Hemp Knowledge, THCA

THCa vs Delta 9: What Are The Differences?

THCA vs Delta 9

In the world of 100+ distinct cannabinoids, two compounds have gained significant attention – THCA vs. Delta 9 THC. Compounds found in cannabis plants have unique properties and effects on the body. Despite their identical names, these two substances differ greatly in terms of their chemical makeup, actions, and possible advantages. 

THCA and Delta 9 THC are examined in this comprehensive guide, including their effects, differences, and legal status.

Table of Contents:

What Is Delta 9 THC?

The psychoactive compound delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol can be found in cannabis, hemp, and marijuana. This component is responsible for marijuana’s classic “high.”  

In the body, delta 9 THC attaches to CB1 receptors in the brain and nervous system and interacts with the endocannabinoid system. Apart from altered perception, potential mood changes, and relaxation, this interaction may also produce psychoactive effects.

What Is THCA?

The chemical known as tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) precedes delta 9 THC. The intoxicating effects that are frequently linked to Delta 9 THC are not present in THCA in its natural state. When heated, THCA undergoes a process known as decarboxylation, which produces psychoactive effects. THCa loses its carbon atoms that are acidic when heated. This shrinks it and makes it fit into the brain’s CB1 receptors, which is ultimately how you get high. This means that raw cannabis plants contain THCA, not Delta 9 THC.

Related Article: What is THCA?

How Do Delta 9 and THCA Differ?

1. Chemical Structure

  • The psychoactive property of delta 9 THC is derived from its cyclic ring structure.
  • THCA has an additional carboxylic acid group, which is removed during decarboxylation to convert it into Delta 9 THC.

2. Psychoactivity

  • THC delta 9 is responsible for the classic “high” associated with cannabis.
  • A natural state of THCA is non-psychoactive, and it needs heat in order to become psychoactive.

3. Availability

  • Delta 9 THC is readily available in mature cannabis plants.
  • THCA is the predominant cannabinoid in freshly harvested cannabis and only converts to Delta 9 THC when exposed to heat.

4. Potential Benefits

  • It is well recognized that delta 9 THC has the ability to potentially alleviate certain ailments, but we cannot guarantee that.
  • THCA, in its raw form, has shown promise for its anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties but lacks the psychoactive effects of Delta 9 THC.

*These benefits still require much more research, and products containing THC and THCA are still not FDA-approved.

5. Consumption Methods

  • Most people who use cannabis products to smoke, vape, or eat them consume delta 9 THC.
  • Raw cannabis can be juiced to obtain THCA, but doing so necessitates using particular techniques to release the plant’s psychoactive compounds.
  • THCA products: THCa flower, THCa diamonds, and THCa disposable vapes

How Does Delta 9 and THCA Affect the Body?

Delta 9 THC is said to affect the CNS and the brain. When it attaches to CB1 receptors, it potentially produces relaxation, euphoria, and altered perception. This interaction may cause negative side effects for some people associated with THC.

THCA, on the other hand, doesn’t bind strongly to CB1 receptors and, in its raw form, does not produce a high. Some research suggests that THCA may have anti-inflammatory, antiemetic, and neuroprotective properties, making it a potential option for medical use without the intoxicating effects of Delta 9 THC. There are no guarantees with the use of THCA and the FDA has not approved of any THCA products or Delta 9 products. If you are seeking THCA for medical treatment, we highly suggest that you seek the help of a doctor or medical professional.

Are Delta 9 and THCA Safe and Legal?

Yes, it is legal in different states. Jurisdictions differ on the legality of THC; some allow it for both medical and recreational purposes, while others have tight laws or forbid it completely. Understanding the laws that affect you is essential.

THCA, in its raw form, is generally considered safe and legal since it doesn’t produce a high. Safety is also dependent on the place you are buying it from. Reputable businesses like CannaAid are well-known for having independent labs test their products to ensure that they are pure and potent. COAs (certificates of analysis) are great indicators of a good product, and they allow you to see what your product is. In terms of their legal status, different THCA products have different origins and manufacturing processes. Before using cannabis-derived products, be sure to check your local laws and speak with a medical professional.

What is the Delta 9 High Like?

Delta 9 THC produces a different “high” depending on factors such as dosage, strain, and personal tolerance. The “munchies,” is one of the  common anecdotal side effects and are not guaranteed for everyone. Please note that Delta 9 is not approved of by the FDA. Some users may experience negative effects that are associated with Delta-9.

What is the THCa High Like?

Natural THCA does not produce a high or psychoactive effect. Raw cannabis or THCA-based products lack the psychoactive properties of Delta 9 THC when consumed as raw cannabis or THCA-based products. Instead, THCA is often used for its potential benefits without inducing intoxication. When THCA is decarboxylated and becomes THC, it can then produce a high.

Is THCa or Delta 9 Better?

No, neither is better than the other and is more a matter of personal preference. You have a choice between Delta 9 THC and THCA, depending on your particular needs and preferences. If you are looking for the typical inebriating effects of cannabis use, Delta 9 THC might be a better option. However, if you are interested in potential benefits without the high, THCA could be a better option. THCA is also a great option for people looking for something that is considered more legal and probably more attainable than Delta 9. However, if you want both products and would like to enjoy a hemp-derived product, CannaAid is the place for you.

Should You Try THCa or Delta 9 First?

Whether you should try THCA or Delta 9 THC first depends on your goals and experience with cannabis. Individuals familiar with THC or other cannabis products are likely to find satisfaction with both Delta 9 and THCa, as they exhibit relative comparability. If you are new to cannabis or have concerns about psychoactive effects, starting with THCA in its raw form might be a gentler introduction. Particularly with edible forms of THC, it may take an extended period for the effects to manifest, so patience is advised if the desired sensations are not experienced immediately. However, if you are using THCA or Delta 9 to treat an ailment, we don’t suggest that you do this, we do prefer that you consult with a healthcare professional before trying any cannabis product.

Where Can I Buy THCa & Delta 9?

For those well-versed in THC or other cannabis products, the satisfaction derived from Delta 9 and THCa is likely to be comparable, providing a familiar and enjoyable experience. New users embarking on their cannabis journey have the flexibility to start with either Delta 9 or THCa, based on their comfort levels. It’s essential to acknowledge that THC, the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis, can elicit different responses in individuals. Additionally, for those opting for edible versions of THC, it’s crucial to exercise patience, as these forms may take a notably extended period to produce effects. Whether you’re a seasoned cannabis enthusiast or a novice, a mindful approach to consumption is advisable to ensure a positive and controlled experience.

When seeking THCA and Delta 9 THC products, licensed dispensaries and reputable online retailers in regions where cannabis is legal serve as reliable sources. One notable option for procuring quality cannabis products is CannaAid, recognized for its commitment to offering premium selections. As with any cannabis purchase, it’s imperative to adhere to local regulations governing the acquisition and use of cannabis products, ensuring a legal and responsible approach to enjoying the benefits of THCA and Delta 9 THC.

What Does THCA Feel Like?

Though its name implies a resemblance to THC, THCA has different effects. As the acidic precursor to THC, often referred to as THCA’s “mother” cannabinoid, THCA itself does not induce a psychoactive high. Being a non-psychoactive cannabinoid means that THCA lacks the chemical components necessary to produce the sensation of being high upon consumption.

The transformation occurs when THCA undergoes decarboxylation, a process involving heating as vapor or combustion with a flame. This chemical reaction converts THCA into THC. Consequently, when THCA is smoked or vaped, it transforms into THC, providing the psychoactive effects associated with cannabis consumption. However, in its un-decarboxylated form, as often found in edibles, THCA remains non-psychoactive, meaning that its consumption in this manner does not result in a feeling of being lifted.

It is important to note that despite THCA being classified as a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, it may still appear on drug tests due to trace amounts of delta 9 THC. Responsible use of THCA is recommended to navigate the potential implications associated with drug testing.

Best Ways to Enjoy THCA

THCA offers various consumption options, allowing users to enjoy its effects through different methods. These include incorporating THCA into edibles, using THCA flower in prerolled joints, consuming concentrates such as vapes and carts, and opting for joints infused with THCA diamonds. This diverse range of consumption methods provides users with flexibility in choosing how to experience the effects of THCA based on their preferences and desired intensity.

Does THCA Turn into Delta 9?

Yes, THCA can become Delta 9 THC by heating it through a process called decarboxylation. When THCA is exposed to heat, as it is when smoking, vaping, or cooking with cannabis, decarboxylation takes place. Delta 9 THC is produced by removing THCA’s carboxylic acid group.


To summarize, the cannabis plant contains two different types of cannabinoids, THCA and Delta 9 THC, each having specific qualities and effects of their own. The Delta 9 THC, on the other hand, is known for its psychoactive properties despite its raw nature. The choice between THCA and Delta 9 THC depends on individual preferences and intended use, whether it be for recreational or medicinal purposes. Ensure that these cannabinoids are legal in your area before using them, and consult a health care professional before using them. Making informed decisions about cannabis consumption requires individuals to understand the difference between THCA and Delta 9 THC.

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About Alice Smith

Alice Smith boasts extensive expertise in CBD, backed by years of dedicated research and educational experience. Passionate about promoting natural health and wellness, she has devoted her career to elucidating the advantages of CBD and exploring its diverse applications.

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