THC and THCA are both compounds found in cannabis, but they have different effects on the body. THC is the primary psychoactive component of cannabis and is responsible for the “high” feeling associated with consuming the plant. THCA, on the other hand, is a non-psychoactive chemical found in raw marijuana. It does not produce any psychoactive effects, but is known to have anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties. When cannabis is heated, THCA is converted into THC, which is why the plant must be heated to experience its psychoactive effects.
THCA is the precursor to THC, meaning it is the molecule that is converted into THC when cannabis is heated. Therefore, THCA can be found in higher concentrations in raw marijuana than THC. Studies have shown that THCA has anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties, which can be beneficial for certain medical conditions. Additionally, it can be used to make topicals, such as balms and lotions, which can be used to treat localized pain or skin conditions.