Using THCA and CBD Together: What Does the Research Say?
Experts have suggested that you combine CBD with other cannabinoids since the dawn of the hemp industry. Does the same wisdom hold for using CBD with THCA, though, or are these two cannabinoids it would be better not to put together?
In this guide, learn more about CBD and THCA to find out whether these hemp compounds should be combined or not. When CBD and THCA are put together, do they reach new heights or lose certain benefits? Find all the answers in this guide.
Overview: What is the entourage effect?
First, let’s make sure we all have the same context regarding why you would consider combining THCA and CBD in the first place:
- The entourage effect is a theoretical form of synergy first proposed by Dr. Ethan Russo
- Dr. Russo originally observed that certain cannabinoids seem to boost each other when used together
- Since then, it has come to light that all the components of the cannabis plant seem to boost each other’s effects
- Theoretically, therefore, the basis is there for assuming that CBD and THCA might interact positively
- There is, at the same time, hardly any evidence indicating that the interaction between CBD and THCA might be negative in any way
What is THCA?
Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) is the direct chemical precursor to delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, the substance more commonly known as THC. Because THCA is chemically separate from THC, however, the two cannabinoids are viewed differently for regulatory purposes.
In its unconverted state, THCA has non-intoxicating properties very similar to those offered by CBD. Most use methods cause THCA to convert into THC, however, resulting in an entirely separate suite of effects. The evaporation point of THC is approximately 232°, well below the level of heat applied during smoking or vaping.
Recently, THCA products have appeared online due to a new interpretation of the 2018 Farm Bill. Prestigious law firms like Kight Law and others have opined that the DEA’s recent statements on THCA seemingly place it in the category of “industrial hemp,” the category also occupied by all other cannabinoids aside from THC.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) was the first cannabinoid to become popular online. Back in the early 2010s, CBD caught mainstream attention due to reports that it might be useful for epilepsy. Soon, a whole medley of CBD products became available online, including CBD flower, which looks and smells just like conventional cannabis.
Smokers of CBD flower quickly found out, however, that this cannabinoid does not get you high. Instead, CBD provides a wide variety of non-intoxicating effects that may make it even more beneficial than THC.
As the main focus of the 2014 and 2018 Farm Bills, the advent of CBD was seen by the federal government as an opening for farmers to invest in a new “cash crop.” The CBD industry has taken off ever since, with CBD itself becoming a household name entirely separate from “marijuana.”
Can you use THCA and CBD together?
Yes, there appears to be no reason you shouldn’t use THCA and CBD together. Both cannabinoids come from the same plant, after all, eliminating the potential for negative interaction that occurs between certain prescription drugs.
Everything we know about THCA and CBD indicates that each cannabinoid might become stronger or more useful when used with the other. You also lose something when you combine CBD and THC together, though, factors we’ll cover in detail in this section:
The entourage effect
Whenever two or more cannabinoids or terpenes are used together, the entourage effect occurs. Originally used to refer to the effects of a main cannabinoid accompanied by smaller concentrations of other “minor” cannabinoids, the term “entourage effect” can also be used when two cannabinoids of roughly equal concentration are used at the same time.
When it comes to THCA and CBD, it certainly seems that the entourage effect would apply. Both cannabinoids are naturally derived, after all, and they’re already commonly used in their converted forms. It’s important to keep in mind that combining the converted form of THCA with CBD will offer entirely different effects than using CBD with THCA in its unconverted form.
Specific synergies between THC and CBD
In the history of investigating cannabis synergies, THC and CBD have been the primary targets of research. It’s well understood at this point, for instance, that CBD seems to alter the effects of THC at your CB1 receptors, the primary neuroreceptors responsible for making you feel high.
This interaction between THC and CBD is usually interpreted as delivering a decreased high, but that might not always be the case. For some, using THC and CBD together could simply augment the THC high, not suppress it.
Unconverted THCA and CBD
We usually write with the understanding that customers will be converting THCA into THC. This isn’t always the case, however, so how will THCA and CBD fare when used together without the application of heat?
Unfortunately, there isn’t much research regarding how THCA and CBD might interact. One thing’s for certain — if you don’t convert THCA into THC, using it with CBD won’t result in a high. You should, instead, anticipate a slightly augmented CBD experience.
Will using CBD make THCA stronger?
No, adding CBD to the THCA experience will not make you feel any higher. Since the strength of THCA is determined by its ability to provide an intoxicating effect when vaped or smoked, it would be incorrect to say that the non-intoxicating cannabinoid CBD might make THCA stronger.
What CBD does instead is augment or alter the THCA experience, potentially making it less intense or adding a relaxing vibe. CBD might be considered to increase the strength of THCA only in that the two cannabinoids generally synergize.
Will using THCA make CBD stronger?
Adding THCA to CBD will definitely change your usual CBD experience and make it stronger. While CBD is non-intoxicating, THCA is very intoxicating when used with a method that involves the application of heat, transforming the general experience of CBD, which does not involve a high, into something resembling the high offered by THC.
Those who aren’t keen on intoxicating cannabinoids should steer clear, but anyone who has had issues with CBD not being strong enough should pay attention. There’s no need to give up on CBD altogether, just pair it with THCA for something a little bit stronger.
How to buy CBD
Buying CBD online is easy and has been so for nearly 10 years. At this point, CBD eCommerce can only be described as vibrant with hundreds of different products and brands to choose from. Simply select a CBD item you like, add it to your cart, and check out to receive whichever CBD product you desire within less than a week.
How to buy THCA
You can now buy THCA using the same process you’ve already used to buy CBD. THCA products are available online, just the same as CBD products, and in some cases, your favorite CBD brand may offer THCA products as well. Since THCA is considered industrial hemp, just make an order as usual, and wait for your products to arrive.
The bottom line: Can you use THCA and CBD together?
Yes, there’s no reason you shouldn’t use THCA and CBD at the same time, and on the contrary, it appears that doing so may trigger the unique benefits of the entourage effect. Adding CBD to your THCA experience could theoretically dull your high, and adding THCA to CBD will definitely provide something other than the non-intoxicating experience you’re used to with CBD.
For those keen to explore what’s out there in the vast world of cannabinoids, combining THCA and CBD could be the next step on this never-ending quest. With both cannabinoids now widely available online, the time is now to start experimenting with the potential THCA and CBD have to beneficially interact.
Using CBD and THCA FAQ
Delve deeper into the fascinating interactions between CBD and THCA in this supplementary FAQ section:
Which medications should not be taken with CBD?
While CBD does not negatively interact with any other substances found in the hemp plant, it can interact negatively with various prescription medications, generally medications that come with a “grapefruit warning.” These drugs use the same enzymes as CBD during their absorption, potentially leading to a conflict over enzymes that could extend the duration of effect of certain drugs. If you aren’t sure whether a drug should be taken with CBD or not, consult with your doctor.
Is THCA different from CBD?
Yes, THCA is an entirely different compound from CBD with separate properties and effects. CBD never becomes intoxicating, for instance, but THCA turns into the intoxicating cannabinoid THCA when vaped or smoked, making the effects of these two cannabinoids nearly polar opposites. It is true, though, that when not converted into THC, THCA has non-intoxicating effects that somewhat resemble those of CBD.
Is THCA or CBD better for inflammation?
Scientists aren’t sure about the scope of any potential anti-inflammatory properties THCA or CBD may have individually, making it difficult to compare the two compounds on the basis of published research. Based on all the studies that have been conducted so far combined with anecdotal testimony, though, it certainly appears that the anti-inflammatory potential of both THCA and CBD should be investigated in more detail.
Is THCA better than CBD for pain?
It is unclear whether THCA or CBD is the better cannabinoid for combatting pain. Individuals who suffer from chronic pain indicate that both cannabinoids are useful in this regard, and THC, the converted form of THCA, has been used as a pain treatment for decades.
Which cannabinoid is best for nerve pain?
Out of all the cannabinoids so-far investigated, CBD and CBG appear to have the most potential to interact with the 5HT neurotransmitter system in your brain, which is the main system that controls neurological or nerve pain. If you suffer from chronic nerve pain, we suggest trying CBD and CBG, either on their own or in combination.
Is CBN the same as THCA?
No, CBN is not the same thing as THCA — in fact, CBN should be viewed as the opposite of THCA. While THCA is the substance that THC is before it becomes THC, CBN is the substance THC becomes after it is subjected to oxidative stress.
Put in terms of a simple flow, THCA leads to THC, which then leads to CBN. All three compounds are very different from each other with only THC offering potent psychoactive effects.