As THCA keeps gaining acceptance and popularity, especially due to being easier to access than THC, you owe it to yourself to understand the unique characteristics of this cannabinoid. Besides its potential to cause trouble with local laws when undergoing decarboxylation (conversion into THC), another concern is that THCA and drug tests don’t mix well.There’s more to it than a subtle heat-sensitive link between THCA and THC everyone is raving about. The answer to the common query of whether THCA shows on drug tests is not so black-and-white as seeking to unlock the psychoactive effects at the heart of THCA by transforming it into THC. Let’s shed some light here! Does THCA show up on drug tests when heated? When it comes to chemical structure, it distinguishes the raw cannabis compound – THCA – from its highly potent counterpart – THC. In this natural form, the former is considered neutral and non-intoxicating. But what THCA lacks in psychoactivity, it makes up for in easy transitioning to Delta-9. All it takes are simple chemical changes triggered by heating (read smoking, vaping, or cooking homemade edibles) for THCA to no longer remain the neutral crude form of THC as prior to decarboxylation. When it’s decarbed to its full potency, you’re actually indulging in Delta-9 THC, no matter the product. Does that make THCA the most fascinating cannabinoid? You bet. Does THCA show on drug tests after making this sought-after transition to THC? It is highly likely to trigger a positive result. The good news? Your frequency of use and test timing can work in your favor. Does THCA show on a drug test when consumed raw? Given the abundance of therapeutic uses and wellness benefits of this cannabinoid outside of its relationship to THC, there’s a large cohort of THCA enthusiasts who are not looking for mind-altering experiences. So, you’d be excused for thinking that the consumption method is key to the interaction of THCA with drug test procedures. You may have come across statements that those who aren’t pursuing the buzz-inducing conversion to THC shouldn’t worry about the test results. If you do not get high, why will THCA show up on a drug test, right? Unfortunately, avoiding the decarbing process doesn’t automatically put you on the safe side. Contrary to common beliefs, urine tests typically used for routine drug evaluations do not detect the levels of a specific psychoactive compound like THC. Instead, they pick up on THC-COOH, a metabolite that isn’t excreted as quickly as THC. It is formed after cannabis products are metabolized within the body, regardless of the way they have been consumed. In other words, raw THCA can also be detected, as both THCA and THC are broken down into THC-COOH in your system. There are saliva and blood tests that screen for current intoxication and THC levels for more accurate results. However, the target metabolite of urine sample testing is simply a marker of the body’s cannabis exposure, whether it results in any psychoactive effects or not. What affects the window of drug detection and the results of THCA drug tests? The sensitivity of testing kits may vary. That means they may have different detection windows and threshold levels of THC or THC-COOH that will result in the test being considered positive. While THC may be eliminated from your body within a few hours or days, most urine and blood screenings check for THC-COOH that can linger for weeks after use. So, you risk failing the test when consuming THCA products – raw or decarboxylated – even within 3 or 4 weeks after your last intake. That said, there’s a combination of factors that affect the elimination of THCA and its metabolites from the body. Product potency and dosage THCA-infused goodies and flower strains of higher strengths are processed and eliminated from your system at a slower rate, and individual doses also make a difference. The more you go for, the more time it takes to clear out so you can pass a drug test. Frequency of use Long-term indulgence and accumulation is the biggest factor determining how long THC and THC-COOH linger in different fluids and parts of the body. Occasional users will eliminate THC and THCA metabolites faster (in about a week), being less at risk that THCA will show up on a drug test. For those going the heavy use path, the remnants of the test target substances can trigger a positive result up to 30-60 days after their last marijuana product consumption. Your metabolism, lifestyle, and habits The variability in genetics and individual biochemistry accounts for slightly different rates at which THCA is processed and flushed out. The timeline for the metabolites stored in the body and remaining detectable depends on your overall health, diet, physical activity, and hydration levels. All of these factor into your metabolic rates. Wrapping up THCA and drug tests Both urine and saliva tests are used for routine workplace screening, but their detection windows are different. Saliva tests can only red-flag recent use, picking it up within a few hours after consumption (or up to three days in heavy users). Standard urine tests are designed to track cannabis indulgence over a longer period of several weeks. However, these are ridiculously ineffective as they fail to distinguish between THC and THCA, which are both metabolized into THC-COOH in the liver. Urine drug testing procedures can not indicate or evaluate impairment and any psychoactive results of THCA decarbing – only the fact of cannabinoids entering the body. Though THCA is likely to clear from your body in a couple of weeks if you consume it only once in a while, slower metabolic rates and regular or heavier intake can double that timeframe. There’s no exact answer on how long it will remain detectable. So, if you are concerned about a potential or upcoming drug test, abstaining from those buds and gummies for a few weeks is the best solution.