THCO vs THCa: Effects, Differences & Similarities

Table of Contents

Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid is the full scientific term for THCA. Tetrahydrocannabinol Acetate Esther is the technical term for THCO. THCA is a cannabinoid that does not influence psychological effects while THCO is a cannabinoid with psychologically-related side effects. THCO is not in wild cannabis. You can find THCA in the harvested cannabis plant.

What Is THCO?

THCO or Delta 0 comes from the hemp portion of the cannabis plant. It can reduce feelings of nausea, stress levels, and overall anxiety. Taking the drug can also enhance your appetite while making you feel relaxed.

Because of its safer effects and legal status in 41 of the 50 states throughout America, it is the best alternative to the illegal Delta 9 THC. The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 helped to legalize THCO in these 41 states. The cannabis product utilizes 100% hemp extract. Hence, it is the sole basis of its legality for use in the United States.

What Is THCa?

So what is THCA? It is different from THCO because it does not cause psychological effects like THCO. When cannabis grows, it starts as THCA because of the carboxylic acid in fresh and unharvested cannabis. THCA cannot connect to CB1 receptors like THCO does, which is why THCA does not influence any psychological effects when ingesting it.

THCa is usually medical cannabis for patients with different ailments. Full spectrum Delta 9 is not legal in many of the states throughout America. However, CBD products can feature 0.3% or less of Delta 9 per the regulations stated in the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018. THCA converts to Delta 9 THC when exposed to heat, like with the flame from a lighter or a dab torch. It is only then will you feel the effects from the converted THCa.

What’s the Difference Between THCa and THCO?

The differences between THCO vs. THCa are the psychological effects it has on your body. THCO influences psychological effects such as relaxation, calmness, and euphoria. THCa does not cause these effects. THCa will decarboxylate to turn into THC through a heating process.

THCO has a higher potency than THCA. Because THCO can interact with the endocannabinoid system in your body while THCa cannot connect to these receptors, this is the reason for THCO’s higher potency levels.

THCa vs. THCO Potency

THCa will not induce psychological effects on your body as THCO will. Once THCA is heated, it will convert into Delta 9 THC. THCO is known to have three times higher potency than standard Delta 9 THC.

While you can consume raw cannabis that contains THCa, it will not get you buzzed like the market cannabis that has been converted into THCO. THCa will remain non-psychoactive for as long as it does not undergo the decarboxylation process that converts it into Delta 9 THC.

THCO’s bioavailability is higher than standard Delta 9 THC. Hence, your body can absorb THCO so that you can enjoy a more highly potent experience.

THCO Effects

THCO’s effect on the body includes feeling euphoric and chilled out. Its effects can last for at least four to six hours unlike the illegal Delta 9 which has lasting effects of two hours.

THCa Effects

THCA is an anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving cannabinoid that can assist people who experience regular seizures. Arthritis patients can also benefit from medically prescribed THCa.

What Is the THCO Effect Like?

THCO takes you on an introspective trip within yourself with psychedelic effects as well as hallucinogenic influences. Taking THCO can cause you to feel trippy and more spiritually connected within yourself because of how it calms you into a relaxed state.

What Is the THCa Effect Like?

THCa will not induce the same psychedelic effect on your body as THCO because of its additional carboxylic acid chain within its chemical makeup. Hence, THCa cannot attach to the receptors in the human body’s endocannabinoid system as THCO can.

Which Hits Faster: THCa or THCO?

THCa usually takes up to two hours to show effects on your body. However, because of THCO’s intoxicating effects, it can take as little as 30 minutes for it to influence the psychological effects on your body. Hence, THCO hits faster than THCa.

The Legality of THCa & THC-O

THCa and THCO are both legal because of the Farm Bill of 2018. THCO products must contain no more than 0.3% of Delta 9 THC to be eligible to sell on the market. THCa does not have Delta 9 in it, so it is legal in states where medical cannabis is allowed.

Are THCa & THCO Made Differently?

THCa is known as THCO’s predecessor. While they are almost the same in their chemical makeups, THCa has one additional carboxylic acid chain. THCO products can combine a small amount of Delta 9 for increased euphoric effects per the standards of the Farm Bill while non-recreational THCA products cannot include Delta 9.

Are THCa & THCO Safe?

Not much clinical or scientific research has been conducted on THCO to know about thorough safety guidelines. However, as long as you take it within recommended levels on the packaging, you should not experience any adverse side effects.

Overusing THCO could make the psychological effects take longer to wear off from your body. Purchasing products that have a Certificate of Analysis in the product description can ensure overall safety and peace of mind during your user experience.

THCA is safe because it does not impose the psychological effects that THCO does. It focuses on physical relief. Because it is usually prescribed as medical cannabis, using it within recommended doses will give you the pain and inflammation relief that your body needs.

Is THCa or THCO Better?

Comparing THCO vs THCa to see which one is better in your opinion is dependent upon what you are looking for in a cannabis use experience. If you want an extra chill and relaxed feeling when taking cannabis, THCO may be the better option. If you only need pain and inflammation relief without the psychedelic effects, then THCa would be your go-to choice.

Should I Try THCa or THCO First?

If it is your first time trying cannabis, go for THCa before jumping into THCO if you want to ease yourself in. As you build experience with cannabis use, you may become someone with a high tolerance. THCO would deliver a potent usage experience as you continue to build cannabis tolerance.

Where Can I Buy THCa & THCO?

Browse THCO and THCa products from Herban Bud to get started on your psychedelic experience today. THCa flower gives you about the same experience as smoking full-spectrum cannabis. Smoke a little at a time in a custom cigarette roll if you are a first-timer.

THCa diamonds can be combined with flowers in a rolled joint to enhance their potency. Herban Bud’s THCA products have 98% of the ingredient in them.

Citations (External Links)

  1. Hoye, D. (1973). Cannabis alchemy: The art of modern hashmaking ; methods for preparation of extremely potent cannabis products. High Times. Retrieved from
  2. Text – H.R.2 – 115th Congress (2017-2018): Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018. (2018, December 20).
  3. BAKER, P.B., TAYLOR, B.J. and GOUGH, T.A. (1981), The tetrahydrocannabinol and tetrahydrocannabinolic acid content of cannabis products. Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, 33: 369-372.

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