One of the more fascinating hemp derivatives to hit the market has been THC-O-acetate (THC-O), a cannabinoid that’s simply unlike any other that the industry has introduced us to thus far. THC-O is still a newcomer compared to more established hemp compounds like CBD and delta 8, but that hasn’t stopped it from soaring in terms of demand. So, why is THC-O different from other cannabinoids, and what exactly can it offer in terms of its properties?
The Origin and History of THC-O
THC-O-acetate stands out in many ways from other cannabinoids, and perhaps the most notable way is the fact that unlike other cannabinoids on the market, THC-O does not naturally occur in the hemp plant. THC-O is the result of isolating THCA (the acidic and raw precursor to THC) and applying it to acetic anhydride, which converts it into an entirely new chemical compound.
THC-O was invented by the U.S. military in the mid-20th Century, in the hopes of developing a chemical compound so psychoactive that it would be able to immobilize the user. Then, it became all but forgotten for decades, until changing hemp laws in the United States allowed us to revisit the cannabinoid in a legal way.
Is THC-O Psychoactive?
THC-O-acetate was developed specifically to be more psychoactive than any compound that naturally occurs in cannabis. The way in which THC-O is produced allows it to be about 300% as psychoactive as delta 9, meaning that consuming it can get you 3x more high. The high associated with THC-O is quite unique in that higher doses of the cannabinoid may induce psychedelic effects, primarily in the visual sense. The high can be quite heavy, causing couchlock to occur, in which the user’s body becomes so relaxed that they simply don’t want to move. Many also find the high to be quite euphoric yet calming at the same time. Because of how strong the effects of THC-O are, we do not recommend this cannabinoid for those who are new to psychoactive cannabinoids. Delta 8 would be a better starting point to work up a tolerance to the intoxicating effects of cannabis.
Can THC-O Cause a Failed Drug Test?
Consuming THC-O-acetate will almost definitely cause a failed drug test. All THC cannabinoids, including THC-O, delta 9 THC, and delta 8 THC are metabolized by an enzyme called ‘THC-COOH’. Standard drug tests are seeking to identify THC-COOH in the urine. Because THC-O is extremely potent, and far more potent than delta 9, it is likely that consuming THC-O puts you at higher risk of failing a drug test than delta-9.
What are the Effects and Properties of THC-O?
THC-O-acetate is the only cannabinoid on the market that is lacking in clinical research. This isn’t surprising, considering the cannabinoid’s origins. For one thing, it’s a synthetic cannabinoid, which means that it wasn’t discovered by analyzing samples of the hemp plant and observing each compound’s properties. Because THC-O was developed specifically for psychoactive purposes, its potential therapeutic uses have been of no interest to the medical community.
What we can say is that THC-O, despite its synthetic nature, is a cannabinoid and behaves as such – otherwise, it wouldn’t act on cannabinoid receptors that trigger its psychoactive effects. Cannabinoids all work through the endocannabinoid system, which is a complex network of cannabinoid receptors in the body that work together to keep the body in equilibrium. Individual cannabinoid receptors regulate specific processes of the body ranging from pain to mood, along with immunity, inflammation, digestion and more.
We know that THC-O-acetate works on CB1 receptors, which are receptors found in the nervous system, as CB1 receptors are associated with intoxication. We don’t know of THC-O’s impact on CB2 receptors, which are found in the digestive and immune systems. We hope that as THC-O becomes more well-known, researchers will begin studying its non-psychoactive properties.
Is THC-O Legal?
THC-O-acetate is technically a federally legal cannabinoid as a result of the passing of the U.S. Farm Bill in 2018, which made the hemp plant and its individual cannabinoids legal under federal law. Under the Farm Bill, no hemp product may contain more than 0.3% delta 9 THC, and THC-O adheres to this stipulation.
However, twelve states have banned intoxicating cannabinoids recently, and while THC-O has not been specifically singled out, there’s good reason to believe that it’s ultimately illegal in these states.
- Rhode Island
Is THC-O Safe?
While there have not been any studies on the safety of THC-O-acetate, enough data has been gathered to show that it’s unlikely to be harmful. Cannabinoids are nontoxic to the body, although ultimately, the synthetic nature of THC-O means that we cannot claim that it’s 100% safe for all individuals. We can say that many people use THC-O regularly with absolutely no issues. Because the cannabinoid is intoxicating, however, you need to be careful since it can impair driving and other important tasks.
THC-O likely follows in the footsteps of other cannabinoids by suppressing CYP3A4 levels in the body. This enzyme breaks down many popular medications, so suppressing it may cause medications to accumulate in the body rather than breaking down properly. Therefore, you should talk to your doctor if you are on medications and wish to take THC-O.
THC-O-acetate has not been shown to produce any serious side effects, but it may cause (temporary) relatively manageable side effects like the following:
- Temporarily reduced blood pressure
- Dry mouth
- Dry eyes
- Anxiety/paranoia (from getting too intoxicated)
What Kinds of THC-O Products are There?
THC-O-acetate is still fairly new to the market compared to other cannabinoids that are more known, like CBD and delta 8 THC. Therefore, you’re less likely to find a massive array of THC-O products when you go shopping for the cannabinoid. But, THC-O, like other cannabinoids, can easily be converted into an extract used to enhance just about any product type with its effects. The most popular types of THC-O products that you’ll find out there today are:
- THC-O Vapes: Usually exist in the form of 510-threaded, pre-filled cartridges, but you can also find THC-O disposable devices which come with an attached, pre-charged battery for more convenience. All THC-O vaping products consist of a vape oil made up of pure THC-O-acetate and terpenes derived from a strain of the hemp plant. Lots of strain options exist, to allow you to explore different effects combined with the THC-O.
- THC-O Flower: Takes the raw buds of the hemp flower, which are naturally abundant in a variety of cannabinoids and terpenes, and then infuses them with pure THC-O-acetate extract for an added psychoactive “kick:”. Can be found in a broad abundance of strain options, and you can choose between pre-rolls and loose buds as you so choose.
- THC-O Edibles: Offer the longest-lasting effects – up to 8 hours – so they must be taken at a time when you’re ready to handle such a lengthy high. They also offer stronger body high effects.
- THC-O Tinctures: Come in dropper bottles consisting of pure THC-O-acetate and a carrier oil, and sometimes flavoring as well. Absorbed sublingually (below the tongue) and are available in a variety of milligram strength (potency) options.
- THC-O Dabs: Phenomenally potent concentrates that are not appropriate for beginners because of how strong the high can be. These are “dabbed” or flash-vaporized with a device made specifically for dabbing.
Can THC-O Be Taken with Other Cannabinoids?
THC-O-acetate can be taken with other cannabinoids, as cannabinoids do not interact negatively with one another since they are all derived from the same plant. However, as THC-O is very intoxicating, we do not recommend taking it with standard doses of any other intoxicating cannabinoids until you have developed a tolerance to THC-O itself.
Note: If you decide to take more than one cannabinoid, it is best to still speak with your doctor first
What’s the Ideal THC-O Dosage for Beginners?
THC-O dosages should be kept low in the beginning as the high psychoactive nature can be too much for those with a low tolerance. We recommend sticking with 5mg in the form of an edible or tincture, or 1 puff when vaped or smoked in the form of flower. You can build up your dosage gradually over time as your tolerance allows.
Grab Some THC-O at Rogue Apothecary
There is no doubt that THC-O-acetate is a one-of-a-kind compound with some pretty intriguing effects, and its fast-growing appeal speaks for itself. At Rogue Apothecary, we offer premium-grade, lab-tested THC-O products so that you can discover for yourself why so many people have fallen in love with this unique cannabinoid. With its powerful psychoactive effects, it can be a serious gamechanger in anyone’s routine, and it’s unlike any other hemp derivative that you’ve ever tried.