What is THC-O?

What is THC-O?

hemp fields

This past year has brought the emergence of a brand-new chemical compound in the cannabis industry: THC-o acetate (or shortly known as THC-O). This hemp derived, synthetic compound has quickly gained popularity among cannabis consumers, specifically ones who don’t usually have access to traditional marijuana. But, what is THC-o exactly and what about its legality? 

Today, we’re taking a closer look into this lab-made compound and what it means for the cannabis industry. Let’s get started. 

The Emergence of an Extra-Potent Compound

As we know, delta-9 THC is a naturally occurring cannabinoid in the hemp plant that produces strong psychoactive effects. THC-o, on the other hand, is a hemp derived compound that is said to be nearly thrice as potent as traditional THC.

Like we mentioned, this compound is much different from other  cannabis compounds. We’ll talk about the actual creation process in a moment, but it’s crucial to establish that you cannot find THC-o in your regular cannabis flower. Instead, brands have started making the compound using hemp as a base. 

Even though cannabis companies are just now starting to understand THC-o, it’s interesting to note that THC-o has actually been on scientists’ radars for decades. Federal agents stumbled upon a THC-o lab many years ago; however, the substance was so unknown and didn’t appear to be popular that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) practically forgot about it. 

Until now, that is. 

How is THC-o Made? 

Quickly, let’s talk about how manufacturers create this synthetic compound. 

First, it’s vital to establish that you cannot make THC-o at home. This kind of substance is highly flammable and requires professional labs and equipment to do it correctly. In addition, unlike other naturally occurring cannabinoids such as CBD and delta-9 THC, THC-o needs to be produced by following a certain chemical process even though it is technically derived from hemp.

To craft, the company will work with hemp to extract CBD from the cannabis plant. From there, they take the extracted CBD and pull out delta-8 THC from it. Then, they combine acetic anhydride with the delta-8 THC molecules and add other unique ingredients to create an extremely highly potent chemical compound, known as THC-o. Learn more about the differences between Delta 8 and THC-O.

Is THC-o Safe? What are the Risks?

As you can imagine, a compound like this one has been causing a lot of chatter in the cannabis community and for good reason too.

We must say that purchasing from a reputable company is of the utmost importance. James Stephens, a cannabis researcher and scientist, told Leafly that when it comes to third-party lab-testing, the results for THC-o products are dismal. With that, you’re putting your health at serious risk of consuming something that hasn’t been third-party tested.. 

It’s also important to note the potency. Again, THC-o is nearly three times stronger than THC, and it may be best consumed by those who are well seasoned in cannabis use..m If new consumers aren’t aware of this high potency, they could easily consume more than their bodies can handle, which can be an uncomfortable experience — but it doesn’t have to be. With the right dosage and going slow, individuals are able to consume responsibly and monitor their body for effects felt.

Consuming less than safe products can negatively impact the cannabis industry’s progress significantly. The community has spent years attempting to reverse the damage that society’s inflicted on cannabis usage, and we’re just now finally understanding the plant’s incredible benefits. If we suddenly have non-tested or black market products going around causing extremely harmful reactions and medical complications, the impact could be detrimental.  

Is THC-o Legal?

Technically, yes, THC-o is considered legal in the United States. THC-O has been named as "the psychedelic cannabinoid" by some users due to its potency and hallucinatory effects. However, in essence, it's derived from federally legal hemp, which, under the 2018 Farm Bill, are permitted for production and sales. Thus, THC-o products have become available as a recreational drug and are currently exploding in states where cannabis is illegal, as residents now have a way of getting their hands on psychoactive products — legally. 

However, as we saw with most other cannabinoids, it seems many have been fighting for a regulatory framework that would not only legally allow people access to cannabis, but also lay down a blueprint for efficacy and safety of cannabis products, completely ridding the industry of illegal and harmful products. Sadly, no matter how far cannabis and its constituents have come, as usual, its therapeutic potential is unacknowledged.

Staying Safe While Buying THC-o

Right now, we urge you to fuel your curiosity and learn more about THC- o including its uses and benefits to find what might work best for your needs. While current research is still finding out so much about cannabis, we remain hopeful that soon one day cannabis will be fully legal on a global scale, for all responsible adults to enjoy. If you are looking to try it, here are the best ways to stay safe when buying and consuming.

When you find a THC-o product, such as flavored THC-o gummies or vape cartridges, that appeals to you, check their company’s third-party lab-test results. If they cannot offer them, move on. If they do, but they’re vague, ask questions. This is your health and safety, after all! If you cannot get the answers you need, try again elsewhere.

Consuming THC-o must be done with extreme caution whether you're vaping or eating it. Again, this is not like your typical THC. Make sure you take an extremely low dose and let the compound get to work before trying any more. Typically, these products will take about 30-45 minutes to take effect, so be patient. If you consume too much, you may end up not enjoying your overall experience. We recommend you start small and increase as needed to find your perfect dose. 

Proceed With Caution

TerraVita understands that any new cannabis product is extremely exciting — especially one that is so potent. If you are new and wish to try out THC-o, it's crucial to proceed with caution and care for the best experience possible. These products are more potent and therefore, will also offer more potent effects. We suggest consuming these products in low amounts and slowly. Looking for high-quality THC-o products to purchase online? We offer premium THC-o vapes and gummies. Or, interested in D8 or CBD product options? At TerraVita, we always offer accurate lab-test results and are here to help.

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