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What is THCa and is it legal?

Apr 22, 2024

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Let’s Learn About THCa

In recent years, there has been growing interest in learning more about the cannabis plant and the intricacies of cannabinoids, the chemical compounds found in the plant that have a wide array of effects on the human body. Among these cannabinoids, THCa, or tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, has emerged as a fascinating compound with potential therapeutic benefits. In this blog, we explore some facts about THCa, its effects, and its legality in the United States.

Sour diesel hemp flower from Appalachian Standard.

What is THCa?

THCa is a naturally occuring cannabinoid in the hemp plant that contains less than 0.3% Delta 9 THC. THCa is a precursor to THC, the well-known psychoactive compound found in cannabis.

Unlike THC, which is activated through heat (such as smoking or vaporization), THCa exists in raw, unheated cannabis plants. As cannabis undergoes the process of decarboxylation—usually triggered by heat or light—THCa converts into THC.

Benefits of THCa

Contrary to its psychoactive counterpart THC, THCa does not induce the same intoxicating effects when consumed in its raw form. Instead, it is believed to offer potential therapeutic benefits without the side effects of THC.

Research on THCa is still in its early stages, but preliminary studies suggest that it may possess anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, and antiemetic properties. Before you try THCa as a therapeutic, talk with your doctor and discuss pros and cons of any proposed treatments.

Potential beneficial properties of raw THCa include:

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Is THCa legal?

With the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp-derived products containing less than 0.3% THC were legalized at the federal level. This includes THCa derived from industrial hemp, as long as it meets this THC threshold.

It’s crucial to note that the legality of THCa can vary significantly from one state to another. While some states have embraced both medical and recreational cannabis, others maintain strict regulations or continue to prohibit its use entirely. Before purchasing or using THCa products, familiarize yourself with the specific laws and regulations in your state.

As research on THCa continues, it is essential to stay informed about its effects and legality, particularly in the ever-changing landscape of cannabis regulations in the US.

Review our attorney’s legal opinion on the legality of THCa.

Ty trimming Appalachian Standard hemp flowerDoes THCa show up on a drug test?

The short answer is “yes.” When THCa products are heated, they go through a process called decarboxylation or “decarb.” As the name implies, a carbon molecule is released, and the THCa is converted into THC. This THC will stay in your system at the same rate as other forms of traditional cannabis or marijuana.

Just like other THC products, THCa products will show on a drug test. If you’re subjected to this type of test, you should stay away from these products.

How long does THCa stay in your system?

The answer about lingering THCa in your system isn’t straightforward, as several factors come into play. Unlike THC, THCa is non-psychoactive in its raw form, and its conversion to THC requires heat. The resulting decarbed THC can be detected in bodily fluids and tissues.

However, the duration THCa stays in your system varies based on individual factors such as metabolism, frequency of use, and the method of consumption. While exact timelines differ, general estimates suggest THCa may be detectable for a few days to several weeks, especially in chronic users.

We have seen traditional THC take in excess of 90 days to become undetectable in large adults, while distance runners that use THCa very infrequently may never show on some types of tests.

Where to purchase safe and legal THCa

Appalachian Standard is a North Carolina-based craft hemp farm that makes premium CBD and THCA products. Our company is veteran owned, and our hemp is veteran grown. We stand behind the quality and consistency of every product we produce.

Our hemp is grown by a team of experienced cultivators inside secure, state-of-the-art, Nexus greenhouses. From planting the seeds, harvesting, processing and distribution, we built our completely vertically-integrated business model based on the legislation established by the North Carolina Industrial Hemp Program.

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