top of page

What is THCA: The Neuroprotective

Updated: May 22

Heating THCA to THC

THCA is “the acidic precursor of Δ9‐THC, Δ9‐tetahydrocannabinol acid (Δ9‐THCA) is not psychotropic, and its binding to cannabinoid receptors is still a matter of debate“. (NCBI Article)

BUT…When the THCA flower is heated through smoking, a process called decarboxylation takes place. This involves the removal of a carboxyl group from the THCA molecule, resulting in the conversion to THC. The heat from the smoke activates the THCA, causing it to lose a carbon dioxide molecule and transform into THC. (Decarboxylation NCBI Article) This process is started immediately when directly heated with a lighter for smoking.

What is THCA Flower?
THCA Flower

What are THCA Effects?

“While the biological effects of decarboxylated cannabinoids such as Δ9‐tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta-9 THC) have been extensively investigated, the bioactivity of Δ9‐tetahydrocannabinol acid (Delta-9 THCA) is largely unknown,” according to this National Library of Medicine scholarly article. (NCBI Article)

In an NCBI study, THCA was found to have the strongest nuclear response when compared to traditional Delta-9 THC (Figure 1)“, and CBDA was more effective than CBD, but only at the higher concentrations” (NCBI Article). Specifically its potential therapeutic properties. Research suggests that THCA may be “a potent PPARγ agonist (metabolism enhancer), and showing neuroprotective and neuroinflammatory activity in an animal model of HD.” (NCBI Article)

THCA and CBDA vs traditional THC and CBD
THCA and CBDA vs THC and CBD

Will THCA Show up on a Drug Test? Delta-8 THC, Delta-9 THC, Delta-10 THC, THCP, & THCA are forms of THC; therefore, they have a very high chance to show up on a drug test as a THC. If you are in a field where you are required to submit a drug screening - USE CAUTION.

Is THCA Legal? As you may have heard, there are many different Cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, and Delta-9 THC is the only federally illegal component to the plant (The Difference Between Delta-8 and Delta-9); THCA sits in this same “gray area” in the law and will ultimately depend on your local and state laws.


The overall study was conducted to investigate different neuroprotective actions of THCA through modulating neural-pathways as possible treatment for different neurodegenerative and neuroinflammatory diseases; specifically Huntington’s disease, and was concluded THCA should be considered.

631 views0 comments


bottom of page