Ever since the 2018 Farm Bill was passed, we’ve seen an incredible rise in the number of cannabis products made from previously unknown cannabinoids. One of those cannabinoids is THC-O.
What is this cannabinoid and why is it getting so much attention lately? Here are the answers to those and other key questions about THC-O.
What is THC-O?
THC-O, aka THC-O-acetate, is a cannabinoid that’s an analog to the familiar THC.
THC-O rose to a new level of popularity lately but it’s not a new compound. The US military studied THC-O for years between the 1940s and 1970s.
In terms of structure, THC-O is very similar to delta-9. It just has an acetate group attached to the molecule which makes it more potent.
So far, research indicates that THC-O is about three times more potent than regular THC. For that reason, it is sometimes called the “psychedelic of cannabinoids.”
Is THC-O Natural?
THC-O is derived from hemp. It’s not one of the naturally occurring cannabinoids. Instead, producers create it through a synthetic process.
The process starts with the extraction of cannabidiol (CBD) from hemp that’s less than 0.3% THC. Staying below this level of THC concentration means hemp (and its derivatives) are legal under the 2018 Farm Bill.
After the manufacturers extract the CBD, they then need to extract delta-8 THC from that CBD. From there, they administer a solvent called acetic anhydride to the extracted delta-8 THC molecules. This eliminates the flavonoids and terpenes in the delta-8 and the final product is THC-O.
So far, there’s no official research into the effects of THC-O. Anecdotal evidence in the form of reviews seems to suggest that THC-O can have several beneficial effects. These reported effects include reducing anxiety, reducing pain, and boosting appetite.
Given the high potency of THC-O compared to traditional delta-9 THC, individuals may be able to use much smaller doses of THC-O to produce the same effects they felt while using large amounts of THC.
There are risks associated with using THC-O, however. Taking too large a dose of THC-O might produce an incapacitating effect which is both dangerous and very scary. It’s also worth noting that THC-O products are not regulated so you may get a product that is not high-quality if you’re not careful. A low-quality product only increases the chances that the user will experience adverse effects of THC-O use.
Keep in mind that the onset of effects is generally very fast with THC-O. You can expect to feel the peak effects around 15 minutes to half an hour after the first wave.
Will THC-O show up on a drug test?
Some people have suggested that THC-O won’t show up on a drug test. It is possible but it’s very unlikely. Odds are, if you use THC-O products, they will show up on any drug test you take.
Remember that THC-O is much more potent than delta-9 THC. That may mean that people who use THC-O are even more likely to fail a drug test than delta-9 users. The main thing to keep in mind is that THC-O is a prodrug for Delta-9. As a result, it will leave your body in the same form. In other words, the form that drug tests look for.
So, if you need to pass drug tests for employment or other reasons, it’s probably a good idea to avoid THC-O products for the time being.
Is THC-O Legal?
For now, THC-O is not officially illegal at the federal level. Under the 2018 Farm Bill, THC-O is not prohibited because it’s derived from hemp. THC-O contains no delta-9 THC, a federally illegal substance.
It may not stay that way forever, though. The legal future of THC-O is still uncertain at this point due to its potency level and chemical structure.
One could even argue that THC-O is currently illegal because of the 1986 Federal Analogue Act (FAA). This act classifies all analogs of current Schedule I substances as Schedule I substances themselves.
This uncertainty about THC-O’s legality is not uncommon for newer cannabinoids. State laws and regulations are still scrambling to catch up with all the new cannabinoid products on the market. If you buy or sell THC-O products, make sure to keep a close eye on any legal developments concerning THC-O. The legal situation could change quickly.
Even just a few years ago, it would have been difficult to find THC-O products for sale. Now, it’s no problem. There’s a huge variety of THC-O products available for customers to buy including THC wax, THC-O Distillate, and THC-O Vape Carts.
Two of the most popular THC-O products, though, are THC-O tinctures and THC-O gummies. Both of these are great choices for someone interested in trying THC-O for the first time.
If you’re going to try one of these products, be sure to measure your dose carefully and start small. That will give you time to see how you react to THC-O. You can always increase your dose later.
What’s Next For THC-O?
The future of THC-O is uncertain. Depending on how much customers are interested in THC-O products and how the government chooses to regulate them, it could either be the next big hit like CBD or just fade into oblivion. You’ll have to stick around to find out!