Psychoactive THC-rich cannabis products and their effects continue to be illegal on the federal level in the USA and many nations worldwide. However, many places have adopted legislation that makes hemp-derived cannabinoid products legally available for manufacturing, sale, and consumption to help cannabis lovers meet their daily health and wellness needs without breaking the law.
One such cannabinoid growing in popularity thanks to its seemingly similar effects to THC-rich products is tetrahydrocannabinol-O-acetate, also known as THC-O.
How is THC-O made?
The process of making THC-O starts by extracting CBD from the hemp plant. Once the CBD has been extracted, specialized equipment is needed to further extract the Delta-8 cannabinoid compound from CBD. After that process has been completed, an anhydrous solution of THC-O can be made by dissolving the Delta-8 compound in ethanol, which is then evaporated to create a highly concentrated product.
The process is complicated and requires specific equipment, expert knowledge of organic chemistry, and plenty of ventilation.
Why Do People Use THC-O?
Cannabinoid users seeking the medical benefits of hemp-derived cannabinoids often turn to CBD, CBDa, CBG, and other non-psychoactive cannabinoids to help meet their health and wellness needs for acute and chronic conditions.
While these non-psychoactive cannabinoids are an excellent way to combat the symptoms of common conditions that impair mobility, sleep, and appetite, they fall short in providing cannabinoid users with the euphoric effects associated with products like dabbing, smoking cannabis flower, or consuming THC-rich edibles.
However, as cannabis Sativa products (marijuana) remain illegal in many areas of the world, many people cannot access THC-rich products for their medicinal and recreational psychoactive effects that have been shown to be beneficial in treating mood and anxiety disorders.
THC-O provides a solution to this dilemma by providing users with the euphoric effects of THC while still being legal for sale to the general public as it is created using industrial hemp plants whose manufacturing was legalized in the USA by the 2018 Farm Bill.
What are the benefits of THC-O?
When it comes to the health and wellness benefits received as a result of smoking or consuming THC-O-rich products, many users report that they experience feelings of relaxation and contentment in addition to relief from anxiety and depression.
In fact, studies from the US government dating back as far as the 1950s show that THC-O may be up to three times more powerful than traditional THC products in its effects. This is due to the structural changes in the compound that add an extra carbon atom to the 8-carbon chain that's responsible for psychoactive effects, making it a 9-carbon chain compound.
This added carbon gives THC-O more substantial binding power within the brain due to the ability of all cannabinoids to bind with fat molecules known as lipids. By binding more effectively with the body's endocannabinoid receptors, THC-O offers the benefits of fast, potent, and effective relief from a number of different conditions, similar to studies that show the benefits of THC and non-psychoactive cannabinoid products sourced from hemp plants.
What are the effects of THC-O?
Not much research is available on the effects of THC-O. However, when the US government studied the compound as a non-lethal incapacitating agent, research showed that the THC-O compound had a more significant impact on the body's central nervous system than THC.
Consumed in large quantities, it's possible that THC-O could impair cognitive and physical function in a similar, if not more powerful way than traditional Delta-9 THC.
All of this adds up to one fact: the effects of THC-O are similar to THC and far more potent in all current studies available. Some of the most widely reported effects that are noted when using THC-O products include but are not limited to:
increased sensory perception
feelings of well-being and positivity
If these effects sound familiar, it's because they are also common to many Delta-9 THC products. Users seek out THC-O because of this and the fact that the hemp-derived synthetic cannabinoid is more readily available than THC sourced from Cannabis Sativa plants.
Is THC-O safe?
While more potent than traditional THC products, overall, THC-O is safe. Many users have reported consuming the cannabinoid with no extreme adverse effects outside of common side effects of cannabis Sativa products such as dry mouth and bloodshot eyes.
However, little research has been done on the psychoactive cannabinoid, so it is recommended that those who are interested in trying out the compound for themselves do so with caution and start slowly until they understand how THC-O affects their body.
The most dangerous part about THC-O products is actually making the compound. While the initial extraction techniques are fairly standard in all hemp-derived cannabinoid products, the final manufacturing processes involve highly combustible solvents in order to manipulate the product into an oil-like state.
Is THC-O legal for sale?
Technically, THC-O is entirely legal for sale in the USA on the federal level. As the 2018 Farm Bill legalized the production of industrial hemp and associated products made from hemp plants, THC-O is legal.
However, the potency of the compound combined with its psychoactive effects put it in a legal gray area in many states and jurisdictions worldwide.
As a result, some states have outlawed the sale of THC-O products altogether, while others permit their sale with restrictions on the total volume purchased. Therefore, it is essential to research the laws for your current state or country of residence before purchasing THC-O products to ensure you are able to do so legally.
THC-O: A Legal High with Potent Effects
THC-O is a highly potent product with similar effects to traditional THC products. As it is legal on the federal level in the USA, many people turn to this compound for its psychoactive effects without the risk or limitations imposed on traditional cannabis Sativa plants.
Choosing to use THC-O for daily health and wellness needs is a choice many make to the benefit of their endocannabinoid system. The overall health benefits of THC-O, as reported by users, include its therapeutic effects on chronic and acute conditions that can't be matched with other non-psychoactive cannabinoid compounds.