The world of CBD is progressing quickly and research into the hemp plant is at an all-time high. One of the most recent findings and subsequent trends have been around THCA and its effects on the human body. And one of the most frequently asked questions has been, “does THCA get you high?”

The short answer is no, but there’s more to the story so let’s dive much deeper.

We’ve covered this topic and more in detail on the Smoky Mountain Blog.

Related: What Does THCA Do? Effects and Benefits of THCA

Is THCA Psychoactive?

Any compound with psychoactive properties will make us feel high. For instance, CBD, a psychoactive compound makes us feel high by activating the CB1 receptor in our brain. Similarly, THC is also psychoactive and while THCA does contain THC in it, it can only be extracted under certain conditions.

This means that when the hemp plant is freshly harvested, we can consume it raw (or add it to a smoothie, sprinkle it on a dessert, etc) and it won’t make you high because, unlike CBD, THCA is not psychoactive in its natural form

That said, THCA can lead to mind-altering effects when it is heated. 

Under the heat, it goes through a process called decarboxylation which frees the THC from its acid form (THC). This method converts between 90 to 95 percent of the THCA to psychoactive THC.

For instance, here at Smoky Mountain CBD, we use a variety of complex processes to safely extract the THC from our own high-quality THCA seeds.

What Happens When I Smoke THCA?

Smoking THCA is similar to smoking raw cannabis or a “joint”. The heat of the flame is enough to extract most of the THC from the cannabis through the decarboxylation process. The vapor you inhale now contains Delta 9 THC which activates the cannabinoid receptors leaving people on a high. 

Vapes and dabs try to achieve a similar result by heating and vaporizing a hemp-based concentrate usually containing THC, CBD, and or Delta-8. However, the key difference between smoking THCA and dabbing/vaping a concentrate is that the concentrate has already been through the decarboxylation process (heating) and hence contains a high amount of pure CBD/THC/Delta-8.

How Much THCA is A Lot?

The easiest way to consume THCA is through a CBD hemp flower (raw buds or raw cannabis). However, for those new to the hobby or trying it for the first time, it can be difficult for you to measure the proper dose since hemp flowers or buds are sold by weight, only a small percentage of which is actual cannabinoids.

Raw THCa

If you plan on consuming THCA raw or adding it to your drinks and (cold foods), you can consume around 30g. This should help stimulate your endocannabinoid system. With time, you may increase or decrease dosage but as with any dietary supplement, it’s best to consult your physician. 

The story changes however if you plan on smoking or heating the THCA, in which case, you also need to take into consideration how much THC and CBD is in the raw hemp flower.

Activated THCa

This is where purchasing your cannabis from a trusted source becomes incredibly important. Here at Smoky Mountain CBD, all of our hemp goes through comprehensive, third-party lab testing which tells us just how much THCA is present in one gram of hemp.

For instance, the Blueberry Haze variant of our Tennessee CBD Hemp Flower contains approximately 17% total cannabinoids and less than 0.5% THCa. These lab results are available on each product as well as on our Certificates of Analysis page. 

Based on the THC percentage, you can calculate how much raw THCA you should consume for your ideal dosage. As a reference, a safe starting dose of THC is 2.5mg and the upper limit of recommended dosage is 30-40mg. 

It should be noted that our bodies are unique and how we metabolize cannabinoids is also unique. This means a high dose may be normal for you or a low dose may be too high. As such, exercise caution when changing your dietary supplement program and dosages.

Will THCA Show Up on a Drug Test?

Since THCA does not make you high or have psychoactive properties, does this also mean that eating it or raw cannabis will not show up on a drug test?

The answer is, yes, THCA may show up positive on a urine drug test. Primarily, most people consume THCA in hemp products, which also contain trace amounts of other cannabinoids like CBD, detectable through tests

Related: How Long Does It Take For Delta 8 To Leave Your System?

Is THCa Federally Legal?

Finally, the last question we want to answer is the legal status of THCA. If you’re planning on trying it, you can rest assured that THCA is a federally legal product that has the same legal status as other marijuana derivatives. That said, be sure to check your local laws as CBD remains unlawful in a few US states.

Key Points:

We now know that raw THCa does not get you high, but easily can be transformed through decarboxylation process by adding heat.

1. Will eating THCa get you high?

No. Eating it in raw form will not get you high on its own through consuming it. In order to get the psychoactive effects, you must convert it to THC through heating to temperatures of around 220 Fahrenheit. 

2. Will smoking THCa get you high?

Yes! Smoking it activates psychoactive effects, as heat exposure turns THCA into THC.

3. Does THCa show up on a drug test? 

Yes. THCa shows up on a drug test as it contains cannabinoids that are currently tested for.