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Research on the medical application of cannabis has advanced in recent years and the benefits, both medicinal and therapeutic, of cannabinoids such as CBD and THC have been shown. However, these compounds could not exist without their acidic precursors: CBDa and THCa.

We tend to think of CBD when examining the benefits of cannabis yet the cannabis plant contains over 100 cannabinoids, including THCa (also known as tetrahydrocannabinolic acid but lets stick with THCa!). 

You’ve probably heard of THC, known for its psychoactive properties. Although THCa sounds similar, it actually has very different properties. THCa is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in raw and live cannabis. As the plant dries, THCa slowly converts to THC. 

In the UK, THC is a controlled substance. This means that all CBD products must contain less than 0.2% THC. Therefore CBD is entirely non toxic and there is no psychoactive effects.

How does THCa become THC?

When heated, the cannabinoid acids located in the cannabis plant, drop a carbon dioxide molecule (the acid) and converts  into a neutral state through a process called decarboxylation.This transforms the non-psychoactive THCa into the psychoactive and well known THC.  

Decarboxylation happens over time when left at room temperature. However, it also happens when smoking or vaping. It is the heating and drying process of cannabis which causes THCa to convert to the psychoactive compound THC. 

Whilst each cannabinoid presents its own benefits, more research on THCa is needed to understand its therapeutic effects. 

Does CBD contain THC?

In the UK, all CBD products must contain less than 0.2% THC. CBD has its own unique properties and is non toxic and non-psychoactive. Therefore, unlike THC, it does not cause psychoactive effects.

At drops of heal we produce full spectrum, broad spectrum and THC-free products to ensure there is always something for everyone. We all have different goals when it comes to CBD so here is a little breakdown of the three types of CBD:

  1. Full Spectrum. This means the entire plant cannabinoid profile is included in the final product, including CBD, CBG,CBDa and less than 0.2% THC. Full Spectrum CBD is often associated with the entourage effect. Shop our CBD extra virgin olive oil to experience the benefits of full spectrum CBD.
  2. Broad Spectrum: This means the THC has been removed but remaining cannabinoids are present, including CBD, CBG,CBDa, CBN and more. Shop our CBD Multivitamin and Turmeric Honey to experience the benefits of broad spectrum CBD.
  3. CBD Isolate: This means the product only contains CBD cannabinoid and nothing else. Shop our Joint Relief Cream and Muscle Rub Gel to experience the benefits of our CBD isolate.

Want to learn more about CBD? Please visit our FAQ page or email us at

Ready to see what CBD Oil can do for you? Visit our range here.


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