Hemp Knowledge, THCA

THCa Flower VS THC Flower: What is the Difference?

THCa Flower VS THC Flower

It has become increasingly important to distinguish between THCa Flower and THC Flower, two terms in the ever-evolving world of cannabis products. If you’re curious about these buzz-worthy products, their differences, and what they have to offer, you’ve come to the right place.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into THCa Flower versus THC Flower, explore their unique characteristics, and provide insights into the key differences between them.

Table of Contents:

Key Takeaways: THCa Bud VS Weed

When it comes to THCa Flower vs. THC Flower, understanding the basics is essential. While both THCa (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) are present in cannabis, there are some significant differences between the two.

  • THCa flower refers to a specific variety of hemp flower characterized by its high THCa content.
  • When THCa undergoes decarboxylation, it converts into Delta 9 THC, producing effects akin to Delta 9 THC.
  • Hemp typically contains naturally low levels of THCa, whereas marijuana boasts significant THCa concentrations.

What Is THCa Flower?

A cannabis bud known as a “THCa flower” has naturally high cannabinoid acid levels. The process of creating THCA flowers involves the cultivation of hemp or cannabis, and there is no inherent difference between the two in this regard. However, for THCa flower to meet legal criteria as hemp, it must contain a THC concentration of 0.3% or less.

Marijuana flowers typically contain elevated levels of THCa because THCa serves as the precursor to THC. When exposed to heat during decarboxylation, THCa in the flower converts into THC, producing effects similar to traditional delta 9 THC. This conversion process is why labels on dispensary-purchased cannabis often show high THCa content but low delta 9 THC levels.

The primary distinction between hemp THCa flower and THCa flower from marijuana lies in the delta 9 THC content. Hemp-derived THCa flower contains less than 0.3% delta 9 THC, aligning with federal hemp regulations. Consequently, at the federal level, high THCa hemp flower, meeting the specified delta 9 THC limit, can be legally purchased. This has become particularly popular in states where recreational and/or medical marijuana laws have not been enacted.

It is crucial to note that states have the authority to establish their own hemp-related regulations, so it is essential to verify state-specific guidelines before using hemp-derived products.

In states where hemp-derived products are deemed legal, THCa flower can be purchased legally from smoke shops and online retailers across the country.

Related Article: What Is THCA Flower?

What Is the Difference Between Hemp Flower and THCa Flower?

One significant difference between hemp flower and THCA flower is that conventional hemp flower does not get you “high” or have any psychoactive qualities. This is primarily due to its low THCa content, which typically contains less than 0.3% Delta 9 THC.

While certain hemp flower varieties contain higher levels of other beneficial cannabinoids like CBD, their consumption does not result in a euphoric experience. The absence of psychoactive effects remains consistent unless the hemp flower is infused with a different THC isomer, such as Delta 8 flower.

Contrastingly, the experience of smoking THCa flower differs significantly. When THCa flower undergoes decarboxylation, typically by applying heat through methods like using a lighter to ignite a bowl, the cannabinoid acid transforms into Delta 9 THC. Consequently, smoking THCa flower leads to effects akin to those associated with traditional THC use.

Do THC and THCA Flower Get You High?

Although they are both components of the cannabis plant, THCA and THC have different effects on people. Notably, THC possesses psychoactive properties, whereas THCA does not.

In simpler terms, consuming THC can lead to a psychoactive high, depending on the quantity consumed. The raw, unheated form of THCA, however, has no psychoactive properties. This implies that the consumption of unprocessed cannabis, in its natural state, will not result in the same kind of euphoria as cannabis that has undergone heating or processing.

It is imperative to acknowledge that the effects of THC are predominantly contingent upon the strain’s potency and the mode of ingestion selected. In general, the effects of smoking or vaping cannabis usually take effect more quickly and provide a stronger high. On the other hand, eating edibles causes a delayed onset of effects but produces a higher that lasts longer and is frequently more potent.

Moreover, the form in which THCA is consumed, such as THCA diamonds versus live resin, can influence the degree of psychoactive effects experienced by the user.

What is the Difference Between THC and THCA Flowers?

In addition to delta 9 THC and THCA having different effects on the body, there is more to the contrast between these two cannabinoids. Their differences extend to their chemical structures, properties, and usage. 

Here’s a concise breakdown of the primary distinctions between THC and THCA:

Chemical Structure

The chemical structures of THCA and THC are different. It contains a carboxylic acid group (COOH) attached to its molecular structure, making it an acidic precursor to THC. Upon heating, such as through smoking or vaporization, this carboxylic acid group is removed, converting THCA into THC.

Psychoactive Effects

THCA lacks psychoactivity, meaning it does not induce the typical “high” associated with marijuana use. On the other hand, cannabis is often associated with euphoric and mind-altering effects because of its psychoactive component, THC. THCA becomes THC through the process of decarboxylation or when it undergoes heat.


Given its non-psychoactive nature, THCA is typically consumed in larger quantities than THC. For example, individuals seeking the potential wellness benefits of cannabis may use a higher dose of THCA compared to those aiming for recreational effects.


Cannabis plant material, such as fresh leaves and flowers, commonly contains THCA. When THCA undergoes heat-induced conversion, such as through smoking or vaporization, THC is generated. Cannabis flowers, concentrates, edibles, and cannabis concentrates all contain THC as their primary psychoactive ingredient.

How is THCA Flower Made?

The cultivation process for THCA Flower is meticulous. It involves growing specific cannabis strains with a focus on preserving high levels of THCa while minimizing THC content. Harvesting and curing methods are also critical to maintaining the non-psychoactive nature of THCA Flower.

Can You Grow THCA Flower?

Yes, it is possible to grow THCA flowers since THCA occurs naturally in hemp plants. Any cannabis or hemp plant that produces THC will also contain THCA. The level of THCA, however, can vary depending on the strain selected, the growing conditions, and the harvesting method used. Various cultivation techniques, such as low-stress training and high-stress training, can enhance the yield of THCA-rich flowers.

Related Article: How to Grow THCA Flower

Does Growing THCA Hemp Flower Differ from Growing THC Hemp Flower?

Yes, but only slightly. The cultivation of THCA hemp flower shares many similarities with the growth of THC-rich cannabis flower, primarily because both cannabinoids originate from the same plant species, Cannabis sativa. It is, however, the specific objectives of cultivation that make the difference.

The primary differentiation between the two processes is rooted in the plant’s genetic makeup and the environmental conditions in which they are nurtured.

When it comes to THCA-hemp, the focus is often on fostering high THCA levels, while post-harvest processes become pivotal when aiming for THC-rich flowers.

In general, both compounds require similar cultivation techniques, such as indoor or outdoor cultivation, hydroponic or soil-based growing methods, as well as routine maintenance practices such as pruning and pest control.

 The difference between hemp THCa flower and THCa flower is primarily how the flower is produced. The THCA hemp flower is an enhanced hemp flower sprayed with THCA extract. Natural-growth THCA flowers are bred to produce a high percentage of THCA.

1. Natural Growth: Certain cannabis strains naturally contain high levels of THCA. Growers of hemp have discovered that growing high-THC cannabis at low enough temperatures can prevent the conversion of THCA into delta 9 THC. This allows them to produce THCA flower that is compliant with state and federal cannabis laws.

2. THCA Extract Spray: Another tactic is to mist complying hemp flowers with THCA extract. However, this method requires THCA to be synthesized first. To do this, very low-temperature solvents are used to transform CBDA into THCA. After that, the hemp flower is treated with the THCA extract.

What is Considered a High THCA Hemp Flower Percentage?

In the US, hemp flowers cannot contain more than 0.3% THC by dry weight, according to the 2018 Farm Bill. In accordance with this law, hemp is defined as Cannabis sativa L. in all of its components, derivatives, and extracts, with a dry weight basis of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentrations no more than 0.3%.

This 0.3% threshold is consistent with a high THCA hemp flower percentage. THCA is not psychoactive by itself, but it can become THC when heated or exposed to UV light, a process known as decarboxylation. 

Therefore, while a high THCA percentage in hemp flowers may indicate premium flowers with potential therapeutic benefits, it does not always imply elevated levels of THC. Certain hemp strains might have higher levels of THCA, which could result in a stronger effect when consumed. Some would consider 25 to 30% as a high percentage of THCA.

THC and THCA differ not only in their effects but also in their legal status.

The Controlled Substances Act classifies THC as a Schedule I drug, meaning it is illegal to possess, use, or distribute.

However, the legal landscape regarding THC varies from state to state. While some states have decriminalized the possession of small amounts of THC, others have legalized it for medical and recreational use.

In contrast, there are currently no specific laws addressing the possession or consumption of THCA in the United States. Given that THCA is categorized as a hemp-derived product, it generally aligns with the legal provisions of the Farm Bill. This is particularly applicable because THCA lacks THC content, is non-psychoactive, and is non-addictive.

It’s worth noting that hemp-related regulations are still evolving. Therefore, it is advisable to research local laws or seek legal counsel in your area before considering the use or possession of THCA or any other hemp-derived product.

Where Can I Buy THCA and THC Flower?

THCA products, such as THCA Flower, THCA Diamonds, and THCA Disposable Vape Pens, are available from a variety of sources. You may find them at neighborhood stores, depending on where you live, or you can order them conveniently online from CannaAid. For a diverse selection of top-quality THCA products, CannaAid is an excellent online destination to explore and find your preferred THCA product.

Wrapping Up

In the world of cannabis, understanding the distinctions between THCa flower and the THC flower is crucial. THCA flower offers potential unique benefits, particularly for those seeking its potential beneficial effects without the high associated with THC. Please note that the effects are not guaranteed and that much more research is still needed to be done. The FDA has not approved of THCA and THC. Regardless of your level of experience with cannabis or lack thereof, investigating these choices can help you make a more informed decision that meets your requirements and preferences.

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