THC-O, What do YOU Know?
THC-O, or more formally known as: THC-O-acetate, is one of the newest cannabinoids to make its way into the market! This potent powerhouse is said to be roughly three-times stronger than its psychoactive sibling, Delta 9 THC! You might be asking yourself: “huh, how is this even possible? Or LEGAL?” Well, let’s dive into that!
In May of 2018, the Farm Bill was passed by former president, Donald J. Trump. In this bill, hemp was legalized at the federal level. This has allowed the market to EXPLODE with new variants of products utilizing the minor cannabinoids! THC-O is relatively new, however; little is known about its current effects and uses, but what we do know is that it’s an ester of THC, (or derived from THC) and is said to produce quite similar psychoactive effects.
Nearly 70 years ago, the US government tested acetates for non-lethal, but still incapacitating, biowarfare. In test subjects, THC-O-acetate was able to impair muscle functionality. I wasn’t able to find the conclusion of this study, so I imagine it was never fully completed. THC-O isn’t listed as a Schedule I drug, despite our government’s attempts to weaponize it.
THC-O also takes time to metabolize with our bodies. Similar to munching on an edible infused with THC, it’s going to take a little while for you to feel its full effects! It’s important to allow yourself additional time before continuing consumption.
How Does it Stack Up to The Big Boys: THC-O vs Delta 9 and Delta 8 THC
So, we’ve got some major cannabinoids competing in the market: how does THC-O stack up to some of its more renowned counterparts, like Delta 9 or Delta 8 THC?
THC-O is fully synthetic, meaning it isn’t naturally produced, or found within the cannabis plant, itself. During the extraction process, a lot of the initial plant material – and its prospective benefits – is removed. The end result has no viable taste or scent! Despite this, however; THC-O can be incredibly psychoactive! The pure potency of this cannabinoid is what sets it apart from all the rest. THC-O is approximately 5 times stronger than Delta 8 THC, and even 3 time’s that of Delta 9! Users of THC-O report to have altered perceptions of time, which can enable said user to have a full-on psychedelic experience! This acetate is water soluble making it more accessible for our bodies to absorb it. The acetates of cannabinoids give users’ with varying responses to it, an opportunity to experience its effects in a different way! By altering the chemical composition of these cannabinoids, our CB1 and CB2 receptors also respond differently.
Extracting THC-O is NOT a viable DIY option, folks – jot that one down. It can be potentially harmful to produce so make sure you leave that one up to the professionals! The chemicals needed to extract the THCO are very dangerous. You will also need specialized equipment that can utilize these chemicals to extract most of the plant material, and later be removed at the conclusion of that process! In the next section we’re going to take a deeper-dive into the dangers of the extraction process and the possible risks of consuming THC-O.
Risky Business… Is It Safe?
The best answer to this: we’re unsure. THC-O is an ester of THC, meaning that it is derived from THC. To synthesize THCa into THC-O-acetate, it requires extensive processing and technical elements as well as the use of some pretty harsh chemicals, so this isn’t a process that’s conducted at home. Ever.
THC-O-acetate is a fully synthetic cannabinoid, meaning it doesn’t occur naturally within the cannabis plant. During this formation process, THC-a is heated and then becomes Delta-9 THC. By combining Delta-9 THC with both sulfuric and acetic anhydride acid, you can produce THC-O-acetate. This process is conducted by and under the guise of a qualified chemist. Both sulfuric and acetic anhydride acids are highly corrosive and precautions should be taken while handling it; this is a process for qualified professionals only. Additionally, acetic anhydride is also flammable and explosive.
In addition to the whole extraction process being potentially hazardous, there are some concerns regarding the potency of this cannabinoid, too. Baby stoners are cautioned to be wary of THC-O because of the strength of its high, but don’t go gettin’ the big head, pothead – seasoned consumers aren’t protected from it, either! THC-O is reportedly 3X’s stronger than Delta 9 THC and 5x’s stronger than Delta 8 THC – and this doesn’t even include its hallucinogenic properties.
Since there are a culmination of hazardous products that go into the making of THC-O, we caution everyone to consume responsibly. Research is still being conducted on its potential uses and side-effects. It’s always a good idea to research the product before you purchase, too – there are very few, reputable companies both selling and making products that contain THC-O; a quick Google search will better help you to understand what’s going into your body!
THC-O and the Future:
THC-O is still a wild card in our cannabinoid stack, and we’re not entirely sure how to benefit our hand from it; but we’re learning! Research continues on with this incredibly potent cannabinoid. Given that there is so little information currently available, it’s challenging to predict how it will be faced in today’s marketplace. What is known about THC-O is that it provides a unique experience for the cannabis user, unlike the typical high.
With a potent punch nearly 300X’s that of THC, it’s no wonder the military was researching it as a potential paralyzing agent! Pretty cool, huh?
Once again, baby stoners, sit this one out . You need to get a little more green behind the ears first. But if you are an experienced cannabis user and are looking to expand your high’s horizons, then you just might have hit your mark! This potent powerhouse is known for altering the users’ perception of time, environment; it can be one heck of a high. Just be cautious while consuming: it’s important that you’re in a safe, comfortable environment with someone you trust while you’re adjusting to its effects.
Speaking of that, we always encourage even the most experienced users to jot down their experiences while using THCO. Check out our, Track Your High; An Effective Guide to Cannabis Journaling (insert link here) for a quick reference guide on how to do just that! Keeping track of your canna-journey is a surefire way to get the most out of your experience. Since this acetate is so new to the market, research is still being conducted to better understand the full user-experience.