If you’re involved in the cannabis industry, you may have heard about THC-O—the new cannabinoid that’s creating quite a stir. This relatively unknown molecule is creating buzz, and that buzz doesn’t seem to be all that positive.
That’s because THC-O may be much more potent than regular delta-9 THC. However, there’s very limited research on THC-O, and there are many concerns about its safety.
If you’d like to know what THC-O is, how it’s made, and what it does, then continue reading below.
What is THC-O?
THC-O, short for THC-O-Acetate, is a synthetic analog of the THC we know and love. That means that THC-O is artificial and isn’t found naturally in cannabis plants–it can only be made in a laboratory.
Without getting too deep into chemistry, the structure of THC-O is nearly the same as delta-9 THC. The only difference is, there’s an acetate group (O) attached to it.
The main appeal of THC-O is that it is much stronger than regular delta-9 THC. Some estimates think THC-O is three times stronger than delta-9 THC and five times stronger than delta-8 THC.
How is THC-O Made?
As we mentioned, THC-O can only be made artificially since it doesn’t exist in nature. To create THC-O, producers use a chemical process that starts with regular delta-9 THC.
An extremely toxic compound called acetic anhydride is used to turn the delta-9 THC into THC-O. Not only that, but the chemical is also highly flammable and potentially explosive.
Is THC-O Legal?
At the moment, most countries don’t see THC-O as an illegal substance. The only two that have banned THC-O are New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
Despite that, it’s likely not legal in the USA because of the Federal Analogue Act. This law banned analogs of drugs listed as Schedule I by the DEA, which includes delta-9 THC.
However, because of the 2018 Farm Bill, cannabinoids from hemp like CBD and delta-8 THC are legal. To avoid the law, some manufacturers of THC-O claim that their cannabinoid is made from delta-8 THC and not delta-9 THC.
In the end, THC-O is most likely illegal, but distributors of the cannabinoid will try to argue otherwise.
How Expensive is THC-O?
On average, THC-O vape cartridges go for around $60 for a 1ml vape cartridge. For edibles, the going rate is about $35 for 100 mg THC-O.
What Are the Effects of THC-O?
THC-O is like regular delta-9 THC on steroids. Low doses of THC-O feel like regular delta-9 THC, where higher doses can be so strong that it has psychedelic effects.
Some users dispute that there are psychedelic effects, but no one doubts the power of THC-O. Many users claim that THC-O comes on fast and provides an intense head rush and a heavy body high.
Since THC-O is so potent, the possibility of having paranoia and anxiety is much higher than with delta-8 or delta-9 THC. Many users claim to feel more anxiety and irritability after vaping or consuming THC-O.
THC-O also takes longer to kick in when compared to delta-8 or delta-9 THC. It can take up to 20 minutes for the effects to start taking hold.
What’s the Dose of THC-O?
So far, there aren’t any official studies, only word of mouth and reports from Reddit users. Many people claim that the smallest amount needed to feel THC-O is around 0.5 mg inhaled or 2 mg eaten.
The standard dose of THC-O seems to be somewhere around 1-5 mg inhaled and 3-10 mg eaten. For comparison, the average delta-9 THC dose is around 15 mg inhaled.
How Does THC-O Work?
THC-O works differently than other cannabinoids because of that acetate (O) group. THC-O is known as a prodrug, and it won’t work with the acetate (O) attached to it.
THC-O only becomes active when it loses the acetate (O) group by getting metabolized by the liver. After that, the molecule is basically the same as delta-9 THC.
Now you might be wondering—if it’s the same as delta-9 THC, then why is it stronger? It could be because THC-O is more bioavailable than delta-9 or delta-8 THC.
That means that the body can use more of the compound, resulting in a much stronger high.
Is THC-O Safe?
At the moment, it doesn’t seem like THC-O is safe. For starters, the compound is made using a toxic and flammable chemical. It is very possible that under the right conditions and with the right expertise—THC-O can be produced safely; however, so far manufacturers have not been able to provide concrete proof and analysis for the most part.
The biggest concern is that the companies selling THC-O don’t have any type of testing for their products. That means that there’s absolutely no way to know if these products are pure and don’t have leftover toxic chemicals in them.
Furthermore, many THC-O products are sold as vape cartridges, and remember, THC-O is actually called THC-O-acetate.
That’s important to note because that acetate group could carry the same risk as vitamin E acetate. Vitamin E acetate was the compound linked to sixty-eight deaths from vaping THC cartridges.
To top it all off, the compound hasn’t been tested whatsoever. That means that the potential side-effects of THC-O are completely unknown.
Stick to CBD and Delta-8 THC
In conclusion, THC-O is dangerous to make, potentially dangerous to consume, expensive, and more than likely illegal. Not only that, but buying THC-O products is like being a guinea pig.
For all these reasons, we highly recommend that you avoid THC-O at all costs at least for the time being . The risk to your health and life is not worth the paranoid buzz you’re likely to get from it.
There are already much better and safer options on the market, like CBD and delta-8 THC. These compounds have been tested thoroughly, have research to back them up, and are used by millions of people every day.
If you’re looking for a high-quality and reputable brand of CBD and delta-8 THC products, then look no further than Real Releaf CBD. Real Releaf produces the best quality CBD and delta-8 and tests each product for safety.
Remember, don’t jeopardize your health by chasing an unknown compound—stick with tried and true products from Real Releaf CBD.