCa into THC, and with the removal of that carboxyl chain, it gains a much higher affinity to interact with your CB1 receptors, therefore getting you high. THCa itself may have potential health benefits, but in its raw form, does not get you high, at least not until you decarb it and turn it into Delta-9 THC.
THCa and Federal Law
According to the Farm Bill, which was passed in 2018 under former President Trump, cannabinoid products such as flower, edibles, tinctures, and more, should be legal at a federal level so long as they come from the hemp plant.
To qualify as a hemp plant, the plant in question must not contain more than 0.3% Delta-9 THC.
As long as it meets these criteria, any such product should be considered legal across the country. However, if the product in question comes from a cannabis plant (or is cannabis itself), which means that it contains Delta-9 THC levels over 0.3% by dry weight concentration, then it is not considered legal.
Therefore, THCa is at this time technically considered legal at the federal level. There is of course a bit of a gray area here, seeing as THCa turns into Delta-9 THC with nothing more than the application of heat.
However, in itself, THCa does not have the same chemical structure as Delta-9 THC, and therefore still technically falls within the realm of hemp, as far as the legal definition is concerned.
Texas THCa Laws
At this time, Texas state law falls in line with the 2018 Farm Bill. This means that hemp products, so long as they or the original plant does not contain more than 0.3% Delta-9 THC, should be legal, and this includes THCa. Although Texas has not created any laws regarding THCa specifically, it does fall within the definition of hemp according to current laws.
Section 121.001 of the Texas Agricultural Code defines hemp as the following:
“The plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds of the plant and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”
Is THCa a Controlled Substance in Texas?
As long as THCa continues to fall within the legal definition of hemp, according to both the Texas Agricultural Code and the 2018 Farm Bill, mainly in relation to the Delta-9 THC content, then no, it is not considered a controlled substance. However, if it contains more than 0.3% Delta-9 THC, it is technically considered cannabis, in which case it would be a controlled substance.
THCa Possession Limits in Texas
As long as THCa is not considered a controlled substance, which means that as long as it does not contain over 0.3% Delta-9 THC, then there are no possession limits. You can possess as much THCa as you want.
Is THCa Legal in Texas?
Technically speaking, yes, THCa should at this time be considered legal in Texas, as long as it is classified as hemp. Seeing as it is legal in Texas, check out some of these awesome high THCa hemp strains!
Is THCa Safe?
There is at this time no evidence to indicate that THCa is unsafe, toxic, or poses any life-threatening risks. There may be some extremely minor side effects, although these are also rare.