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WHERE IS THCa LEGAL?
Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCa) is a non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis plants. This precursor to the well-known THC compound has piqued the interest of many due to its unique properties, separate from its psychoactive counterpart. Although THCa itself is not intoxicating, when exposed to heat (via a process called decarboxylation), it converts into THC, the main psychoactive compound in cannabis. This has drawn both attention and concern from regulatory bodies.
While hemp and its derived products with less than 0.3% THC are federally legal in the United States, THCa has a different legal status. It is imperative to note that due to the 2021 amendment to the farm bill, THCa is federally illegal. However, individual states may have their own regulations, making it legal within their jurisdictions. As it is federally illegal, akin to medical or recreational cannabis, it's prohibited to ship THCa products between states.
THE 2021 AMENDMENT TO THE FARM BILL
According to the amendment made in 2021 to the farm bill as seen here, THCa is federally illegal. While the previous bills were more lenient toward hemp and its derived products, this particular amendment has made the legality of THCa clear on a federal level.
The amendment is very clear: when determining total THC you must use Delta-9 THC plus THCa. This also makes it very clear that THCa flower and THCa vapes are federally illegal.
CANNABIS VS. MARIJUANA
To clarify any confusion: If THCa is federally illegal, does that make all cannabis illegal? The key lies in the distinction between cannabis and marijuana. In many states such as Wisconsin, while recreational marijuana might not be accessible, psychoactive hemp-derived products are still available.
The difference is based on the amount of Delta-9 THC by dry weight post decarboxylation. Marijuana is derived from cannabis plants with more than 0.3% Delta-9 THC, while hemp (or non-THC rich cannabis) is derived from plants with less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC. Both plants can produce effective products; however, total THC content determines their legal status.
CAN YOU ORDER THCa PRODUCTS ONLINE?
Given the federal restrictions on THCa, interstate shipping is illegal. Nevertheless, depending on your state's legislation, you may be able to order and receive THCa products within the state. Always check local regulations and ensure any products you purchase come with a comprehensive Certificate of Analysis for safety reasons.
Popular THCa products include:
- THCa Flower: THCa (Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid) flower refers to the raw cannabis buds rich in THCa, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid precursor to THC. Unlike THC, which produces the iconic "high" associated with marijuana, THCa does not intoxicate users until heated, which smoking flower will accomplish. It is primarily found in fresh, undried cannabis plants, and only converts into THC when exposed to heat through a process called decarboxylation.
- THCa Vapes: THCa vapes contain a concentrated form of Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCa), a non-psychoactive precursor to THC found in raw cannabis plants. When heated in the vape, THCa converts to Delta-9 THC, offering the same effects as your typical THC vapes.
As with all cannabis products, effects can vary based on dosage, individual tolerance, and sensitivity. It's crucial to start with a small dose and adjust as needed. Always buy from reputable sources to ensure quality and safety.