Understanding THC-O

Over the past few years there has been an unbelievably large boom in the cannabis market with seemingly new cannabinoids popping up left and right.

So maybe THC-O has finally hit the shelves where you live. But what’s the deal? Is THC-O safe? Is THC-O synthetic? And, of course, does THC-O get you high?

We’re here to help you navigate the THC-O craze. Remember, knowledge is power!

Exploring the Safety of THC-O

Unfortunately, one study found that smoking THC-O is unsafe

The study warns that THC-O has a similar chemical structure as Vitamin-E acetate. Vitamin-E acetate found its way into unlicense vape carts and was associated with the 2019-2020 outbreak of a lung disease.

Vitamin-E acetate and THC-O both create ketene when heated up, which is a potential culprit of EVALI- aka the harmful lung disease.

Overall, THC-O is understudied and underregulated. There’s no way to ensure your product is even pure unless the brand you’re purchasing from does third-party lab testing.


The Legal status of THC-O: Is It Permitted by Law?

Now let’s tackle a big one- is THC-O legal?

THC-O was supposedly permitted by federal law according to the 2018 Farm Bill. This bill states that products derived from hemp are federally legal, defining hemp as containing less than .3% THC

But on February 13, 2023, the Drug Enforcement Agency determined that THC-O falled under the Controlled Substances Act’s definition of marijuana rather than hemp.

The problem is, THC-O isn’t extracted directly from hemp because it’s not naturally found in hemp. It’s called a non-natural cannabinoid because it’s synthesized using acetic anhydride. 

Acetic anhydride is also used in explosives, plastics, and pharmaceuticals- among many other industries.

But if Delta 8 is made in a lab too, then why is Delta 8 legal and THC-O illegal? Well, the DEA reasons that Delta 8 is naturally found in hemp, even though it’s only found in trace amounts. Therefore, synthetic versions are still considered hemp.

But since THC-O isn’t found in hemp naturally, it doesn’t count as hemp legally.


The Effects of THC-O: What Users Should Be Aware Of

THC-O is three times stronger than Delta 9 THC and can even cross into psychedelic territory.

THC-O is reported to cause:

  • Buzz
  • Body high
  • Expanded consciousness
  • Euphoria
  • Deep relaxation
  • Hallucinations

That being said, we know almost nothing about the health effects of THC-O in the short-term, let alone the long-term.

THC-O also comes along with a long list of THC-O side effects, including:

  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Seizures
  • Vomiting

Likewise, users often consume too much THC-O which leads to dehabilitation. If you’re going to consume THC-O, start very small and increase slowly and incrementally.

Comparing Potency: Is Delta 8 or THC-O More Potent?

THC-O vs Delta 8 is about three times as potent. THC-O can cause psychoactive or hallucinogenic effects, while Delta 8 is more relaxing.

Delta 8, from what we know so far, is much safer than THC-O. As always, look for third party testing results before purchasing a product. 

Delta 8 is federally legal but illegal on some state levels. Meanwhile, THC-O is federally illegal.


THC-O vs. HHC: Identifying the Differences

THC-O and HHC are two new cannabinoids to hit the market. 

HHC occurs naturally in hemp, but only in trace amounts- not anywhere near enough to sell HHC on a mass scale.

Thanks to this, both THC-O and HHC are made synthetically in labs.

Where Is THC-O Available for Purchase?

It is vital to look over COAs (certificates of analysis) and third-party lab tests before purchasing THC-O. The same can be said about any unregulated substance, and it is particularly important for THC-O because it’s made synthetically.

THCO comes in a few forms.

  • THC-O carts: THC-O vape carts are pretty popular. Their flavor variety helps add to this. Vaping THC-O is quite dangerous, though.
  • THC-O gummies: THC-O gummies are theoretically the easiest to dose, but there’s no way to know how consistent a product is unless it’s been third party tested.
  • THC-O tincture: Tinctures are the #1 consumption method of THC-O. Tinctures are very potent and should be dosed with extreme caution. However, they’re still one of the safest ways to consume THC-O because you’re not smoking it or heating it up.
Scroll to top