What Is the Best Way to Use THCA?
THCA has very rapidly exploded into popularity, leaving new users wondering if there’s a trick to using THCA that makes it different from other cannabinoids. As a preview, you can use THCA in any of the ways you normally use cannabis, but depending on how much you heat THCA, it can have completely different effects. Learn the top five ways to use THCA in this guide along with related information that will help you enjoy the cannabinoid even more.
What is THCA?
THCA is the carboxylic acid precursor to THC, meaning it’s the form THC takes in cannabis flowers. All THC begins its life as THCA, but hardly any THCA molecules remain unconverted in an average puff of cannabis smoke.
That’s because THCA converts into THC at relatively low temperatures. As far as cannabis compounds go, THCA is not particularly stable, and it will transform into the more-stable compound THC when exposed to a variety of different stimuli, such as heat and light.
How do you use THCA?
Most methods of using THCA, including smoking and vaping, convert this cannabinoid into its final form, THC. You can also use THCA by ingesting it orally without converting it into THC first, which research shows could offer benefits that THC itself cannot.
Best ways to use THCA: 5 methods
If you’ve used cannabis before, all the methods we’re about to list should be at least somewhat familiar to you. Remember that heat plays a unique role in the process of using THCA, though, a subject we’ll touch on at various points throughout the following discussion of the various ways you can use this precursor to THC:
Vaping THCA competes with smoking as the most popular way to use this cannabinoid. THCA vapes naturally convert into THC with every puff, providing the exact same experience as a THC vape but with none of the geographic or regulatory hassles.
THCA vapes come in all shapes and sizes with standard 510-threaded cartridges and all-in-one disposable THCA vapes being the most popular options. As with all vapes, a THCA vape is only as good as the extract that went into it, so thoroughly research the quality of a THCA vape you’re considering before making a final decision.
Like THC or CBD vapes, THCA vapes are strain-specific and contain terpenes found in various strains of cannabis. These terpenes not only make THCA vapes taste better, but they also strengthen the potency of the entourage effect.
How to vape THCA- Remove your THCA vape from its packaging
- Connect to a battery if necessary
- Activate the vape (some vapes activate on inhalation)
- Inhale a puff, and hold it for a few seconds
- Exhale, and wait a few minutes to judge the effects
- Take 1-2 more puffs as desired
- Wait 2-3 hours before vaping more for the best effects
Smoking THCA has also become wildly popular because it’s essentially the exact same thing as smoking normal weed. Even THC cannabis mostly contains THCA and not converted THC — that’s why cannabis experts always recommend you decarboxylate your buds before making them into edibles.
So, the type of THCA flower you buy online is only different from THC weed you buy at a dispensary in that great care must be taken to keep THC concentrations below 0.3%. Otherwise, THCA flower is exactly the same as THC flower — except that it can be sold online and in all 50 states.
All your favorite strains are also available in the form of THCA flower. Also, THCA flower has not been sprayed with cannabinoids, making it completely natural, unlike delta 8 flower.
How to smoke THCA with a bong or pipe- Remove a small amount of cannabis from the packaging (around 0.5g)
- Grind it up in a grinder
- Transfer a pinch of the ground-up cannabis to the bowl of your bong or pipe
- With a bong or water pipe, fill to the fill line with water
- Apply a flame to the bowl, and inhale from the mouthpiece
- Exhale the smoke immediately, and take 2-3 more hits as desired
- Smoke another bowl after around 3 hours for the best effects
How to smoke a THCA joint- Grind up around 0.5g of THCA cannabis
- A rolling machine (usually $1-5) is highly recommended
- Place the cannabis in the middle of a flattened rolling paper
- Place a mouthpiece (filter) at one end
- Roll the paper together, wetting the adhesive strip to provide a seal
- Wait a moment for the adhesive to dry, then put the mouthpiece in your mouth
- Light the tip of the THCA joint, inhaling slowly at first to get it burning
Consider saving half for later
- Keep in mind that THCA pre-rolls allow you skip a few steps
Dabbing is a form of cannabinoid ingestion usually reserved for connoisseurs of the plant who truly know what they’re doing. If you’re ready for a souped-up version of vaping, try dabbing THCA. Just as is the case with THCA vapes and flower, the THCA in dabs converts into THC during the process of dabbing, providing the exact same high as the type of dabs you might buy at a dispensary.
How to dab THCA- Dabbing THCA is the same as dabbing THC
- Apply a small amount of THCA concentrate to the end of your dab pick
- Heat the nail of your dab rig, then apply the pick
- Inhale until there is no more cannabis concentrate on your pick
- Hold for a few moments, then exhale
- Usually, one dab at a time is sufficient
- Repeat every 2-3 hours
THCA is also sometimes offered in the form of gummies, but not very commonly for obvious reasons. When orally ingested, THCA is not exposed to sufficient heat to convert into THC, offering very different effects.
Gummies containing THCA will not get you high. However, THCA appears to have some significant benefits that disappear when it is converted into THC, including impacts on diet and obesity.
So, there might be some impressive benefits to taking THCA in a way that does not convert it into THC. You won’t experience any intoxication using this method, however — that much is certain.
How to take THCA gummies- Remove 1-3 THCA gummies from their packaging, discarding any safety seals that may be present
- Chew and swallow your desired dose of THCA gummies
- Wait 30-45 minutes to feel the effects
- Take more THCA gummies every 4-5 hours or as desired
5. Other edibles
Certain manufacturers make orally ingestible THCA products other than gummies, such as tinctures and cookies. It’s also possible to make your own THCA edibles at home, which can serve as an intriguing chemistry experiment as well as an enjoyable way to explore the cannabinoid.
How to make THCA edibles- Decide whether you want your THCA edibles to be intoxicating or not
- For intoxicating edibles, choose a preparation method that involves the application of heat
- Examples include stir fries, brownies, and pastas
- For non-intoxicating THCA edibles, add the cannabinoid to food in ways that don’t involve heat
- Examples include salads and smoothies
THCA troubleshooting guide
If THCA is not providing the effects you expected, take a moment to reflect on the compound’s unique properties. When using a THCA ingestion method that doesn’t involve heat, for instance, it’s inevitable that you won’t experience intoxicating effects.
The opposite is the case if THCA is getting you high when you thought it wouldn’t. A delicate cannabinoid in a state of flux, THCA can change to fit your desires.
Summary: Which THCA use method is the best?
Out of all the cannabinoids, carboxylic acid precursors like THCA offer perhaps the greatest range of potential effects and benefits. Left unheated, THCA remains THCA, which scientists increasingly believe may be one of the world’s most beneficial cannabinoids on its own.
Heated only slightly, though, THCA becomes THC — all based on the way you use it. With such a variable cannabinoid, there can truly be no “best” use method. Simply choose whether you want THCA to intoxicate you or not, and then take things from there.
Using THCA FAQ
Learn more about the various approaches to using THCA in the following FAQ section:
Can you buy THCA online?
Yes, THCA is sold online, making it very different from THC. While THC products can only be sold face-to-face in states where medical or adult-use cannabis is legal, THCA can be bought on the internet and shipped to your address.
Is THCA legal in all 50 states?
THCA law is too complicated to make outright statements regarding its legality. See here for a detailed analysis of THCA law as it applies to Secret Nature products. When combining federal law with an up-to-date perspective on DEA issuances, it appears that THCA remains a hemp product as defined under the 2018 Farm Bill, placing it in the same regulatory category as CBD.
What does THCA turn into when heated?
Despite being treated differently from THC on a regulatory basis, THCA does, in fact, turn into THC when heated above 232° F. Most methods of using THCA involve application of heat far exceeding this temperature, naturally converting THCA into THC before it is absorbed and processed by the human body.
What is the best way to use THCA isolate?
THCA isolate is a form of cannabinoid extract that consists solely of THCA molecules with no other cannabinoids or terpenes present. Like other forms of THCA extract, THCA isolate can be dabbed or added to joints or bowls of flower, but it’s also common to add THCA isolate to edibles that are designed to be baked or otherwise heated.
Does THCA flower work?
Yes, THCA flower definitely works as long as you use it the same way you use THC flower. Both types of cannabis flower won’t get you high if you don’t heat or decarboxylate them, for instance. But, since THCA becomes THC when heated, THCA flower works just as well as THC flower.
How is THCA flower made?
THCA flower is made in the same exact way as THC flower except that more care is taken to keep THC percentages below 0.3%. Aside from this minor focus, THCA flower is grown using the same methods as THC flower, providing the same all-natural results.
Is THCA flower sprayed?
No, THCA flower is not sprayed with additional cannabinoids after harvest. There is no need to take this step since THCA flower already contains high concentrations of THCA, just like the THC cannabis sold in dispensaries.