Everything You Need to Know About a Brand New Cannabinoid: THC-O Effects
THC-O Effects: What is THC-O?
The cannabis industry has recently seen a boom in advances regarding our ability to identify cannabinoids, isolate (extract) them, and understand their effects. CBD (cannabidiol) is the most prominent cannabinoid in the hemp plant. It does not produce any psychoactive (“high”) effects, but rather provides the benefits associated with cannabis (pain management, sleep aid, inflammation management, digestive health, stress reduction, anxiety reduction, etc.) without the feeling of being “high”. In marijuana (which is still cannabis, but differs from hemp), the most abundant cannabinoid is Delta-9 THC. Delta-9 THC can provide many similar benefits as well as produce the psychoactive “high” effects.
Recently, the market has seen the release of Delta-8 and Delta-10 THC products. Like Delta-9 THC, both Delta-8 and Delta-10 THC will produce psychoactive effects, although about ¼ to ½ as potent. Unlike Delta-9 THC, Delta-8 and Delta-10 THC are derived from hemp, not marijuana, making them federally legal products.
This brings us to THC-O. THC-O is one of the newest cannabinoids available on the market. It can come in smokeable flower and vapes or in gummies and other edibles. Short for THC-O-acetate, THC-O is a synthesized (man-made) cannabinoid. It is not something you can make at home as the process requires specialized equipment that can be dangerous to use.
There is very little research available on the THC-O effects (benefits and side-effects) on the body. Some claim it is 300% stronger than regular Delta-9 THC and 500% stronger than Delta-8 THC.There are also reports of psychedelic (altered senses) effects. The legality of THC-O is also in a bit of a grey area because it is man-made. The rest of this article is going to focus on the possible effects of using THC-O and the legality of it.
What Does THC-O Do?
There have been no studies conducted to research THC-O Effects. What we know about THC-O’s effects mostly come from user reports. It is generally agreed that THC-O has more potent effects than Delta-9 THC. Some say it is 3x stronger and produces quite an exceptional high. Certain reports also suggest the effects are psychedelic in they can alter how we perceive sensory information.
A heavy dose may even produce a visual experience that is likened to that of psilocybin (magic mushrooms). To some this can be very enjoyable, and even insightful. To others it may be uncomfortable. Side effects can include: dizziness, nausea and vomiting, seizures, and sedation. Very high doses can be incapacitating.
So why are the THC-O effects more potent than any other form of THC? The answer lies with the often forgotten suffix of the full name, THC-O-acetate. THC-O is considered a prodrug which means it is not active until it has been metabolized. When consuming THC-O, it remains THC-O until it is metabolized. At this point, it drops the “O” and becomes THC.
This differs from regular Delta-9 THC which is active the moment you consume it. THC loses some potency while being metabolized. This means that THC-O has a higher bioavailability than Delta-9 THC. Bioavailability refers to how much of the cannabinoid is actually absorbed and used by the body.
Is THC-O Legal?
The legality of THC-O is in a grey area. It is not explicitly named as a controlled substance. That being said, it could be considered a synthetic analog of THC which would be banned under the Federal Analog Act and carry federal penalties.* Certain states have explicitly banned the sale of THC-O products. See below to check for your state’s legality.
States Where THC-O MIGHT be Legal
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
- New York
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
Should I Try THC-O?
How Much THC-O Should I Take?
Before you decide to try some THC-O, first consider what effects you are looking for. There can be quite a big difference in what you experience depending on how heavily you dose. If you are unsure in any way, we suggest starting with a small dose. If you are using gummies or other edibles, you will need a higher dose to achieve the same effects as someone who smoked or vaped THC-O.
REMEMBER: THC-O Effects are considered to be 3x more potent than marijuana. If you are looking for a very light dose that will produce a “high”, about 5mg (edibles) or 2mg (smoked or vaped) is a good place to start. Once you begin to take higher doses (10mg+ with edibles and 5mg+ with smoking or vaping) , you may experience psychedelic effects. At even higher doses, the effects can be incapacitating.
How Long Until THC-O Effects Begin?
Unlike the effects of most other cannabinoids, THC-O effects have been reported to take about twice (2x) as long to set in. That means that you may begin to feel the THC-O effects in 20 minutes after smoking THC-O or about one hour after ingesting edibles.
Will I Fail a Drug Test After Using THC-O?
You will definitely fail a drug test using THC-O products. The THC-O is converted to Delta-9 THC when consumed.