THCA, the acid form of THC

Reading Time 5 minutes
THCA letters over a marijuana plant
THCA letters over a marijuana plant


Cannabis plants contain a number of compounds that have pharmacological and/or psychoactive properties, cannabinoids. Today we are going to meet a very special one, since it can be both medicinal and psychotropic, it is THCA and lately it is gaining prominence. In this post we will see what are the benefits it can bring us, its uses, several ways to get it and many more things, so make yourself comfortable and keep reading…



⭐ What is THCA?



Delta9 THCA is a cannabinoid, a component that can be found in both cannabis and hemp. It is the acid form of THC, the predominant compound in these plants, and they’re directly related.

Is THCA psychoactive? No, it is not if you ingest it, but if you try to smoke it, it is. So? Well, when you heat this compound to smoke it, a reaction takes place that eliminates the acidic part of the cannabinoid, this is the decarboxylation or transformation to THC..

Image of THCA molecule*
Image of THCA molecule*



⛳ THCA’s Health Properties and Benefits


  1. Anti-inflammatory
  2. Painkiller
  3. Anticancer
  4. Relaxing
  5. Anticonvulsant
  6. Neuropathic
  7. Narcotic
  8. Anxiolytic
  9. Antiemetic
  10. Antiproliferative



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✨ How to make THCA


The extraction of this cannabinoid can be done in several ways, but to achieve the highest purity, laboratory material is needed. A first extraction is made which is then mixed with hexane and acetic acid, filtered and then the resulting liquid is introduced into a rotary evaporator. Using heat, pressure and movement, this liquid is converted into Delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, to which Methylene Chloride, Sephadex LH20 and Chloroform are added. At this point we already have an extract of high purity, but to refine it further you must put it back into the rotary evaporator, mixed with Methanol and filtered, the Methanol is evaporated, a solvent is added and it is introduced for the last time into the rotary evaporator to eliminate this last toxic component.

As a result, a 99.9% pure crystalline THCA remains, but of course, who can afford to do that crystallization process with all those instruments? Well, most of us can’t, but fortunately there are other ways to get THCA without solvents.

THCA Crystal Macro Photography*
THCA Crystal Macro Photography*



👌 How to make THCA with Terpene Sauce from Rosin


This is a much easier, faster, safer and more affordable method. It involves mechanically separating THCA by applying heat and pressure, thus removing the lipids, waxes and impurities it contains. All you need is a Rosin press, baking paper, 120 and 25 micron filter screens and resinous cannabis.

The first thing is to smash the weed with the 120-micron screen, the rosin is collected and joined in a piece that we can homogenize to make it look better. Then we put the piece in a 25 micron rosin filter, wrap it in an oven paper envelope, preheat the press to 122º F. (50º C.). We put the envelope with the rosin and close the plates so that it makes contact but without squeezing, we only want to heat the piece for about 25 or 30 seconds. Once this time is over, we start to press gradually, being careful not to break the screen filter, and when we reach the maximum pressure, we leave it there for about 30 minutes. Then we take out the envelope, in the paper will be stuck the terpene sauce that we have to keep, and on the other hand we have the rosin piece that we will leave in the screen and change the paper of the oven, to go to the second stage.

This time we will raise the temperature of the press to 140º F. (60º C.) and repeat the process, but in this case for 40 minutes. After this time we remove the paper with the terpene sauce and change the oven paper, we raise the temperature of the press to 158º F. (70º C.) and we step carefully again for another 40 minutes. After this pressing, the terpene sauce will start to come out darker and more viscous, so the mesh will have to be changed to continue purifying. The whole process is repeated once more, but this time at 176º F. (80º C.) and for approximately 30 minutes. If everything goes well after this compression we should already have a part of the THCA without solvents finished, it will look white and hard, and another part of the piece that will continue with a darker tone and smooth, that can be put together, change the screen and go back to 176º F. (80º C.) for another half hour.

Image of how the THCA rosin looks after several pressure applications*
Image of how the THCA rosin looks after several pressure applications*


How to make THCA from Rosin Hash


It can also be done in less time using Rosin hash, that is, a rosin concentrate made with Ice O Lator. In this case we need the press, baking paper, 25 or 37 micron filter nets and a good extraction of bubble hash “Fresh frozen”.

In this case the press must be heated to a temperature of 131º F. (55º C.) or 140º F. (60º C.). While it is heating we prepare the extraction. You must make a square or rectangular piece with the bubble hash and put it in the filter, wrapped it in the oven paper and put it between the hot plates of the press.

We close the plates until they start to squeeze the paper, we leave it like this for about half a minute so that it takes on temperature and then gently continue to press it to its maximum. We left it about 1 minute and we opened the plates, we took out the extraction that will have solidified enough and we placed it in another filter mesh for a second compression, and the paper that contains the first quality terpene sauce we leave it to rest.

For the second pressing we raise the temperature of the press to about 176º F. (80º C.) and we repeat the process but for a longer time, we can leave it up to 3 minutes without problems. When we open the paper we will see that the remaining terpene sauce is more solid and dark and the THCA block is whiter and harder. At this point we already have a good concentrate, but it can be further refined with another pressing at a somewhat higher temperature and leaving it longer.

Later, if we want to crystallize the THCA and make diamonds, we will have to heat it to a temperature of about 248º F. (120º C.). After a while we will see how it melts, at that moment we can take advantage of it to break it into small pieces and add the terpene sauce.

Image of THCA's diamonds with terpene sauce*
Image of THCA’s diamonds with terpene sauce*



✅ How to use or consume THCA


As with most cannabic concentrates, the best way to take them is with a bong or vaporizer. A pure THCA dab can satiate even the most experienced consumer, as it is the highest THC content extract available so far.

Can you smoke THCA in a joint? Well, you can also mix it with tobacco and make a joint, I do know one case of 4 high tolerance smokers who could barely finish a THCA joint.

Medicinally the best form of consumption is ingested and, as with other cannabinoids, the top product is THCA oil. With just a few drops of this product you can feel its therapeutic effects.

Image of a THCA oil bottle by Emerald brand*
Image of a THCA oil bottle by Emerald brand*


🚀 Conclusion


Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid has medicinal properties of its own and it can also be made psychoactive. Many studies are still needed to prove the effectiveness of this cannabinoid in humans, but according to the research that has been done so far, the future looks very promising. We’ll be happy to tell you all the news about it, so don’t hesitate to follow us and, if you liked this post, we’d appreciate it if you share it with your friends.

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Fran Quesada Moya
Fran Quesada Moya

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  1. Avatar for yvonne casiano

    How do u make thca as a tinture?