THCA is the acidic precursor to THC found in the cannabis plant, and it develops as the plant matures. It's the first cannabinoid produced by the plant and eventually breaks down to produce primary cannabinoids like THCA and CBDA. THCA is non-intoxicating due to an additional molecular carboxyl ring that prevents it from binding to the receptors responsible for the euphoric effects of THC. Without THCA, we wouldn't have THC or the health benefits attributed to it. When THCA is exposed to heat, it converts to THC, the intoxicating cannabinoid that produces the euphoric effects associated with cannabis.