Understanding THCA Strength and Percentages

Hands with Black Gloves on Trimming Cannabis Plant

THCA is one of the oldest known cannabinoids but has rapidly gained popularity in recent years. Because cannabinoids are so well-established, there are many products with varying doses, and this can get overwhelming, Here we’ll explore all of your options for THCA percentages and products to help you find your perfect fit. 

For more information regarding ‘What is THCA,’ review our complete guide here.

Key Takeaways

  • THCA, a cannabinoid present in cannabis plants, starts off as non-psychoactive but gradually transforms into THC as the plant matures. 
  • When choosing a cannabis product, it’s important to pay attention to percentages, as this affects the strength of effects. 
  • While a high THCA percentage might be appealing for therapeutic purposes, it’s crucial to consume with caution. Elevated levels can heighten the risk of side effects like dizziness, dry mouth, headaches, nausea, or anxiety. Starting with a small dose and incrementally adjusting consumption allows you to find the right balance and minimize adverse reactions.

How Strong is THCA?

In its natural state, THCA remains entirely non-psychoactive. That means you won’t feel the typical high associated with THC, like euphoria or relaxation. However, you can still benefit from its potential therapeutic properties, such as its ability to reduce inflammation and protect nerve cells.

However, when THCA is decarboxylated—typically through heating—it converts into THC, the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis that is known for its potent effects. The “strength” or potency of THCA in terms of psychoactive effects is essentially non-existent until it converts to THC, at which point the intoxicating effects can vary widely depending on the concentration of THC formed from the decarboxylation process.

What Do THCA Percentages Mean?

Although THCA itself doesn’t cause a high until heated, understanding the difference between THC and THCA percentages is essential:

  • When selecting a cannabis strain, it’s the THC content that truly matters as it determines the strain’s potency. 
  • While a higher THCA percentage may suggest greater potential for effect, it’s the THC percentage that indicates the strain’s psychoactive strength.
  • However, if your strain features a high THCA concentration, be prepared for a similarly high THC content as well.
  • However, once THCA is converted into its psychoactive form, its effectiveness potential reaches 90 to 95% of that initial THC potency, with only about 5% of the compound being lost in the process.


Photo by Sumudu Mohottige on Unsplash

What THCA Percentage Should I Look For?

To understand what counts as a solid THCA percentage, it’s important to note that THCA comes in two main forms: as raw hemp flower or in THCA-rich seeds. Brands usually specify which form they’re using right on their packaging, and this detail will clue you in on the percentage you’re dealing with.

Aiming for a THCA percentage in the 15-20% range hits the sweet spot. This range strikes a good balance, offering the potential benefits of THCA without pushing into territory where the risks of negative side effects start climbing. However, THCA levels can exceed 25%, producing highly potent effects when heated, suitable for experienced users.

Keep in mind, that the lower end of this spectrum might not pack the same beneficial punch, while going higher increases the chance of running into less-than-pleasant reactions. Plus, how each person reacts to any particular THCA level can vary, so it’s smart to start low and slow. Gradually upping your intake lets you zero in on the just-right dose for you.

Best THCA Percentages for Gummy-Edibles

THCA gummies are a popular edible option because they offer a convenient and discreet way to consume THCA. When it comes to gummies, a good percentage falls between 10-15%. This range provides the consumer with an optimal balance of potential benefits without the risk of experiencing too strong of effects.

It is important to remember that with edibles, the effects may take longer to kick in, and the effects may last longer than with other forms, such as smoking or vaping. This is because the active ingredients are processed through digestion, which can take a bit longer than other methods.

Best THCA Percentages for Flower

THCA flower occupies a middle ground in terms of potency, straddling the line between high and medium levels. With a typical high THCA content ranging from 25-30%, its potency can be adjusted to create a range of products with different percentages, influenced by the strain and cultivation techniques. This versatility makes it suitable for users of any experience level, primarily due to the flower’s higher THCA concentrations compared to other forms.

Best THCA Percentages for Diamonds

THCA diamonds stand out as perhaps the most potent manifestation of THCA. These crystals are extracted from raw cannabis and meticulously isolated to achieve maximum potency. Typically boasting a high percentage ranging between 85-99%, THCA diamonds offer an incredibly concentrated form of THCA, ideal for those seeking the strongest effects.

THCA Diamonds vs. THCA Powder vs. THCA Crystalline — Is There a Difference?

THCA diamonds, THCA powder, and THCA crystalline are all variations of tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), with differences including:

  • THCA Diamonds – Primarily used for dabbing or sprinkling throughout a preroll, these diamonds come from top-quality distillates with up to 99% THCA concentration. This makes them an optimal choice, requiring less heat to activate cannabinoids and terpenes compared to other concentrate forms.
  • THCA Powder – Crafted by freezing and grinding cannabis. Through this process, THCA is extracted from the plant material and crystallized into a fine, light-green powder. Though it has a lower THC concentration when heated than THCA diamonds, THCA powder still delivers therapeutic effects when ingested sublingually or orally.
  • THCA Crystalline – A refined form of THCA, forming crystal flakes with a purity exceeding 99%. Typically vaporized or dabbed, this form offers an even cleaner experience than THCA diamonds. Resembling coarse sugar, the crystals melt at a lower temperature than diamonds, preserving the concentrate’s flavor profile.

Man Smoking

Photo by Cord Allman on Unsplash

Is More THCA Always Better?

A high THCA percentage does not necessarily mean a better experience. It’s important to be mindful of your consumption and start with a low dose to gauge how your body will respond. Higher THCA percentages can increase the risk of experiencing side effects such as:

  • Dizziness
  • Cottonmouth
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Anxiety

While a higher amount of THCA can potentially offer more therapeutic benefits, it also increases the likelihood of the side effects mentioned above. Especially for newcomers to cannabis, a high concentration might be overwhelming. Additionally, different cannabis forms contain varying levels of THCA. Exploring these options can assist you in finding the perfect dose tailored to your specific needs.

Final Takeaway — Where to Buy THCA

The best way to smoke THCA is to find prerolls crafted with quality, potency, and consistency in mind. Imperial Extraction offers certified, lab-tested, top-shelf THCA Diamond Infused Pre Rolls that customers can trust. Made with the finest hemp flower and infused with THCA liquid diamonds, our prerolls are finished with a reusable glass mouthpiece. They provide an incredibly flavorful, smooth, and potent way to consume THCA, shipped directly to your door.

**(Disclaimer reminder: This article is not medical advice. It is based on anecdotal user experience alone. If you are thinking about incorporating cannabis (delta-8 THC, delta-9 THC, CBD, etc) into your medicinal routine, please consult a healthcare professional. Do not stop taking any prescribed medications without first consulting your doctor.)** 

Disclaimer: This article was written in March 2024 and reflects the United States’ laws that were current at that time. Because cannabis laws in the United States laws are subject to change at any time, please make sure that you are always staying up to date on your federal, state, and local county’s cannabis laws. Additionally, we are NOT encouraging anyone to break the law––we are simply showing people ways to legally and discreetly bring their cannabis products along with them on their travels so that they may have access to those products when they reach their intended destination.

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