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THCA vs Delta 8: What’s the Difference?

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THCa vs Delta 8

Whether you are a cannabis user or looking to become one, there is much to know about its products and types, such as THCA vs. Delta 8. For example, THC is a general term describing Delta 9 and 8 compounds, but few people realize they are different. 

THCA is another type of cannabis compound different from Delta 9 and Delta 8. It is a crystallized form of substance that becomes Delta 9 THC when heat is added to it. But then, you may wonder how THCA and Delta 8 THC come into existence and how they differ. 

Table of Contents:

Key Takeaways

In this post, we will define both compounds and explain their formation. Once you know the difference between the two, you will be able to decide which type would be the most beneficial for you and will help you select your products as well.

What is THCA?

THCA may sound a bit complicated, but it is actually an acidic precursor to Delta 9 THC. As the cannabis plants mature, their tetrahydrocannabinol compounds start converting into Delta 9, a non-acidic compound. The main difference between THCA and Delta 8 THC is similar to the difference between it and Delta 9, as both Delta 8 and 9 can be derived from THCA. 

THCA is a cannabinoid compound that naturally occurs in a cannabis plant. It is the compound that is a precursor to THC, which is also the main psychoactive cannabinoid. Meanwhile, THCA is not psychoactive. When cannabis is aged or heated, the THCA begins converting into THC via the decarboxylation process that removes a carboxyl group’s presence from the molecule. 

While THCA has not been researched extensively, some people consume it via raw cannabis. 

How is THCA Made?

THCA is synthesized in the tiny hair and crystals, also known as trichomes, on the flowers and leaves of the cannabis plants. It is produced via a biosynthetic pathway, which starts with cannabigerolic acid, a precursor molecule that is synthesized by the enzymes of the cannabis plant. 

It is then converted into cannabinoid precursors, which include the THCA synthase, that catalyze the reactions to produce THCA from CBGA. When the THCA is produced in the cannabis plant’s trichomes, it is stored in glandular structures known as trichome heads. 

THCA occurs naturally in the cannabis plant. However, various processes make it consumable. THCA is formed by taking a cannabis extract and combining it with hexane and acetic acid that dissolve the plant compounds such as lipids, fats, and terpenes, as well as other cannabinoids. The remaining product is THCA. 

You can also crush or crystallize THCA. After heating it, it becomes psychoactive. Crystallized THCA is usually found in any diamond. 

Best Way to Take THCA

How you want to consume THCA depends on your personal preferences and needs. As it is not a psychoactive compound, it will not be as readily available in retail shops where you get cannabis products that contain CBD or THC. 

The most common way to consume THCA is to consume raw cannabis. This can be done by juicing the plant leaves or adding them to smoothies or other liquid recipes. This will help you consume THCA in its non-decarboxylated, raw form. 

There are other ways you can try THCA products, such as pre-rolled vapes or flowers and edibles. You can also try the THCA diamonds, a hardened type of THCA. It has more than 98 percent THCA content; people often mix it with cannabis flowers. The THCA prerolls are also quite delightful and convenient. Upon lighting, the THCA becomes Delta 9. 

THCA must be decarboxylated, exposed to light, or heated for it to be psychoactive. ATLRx has some of the best products that contain THCA in the market. If you shop from us, you do not need to worry about the cost of THCA as all our products are very competitively priced. 

What is Delta 8?

Delta 8 THC is a tetrahydrocannabinol, a psychoactive cannabinoid that can be extracted from marijuana plants. These plants naturally produce Delta 8 THC, but it is found in limited quantities within the plant. 

There is a minor cannabinoid found in cannabis plants called delta 8. Its structure is pretty similar to that of Delta 9 THC, but they both have a different chemical composition. Delta 8 comes from Delta 9 via a molecular rearrangement process and has become pretty popular in recent years as a legal alternative. 

Delta 8 is mainly consumed via vaping or smoking and can be found in tinctures, edibles, and other products. 

Even though Delta 8 is legal as per the US federal law, it is still a controlled substance in a few jurisdictions and states. 

Related Article: What Is Delta 8 THC?

How is Delta 8 Made?

Both THCA and Delta 8 THC naturally occur in the cannabis plant. In Delta 8, the product manufacturers chemically convert Delta 9 THC or CBD into Delta 8 via isomerization. This changes the chemical structure of the substance, similar to how heat affects THCA. Delta 8 is a byproduct of THCA. 

The process of making Delta 8 involves Delta 9 being selectively isolated from its cannabis extracts, and then it is exposed to pressure and other chemical agents to change its molecular structure. 

Related Article: How is Delta 8 THC Made?

There are many methods to convert Delta 8 THC from Delta 9 THC: 

These include acid-catalyzed isomerization that exposes Delta 9 THC to an acidic catalyst like hydrochloric acid or sulfuric acid to promote the molecular structure rearrangement into Delta 8 THC. 

Photoisomerization is another method that exposes Delta 9 to UV light or other radiations to promote molecular structure rearrangement.

The method of selectively isolating Delta 9 from the cannabis plant extracts is called molecular distillation. It is then subjected to heat and pressure to promote the conversion. 

Lastly, the solvent conversion method requires Delta 9 THC to dissolve in a hexane or ethanol solution. Then, it is subjected to chemical agents or heat to promote the conversion. 

The conversion to Delta 8 THC needs expertise and special equipment and should only be performed by qualified professionals. 

Also, the quality and purity of the final product depend on the conversion method and the individual’s expertise. 

As is the case with any cannabis products, Delta 8 ones should be bought from reputed sources such as the ATLRx website, where you will have a vast product portfolio to pick from. 

Best Way to Take Delta 8

The best way to take Delta 8 depends on the preferences of the individuals. 

Inhalation is one of the most common Delta 8 consumption methods. This involves vaporizing or smoking Delta 8 concentrates or flowers. 

The second most common method is to consume edibles. This involves consuming food products that are infused with Delta 8. These include chocolate, gummies, baked goods, etc. 

The following consumption method is tinctures. These are liquid extracts that must be consumed under the tongue or sublingually. 

Lastly, you can also opt for topicals, which are cannabis-infused products like balms, salves, and lotions applied to the skin. 

The Cost Comparison Between THCA and Delta 8

The THCA cost can vary, and many factors can influence the same, such as the quantity of the product, its quality, and market regulations. In areas where it is legal to use cannabis for recreational or medical purposes, THCA can be found at licensed producers or dispensaries. The prices of these products can be up to $80 a dollar. 

However, the same can vary significantly based on the above factors. You must ensure you are buying THCA and Delta 8 THC products from known places that comply with local rules and regulations. 

 The same applies to Delta 8 products as well. They, too, can vary on various factors, as the THCA products do. So whether you have a THCA vs. Delta 8 debate going on in your head, ensure the source that you obtain these products from is reputable.

What is the Difference Between THC and Delta-8?

The main difference between THCA and Delta 8 THC is the form that the THC takes. The former is acidic, while the latter is a non-acidic version of THC. Another difference can be its potency. 

THCa VS Delta-8 : Legality

If you are a regular or a novice, the legality of THCA can always be a daunting question. This section should clear these doubts for you. THCA and Delta 8 THC are both legal under federal law. This is because in 2018, the federal government passed the Farm Bill. According to this, all hemp-derived products are legal nationwide as long as they contain 0.3% THC. Anything above that is illegal. The catch is that even though hemp products are legal across the country, as long as they meet the limitations, it is still up to the states to form their own rules. Hence, there needs to be clarity regarding the products. So, if you are wondering where Delta 8 is legal, you must know that most states have somehow adapted their rules that allow federally legal cannabis products. However, it is best to take advice from a legal expert or local authorities. 

Are THCa and Delta-8 Made Differently?

If you are in a THCA vs. Delta 8 THC dilemma, you should first understand how the two are made and how they are made differently. First of all, both are chemical compositions, and they occur naturally in a cannabis plant. However, to make these substances consumable, the processes are different. THCA can be crystallized, and it becomes psychoactive only upon being heated. 

Crystallized THCA can be discovered in the form of diamonds. Delta 8 product makers will convert CBD or Delta 9 chemically into Delta 8 via the isomerization process. This method changes the chemical structures of the substance, the same way heat changes it of THCA. To sum it up, Delta 8 is a byproduct of THCA.

Are THCa and Delta-8 Safe?

If you are traveling and are thinking THCA vs. Delta 8, which one should you carry, then you need to know that it is perfectly safe to have both as they are federally legal as per the Farm Bill passed in 2018. However, as the laws in each state vary, you should check with your lawyer or the local authorities regarding what you should do – should you travel with it or leave it at home? You should also check if you can use these products at the destination you are traveling to. 

Is THCa or Delta-8 Better?

This is a very subjective decision. There is a wide variety of THCA and Delta 8 products to pick from, such as tinctures, pre-rolls, gummies, diamonds, edibles, flowers, vapes, etc. Most of these products also come in many flavors. And because of the legality aspect, it is easy to buy the Delta 8 or THCA products in your state if it allows it. You can try out both and come to a conclusion about which is the one that you like the most. If you are looking for some edibles, you can try having baked goods with these in them, gummies, or even soft gel capsules. However, you can get the vape or pre-rolls if you would rather smoke these. Alternatively, you can try tinctures or flowers. If you are getting the vape, there are many flavor options for you to pick from. 

Should I Try THCa or Delta-8 First?

Whichever substance you decide to try first should not be an issue. If you are a novice, consider starting with Delta 8 compared to THCA. There are many products that you can purchase, such as vapes, tinctures, prerolls, soft gel capsules, gummies, etc. Most of these also have a wide variety of flavors, especially vapes. Flavors such as watermelon ice, strawberry banana, strawberry mint, orange, apple, green apple, etc., among many others, are available in vapes. 

Will You Fail A Drug Test If You Consume THCA? What About Delta-8?

As of yet, there is no evidence consuming THCA will result in a positive drug test. The thing is, THCA is federally legal. So, it ideally should not show up positive on a drug test. However, cannabis laws are still very new, and states across the country are taking their time to adapt to them, bring out their regulations, etc. Hence, there is confusion over the relation between consumption and a positive drug test. The same goes for Delta 8 products as well. The Farm Bill was approved in 2018 by the United States’ elected representatives just five years ago. While most states have permitted it, some are yet to. Also, the rules are different. You can consume it in some places but cannot travel with it. Hence, it is best practice to check with a legal expert or a state authority once before consuming and traveling with the Delta 8 products. And if you have a drug test coming up, it is best to avoid consuming delta 8, THCA, or any other form of cannabis products. 

Where Can I Buy THCa and Delta-8 Products?

If you want Delta 8 or THCA products, you can get them at your nearby CBD store or vape shop. However, the drawbacks are that you will get to buy only what is on the counter, and you will also have to go there physically. But you have a better option as well. You can buy these products online from reputable sources, such as the ATLRx website. You can pick from our vast portfolio of delta-8 and THC products.  

You can buy our products such as Delta 8 Gummies, Delta 8 Flower, Delta 8 THC Caramels, Delta 8 Pre Rolls, Delta 8 Concentrates, Delta a 8 THC Shatter, Delta 8 THC Tincture, Delta 8 THC Soft Gel Capsules, Delta 8 THC Diamonds, Delta 8 Moon Rocks, Delta 8 Distillate, THCA Flower, Delta 8 Bars, among others. 

Pick one of your favorites or try some new ones. All our products are also very competitively priced. 

Final Thoughts

If you are a cannabis product lover or a beginner and do not know where to start, our ATLRx website is your best guide. This post has highlighted what Delta 8 and THCA products are, their differences and similarities, whether they are legal or not, and their various types and flavors. You can go through our website to better understand each product before deciding which one you want to buy.