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!
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.
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.
THC-O is three times stronger than Delta 9 THC and can even cross into psychedelic territory.
THC-O is reported to cause:
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:
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.
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 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.
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.
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