Unlike Delta-8 and Delta-10, THC-O isn’t a recently discovered rare cannabinoid. THC-O, or THC Acetate, is a completely synthetic cannabinoid produced in a lab. This artificially made cannabinoid has been the center of controversy, and has been getting a lot of attention. But what is THC-O, what effects does it have, and is it legal? Find out all that and everything else you need to know about THC-O.
What is THC-O?
THC-O is the abbreviated version of THC-O-Acetate–a synthetic close relative of traditional delta-9 THC. From a molecular standpoint, you can think of THC-O as almost identical to regular delta-9 THC. The only physical difference is the acetate group (O) is not present in delta-9. This may seem minuscule, but that tiny inconsistency in its genetic makeup causes huge changes in its effects.
THC-O is much stronger than regular delta-9 THC. Some hypothesize that THC-O is a three times stronger than traditional THC and a whopping five times stronger than delta-8 THC.
What Does THC-O Do?
In addition to being much stronger than THC, THC-O also has different effects. Some have claimed THC-O is so strong it causes psychedelic effects. This may be an exaggeration by new cannabis users, but THC-O’s potency is not exaggerated. Most users report having had a very intense experience. This experience usually consists of a quick head rush, accompanied by racing thoughts and a heavy body high. This is true even when a low dose of THC-O was used. So, that makes the possibility of having severe paranoia and anxious feelings much more common when using THC-O than regular THC.
Some users have claimed that THC-O will also make you feel more irritable than delta-8 or delta-9 THC does.
How Does THC-O Work?
Because of how it effects the body, THC-O is much stronger than other cannabinoids. Delta-8 and delta-9 THC effect you by directly traveling through the blood and into the brain. However, THC-O must be processed before it has any effect. This is because of the O acetate group. In order to lose the acetate group, The THC-O must metabolize in the liver to lose this acetate group.
Once that happens, THC-O basically becomes traditional delta-9 THC in terms of its molecular structure. So, why is THC-O so much stronger than delta-9 THC if it basically becomes the same thing?
During the metabolization, the THC-O becomes more bioavailable to your body, therefore the body uses more of the THC which causes a stronger high.
How Is THC-O Made?
THC-O is synthetic and is only produced in a lab. To make THC-O, you have to start with delta-9 or delta-8 THC. Manufacturers take the delta-8 or 9 and use a chemical process to convert them into THC-O-Acetate. They make this conversion with an extremely toxic compound called acetic anhydride. Acetic anhydride is not only toxic, it’s also potentially explosive and very flammable.
Is THC-O Legal in the USA?
As of September 2021, THC-O is in a legal gray area with many things uncertain. THC-O is made from a legal compound and can also come from a hemp plant that’s legal too. But that compound is made by way of a chemical reaction, and it’s in the mirror image of a drug that’s banned, so that could certainly cause it too be deemed illegal.
The UK and some other countries have already placed a ban on THC-O. This trend will likely continue as THC-O becomes more popular and well-known by lawmakers.
Is THC-O Safe?
One of the biggest concerns about THC-O-Acetate is whether or not it’s safe. Since THC-O is brand new and it hasn’t been tested yet , there are many potential side-effects and long-term effects that are still unknown. In addition, it is also made with toxic and flammable chemicals, which may be alright, but for the few companies that do sell THC-O already offer no lab tests or reports, leaving users completely in the dark as to whether or not there are toxic chemicals in THC-O.
Use CBD and Delta-8 THC Instead
Currently, using THC-O right now seems risky. It could be dangerous to use, and on top of that, it doesn’t even offer any new therapeutic benefits. It just doesn’t seem like it’s worth the risk to use THC-O products, at least until more testing has been done and lab tests are available. Until then, it’s best to stick with good ol’ safe and reliable options like CBD and delta-8 THC.