THCA vs THCV: What’s the Difference?

THCV vs. THCA: What's the Difference?

Two compounds in the world of cannabinoids often raise curiosity: THCa and THCV. Despite their similar-sounding names, these two compounds have distinct properties and applications. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore THCa vs. THCV, delving into their extraction methods, chemical structures, dosage instructions, legality, safety, and usage. All right, let us dive right in and explore the realm of cannabis.

Table of Contents:

Overview of THCA vs. THCV

Although both THCa and THCV are cannabinoids that are present in cannabis plants, their characteristics and actions are very different. 

The psychoactive ingredient in cannabis that gives users a “high” tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, or THCa, is the precursor to THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). The compound THCa is not psychoactive so you won’t get high from it alone. Instead, it is commonly found in raw cannabis plants and may offer potential benefits without the intoxicating effects of THC. THCA serves as the precursor to THC and becomes psychoactive when heated through decarboxylation. In its raw form, THCA is nonpsychoactive and shares common potential beneficial properties with CBD.

Another cannabinoid that has drawn attention for its special qualities is tetrahydrocannabivarin or THCV. Though it has a distinct psychoactive profile from THC, THCV is psychoactive, in contrast to THCa. THCV, while also a natural cannabinoid, doesn’t convert into THC when smoked. It’s known for producing a more clear-headed and energizing high. THCV may also have potential benefits, which we will explore later in this article. Please note that the effects of THCV and THCA are not guaranteed and both have not been approved by the FDA.

Extraction of THCA and THCV

THCA and THCV can be extracted from hemp and cannabis flowers, and brands like QWIN offer products with these compounds.

In order to stop THCA from turning into THC during the extraction process, processors employ methods that reduce heat exposure and agitation. Subzero temperatures are required for techniques such as cold ethanol or supercritical CO2 extraction in order to maintain the integrity of THCA. These solvents dissolve terpenes, other cannabinoids, and THCA to produce concentrated extracts that can be used in additional product development. Gentle techniques like magnetic stirring are also used to avoid damaging THCA during processing.

THCV, found in trace amounts in plants, is usually not directly extracted. Rather, it is produced chemically by converting hemp-derived extracts, such as CBD. This complex process involves converting CBD to Delta-9-THCV, then to Delta-8-THCV, and purifying the final mixture. The purified Delta-8-THCV is formulated into products like tinctures or capsules, undergoes third-party testing for purity and potency, and is then made available to consumers.

Chemical Structure of THCA and THCV

To understand the differences between THCA and THCV, it’s essential to examine their chemical structures.

The THCA molecule has a molecular formula of C22H30O4 and a relatively large, complex structure; in other words, it has 22 carbon atoms and four oxygen atoms. Heat causes THCa to decarboxylate, losing its excess carboxyl group and converting to the psychoactive compound THC. Otherwise, it is essentially identical to conventional THC except that it has an additional “carboxyl group” made up of one carbon atom, one hydrogen atom, and two oxygen atoms.

THCV, on the other hand, has a molecular formula of C19H26O2 and a slightly different structure compared to THCA and THC. There are two oxygen atoms and 19 carbon atoms in THCV. Two fused ring structures, each of two carbon rings, are joined to the carbon chain. 

Comparison of Dosage Instructions

The product and the intended effects will determine the appropriate dosage for THCA and THCV. It is imperative to adhere to suggested protocols and seek medical advice from a specialist when needed.

Dosage recommendations for THCA products might suggest lowering the dose first and progressively raising it until the intended results are obtained. THCA can be consumed in a variety of ways, including raw cannabis juice, tinctures, and capsules. Depending on the individual, the right dosage may differ.

THCV products, on the other hand, may also require careful dosing. Due to its unique psychoactive profile, THCV is sometimes used to counteract the potential sedating effects of THC. 

Dosage for THCA and THCV varies depending on the desired effects:

THC-A Dosage

  • Doses of THCA can be as low as 0.1-1 mg per kilogram of body weight, offering potential ease with minimal consumption.
  • Daily doses of 5-50 mg of THCA may achieve potential results.

For Psychoactive Effects

  • Smoking or vaporizing THCA should follow the same dosing guidelines as standard cannabis products.
  • For instance, THCA flowers with 15% or higher concentrations can be potent.
  • THCA vapes with approximately 50% THCV should be used cautiously, starting with one puff and waiting for 15 minutes before considering more.

THCV Dosage

  • THCV can potentially produce psychoactive effects at high doses.
  • For potential “munchie” suppression, a moderate, nonpsychoactive dose of about 10 mg in edible form is recommended (this is not guaranteed and the FDA has not approved of THCV).
  • To get the potential desired effects, those looking for a high dose can experiment with increasing the dosage of THCV or combining moderate levels of THCV with strong cannabinoids like Delta-8 THC.

Please note that every dosage will not be the same for everyone, as factors like tolerance, metabolism, and body composition will play a role. If you are using THCV or THCA as a treatment for a certain ailment or health problem, we don’t recommend this, but we highly recommend that you seek the help and advice of a doctor or medical professional.

Differences in Legality and Availability

According to federal law, THCA and THCV can be used in hemp-based products as long as they comply with the 2018 Farm Bill’s maximum Delta-9 THC levels. State regulations, however, might differ.


  • Hemp-derived compounds and extracts with less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC by dry weight were made legal by the USDA Farm Bill.
  • Hemp companies must undergo third-party laboratory testing to confirm compliance.
  • THCA products meeting these requirements are federally legal for sale and consumption.
  • In some states, THCA products may be subject to stricter regulations, so it’s best to check state-specific rules.


  • It is legal at the federal level in the US if it comes from hemp plants containing no more than 0.3% Delta-9 THC by dry weight.
  • It is important to check the state laws before purchasing THCV, as hemp-derived products have different rules and regulations.

How to Use THCA and THCV

Using THCA and THCV products can vary depending on personal preferences and desired effects. Here are some standard methods of consumption:

1. Inhalation: Vape pens made especially for cannabinoid concentrates or raw cannabis can be vaporized to inhale THCA and THCV. THCV vape pens and THCA vape pens are built the same and only differ in what is in them. Products like THCA Diamonds are concentrates that are usually vaped or dabbed.

2. Edibles: It is possible to include THCA and THCV in edible goods like gummies or pills. Remember that eating edibles may cause the effects to take longer to manifest. THCV gummies have become a popular edible in today’s emerging markets.

3. Sublingual: For quicker bloodstream absorption, THCA or THCV tinctures can be applied under the tongue. THCV 500 mg tincture is available at CannaAid.

4. Topical: Some THCA and THCV products are formulated for topical use and may provide localized relief when applied to the skin.

Final Takeaways

To sum up, THCA and THCV are two different types of cannabis that have special qualities. Since THCA is nonpsychoactive, it may have beneficial effects without giving users the THC high. THCV, on the other hand, is psychoactive but produces a different type of high and may have its own beneficial uses.

Start with a low dose, follow recommended guidelines, and consult a healthcare professional if needed when using THCA or THCV products. Furthermore, find out whether these cannabinoids are permitted in your area before making a purchase, and only buy from reliable suppliers.

With further research on cannabinoids, we might learn even more about the possible advantages of THCA and THCV, which would make them valuable additions to the cannabis product market.

Please be aware that the purpose of this article is purely informative and that no health claims are made. It is imperative that you speak with a medical professional before using any products derived from cannabis for medical conditions.

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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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