When smoking, cooking or vaping, heat eliminates carboxyls, so THCA produces CO2. The topic of this issue is Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), which occurs naturally in the plant. THCA needs to be heated to transform into THC, the active form that causes you to get high. All cannabinoids are naturally produced in their acid forms, which is how their enzymes produce them. The difference between THCA and THC is a carboxy group.
When smoking, cooking or vaping, heat eliminates carboxyls, so THCA produces CO2, losing approximately 12% of its weight in the process. Why is this important for laboratory testing? Because THCA is heavier than THC and laboratory results are shown in mass percentages. THCA has no effect, but THC does. That is the most significant relationship; THCA is the source of the psychoactive results of THC.
When you vape, THCA is converted to THC, creating a transparent and highly cerebral effect. THC is the main psychoactive compound in cannabis that produces the “feeling of euphoria”. THCA levels are exceptionally high in live or freshly harvested plants. Raw cannabis is a well-known superfood, and the parts that are extracted in juice can offer a higher amount of THCA.
To minimize unfavorable deterioration in either direction, cannabis should be stored at a relative humidity of 59 to 63 percent. Although THCA has no intoxicating effects, some consider fresh, raw, unheated cannabis to be a superfood. You may have heard of making cannabis juice or adding raw cannabis to smoothies to improve health. There is a good reason for that.
To obtain a real potency value, you must consider both THCA and THC, but with a correction factor for THCA before adding THC. THCA is found in concentrates and, when crystalline, THCA can be extracted and consumed in its purest form. Both THC and THCa are very similar in their chemical compositions, but THCA has another carboxyl group.