CBD and THCa are two of the most popular cannabinoids on the market today. But what exactly are they, and how do they differ? Keep reading to find out!
What are the Cannabinoids CBD and THCa?
Cannabinoids are a diverse class of chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. You may have heard of two of them—CBD and THCa. CBD is cannabidiol, which has been linked to potential medical benefits, such as anxiety and pain relief. As a cannabinoid, it typically does not produce the “high” associated with cannabis use. Instead, it interacts with endocannabinoid receptors throughout your body. THCa, or tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, is the non-psychoactive acidic form or precursor to THC—the cannabinoid responsible for causing intoxication when ingested or smoked. Like CBD, THCa is non intoxicating and will not produce a high.
Difference Between CBD and THCa
CBD and THCa may look similar on paper, but when it comes down to it, these two cannabinoid molecules are worlds apart. The main difference between the two cannabinoids is where they are found. CBD is found in high concentrations in hemp, a type of cannabis that contains very low levels of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive compound in cannabis that is responsible for the "high" associated with marijuana use. While THCa is found in high concentrations in unheated, raw cannabis.
Another difference between the cannabinoids is the way they interact with the endocannabinoid system. CBD interacts with the ECS by attaching to CB1 receptors, without fully activating them, which is why no “high” is created. THCa on the other hand, is too large of a molecule to bind to the receptors in the ECS, which is why it does not create any psychoactive or intoxicating effect.
Benefits of THCa and CBD
Cannabinoids are the building blocks of the hemp plant, and each one offers its own unique set of benefits. THCa is renowned for its anti-inflammatory capabilities and can be used as a natural alternative to address long term discomfort from chronic conditions such as joint inflammation or muscle tension. Meanwhile, CBD is known to promote calmness and relaxation, making it an ideal choice for those who need to manage both physical and emotional stress. Whether you want to reduce stress levels or soothe aches and pains, cannabinoids offer up a world of potential for overall wellness.
How to Use CBD and THCa
To use CBD or THCA, you can consume them in a variety of ways, including:
You can take a CBD or THCA tincture orally by placing a few drops under your tongue and holding them there for a minute or two before swallowing. Tinctures are great for everyday use and for those who do not like any weed taste.
Gummies are a yummy way to take CBD or THCa. Gummies provide an easy-to-dose alternative that tastes like candy and make it easy to pop a delicious, beneficial treat in your mouth at any time of day. Remember when starting out to only take one gummy at a time until you find the right amount for you.
Infused flower is another way to use CBD and THCa. Infused flower is made by coating hemp flower in CBD or THCa extract. The flower can then be smoked using traditional smoking methods or a dry herb vaporizer device. Those looking to try THCa weed should know heating the flower will convert the THCa to THC. Once THCa is converted, it will produce an intoxicating effect. CBD does not convert to THC so will not produce a “high” when smoked.
Those looking for high quality infused flower can find it in dispensaries and most abundantly online. E1011 Labs offers their own take on CBD infused flower with our stelo™ line. Each stelo™ is filled with premium, infused hemp flower and comes in multiple flavors so users can choose which one works best for them.
Side Effects of CBD and THCa
Both cannabinoids - CBD and THCa - are gaining increased popularity for their potential to enhance wellness, but it's important to understand the side effects that come along with each of them. While neither compound produces an intoxicating effect, there can be some unexpected reactions to be mindful of if you decide to take them.
Generally speaking, the most common side effect associated with CBD is an upset stomach or diarrhea. Similarly, THCa can lead to gastrointestinal distress. However, there have been some reports of dry mouth potentially resulting from both compounds. Ultimately, it's always best to talk about supplementation protocol with your healthcare provider in order for the best decision for your health needs.
Now that you know the difference between CBD and THCa, as well as the benefits of each compound, you can make an informed decision about which product is right for you.