What is THC-O?

THC-O-acetate or THC-O for short is a synthetic cannabinoid said to be three times stronger than Delta-9 THC and five times stronger than Delta-8 THC. It is said this cannabinoid in high doses can produce psychedelic and tranquilizing effects in its users, which is why it is often referred to as the psychedelic cannabinoid.

THC-O is stronger than its counterparts but has a similar feel in smaller doses. In large doses, however, it can be more psychoactive and potentially immobilizing for some users.

While it’s not an entirely natural cannabinoid found in hemp, the chemicals used to extract THC-O is made from hemp, thus making it legal under the 2018 Farm Bill. THC-O is made by extracting CBD from hemp, then removing the Delta-8 from the CBD and adding acetic anhydride. This then creates THC-O acetate.

It is important to note that acetic anhydride is highly flammable making this process very dangerous for anyone to try at home. It is critical that you do not try to make THC-O at home and only purchase from a trusted and lab tested source.

When produced successfully, THC-O is a thick, brown liquid that can be consumed via vape cartridges, tinctures, and edibles.

What are the effects of THC-O like?

As stated before, THC-O can be three times stronger than Delta-9 THC. Users say the high is psychoactive, euphoric, and sedative. THC-O is a prodrug, meaning it is biologically inactive until the body metabolizes it. It may also have greater bioavailability than Delta 8 or 9 meaning the body is able to absorb more of it. Some users like THC-O for seeking self-awareness, increased creativity or for gaining deeper understanding or insight. 

Some of the effects THC-O users report include:

  • Body high
  • Buzz
  • Consciousness expansion
  • Spiritual sensations
  • Joy
  • Psychedelic effects
  • Relaxation
  • Sense of euphoria

Since THC-O is so powerful, it makes sense there may be some unwanted side effects. It’s also important to note that since THC-O is still so new there isn’t a whole lot of testing done on it yet. We aren’t sure which of the side effects could be long-term and which could be short-term. 

A few common side effects include:

  • Lethargy
  • Dizziness
  • Grogginess
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting 
  • Seizures

As with all THC products, we recommend starting with small amounts and building from there until you know your tolerance. By starting with small amounts, you are able to get a feel for how THC-O will affect you without jumping into something that is overwhelming or unwanted.

THC-O is a relatively unstudied and unregulated semi-synthetic substance, so there is some risk with using it. There isn’t enough research to make a conclusive statement that it is safe or unsafe. Historically, some synthetic compounds including synthetic cannabinoids have caused kidney damage, lung disease, seizures and other health problems.

When purchasing THC-O, it is imperative to look for third-party lab testing. We also recommend staying up to date on current research on the cannabinoid to make the decision for yourself of what you choose to purchase and consume. 

How should you dose THC-O?

It is recommended when beginning with THC-O to start with one-third of your normal dose. When inhaling, it is recommended to wait 30 to 45 minutes between inhales if you haven’t used THC-O before. When consuming edibles, it is recommended to start with one-third of your normal dose. At mild doses, you may notice mild psychoactive effects. In moderate doses, you may notice more psychoactive effects. In higher doses, you may be more likely to notice psychedelic effects. 

As with all THC products, do not operate heavy machinery when using them. We recommend always starting slow with small amounts until you know how the product affects you. Always use caution with all THC products and stay up to date on the current research before making your decision to purchase and consume any of these products.

Sources

Area 52. “What is THC-O? Effects & Benefits of the Hemp-Derived Cannabinoid.” Area 52, 30 September 2021, https://area52.com/what-is-thc-o/. Accessed 17 May 2022.

Canna Kick It. What is THC-O? | Cannabinoids…An Introduction. A Brief Introduction to THC-O. How the effects of THC-O compare to Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 THC. 29 1 2022. What is THC-O? | Cannabinoids…An Introduction, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJGHyzKFEUk. Accessed 17 May 2022. Youtube Video.

Levenson, Max Savage. “What is THC-O? | Effects, Uses & Legality.” Leafly, 19 August 2021, https://www.leafly.com/news/cannabis-101/what-is-thc-o. Accessed 17 May 2022.