What happens when “cannathusuasts” learn a cannabinoid exists reputedly three times more potent than THC? Would they be blithe or straight-up bemused, wanting to try it as soon as possible carelessly? Or would they be careful and want to learn about it before trying it out.
Reading this article helps both groups because it discusses the basics of THC-O and provides must-know practical tips on its consumption.
THC-O; The Basics
THC-O, sometimes THCo or ATHC, is the acronym for THC-O acetate. THC-O acetate– sometimes spelled THC-O, THC acetate, and ATHC– is an acetylated version of THC. The addition of acetyl groups to conventional THC is speculated to increase the potency by several magnitudes.
This compound is a chemical twin of regular THC and a powerfully psychoactive synthetic analog of THC. Although THC is a naturally occurring cannabinoid, its twin (THC-O) is synthetic. THC-O acetate could be safely manufactured via modern cannabis technologies, but you cannot find it in nature.
However, THC-O can be classified as a classical cannabinoid, and it has the same structure as naturally-occurring cannabinoids. In THC-O, the functional acetate group doesn’t appear in nature.
THC-O acetate and THC cause similar highs, but THC-O is much more psychedelic. Low doses of THC-O result in almost identical effects as delta-9 THC, moderate doses create more intense visuals and altered headspace, and higher doses can be incapacitating.
As compared to other THC’s, THC-O is more brain-function-affecting and leads to an entirely different headspace. THC-O compares well with mescaline but with milder visuals regarding physical sedating effects.
Like any other cannabis product, THC-O resides in the marginal legal space between low-THC hemp (legal nationwide) and high-THC marijuana (which isn’t). Low-THC hemp is cannabis containing 0.3% or less THC, and high-THC marijuana refers to cannabis containing more than 0.3% THC (dried).
Classical & Non-Classical Cannabinoids
The defining feature of classical cannabinoids– CBD, delta-8 THC, delta-9 THC– is a chemical functional group ABC-tricyclic structure with a benzopyran moiety. In non-classical cannabinoids, the molecular structure differs significantly from naturally occurring cannabinoids.
But, we still call them cannabinoids because they can interact with the endocannabinoid receptors. Endocannabinoids, exerting cannabinoid-like effects, are made by your body. Non-classical cannabinoids deliver a higher risk of side effects compared to classical cannabinoids.
How THC-O Is Made
The production of THC-O firstly requires a series of extractions beginning with hemp, which is a low-THC (0.3% by weight) cannabis plant, legalized by the 2018 Farm Bill (under which hemp and hemp derivatives became legalized). It’s said the production process of this substance could be both dangerous and complicated.
Second, delta-8 THC is extracted from CBD, and after that, the organic solvent acetic anhydride is administered to the delta-8 THC mixture. This process eliminates all terpenes and flavonoids, leaving a flavourless, scentless, motor oil-thick THC isolate with polarizing potency.
To craft THC-O acetate, manufacturers produce it based on the conventional delta-9 THC via isomerization procedure with sulfuric acid and acetic anhydride. Preparing THC-O requires blending acetic anhydride with delta-8 THC, allowing for the acetyl group to be added to the cannabinoid, providing the psychedelic outcome THC-O is known for.
The production of THC-O acetate is dangerous and should be performed in a technical laboratory equipped with a hood and without any human exposure. It’s strongly recommended you don’t try it in your kitchen. Life-threatening flames would be the disastrous result of such careless attempts. For instance, the production process involves a potentially explosive and highly flammable compound called acetic anhydride.
In the early 2000s, synthetic forms of cannabinoids, such as Spice (K2), became popular. However, these synthetic forms didn’t have much in common with naturally occurring cannabis. Like delta-8 and delta-9 THC, THC-O shares a chemical profile in that the word “synthetic cannabinoid” can rightfully describe it, provoking caution.
How THC-O Works
We don’t know yet enough about THC-O products. Still, we surmise that this substance is a prodrug. A prodrug is a compound that must be metabolized (i.e., converted within the body) by the liver to become activated. After administration, the prodrug transforms into a pharmacologically active drug.
After metabolization, what’s left is essentially delta-9 THC. The effects of THC-O are much more potent than those of THC. Hence, if THC-O is converted into THC in the body, why would this THC-O be any more potent?
The speculative theory is that THC-O has a higher bioavailability than THC. When THC-O is metabolized, the ensuing THC exerts its effects as usual– only at a much higher dose. THC-O acetate causes a very similar high to other forms of weed but with much more psychedelic effects.
Because THC-O has higher bioavailability, these compounds can interact with their intended targets, cannabinoid receptors, more quickly. THC-O and delta-9 THC have some euphoric psychoactive outcomes on cannabis users, with various medical and recreational properties.
A few reputable hemp brands offer their THC-O products for purchase online. Even advanced stoners should start THC-O with caution due to their potency. THC-O doesn’t occur naturally, and its products can be volatile.
How Long It Takes For THC-O To Kick In
Depending on the means of administration for THC-O, the onset can change. Still, usually, this compound has a noticeable delay compared to THC due to the prodrug nature of this substance. It takes edible cannabis products (delta-9) approximately 15-30 minutes to kick in, and THC-O consumed orally could take up to about an hour before the effects set in.
THC-O’s onset effects are delayed because it must be deacetylated (metabolization), which your liver enzymes do before THC-O affects your body. Deacetylation involves removing the acetate group from a molecule (in this case, THC-O).
As to smoking or vaping: cannabis products can kick in within just a few minutes, and THC-O needs about 20 minutes to take effect. The first peak of results appears within 20 minutes, and wave-like come-on experiences occur after that.
What about THC-O & Drug Test? Most probably, consuming THC-O causes a failed drug test similar to delta-8 and delta-9 THC.
What’s the Proper Dose of THC-O
It’s wise to start with the threshold dose whenever taking a new substance for the first time. Take your time and wait for the effects to kick in before taking the next dose. THC-O can provide the desired results sought typically from THC pills or oil.
THC-O is vital; it’s supposedly three times more effective than delta-9 THC. Therefore the proper dose is a third of regular cannabis products. Start low and go slow. Figure out the accurate dosage for your needs; it’s better to take more after knowing how your body will react.
The psychoactive effects of THC-O are much more than the conventional cannabis effects, with a nickname of spiritual cannabinoid (as its psychedelic experience); it’s comparable to psilocybin.
The minimum dose of THC-O required to produce noticeable psychoactive effects is 2 mg when taken orally and 0.5 mg when inhaled. Usually, 3 and 10 mg of THC-O is taken orally as a tincture or gummy, 1 and 5 mg when smoking. THC-O tinctures, like THC-O-Acetate Tincture – 1500mg, aren’t intended for inhalation.
Is THC-O Legal In the U.S?
Yes and No! It’s controversial. THC-O is introduced as entirely legal in some instances and not in others. We can consider it federally legal as long as the THC-O acetate-containing compound is derived from federally legal hemp containing no delta-9 THC.
But, though derived from hemp, it can be categorized as a schedule 1 drug– i.e., the same category as marijuana (conventional THC) and LSD– by proxy under the Federal Analogue Act. The United States Controlled Substances Act (CSA) has not explicitly mentioned THC-O as a controlled substance.
On the other hand, THC-O may be illegal in some states because it is an analog of delta-9 THC – a schedule I drug. Most THC-O products– such as THC-O Distillate– that you may see online are legal under Federal and state laws.
THC-O providers aren’t responsible for knowing if a product is legal in a state or territory. If you want to take this compound, you must ensure its legality in your state. The consumer assumes full responsibility for all liabilities to purchase THC-O.
For the moment, state legislators are playing whack-a-mole with the number of hemp-derived compounds increasing every day. Until THC-O becomes established under a state-regulated system, users must evaluate the pros and cons according to their needs. Hemp-derived compounds are entirely produced from hemp.
Benefits of THC-O
Most likely, the benefits of THC-O are related directly to its psychoactivity, positively influencing our:
- Body & Mental Experience
- Psychedelic Experience
- Spiritual effects
- Immersiveness feelings
The (physical) health benefits of THC-O products can result from their CBD contents (if any). The unique chemical structure of THC-O acetate makes it a distinctive substance. For example, as mentioned above, THC-O is three times more potent than delta-9 THC, and it’s fat-soluble. Like other cannabinoids of the Cannabis sativa, THC-O isn’t soluble in water.
This fat solubility leads to less THC in the bloodstream, particularly in the brain. There’s another cannabinoid, THCP, which is even more potent than THC-O. THCP has a potency 30 times greater than delta-9 THC.
Other THC analogs such as delta-8 and delta-10 are attracting considerable attention. This attention, together with the unique health benefits of CBD products, makes THC-O a popular product across the U.S. market.
Potential Risks & Side Effects of THC-O
The gummies or tinctures are strongly recommended if you take THC-O, NOT vape cartridge. People have reported delayed onset respiratory issues like coughs and lung congestion after vaping THC-O-acetate. Heating this substance can change the chemical composition and potency of the psychoactive cannabinoids.
For comparison, temperatures exceeding 280 degrees Fahrenheit will burn THC, and no one can easily say what chemicals would be induced from this combustion. The risk of vaping THC-O-Acetate is similar to Vitamin E Acetate, a substance found in inferior vape carts. This substance has been linked with a severe lung condition (Lipoid Pneumonia).
Based on anecdotal perception, THC-O has considerable potential as a therapeutic when used in place of an edible tincture. Perhaps for CBD patients with ever-increasing THC tolerances, THC-O products might fit in with their lifestyles.
Is THC-O Safe?
It’s not clear if this compound is entirely safe or not. While, to our knowledge, there’s no evidence suggesting THC-O is dangerous, we’re not 100% sure it’s a safe product either. Hence, anyone interested in consuming THC-O should be careful.
There are numerous reasons why the jury is still out on whether or not THC-O should be considered safe for public consumption. First, it’s a relatively new compound that’s seriously lacking pertinent research.
Second, unlike conventional pots, consumers have higher odds of overindulging on THC-O. This compound has higher bioavailability, meaning more ability to reach its intended targets, cannabinoid receptors, more efficiently.
Some cannabis patients– e.g., those trying to manage severe chronic conditions– may be seeking very high daily doses of THC products with high potency. It’s such a hassle to access high daily amounts of THC.
Know Your Limits & Stay Safe; Consumption Tips
- Take your time. Typical, dangerous mistake users make when they cannot wait and go for a second dose of THC-O too quickly. Consider using a small amount and waiting enough for the effects to appear. If you don’t feel anything after an hour, wait another hour. Both doses could kick in simultaneously, which is the last thing you want.
- THC-O produces psychoactive effects, and it may take longer to kick in than the traditional delta-8 THC. If taking THC-O acetate tinctures and not sure how it’ll affect you, don’t take more than a fourth of a dropper.
- Consult with your physician before consuming THC-O products. THC-O products are NOT intended to treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
- Don’t take THC-O if you’re taking certain prescription medications.
It remains up for debate to ascertain if THC-O is a panacea for extreme tolerance therapeutic users. Nevertheless, it can’t be denied that some folks are relying on excessive doses of THC nowadays via using THC-O.
If you wish to access high-quality THC-O products and other cannabinoids like delta-8 THC at affordable prices, please contact us and give our products a try.