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THC-O: What You Need To Know About The Psychedelic Cannabinoid

Known as the Psychedelic of Cannabinoids

THC-O Is Potentially a Stronger Cannabinoid Than Delta 9 THC.

Cannabis enthusiasts throughout the world will find it shocking to learn that there is a cannabinoid out there that possibly has psychedelic and cosmically powerful effects.

Chronic Guru is eager to map out the budding genesis of this novel cannabinoid. That being said, we are taking the time to do our research to ensure we are accurately informing our readers, and most importantly- keeping everyone safe. 

Curious stoners, proceed with caution…

The market for THC-O still needs regulation and there is not enough evidence to make any real conclusive decisions about its safety or effectiveness.

What is THC-O? and How Does it Compare to THC?

Let’s break it down. 

THC is a powerful cannabinoid. It is so dense and potent that it exists in multiple forms. It is found in delta versions 8, 9, and 10, as well as acids like THCV or THCA. Recent discoveries show that THC also produces THC-O.

This psychedelic compound from the hemp plant is created using chemical synthesis and is not extracted directly from the plant itself. Honest Marijuana Co. refers to it as:

“First and foremost, THC-O is a cannabinoid just like THC, CBD, CBG, and CBN. At their most basic, cannabinoids are chemical compounds that act on the cannabinoid receptors in your brain.”

However, it is important to note that THC-O isn’t a naturally occurring cannabinoid. It is made in a lab using volatile chemistry. Creating this compound requires the removal of beneficial compounds like flavonoids and terpenes. In contrast to CBD and THC which form naturally within the hemp plant and from cannabinoid acids, THC-O is largely synthetic.

THC-O, Delta 8 THC, and Delta 9 THC

THC-O is the precursor of Delta 8 THC. This means that without THC-O, one cannot create Delta 8. Although not much information exists on this new cannabinoid, it is anecdotally understood that THC-O is stronger than Delta 9 THC. Binoid states:

“But, while delta 8 and delta 10 are known for being milder than delta 9, THC-O is anything but. This cannabinoid is striking in terms of its potency, which is about 3 times as psychoactive as delta-9.”

Is THC-O Legal in the US?

THC-O is legal. Even though it is in fact psychoactive, it is not illegal *yet* because it is generally made from legal hemp flower. However, it exists in a gray area of legality.

Interestingly enough, THC-O’s potency continues to attract significant attention. It is the “psychedelic,” cannabinoid. Daily CBD says:

“THC-O has psychedelic effects — altering our perception of time & sensory information. THC-O produces a similar high to other forms of THC — only much more psychedelic. Low doses feel virtually identical to delta 9 THC, moderate doses are nearly psychedelic in terms of the more intense visuals and altered headspace it creates. Psychedelic doses usually start around the 15 mg mark, but you should only ever attempt doses this high after you’re familiar with the effects of THC-O at lower doses.”

In fact, we don’t even recommend trying this product until more research has come out and the market is under adequate regulation. Currently, there are little to no standards that this budding cannabinoid is held to and this can be very dangerous for consumers.

Purchasing THC-O

Google searches for “buying THC-O” will offer a list of websites that sell THC-O. However, as with all cannabis products, it is worth reviewing the certificate of analysis (COA). If the vendor does not offer a COA, I would skip purchasing their products.

Safety is the most important thing. Do some research on dosing guidelines before you try it out. Because it has the reputation of the most psychedelic cannabinoid, it should be used with extreme caution. If you are planning to use it, Daily CBD recommends these doses:

  • THC-O’s threshold dose- the minimum amount to produce visible psychoactive effects is 2 mg oral or 0.5 mg inhaled.
  • The usual psychoactive dose range for smoking is between 1 to 5mg and 3 to 10mg if you are ingesting it orally in a tincture or gummy.

Over the past few years, many brands are marketing products that contain the synthetic compound THC-O. Because it is a hemp-derivative, that is what gives it its legal status. Furthermore, it is fairly psychoactive in comparison to other legal cannabinoids like CBD. 

THC-O can be described as an ester of THC.

Producing it is an involved process that uses acetic anhydride. This is a highly flammable, colorless liquid that is used to make fibers, plastics, dyes, pharmaceuticals, and explosives. For the average cannabis user who prefers natural products, this can be quite alarming.

At Chronic Guru we grow all of our products completely organically and sustainably, so this was quite shocking to discover.

The Process

Producing this compound requires special equipment, as it involves the use of volatile and flammable chemical compounds.

Creating THC-O involves a process of chemical synthesis by extracting delta-8 THC out of CBD which is principally extracted from hemp plants. Finally, creating THC-O acetate involves adding acetic anhydride (to the delta-8 THC compounds).

There is no concrete data on just how potent this powerful cannabinoid is. Although there are claims that it is more potent than THC Delta-9. Some news publications even go so far as to say that THC-O is up to three times as potent as THC.

THC-O is generally seen by consumers as more psychedelic THC, as it provides a greater spiritual or psychedelic experience than any other cannabinoids.


The Effects

THC-O can take time for the body to process before it activates its effects, much like how cannabis edibles break down in the body. This compound is also known as THC-O-A and is commonly found in vape cartridges or tinctures.

Again, proceed with caution when trying this as it has a reputation to be very strong and mind-altering.

Not to mention, its production uses volatile chemicals that can be found in explosives and the like.

The History

This compound’s initial discovery was by U.S. military scientists back in 1949. The DEA came across a Florida lab that was mixing cannabis extracts with acetic hydride in the 1970s. This newly resurfacing compound has only gained interest from consumers in recent years.

Google Trends analysis reveals that this topic has attracted the most interest in mid-2021.

Again, THC-O is still not well-researched. These products have potential health hazards that require more research. Only anecdotal evidence from users confirm the psychoactive properties of THC-O. Companies may also over-emphasize this new cannabinoid’s potency to sell more of their products.

Important to Note:

Dr. Ethan Russo is a neurologist who has extensive knowledge of the medicinal effects of cannabis and the endocannabinoid system. He spoke to Hemp Grower and stressed that there is no evidence that THC-O is safe. He said “If it is twice or three times more potent than THC, it’s an immediate recipe for potential serious side effects,”

The THC-O market appears to be in its early stages, but the absence of regulation on minor cannabinoids could inevitably lead to legal and health problems that could impact the entire cannabis industry and affect both the reputation and quality of products.

Some state-licensed cannabis companies operating in legal states have valid concerns about the unlicensed production of hemp-derived THC products. These products could cause a disruption to their market and damage the reputation of the cannabis industry.

Consumers will have to weigh the potential risks and benefits of hemp derivatives, including THC-O until it is regulated by the state.

THC-O Legality

To Conclude

Although it is not a well known compound, it is rapidly gaining popularity. These cannabinoids are particularly popular with those who live in states where recreational marijuana is still illegal.

THC-O is just beginning to enter mainstream discussions around cannabis, so there is not much research behind it.

Some coverage calls it harmful, while others call it beneficial. Regardless, the way it is created should raise some red flags. What are your thoughts?

Have you ever tried THC-O? Tell us about your experience, we would love to hear from you!

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