THCa vs Delta-8: Effects, Differences, & Similarities

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THCa vs Delta-8: Effects, Differences, & Similarities

Whether you’ve been a cannabis user for years or are just beginning to explore cannabis products, there is plenty to learn about the different compounds and substances in the cannabis family. For example, THC is a general term that describes both Delta-8 and Delta-9 compounds, but few people realize there are differences between the two.

THCa is another cannabis compound that differs from both Delta-8 and Delta-9. It is a crystalized form that becomes Delta-9 THC with the addition of heat. But then where does Delta-8 THC come from and how does it differ from THCa?

Here, we will define the two compounds and explain the effects they give users. Once you know what to look for, you’ll understand the difference between THCa and Delta-8 THC and can select your cannabis products confidently.

What Is Delta-8 THC?

Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol is a psychoactive cannabinoid you can extract from marijuana plants. Cannabis plants produce Delta-8 THC naturally but in limited parts of the plant.

What Is THCa?

What is THCa? The use of THCa may sound complex, but it’s just an acidic precursor to Delta-9 THC. As cannabis plants mature, the tetrahydrocannabinol compounds convert into a non-acidic compound, Delta-9. The difference between THCa vs Delta-9 is similar to THCa vs Delta-8, as both Delta-9 and Delta-8 can come from THCa.

What Is the Difference Between THCa and Delta-8?

The primary difference between THCa and Delta-8 is the form the THC takes. Delta-8 THC is non-acidic, while THCa is an acidic version of THC. Another difference is the effects the two deliver. THCa does not have psychoactive effects and will not make you feel uplifted or hazy, while Delta-8 does have noticeable psychoactive effects, though not as strong as Delta-9.

THCa Vs Delta-8 Potency Percentage

The main difference between THCa vs THCo is the effects you feel from each. THCa does not deliver psychoactive effects, so it will never make you feel intoxicated or foggy. It is when THCa heats that the psychoactive effects develop in the substance. So THCa potency is essentially zero compared to Delta-8 THC.

Delta-8 is 40% weaker than Delta-9 THC. When comparing Delta-8 and Delta-9 products, Delta-9 will always be more potent and its intoxicating effects will be more noticeable. That is not to say Delta-8 doesn’t deliver substantial effects.

You can estimate the potency of THCa by multiplying it by .87, which will give you the percentage of THC you will get once the THCa heats. Legally, the THC content of all hemp-derived products cannot be over 0.3%.

Delta-8 Effects

The effects of Delta-8 THC are pretty straightforward. You will feel relaxed and slightly euphoric after consuming Delta-8. A common side effect is a stimulated appetite, so expect to feel hungry when using Delta-8 products.

THCa Effects

THCa is a non-psychoactive substance, so there should be no noticeable effects if you consume it. However, it does have some benefits! THCa has anti-inflammatory, anti-insomnia, anti-emetic, and anti-proliferative properties to name a few benefits. It can reduce nausea, inhibit cancer cell growth, boost immunity, aid in sleep, and much more.

You can add some THCa to your other THC products to create a heightened effect, but it will not have any noticeable effects on its own.

What Is a Delta-8 effect Like?

Most users agree that the effects of Delta-8 are lovely and pleasant. Using Delta-8 products gives you a euphoric and relaxing sensation, perfect for a relaxing evening or calm day. People do not feel super foggy or anxious, as the effects are mild enough to be manageable for even inexperienced cannabis users.

What Is a THCa effect Like?

THCa does not have intoxicating effects because of its chemical makeup. You will not feel euphoric or super relaxed, but it can help ease unpleasant symptoms of other conditions.

The cannabinoid receptors in the human brain cannot receive THCa’s extra carboxylic acid chain but can connect with other THC cannabinoids. If you want to experience intoxicating effects with THCa, you would need to heat the substance. For example, you could sprinkle THCa diamonds on a marijuana cigarette for added effects.

The Legality of THCa and Delta-8

Both THCa and Delta-8 THC are legal, thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill. The bill stipulates that all legally sold hemp-derived products must have a THC content below 0.3%; otherwise, they are considered illegal.

The Farm Bill applies to 41 states and includes other policies surrounding farming and agricultural practices. These hemp-related changes are very exciting for some. More companies can now sell hemp-derived products and more people can enjoy the benefits of these substances.

Are THCa and Delta-8 Made Differently?

Both THCa and Delta-8 occur naturally in the cannabis plant, but different processes make the substances consumable. You can crystallize or crush THCa. It only becomes psychoactive after you heat it.

You can typically find crystallized THCa in the form of diamonds. Delta-8 product manufacturers will chemically convert CBD or Delta-9 THC into Delta-8 through isomerization. The process changes the chemical structure, similarly to how heat changes the chemical structure of THCa. At the most basic level, Delta-8 is a byproduct of THCa.

Are THCa and Delta-8 Safe?

It’s crucial to acknowledge that neither THCa nor Delta-8 have undergone thorough testing, nor has the FDA approved them for use. This is in the Farm Bill, which states that companies may legally market and sell the products, but cannot claim that they are FDA-approved.

Generally, both substances are safe, but more research is needed to confidently say they are harmless.

Is THCa or Delta-8 Better?

It depends on what you want to get out of the product. Because THCa has no psychoactive or intoxicating effects, it’s helpful for medicinal purposes. For example, someone suffering from chronic nausea or insomnia can potentially benefit from doses of THCa.

Delta-8 offers effects similar to cannabis flowers, giving the user a comfortable, calm, and happy feeling. It’s less potent than Delta-9 THC, so if you’ve had adverse reactions to that compound, Delta-8 might be worth a try.

Should I Try THCa or Delta-8 First?

It doesn’t matter which substance you try first, since only one is psychoactive. However, dosing your body with THCa before trying Delta-8 may increase your THC tolerance, though this is not guaranteed.

If you’ve never tried any cannabis products, Delta-8 is a good place to start, as the effects are quite mild and enjoyable. The Delta-8 THC experience is gentle and supportive compared to other forms of THC.

Where Can I Buy THCa and Delta-8?

If Delta-8 and THCa products sound perfect for you, there are many options for purchasing them. THCa and Delta-8 products come in many forms, from edibles to pre-rolled flowers to vapes. Here are some of the best Delta-8 and THCa products from Herban Bud!

  • THCa Pre-Rolls: THCa prerolls are convenient and delightful. When lit, the THCa turns into Delta-9, giving you an intoxicating and happy feeling.
  • Buy THCa Diamonds: THCa diamonds are the hardened form of THCa, which have many uses. The THCa content is over 98%, and people often mix diamonds with cannabis flowers.
  • THCa Flower: A THCa flower can give you a similar feeling to full-spectrum cannabis, as it converts to delta-9 when exposed to heat.
  • Delta-8 Gummies: Try the delicious Delta-8 gummies from Herban Bud for something yummy and easy to enjoy.
  • Delta-8 Pre-Rolls: Delta-8 pre-rolls are convenient and lovely. When you order from Herban Bud, you can choose from several delectable strains.
  • Delta-8 Infused Flower: Cannabis flowers infused with Delta-8 THC offer a clear and calming effect that is relaxing and mild.
  • Delta-8 Vape Cartridges: These vape cartridges offer a discreet and pleasant way to enjoy the relaxing effects of Delta-8.
  • Delta-8 Disposable Vapes: Delta-8 disposable vapes are equally effective as the cartridges, but you can discard the vape when done.

The most important thing to remember about THCa vs Delta-8 is that THCa does not have any psychoactive effects while Delta-8 THC does. However, pairing the two can give you a pleasing and euphoric experience, making both valuable compounds for cannabis users.


  1. FDA,
  2. Arbors Wellness,
  3. Vermont Agriculture,
  4. NORML,
  5. Brittanica,
  6. British Pharmacological Society,

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