THCA stands for tetrahydrocannabinolic acid. It is a cannabinoid compound found in the cannabis plant. THCA is the precursor to THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive component of cannabis responsible for the “high” sensation. When cannabis is heated through a process such as smoking, vaping, or cooking, THCA undergoes decarboxylation, meaning it loses a carboxyl group, and converts into THC. This is why cannabis needs to be heated in order to activate its psychoactive effects. However, THCA itself does not produce intoxicating effects. Some people consume THCA-rich products for potential health benefits, as it is believed to have anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, and antiemetic properties, among others.

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