THC-O features among the new crop of hemp-derived cannabinoids with a molecular structure similar to delta-9 THC, the primary psychoactive cannabinoid compound. Popularly known as the psychedelic cannabinoid, THC-O provides cannabis consumers in states where recreational cannabis is illegal with reasonable access to a potent but legal psychoactive compound.

cannabis, weed pot, marijuana

However, despite the cannabinoid’s popularity, questions abound about its production process, dosage considerations, effects, and safety factor. Moreover, its future legal status is also a curious subject among consumers. If you are curious about the above topics, you have come to the right place, so keep reading the ultimate THC O guide below.

What Is THC-O?

THC O, also known as tetrahydrocannabinol or THC-O-acetate, is a synthetic delta-9 THC analog. Analog. Synthetic analogs are artificial compounds that share physical structures with naturally occurring compounds but have different chemical properties distinct from their natural analogs.

For instance, one THC O review established that the cannabinoid is 2-3 times more potent than natural-delta-9 THC. According to the review, the first historical account of THC O use was in the early 1940s, when military researchers were working on creating an immobilizing agent. The military researchers used an animal model study using canines and established that THC O was twice as effective in impairing muscle function.

The THC analog has similar psychoactive effects to conventional THC. However, unlike delta-9 THC, it also causes borderline hallucination effects, identical to the altered headspace induced by shrooms. Therefore, it is more potent than delta-9 THC and other THC analogs and THC forms like delta-8 THC.

However, THC O’s effects take longer to kick in, even when taken via inhalation methods like vaping and smoking joints. THC O is available in multiple consumable forms, including vapes, and edibles.

addiction bud, cannabis, chronic disease

Is THC-O Natural Or Synthetic?

According to one study on cannabis, the hemp plant has approximately 400 phytochemicals, 60% of which are cannabinoids. Moreover, researchers have identified 100 naturally occurring cannabinoids, but THC ) acetate is not one of them.

THC O acetate is an artificial cannabinoid derived from multi-step synthetic extraction processes. The synthetic cannabinoid shares a similar physical structure to naturally-occurring THC forms and features a functional group.

However, unlike delta-9 THC, delta-8 THC, and other natural cannabinoids that feature a hydroxyl functional group, THC O features an acetate functional group.

So, is THC O stronger than THC? Yes, thanks to its acetate functional group.

Therefore, experts classify synthetic cannabinoids like THC O as non-classical cannabinoids due to their modified physicochemical and pharmacological profiles caused by the novel active group.

Below is a breakdown of the synthetic processes brands in the cannabis industry use to synthesize THC O extract.

A person holding clear laboratiory jars

How Is THC-O Made?

So, how is THC O made? As stated above, THC O acetate features an acetate functional group; therefore, its production process entails adding the acetate group to a natural cannabis compound. Ideally, the process should utilize a natural cannabinoid with psychoactive properties from the marijuana plant, primarily delta-9 THC.

However, delta-9 THC falls under the Schedule 1 drug classification stipulated under the Drug Control Act and enforced by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Moreover, the Federal Analog Act specifies that a substance chemically derived from banned substances automatically becomes a controlled substance.

Consequently, delta 8 THC is the primary ingredient used in THC O acetate production. However, delta 8 THC is a naturally occurring cannabinoid but occurs in trace amounts, making commercial extraction impractical.

Therefore, THC O acetate synthesis begins by converting CBD, the dominant non-psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis plants, into delta 8 THC. CBD and delta8 THC are hemp-derived cannabinoids; hence are federally legal as stipulated in the 2018 Farm Bill. Once the delta-8 molecules are available, experts combine them with an acetate agent to yield THC O distillate.

The chemical agent used to add the acetate group to delta-8 THC to make THC O is acetic anhydride. Acetic anhydride is potentially toxic, highly flammable, and produces poisonous vapor, posing a great danger to THC O producers in an uncontrolled environment. However, when used under a vacuum hood, as done in the cannabis industry, it does not cause bodily harm.

Why Is THC-O Becoming Popular By The Day?

Despite its short tenure in the cannabis industry, THC O is top among the most popular synthetic compounds, and cannabis consumers are going nuts for the THC O experience. Moreover, THC O sellers are working round the clock to meet consumer demand for various THC O products.

So, what makes everyone want to buy THC O? Below are some primary reasons why cannabis consumers may prefer consuming THC O over other marijuana plant compounds and synthetic compounds with a similar molecular structure.

First off, the compound’s effects are more potent than other marijuana plant compounds, including delta-9 THC. According to one analytical lab report, some cannabis product producers lace THC vape products with vitamin E acetate to enhance potency. The report proves that acetylated THC, including THC O, is more potent than natural THC from cannabis plants.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that THC O transcends the physically sedating effects to produce psychedelic results, making it the hardest-hitting cannabinoid in the marijuana and hemp markets. The psychedelic experience is enticing to many cannabis consumers, hence the great migration toward the THC O market.

Second, unlike delta-9 THC, a controlled substance legal in only a handful of states, THC O is federally legal as a hemp-derived product. Therefore, consumers living in states where delta-9 THC is a banned substance can consume THC O without legal repercussions. However, THC O has similar metabolites to delta-9 THC and may appear in drug tests.

Third, THC O is readily available at prices similar to delta-9 THC products. Therefore, the price point is a big motivator for new THC consumers to try THC O products.

Green Kush in clear plastic container

Benefits of THC-O

It's barely three years since cannabis brands began to create THC O acetate. Therefore, very little scientific research exists on THC O's effects on cognitive and physiological functions.

However, the THC O molecule utilizes a similar mechanism of action to other cannabinoids in hemp and marijuana plants to deliver its effects. It attaches to the endocannabinoid system (ECS) receptors to trigger various effects.

Given that THC O causes almost similar effects to delta-9 THC and other THC analogs, consumers assume that THC O products have the following therapeutic benefits.

1. Stress Relief

According to one study, low doses of delta-9 THC lowers stress and anxiety levels while higher doses. Therefore, taking low to moderate doses of THC O may help relieve daily stress and perhaps manage anxiety symptoms.

2. Appetite Stimulation

The effects of THC also include “the munchies,” a phenomenon whereby the cannabinoid triggers hunger pangs by heightening olfactory senses function. Moreover, one expert review points to cannabis compounds as potential treatments for appetite loss. Therefore, consuming THC O may also help restore appetite among individuals experiencing appetite loss.

3. Pain Relief

One study established cannabis plant extracts administered via inhalation or ingestion. Therefore, given that THC O has a similar molecular structure to classical cannabis cannabinoids, it may also have analgesic properties.

However, not that research into the above factors remains in the preliminary stages, and this article does not suggest THC o for treating the above conditions. Therefore, consult your doctor before supplementing your prescription medications with THC O acetate products or other cannabinoids.

A man and a woman is smoking THC-O together

Is THC-O Safe To Consume?

Is THC O safe?” is a common question among cannabis consumers curious about the synthetic cannabinoid. However, the answer to this question is not straightforward, given that very little scientific research is available on the compound’s effects.

Moreover, one report on synthetic cannabinoids shows that they overstimulate ECS receptors, hence have a higher propensity to cause more intense undesirable side effects. Such side effects include hallucinations, paranoia, sedation, vomiting, seizures, and dizzy spells.

However, although THC-O’s physical structure makes it potentially toxic, there are no reports of adverse side effects like overdoses and deaths associated with the cannabinoid. Nonetheless, how you dose THC O is vital in minimizing undesirable side effects.

What Are The Effects Of THC-O?

Does THC O get you high? THC O effects similar to those caused by delta-9 THC include a euphoric mind and body “high.” However, while the effects of THC only include euphoric psychoactive effects, THC O supersedes the euphoric effects to cause psychedelic effects.

Psychedelic effects alter the brain, causing hallucinations, paranoia, and impaired judgment. Moreover, the THC O psychedelic effect also impacts the central nervous system function, causing an elevated heart rate and body temperature, tremors, and physically sedating effects, causing a loss of coordination.

So, is THC O dangerous? While psychoactive effects are pleasant, psychedelic effects can be overwhelming, especially for novice users. Therefore, begin with lower doses when taking THC O to avoid an unpleasant experience.

Weed, Cannabis, Marijuana, Dank, Ganja, THC Vape Pens

THC-O Products Available On The Market

THC O is readily available in multiple consumable forms to suit diverse consumer preferences and facilitate easy dosing. Below is an overview of the THC-acetate-infused products available on the market.

THC-O Carts

THC O vape carts were the first THC O acetate products to enter the market.

Vaping THC O is different from consuming other cannabinoid vapes because THC O is a prodrug. Products are compounds that remain biologically inactive until they undergo metabolism in the body. Therefore, unlike typical cannabinoid vapes that kick in within minutes, THC O vapes may take up to 30 minutes to kick in.

THC O vapes feature the THC O extract concentration available in each product as a percentage of the total vape juice content. Therefore, consider starting with lower THC O concentrations when buying THC O vapes.

THC O vape pens

The THC O market also features disposable THC vapes preloaded with THC O vape juice and an integrated pre-charged battery. Therefore, vaping THC O using disposable vapes is more convenient than reusable vapes.

Man smoking THC-O products

THC-O Vape Pens:

The THC O market also features disposable THC vapes preloaded with THC O vape juice and an integrated pre-charged battery. Therefore, vaping THC O using disposable vapes is more convenient than reusable vapes.

THC-O Gummies:

THC O gummies are also fan-favorites due to their delightful taste and easy dosage. They are available in diverse flavor options and THC O concentrations to suit different consumer needs.

THC-O Flower Buds:

THC O is an artificial cannabinoid, meaning you cannot find natural THC O-dominant flowers anywhere. However, you can buy THC O-laced flowers available in popular cannabis strains. So, Is THC-O safe to smoke? Yes.

THC-O Gummies

THC-O Oil:

THC-O acetate oil is a rare product because most consumers prefer THC-O-infused vapes and edibles. However, although rate, such products are available for sublingual administrations. They feature varying THC-O concentrations expressed in mg/ml.

THC-O Mods:

Mods are reusable vape devices that you refill with THC O vape e-liquid for a pleasant vaping experience.

THC-O Distillate:

Some consumers opt to buy THC O acetate distillate and use it for homemade THC O goodies, including edibles and vapes.

THC-O Oil

THC-O Chocolates:

Besides THC-O gummies, THC-O infused chocolates are the second favorite among THC-O edibles. They combine chocolate goodness with different THC-O concentrations for the ultimate THC-O experience.

THC-O Pre-rolled joints:

THC-O pre-rolls are the byproduct of infused flowers and are available in different joint types and cannabis strains.

THC-O Prerolled Joints

Is THC-O legal?

"Is THC-O legal?" is another pertinent question surrounding the cannabinoid. Well, the answer is rather complicated.

According to the 2018 Farm Bill implemented under the Agriculture Improvement Act, all hemp-derived products with a THC concentration not exceeding 0.3% are federally legal. Delta-8 THC, the primary cannabinoid in THC-O production, meets this criterion, making THC-O federally legal.

However, it also stipulates that chemically-produced THC analogs are Schedule 1 Fcontrolled substances. Moreover, the FDA refers to the Federal Analog Act, which posits that the analogs of banned substances are illegal.

Consequently, 12 US states, including California and Colorado, consider THC-O a banned substance. Therefore, avoid THC-O products if you will take drug tests in such jurisdictions.

THC-O and Drug Test

THC-O has the most similar metabolites to THC, and drug tests like the standard 5-panel drug test function by detecting such metabolites. Moreover, one expert review shows that THC metabolites are detectable from 48 hours to 90 days after consumption, depending on the type of drug test administered.

Therefore, the cannabinoid will show up in your drug test, meaning you should avoid taking THC-O products if a positive drug test will land you in trouble.

Benefits of THC-O Products

The Takeaway

THC-O has many features that make it desirable to consume. However, research on its short-term and long-term effects and therapeutic benefits remains scant.

Therefore, consider taking the artificial cannabinoid in low doses while researching more on its effects. Also, exclusively purchase lab-tested delta-8 THC-O products to avoid adverse effects caused by contaminants.