What are the Pros & Cons of Smoking, Vaping, and Cooking/Baking with THCa Flower?
THCa flower has changed the way in which we view the hemp plant, offering a completely legal way to enjoy a product virtually identical to marijuana, down to its chemical composition. Available in loads of strains, you can purchase it in the form of loose flower buds, which can be enjoyed in all kinds of fantastic ways.
There are three main ways to utilize THCa flower, which are smoking, vaping, and cooking or baking. All of these methods will give you a satisfying delta 9 THC high, but there are some distinct differences between how you’ll experience those effects based on which method you choose. We’re going to compare all three, to help you decide the best choice for your personal preferences.
THCa Flower: What You Need to Know About It
First, let’s quickly go over THCa flower in terms of the basic info you need to know about what this product is and how it works. THCa flower is a type of hemp flower that comes from industrial hemp exposed to specific environmental conditions during the growing process, which ends up yielding a high amount of tetrahydrocannabinolic acid. Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, for those who still don’t know, is the raw precursor cannabinoid to delta 9 THC, and THCa is what dominates raw marijuana. When THCa is heated, such as through the methods we’re about to dive into, it turns into delta 9 THC. Because at the time of third-party-testing, THCa flower has no delta 9 THC, it’s classified as legal under federal law.
Smoking THCa Flower
Smoking is the most traditional way of consuming flower, and goes back thousands of years, as archeologists have uncovered pipes that prove civilizations have been smoking cannabis for millennia.
There are a few ways to smoke flower. One is through a pipe, which can be a tiny one-hitter pipe, a spoon pipe, a bong, a water pipe, or so on. Basically, the bigger the pipe, the more smoke you get per hit, and the higher you get off of each hit as a result. Some pipes contain water filtration systems built into them, which keep the smoke cool and smooth on the inhale.
Another method is by rolling it in paper, hemp leaves, or tobacco leaves. This allows you to enjoy smoking flower more like you’d smoke a cigarette, offering direct hits of fresh THCa flower without having to maintain a pipe or other type of device.
Overall, smoking is going to give you the strongest high of the 3, because smoke is so dense that it carries the THCa (delta 9) cannabinoid really effectively into the lungs. And, inhaling cannabinoids offers the highest bioavailability as the cannabinoids absorb easily into the bloodstream through the lungs.
- Does have the strongest effects.
- Lots of ways to smoke (rolling in paper, smoking out of a pipe, smoking out of a bong, etc.).
- Strongest flavor experience in terms of terpenes.
- No technological equipment necessary.
- Tougher to travel with than vapes (pieces can be fragile, can make a mess, etc.).
- Smoke can be harsh for people who are prone to coughing.
Vaping THCa Flower
Then, we have vaping, which is a pretty new method of consumption, as the technology has only been around for the last decade and change. Vaping THCa flower requires putting ground up hemp flower into a flower vaporizer, also known as a dry herb vaporizer. This is a type of vaporizer made specifically for flower, as vaporizers made for oils will just burn the product. Flower vaporizers typically use convection or conduction to heat the flower, and the result is cannabinoid and terpene-rich vapor flowing out of the mouthpiece for you to inhale.
Vaporizers can vary a lot, and so can your experience as a result. Some vaporizers are tiny, and come with minimal settings. Others are larger, and allow you to explore different output levels based on how strong you want each hit to be. You’ll also find that the market offers many portable vaporizers and desktop vaporizers, to suit different needs.
Vapor contains more water particles than smoke, and so the product is just slightly diluted. You can still get very high off of vaping flower, but you’ll still get a little more ‘high’ than that if you were smoking it.
- Easier on the throat due to the nature of vapor vs. smoke.
- Lots of models to choose from, from small and user-friendly, to big and advanced.
- Can adjust output to get different experiences out of the same product.
- Usually neater and more contained than smoking setups.
- Vapor is more discreet than smoke in terms of appearance and smell.
- Requires some maintenance, like cleaning, charging the battery, and replacing parts after a while.
- Vaporizers can malfunction from time to time.
Cooking or Baking with THCa Flower
Finally, we have an entirely different delivery method altogether. Cooking or baking with THCa flower means you’re no longer inhaling it and getting that fast-acting, powerful high for a couple of hours. When we ingest THCa that has converted into delta 9 THC, the liver turns the THC into 11 HXY THC, a metabolite that changes how the cannabinoid affects us. The high is much longer-lasting (around 8 hours) and the body high is stronger than what you’d get from inhalation. At the same time, people say that ingesting the flower creates a “sleepier” kind of high, regardless of the strain.
So, how do you cook or bake with THCa flower, anyway? Well, first, you decarb the flower by baking it at about 250 degrees, to convert the THCa into delta 9. Then, you infuse the decarbed flower in a fat – usually butter – by cooking the flower in the fat at a low temp for an hour or two. From there, you strain the fat so there are no chunks of flower left, and you have a fat that is high in cannabinoids and terpenes, and ready to be used in your favorite recipe, in place of a “regular” fat. You can turn almost any recipe into a THCa edible, and there are lots of recipes online that you can explore.
- Long-lasting effects.
- A more body-oriented high.
- A very relaxing kind of high.
- Making edibles can be a fun hobby.
- Great for flower enthusiasts looking for a change from smoking or vaping.
- Must be careful with dosing as it is easy to use too much in your recipe, and also get too high.
- Can take up to 2 hours to take effect as the cannabinoid has to travel through the digestive tract.
- Requires basic kitchen skills.
- The high can be overwhelming to those who are prone to anxiety/paranoia after consuming cannabis.
Enjoy THCa Flower on Your Terms!
Overall, THCa flower is a lot more versatile than we give it credit for. It’s also the most natural way to enjoy the effects of cannabis, as minimal processing takes place to produce it. And, since it comes in so many great strain options, just like weed, you can customize your high so that it fully caters to your needs.
Whether you prefer to smoke, vape, or cook/bake with THCa flower, you’re going to love the flower that we offer here at Wild Orchard Co. This is premium grade THCa Flower, and it’s always sold fresh. Our THCa flower has been cultivated by cannabis experts, all while being 100% compliant with federal law. Explore our selection today!