After U.S. President Donald Trump signed the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp and products derived from hemp became legal at the federal level. As a consequence of this bill passing, the cannabis industry has created many new minor cannabinoids products.
One of the most popular products to emerge is THC-O, a product that we’re currently still learning about. So now, the question is, what is THC O?
THC-O is a cannabinoid that’s the synthetic analog of THC. In other words, THC-O is the chemical twin THC which means that it will behave a lot like its chemical predecessor. THC-O is not a naturally occurring chemical, and it has to be made by using modern cannabis technology.
Continue reading to discover more about THC-O, such as the side effects, legality, and where the cannabis market is headed in the near future. Always exercise caution when using THC O and other cannabis products.
What Does THC-O mean?
THC-O is not a natural cannabinoid. Though some ingredients used to create it are extracted from hemp plants, it is a synthetic cannabis product.
There is not much research, data, or regulations regarding THC-O and its effects. However, researchers have determined that THC-O is a compound that must metabolize to activate.
After the THC-O has been metabolized, what remains is a bioavailable of delta-9 THC. This highly bioavailable chemical gets absorbed and circulated by the body proficiently. It’s theorized that the bioavailability of THC-O is what makes it more potent.
So, how is THC-O made?
Although THC-O has a base structure similar to naturally occurring cannabinoids, the functional acetate group is a different story. Because the functional acetate group is diverse, several extractions must occur to create THC-O. The first step requires CBD extraction from less than 0.3 percent hemp derived THC.
Afterward, delta-8 THC gets extracted from cannabidiol. The final step involves an organic solvent acetic anhydride being administered to the delta-8 THC molecules.
This process eliminates all flavonoids and terpenes. All that’s left is a scentless, flavorless oil that’s as thick as motor oil THC isolate; the potency of this THC isolate is unparalleled.
Is THC-O Strong?
Yes! THC-O is about three times stronger than naturally occurring THC. Along those lines, it only takes a small amount before hallucinatory effects are triggered.
THC-O doesn’t activate until after it is metabolized by the liver, which means it’s a prodrug. After the drug is metabolized, what remains is delta-9.
As mentioned previously, THC-O is so potent because of its high level of bioavailability. THC-O acetate is more bioavailable than delta-9. As a result, the THC will have its typical effects but at a much higher dose. For all of its strength, THC-O is still not as strong as THCP.
THC O vs. Delta-8
Although THC-O is derived from delta-8, they are not the same. THC-O has a far higher potency and must be taken in different doses. Generally speaking, these two cannabinoids are suitable for various uses because they have different effects. THC-O has to be given in smaller amounts, mainly used recreationally.
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THC O Effects
Currently, there’s no official research available regarding THC-O. Despite this, reviews from consumers claim that it helps reduce anxiety, increase appetite and manage pain. Taking too high a dose could incapacitate a user, and its effects have been compared to results produced by low levels of mescaline by many users.
A prodrug means that it has to be metabolized and can take up to 30 minutes before you feel the effects. It would be best if you didn’t take another dose during this time.
It’s possible that if you consume an edible, you may not feel it for a couple of hours. Additionally, you should note that the visual experience is much more noteworthy than what you’d experience with D9.
Users who take large amounts of delta-9-THC to manage pain may take relatively small amounts of THC-O to achieve pain relief.
Be mindful that the onset is fast after the first wave of THC-O effects is felt. Many individuals who use the product report feeling peak effects 15-20 minutes after the first wave.
Is THC-O Legal?
Nothing seems to be definitive concerning THC-O. As it stands, THC-O acetate isn’t illegal technically. This has to do with the fact that it’s synthesized from legal hemp. Cannabis is no longer considered a controlled substance on the federal level.
Those who manufacture THC-O argue that it is legal because it is derived from hemp and contains a delta-9-THC level that happens to be below the legal limit. Conversely, you can say that the 1986 Federal Analogue Act (FAA) rules the cannabinoid as a Schedule I drug.
The FAA bans synthetic analogs of current Schedule I substances automatically. To remove a substance from the list has to be done through manual exception, and this has yet to be done for THC-O.
Even those who create different THC-O products will acknowledge that there is a foggy area related to why and how the substance is legal. Because of the delta-8 restrictions it has made room for the THC-O market to expand. However, pending legislation is already in the works to change rules that could soon make this substance illegal.
As of now, it is legal to purchase THC O in States where it is legal to use cannabis for both medicinal and recreational purposes. Some argue that the IFR or the FAA already indicates that THC-O is illegal on a federal level in the United States. Because of the changes that may be soon to come, those interested in trying the products may want to do so sooner rather than later.
How much you use is contingent on the method used to consume it. It’s relatively new on the market, but you can already get it in the following forms:
- THC-O gummies
- THC-O distillate
- THC-O tinctures
- THC-O vape liquid
The pervasive belief at the moment, based on the research currently available, is that this substance is three times more potent than standard THC. So, it’s wise to limit your intake to one-third of what you would typically consume if it were a delta-9 product.
As a general rule of thumb, if you’re vaping or smoking THC-O, don’t exceed 0.5 mg. You’ll likely achieve the results you want with three mg or less for edibles or oil.
If you exceed these levels, it will probably lead to intoxication. If you smoke more than five mg or consume over ten mg by mouth, the psychoactive effects you experience may become frightening or unpleasant. Those new to THC may want to steer clear of THC O altogether because of the unpredictability of its strength and effects.
Popular THC-O Products
THC-O can provide users with calmness, a hyper mind racing with creativity, eventual tranquility, and an overall pleasant feeling if consumed within reasonable boundaries.
THC O vape pens, edibles, gummies, distillates, and tinctures are some of the newest THC O products. The most popular are vape cartridges because they make consuming the substance easier for the user.
Because this substance is subject to extensive chemical processes, be careful when buying products from unverified manufacturers. Never buy THC O based on a low price, as it could lead to devastating consequences if it were created using low-quality ingredients.
Ensure that the proper certification is available when you make a purchase, read the reviews from other people who have used their products, and can attest to the quality. Compare your findings to other manufacturers.
For example, a quick THC cart review should display the top products across the industry, and if you search for THC Reddit, you’ll find discussions, tips, and tricks on selecting the best THC O products that were made safely and don’t contain harmful additives.
Is THC O Safe?
The answer to this question depends on whom you’re asking. As the cannabis industry expands thanks to legislation, it allows experimentation with any and every kind of cannabis product.
When you start hearing about synthetic cannabinoids, it naturally evokes concern for the safety of such products. There is already some concern about how safe specific synthetic blends of THC were from the early 2000s, and now that we know THC O is three times stronger, it makes people wonder if they can trust it.
THC O, however, has a more similar chemical profile to delta-9 THC and delta-8. They all come from the cannabis plant, so you at least know that the source is natural.
Also, because the effects of THC O don’t occur until the substance is metabolized, it could be helpful as a therapeutic instead of tinctures. Of course, more studies would have to happen to verify this claim.
No evidence points to THC O as more dangerous than other cannabis derivatives. It is federally legal, at least for the time being, and if taken in small doses, it’s not much different than consuming high amounts of standard THC. Still, it’s best to exercise caution when incorporating THC O into your medicinal or recreational regimen.
Caution: Never Make THC O at Home!
Making THC O acetate is a complex process. There are numerous chemicals used that are inherently dangerous to handle. One step is refluxing in strong acid.
The special equipment you need during this time is flasks with powerful vacuums as they’re heating. It could easily lead to an explosion if not done correctly.
It could also be fatal for the person making the substance if an incident occurs because of poisonous vapor, boiling acid, and flammable liquids.
Essentially, the specialized chemical knowledge one must have in addition to top-of-the-line equipment means that you should never try to make THC O at home.
THC O is taking the country by storm as more and more products become available to give users the chance to try a new and innovative cannabis product.
THC carts are one of the best ways to try THC O for the first time to see how you respond to its potency. Always do your research and select a reputable manufacturer before making a purchase, and proceed with caution before use.
Here are the responses to the commonly asked questions regarding THC-O:
Is THC-O stronger than delta 8?
THC-O is much more potent than delta-8. Though THC-O comes from delta-8 (hemp), there are crucial differences between the two. You cannot consume them in the same amounts because of the drastically different potency levels.
Is THC-O acetate legal?
Yes, as it stands, THC O acetate is not an illegal substance. There is some gray area regarding whether certain by-laws make it technically illegal, but there hasn’t been an official ruling to declare it a banned substance.