April 24, 2022

What is THC-O? THC-O Effects: Discover the Benefits

What is THC-O? What are the effects of THC-O? Today, we’re going to discover the effects and benefits of this fantastic, potent cannabinoid.

First things first -- there seems to be a rise in the discovery of cannabinoids. We’re discovering more and more every day, especially THCs. From identifying delta-9 THC to establishing its delta-8 and delta-10 variants, we can see that scientists constantly make discoveries about cannabinoids. Consequently, the cannabis industry keeps expanding. Also, more and more superior THCs seem to be uncovered. 

In recent months, Americans discovered a new substance produced from hemp known as THC-O acetate or THC-O. Because it’s strong and potent, many consumers find it appealing, especially those without legal access to cannabis. In other words, THCO's fame and attraction stem from its strength as well as its legal status. 
But who doesn’t love a good buzz!

THC-O Acetate is said to be three times stronger than traditional THC. Some call it "the psychedelic cannabinoid" because of its hallucinogenic properties. THC-O products are also becoming increasingly popular in states where users do not have access to legal, state-licensed delta-9 THC products.

Thanks to federally legal hemp, users can have it all now!

With its counterpart delta-9-THC prohibited in certain jurisdictions and flagged by the DEA, THC-O seems destined to rise even faster than it already has.

THC-O goods such as vape carts and tinctures are available for purchase online. However, their legality and safety remain debated. Today, we’ll answer your questions about this cannabinoid. We’ll also address the potential advantages of THC-O-acetate and highlights possible side effects.

Simply put, this is a guide to help you learn all you should know about THC-O. 

What is THC-O?
THCO stands for tetra cannabinoid-O-acetate, also referred to as THC-O acetate.

What is THC-O?

THCO stands for tetra cannabinoid-O-acetate, also referred to as THC-O acetate. It is a synthetic cannabinoid derived from hemp. Like delta 8 and delta 9 THCs, which can be extracted from the cannabis plant, THC-O-acetate does not occur naturally and can only be synthesized in the laboratory. 

Although many of us have only just become aware of THCO, or what is THC-O, the US military began researching its effects as early as 1949.

A Small History of THC-O

The United States Army carried out the Edgewood Arsenal Experiments between 1949 and 1975. THC and THC-O were discovered and experimented with during this period. They found that THC-O destroyed dogs' muscular coordination twice as much as normal delta-9-THC did. Despite the long timespan, the drug had a noticeable strength, so researchers separated it from conventional THC.

After that, DEO researchers noticed THC-O again when they focused on its synthesis process. This was when everything began to grow hazy. While the effects differ, THC-O and THC were compared to heroin and morphine. Cannabinoids were the former, and opioids the latter.

In their defense, the researchers compared the extraction processes of the drugs. THC-O is derived from THC the same way as heroin is produced from morphine.

What is THC-O? | Cannabinoids...An Introduction

THC-O Effects 

THC binds with receptors in the endocannabinoid system that control mood, pain, and other feelings. Hence, its intake may make you feel high or euphoric. More so, THC is the primary psychoactive chemical compound in cannabis. However, THC O acetate is a prodrug. Thus, it is biologically inactive until the body metabolizes it.

Like other THC Compounds, THC-O Psychoactive

Every individual is unique; hence THCO may have a different effect on each person. However, some effects seem to be common and have been reported by THC consumers. Here are some of them so you know what to expect when you vape THCO.

Can THCO Get You High? Yes, It Is Psychoactive!

Can THCO Get You High? Yes, It Is Psychoactive!

Positive feelings

Negative feelings

Euphoric, relaxed feeling

Anxious

Feelings of relaxation and contentment

Fearful

Happy and relaxed

Paranoid

Talkative

Difficulty focusing

Laugh more than usual

Confusion

Colors look brighter

Racing thoughts and heartbeat

Music sounds sharper

Nausea

Feel more sensitive

Panic

Benefits of THC O

So far, scientists have discovered some benefits associated with cannabinoid compounds. Just like other cannabinoid compounds, THCO has some potential benefits. It should be noted that THCO cannot be used to cure or prevent any medical conditions. 

Anyway, here are some of its potential benefits: 

  • Increased appetite
  • Sleep supportive properties
  • Pain and stress relief 
  • Euphoria
  • Enhanced creativity
  • Body relief
  • Aids relaxation
  • Anxiolytic properties

Will THCO Make You Fail a Drug Test?

Yes. When thinking about what is THC-O, think about this —THC-O-acetate will likely give a positive drug test. The explanation for this is straightforward: drug tests often seek out 11-hydroxy-THC, a THC metabolite produced by the body following THC use.

This metabolic reaction is elicited in the body by Delta-9, Delta-8, Delta-10, THC-O, and all other known THC analogs. In other words, 11-hydroxy-THC will be present in your system regardless of the type of THC you take. 

It is still unclear whether or not THC-O generates these metabolites at the same rate as regular THC products. However, because it interacts with the endocannabinoid system at a greater pace, it may create these metabolites faster. So, if you've used THC-O in the last 30 days, you're likely to fail a drug test.

Is THCO Safe?

What is THC-O? Well, it’s safe for one! There is not enough study on THC-O-acetate to boldly conclude that it is entirely safe.

Although studies on this cannabinoid are still unclear, the fact that there have been no documented overdoses from consuming THC-O is somewhat encouraging. 

Another problem that questions the safety of THC-O is the possibility of impurity, as with everything uncontrolled. To guarantee that items are pure and safe, third-party lab tests and COAs (certificates of analysis) must be reviewed. Currently, lab test results for THC-O are somewhat tricky to come by.

THC-O does not appear to be dangerous like most hemp-derived cannabinoids. Still, when purchasing and ingesting THC-O-acetate products, it is your responsibility to ascertain their safety. Use caution and stay updated on scientific studies and the regulations governing this cannabinoid.

Is THC O legal?
Under the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp is now legal, as are all of its uses. As you can see from the chart above, legal hemp is now a multi-billion industry across the United States. As a part of the Farm Bill, THC-O is considered legal as it's derived from the hemp plant.

Is THC O Legal?

The answer to this question largely depends on who you ask and what perspective you choose to view it. 

Under the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp is now legal, as are all of its uses. As you can see from the chart above, legal hemp is now a multi-billion industry across the United States. From textiles to CBD and more, the legalization of hemp continues to change the way U.S. industries do business.'

As a part of the Farm Bill, THC-O is considered legal as it's derived from the hemp plant, and the law states that every hemp derivative other than delta-9 THC can be legally sold and purchased. Although THC O and delta-9 THC both have a psychoactive effect on users, THC O is federally legal in about 38 states, while its counterpart, delta-9 THC, is federally illegal and banned in most states. So what is THC-O if not legal?

Therefore, producers of THC-O acetate products claim the 2018 Farm Bill protects them since manufacturers generated the molecule from a chain of custody that began with federally permitted hemp plants. However, this isn't the final verdict, as many experts consider the compound illegal. These experts reference the 1986 Federal Analogue Act, which declares that any chemical comparable to a Schedule I drug—in this case, conventional THC—is a Schedule I drug in its own right.

Apart from the federal laws, several states have their own cannabis and THC-O rules. 

Can You Build Up a Tolerance To THC-O?

Yes, you can. If you use cannabis frequently, it is only natural to develop a tolerance. Tolerance is built by your body at a breakneck pace. If you haven't seen this at work before, you may carry out this mini-test. 

On a day off, try two or three similarly portioned doses. Take one early in the day, wait for its effects, and then take another equal quantity. It should be evident that each subsequent dose becomes progressively less effective.

Your first exposure to THCO will likely be your most sensitive. The tremendous speed of the brain works like a two-edged sword. Your brain automatically resets the receptors in your endocannabinoid system to their original sensitivity levels. It may even relocate recessed receptors to the surface. So much so that you may notice that a single night's sleep significantly resets your tolerance. 

Consider taking a THCO break for a week or two to reset your tolerance level. You may also limit your cannabis intake or consider using products with lower THC concentrations.

How Is THC-O Made?

THC molecules react with acetic anhydride, a highly flammable chemical, to form [THCO]. The production process starts with the extraction of hemp. First, CBD is extracted from raw hemp. The delta-8 THC in the CBD is then removed. After that, the delta-8 THC is treated with acetic anhydride to yield THC-O acetate. 

While this sounds like a straightforward, easy-to-set-up procedure in theory, practically, it is a hazardous procedure involving volatile chemicals. Hence, it may only be conducted by experts in a controlled laboratory. 

How Does THC-O Compare To Other Cannabinoids?

THC-O acetate is just one of numerous cannabinoids associated with the cannabis plant. The table below offers a summary of its comparison with some significant cannabinoids.

How does THC-O compare to other cannabinoids?
THC-O acetate is just one of numerous cannabinoids associated with the cannabis plant

THC O vs. Delta 10

THC O vs. Delta 10

THCO

Delta 10

Source

Synthetic cannabinoid

Natural cannabinoid

Legality

Debated

Fully federally legal and legal in 38 states in the United States

Solubility

Water-Soluble

Water-Soluble

Benefits

Increased appetite, Sleep supportive properties, Pain and stress relief, Euphoria, Enhanced creativity, Body relief, Relaxation, Fun and happiness, Partly psychedelic
Anxiolytic properties

Relieve stress, Boosts relaxation, Has uplifting and relaxing effects, Anti-anxiety

Side-effects

Nausea, Vomiting, Hallucination, Possible interactions with medications

Dry mouth, Dry eyes, Headache, Undesirable interactions with other medications, Grogginess

Drug Test

Will likely give a positive test result

It will give a positive test result

Psychoactive effect

Highly psychoactive

Has mild psychoactive effects

Common available products

Gummies, distillate, vape liquid, tinctures

Vape carts, vape pens, vape oils, distillates, tinctures, gummies, capsules, dabs

THC-O vs. Delta 9

THC-O vs. Delta 9

THC O

Delta 9

Source

Synthetic cannabinoid

100% natural

Legality

Debated

Delta-9 THC is largely illegal

Benefits

Increased appetite, Sleep supportive properties, Pain and stress relief, Euphoria, Enhanced creativity, Body relief. Relaxation, Fun and happiness, Partly psychedelic, Anxiolytic properties

Improved appetite, Increased creativity and motivation, Relief for physical discomfort, Potential benefits in the treatment of PTSD and seizures, Reduce symptoms of anxiety, Aids relaxation, Increased focus and energy, Mood boost

Side effect

Nausea, Vomiting, Hallucination

Mental fog, Paranoia, Severe anxiety, Hallucinations

Psychoactive effect

Highly psychoactive (about three times Delta-9 THC's psychoactive strength)

Delta-9 THC is the main psychoactive compound in the cannabis plant

Drug test

Will likely give a positive test result

Will give a positive test result

Available forms

gummies, distillate, vape liquid, tinctures

gummies, cookies, buds, chocolates, vapes, concentrates

THCO vs. Delta 8

THCO vs. Delta 8

THC O

Delta 8

Source

Synthetic cannabinoid

A natural cannabinoid, though found in low levels.

Psychoactive effect

Highly psychoactive

Psychoactive but milder

Legality

Debated

Legal at the federal level. Legal in most but not all states.

Benefits

Increased appetite, Sleep supportive properties, Pain and stress relief, Euphoria, Enhanced creativity, Body relief. Relaxation, Fun and happiness, Partly psychedelic, Anxiolytic properties

Improve appetite, Offer relief from pain, Promotes mental health, Calm depression symptoms, Prevent vomiting

*Note that these benefits have only been proven by anecdotal evidence.

Side effects

Nausea, Vomiting, Hallucination

Difficulty speaking, Difficulty thinking, Regular use may result in cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS), which causes nausea and vomiting resistance to anti-nausea drugs.

Drug Test

Will likely give a positive test result

Delta 8 will show up on a drug test

Delta-8 THC will make you fail a standard urine test. However, the test may come back negative if tested with gas chromatography and mass spectrometry.

THC-O vs. CBD

THC-O vs. CBD

THC O

CBD

Source

Synthetic Cannabinoid

Found naturally in the cannabis plant

Psychoactive effect

Highly psychoactive

Not psychoactive

Legality

Debated

In general, hemp-derived CBD is legal, while marijuana-sourced CBD is illegal.

Benefits

Increased appetite, Sleep supportive properties, Pain and stress relief, Euphoria, Enhanced creativity, Body relief, Relaxation, Fun and happiness, Partly psychedelic, Anxiolytic properties

Various wellness benefits (though it does not cure or prevent any disease or illness), helps with rest and relaxation, may have a calming effect in some

Side effects

Nausea, Vomiting, Hallucination

Fatigue, Reduced appetite, Drowsiness, Dry mouth, Diarrhea, Interactions with other medications

Drug Test

Will likely give a positive test result

Pure CBD won't make you fail a drug test, but you must be careful because CBD oils may have THC in trace amounts.

Common available products

Gummies, distillate, vape liquid, tinctures

Pet oil, gummies, capsules, creams, oils, drops, vape liquids

Fun Facts about THC-O
THC-O is three times stronger than delta-9 THC and up to five times stronger than delta-8 THC.

Fun Facts about THC-O

  • THC-O is termed the spiritual cannabinoid because of its psychedelic psychoactivity.
  • THC-O is three times stronger than delta-9 THC and five times stronger than delta-8 THC.
  • THC-O takes longer to kick in than any other form of THC.
  • If you're new to cannabinoids, it might be wise to stay away from THC-O acetate because of its extreme potency.

Frequently Asked Questions About THC-O

Everyone has a few questions they want to ask about THC-O. After all, what is THC-O? We have all of the answers — yes, all of them! Well, we’ll do our best anyway!

Can I Make THC-O At Home?

No. Do not attempt to make THC-O at home. Making THC-O-acetate involves the use of volatile chemicals and is an inherently dangerous procedure that should only be carried out in a well-controlled technical laboratory. It also requires advanced technological know-how to get it right.

If you want to consume THCO acetate, purchase a THCO product. Never attempt to go DIY with THC O acetate.

What Makes THC-O Much More Potent Than Regular THC?

The answer: Bioavailability. 

Part of this question remains a mystery as there is still so much to be uncovered about THC-O acetate. THC O, which, when broken down, essentially gives delta 9 THC, is more potent than the actual delta 9 THC. Scientists speculate that this effect is because, once metabolized, THC-O is more bioavailable to the body than Delta-9 THC is.

How Long Does It Take For the THC To Take Effect?

THC is a prodrug and generally takes longer to take effect than delta-9 THC.

  • THC-O may take 15 to 30 minutes to take effect when taken orally.
  • THC-O might take up to twenty minutes before it starts to kick in when smoking.

What Is the Recommended Dose of THC-O?

However, there is no official claim on the optimal dose of THC O since it's a consensus that the substance is about three times more potent than delta-9 THC. It is good to stick to one-third of the optimal delta-9 THC dosage.

What Is THCO, and Is THC-O Safe for You To Try?

Because there hasn't been much study on THC-O vape carts or THC in general, it isn't easy to make any claims. However, past studies have shown that, aside from the transient euphoric effects, the long-term consequences of THC are not problematic. The same is true with THC-O.

Final Thoughts on THC-O
If you're considering taking THC-O, ensure you verify the safety and quality of the product and buy it from a reputable seller.

Final Thoughts on THC-O

THC-O is a new arrival in the cannabis industry that promises numerous fun benefits. If you're considering taking THC-O, ensure you verify the safety and quality of the product and buy it from a reputable seller.

You might also visit your doctor or a professional to analyze the benefits and drawbacks. Doing so will make you fully aware. Thus, you can easily decide if they're suitable for your health. THC-O may also have varying impacts on individuals, so be very cautious and begin slowly when taking THC-O vape.

Never forget: with cannabis, a little goes a long way.