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Can I Get High from THCA?

Jeff Yauck | June 24, 2024

If you’re asking yourself whether or not you can get high from THCA, we’re going to give you a cut-and-dry answer: yes, you can get high from THCA.

That being said, whether or not you get high from THCA depends on how you consume the product.

Let’s discuss.

How Do You Know If You’ll Get High From THCA?

THCA is non-intoxicating by itself, which means it won’t get you high. However, if you heat it to a high temperature, a process called decarboxylation occurs.

Decarboxylation removes carboxylic acid from THCA, transforming the compound into THC. THC, as we know, gets us high.

Decarboxylation will also occur by itself over a period of time (generally months or years) as THCA breaks down naturally into THC.

To better explain the process of decarboxylation, let’s take THCA flower as an example (which we sell in our Premium Jane online store).

THCA flower comes from hemp, a plant that’s legal to grow (with the requisite licensing) across the USA. If you were to take THCA flower, grind it up, and put it into a smoothie, you wouldn’t get high. You’re not exposing it to heat, so no decarboxylation occurs.

If, however, you were to grind the flower up and roll it into a joint and smoke it, the heat from the lighter would instantly ‘decarb’ the THCA and turn it into THC. Which, of course, would (most likely) get you high.

What THCA Products Get You High?

Simply put, THCA won’t get you high unless it’s decarboxylated. But how do you know if a THCA product has been ‘decarbed?’

Any product you buy that’s labeled THCA will not have been decarbed. That’s the whole point of selling THCA; once it’s decarbed, it becomes THC, not THCA.

(Check out the following article to learn more about the differences between the two.)

Take THCA gummies, for example. Will they get you high? No. (They shouldn’t anyway, if they contain actual THCA).

If you were to put those gummies in the oven for a couple of hours, the heat would decarb the THCA into THC. Then you would probably get high.

(Who puts THCA gummies in the oven anyway?)

Why Use THCA if it Doesn’t Get You High?

So why even use THCA if it doesn’t get you high?

Believe it or not, a lot of people like to take advantage of the health benefits of THCA without having to get high.

More research is needed, but studies suggest that THCA may have beneficial health effects very similar to THC.

This includes the potential to lower pain, decrease inflammation, reduce nausea, and help with weight loss as a result of increased metabolism.

THCA: Cannabis Without the High

Taking advantage of the benefits of THCA without experiencing a high is actually one of the major selling points of modern THCA products.

Like all cannabinoids, THCA works by interacting with receptors in the body known as endocannabinoid receptors. Depending on their unique molecular structure, different cannabinoids will produce different effects on systemic tissues and neurotransmitters in the central nervous system.

THC, for example, works like a ‘lock-and-key’ mechanism by temporarily binding to CB1 endocannabinoid receptors in the brain. This is what causes the warping of time and space that defines the cannabis high.

Since the molecular structure of THCA is different from that of THC (it has a single extra carbon atom and two extra oxygen atoms), it does not affect CB1 receptors in the brain. Rather, it works in a similar way to CBD by interacting with CB2 receptors, which control a variety of systemic processes in the body.

These systemic processes are vast and are known to regulate everything in the body, from mood and appetite to sleep patterns, pain, and metabolism.

Is THCA Right for You?

The fascinating thing about cannabinoids is that they affect each person differently. This is because every person (thanks to genetics) has a unique arrangement of endocannabinoids in their body.

That being said, research is showing THCA to have somewhat consistent health benefits, one of which is the potential to help with sleep and relaxation.

Like all things in the body, stress is the result of a chemical response triggered by hormones. The body’s endocrine system, which regulates hormonal responses, is deeply integrated with CB2 receptors of the endocannabinoid system.

When a hormonal response becomes imbalanced (resulting in mood-related conditions such as anxiety, depression, stress, etc.), the endocannabinoid system (ECS) works to return the endocrine system to a state of balance and homeostasis. If CB2 receptors within the ECS lack neurotransmitters to activate them, however, then the ECS can’t do its job—which is ultimately to ensure internal balance and homeostasis.

This is where non-intoxicating cannabinoids like THCA and CBD come into play. They function to activate CB2 receptors in the body, thereby helping the ECS do its job of ensuring health, balance, and homeostasis.

THCA Isn’t Just About the High

The beauty of THCA is that it can provide the best of both worlds, depending on how you use it. If you want to experience the health benefits of THCA without the high, simply use THCA without decarboxylating (heating) it.

If you want to experience some mild mind-altering effects, on the other hand, you can use something like THCA flower rolled up in a joint, smoked in a bowl, or inhaled with a vape.

We hope this article was helpful and informative in answering the question of whether or not THCA can get you high. If you want to try THCA for yourself, be sure to browse our award-winning collection of THCA flower and other products right here in the official Premium Jane online store.


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