CBD Vs. THCA: Learn About the Differences

May 2, 2023

CBD Vs. THCA: Learn About the Differences


So you know about CBD and you’ve heard about THCA (possibly), but what do you know about CBD vs THCA? With new terms, products, and compounds regularly being released to the cannabis market, it’s important to stay up to date on everything that is out there. Having a solid understanding of what each product is, what it may do or help with, and what to consider when taking CBD vs. THCA will make you a more educated consumer. It will also help you have a more enjoyable experience, no matter which type of cannabis you choose!

What is CBD?

Many people are familiar with the term CBD but it never hurts to have a little refresher on its actual definition. Cannabidiol (CBD) is the active ingredient in the Cannabis plant. Naturally occurring, CBD is a non-intoxicating compound. CBD may be ingested in many forms, including as an edible, CBD oil, CBD flower, and topically. How it is taken, the dosage at which CBD is taken, as well as one’s body composition and a variety of external factors will affect how strongly it impacts an individual.

What is THCA?

Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) is the acidic form of THC. The best way to think of THCA is as the precursor to THC. THCA has a similar molecular structure to that of THC except for one key difference: THCA has an extra carboxyl group, making it non-psychoactive in its original state. Once it undergoes decarboxylation, THCA loses that extra carboxyl group, which activates its ability to induce a “high.” 

How Does CBD Differ from THC and THCA?

Some of the confusion between CBD vs THCA comes from the misconception that THCA will not get you “high.” This causes some people to think that CBD is the same as THCA, but the two couldn’t be more different. While THCA in its raw form does not have psychoactive properties, it can induce euphoria once it has been decarboxylated. This means that once THCA is heated, light-treated, and transformed into usable THC, it will in fact deliver the same sensations you’re likely seeking from Delta9.

CBD, on the other hand, will not do this. No matter how much heat and light treatment CBD undergoes, it will not transform into a psychoactive substance in the way that THCA becomes THC. While some strains of CBD contain a very small percentage of THC (under 0.3% THC for the legal limit), this is not enough to make it intoxicating.

The Entourage Effect: Can CBD be Used with THCA?

For people on a mission to maximize the benefits of these phytocannabinoids, combining them may be the way to go. CBD can be mixed with THC, which means it can also be combined with THCA for an entourage effect. Using CBD with THCA flower may intensify the effects of both, which could be good or bad depending on what your goal is. If you’re new to using cannabis and want to take things slow, starting with one (ideally CBD) is advisable as opposed to using CBD with THC or THCA. Alternatively, if you consider yourself somewhat of a cannabis connoisseur and want to experiment with something new, we say go ahead!

As always, make sure that the CBD and THCA products you’re taking are third-party lab tested, approved, and verified to be safe. The best way to do this is to purchase from a reputable CBD retailer like Black Tie CBD. Find everything you need to complete your cannabis collection right here when you shop with us at Black Tie CBD. 


[1] https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/cannabidiol-cbd-what-we-know-and-what-we-dont-2018082414476#:~:text=The%20evidence%20for%20cannabidiol%20health%20benefits&text=Animal%20studies%2C%20and%20self%2Dreports,falling%20asleep%20and%20staying%20asleep.

[2] https://www.crescolabs.com/cannabinoids/thca/