THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid) is an inactive cannabinoid found in the trichomes of live and freshly harvested cannabis. It is the precursor to THC, the active psychotropic cannabinoid. The difference between the two is the addition of a carboxyl group to THCA. When THCA undergoes decarboxylation, it releases CO2 gas and converts to 100% pure THC.
THCA has a number of therapeutic qualities, including its ability to inhibit the production of prostaglandins, which are chemical compounds that cause inflammation. It has also been found to improve symptoms of metabolic syndrome and inflammation associated with obesity. When you look at a laboratory result for a cannabis strain, it will list the percentage of THCA and THC by mass. The percentage of THCA is multiplied by 0.877 to account for weight loss during decarboxylation.
This gives you an estimate of the maximum amount of THC present in your product, as conversion efficiency may not be 100%. For example, if a strain has 22.32 percent THCA mass and 2.41 percent THC by mass (active THC), then multiplying 22.32 by 0.877 gives you 19.54 percent, which is the maximum amount of THC present in the product. THCA products are widely available on the Internet and in cannabis stores, but they offer no legal protection. It is important to understand how the THCA and THC percentages on product labels were determined in order to make informed decisions about your cannabis purchases.