What Is THC-O and How Much Can I Take?

what is thc o

If you enjoy the high you get from Delta-8 or Delta-9 THC, you may have started thinking about experimenting with other THC cannabinoids. After all, there are more than 100 and scientists are discovering new uses and applications for them on a regular basis!

Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC-O, is the latest to emerge. This non-natural, psychoactive cannabinoid is said to deliver a high that’s up to three times as powerful as Delta-9 and five times as powerful as Delta-8.

What is THC O? How much can you safely and comfortably take? Today, we’re taking a closer look at this cannabinoid and sharing all of the details you need to know.

What Is THC O?

THC-O, or THC-O-acetate, is a powerful and potent synthetic analog of THC. It’s a naturally derived, minor cannabinoid available in hemp.

Similar to Delta-10 THC and other prominent hemp-derived cannabinoids, it’s almost chemically identical to Delta-9. It also delivers effects that are similar to Delta-9, but you’re likely to feel them more strongly. This is because THC-O binds more tightly to the cannabinoid receptors in your body than other forms of THC do.

Increasingly, marijuana users are becoming interested in THC-O because of both its potency and its legal status. The 2018 Farm Bill legalized all hemp plant parts, including their derivatives, as long as the Delta-9 THC content is under 0.3% on a dry weight basis.

This introduces a legal loophole. As THC-O is derived from federally legal hemp, it’s technically legal to produce, sell, and consume it. This comes as a surprise to many, especially given the compound’s significantly intoxicating and psychoactive properties.

While it might be federally legal on a technical level, its legality is still up in the air. Some specialists confer that THC-O should be federally prohibited in accordance with the Federal Analog Act, so its long-term validity has yet to be determined.

How Is THC-O Made?

We’ve said that THC-O minor cannabinoid of the hemp plant, but what does that mean? Put simply, it means that while it does grow naturally in the plant, it’s only available in very small quantities. To make enough of the compound for commercial production, manufacturers must turn to the lab.

To synthetically produce THC-O, they usually begin by extracting hemp-derived cannabidiol, or CBD, which grows naturally and abundantly in the hemp plant. To be considered federally legal, the plant they extract the CBD from must be classified as industrial hemp (less than 0.3% THC).

Next, they convert the extracted CBD into Delta-8 THC. This is a complicated and intricate process known as Supercritical CO2 extraction. Once they have Delta-8 THC, they combine that substance with a chemical compound called acetic anhydride.

This process results in the formation of the THC-O acetate distillate. It’s a highly concentrated liquid that’s different than other hemp-derived products. Flavorless on its own, manufacturers typically mix it with terpenes and flavoring to make it more palatable.

Ensuring Lab Quality and Safety

As you can imagine, there are many steps required before CBD converts into THC-O. This can be a complicated process, and there is much room for user error. Even the smallest misstep can contaminate the substance, negatively affecting its quality and safety.

This is why it’s so important to double-check the background, history, and experience of any supplier you use to shop for cannabis products. You need to ensure that the extraction process is performed in a lab that follows the strictest standards for the cannabis industry.

As THC-O acetate products are still so new, there are only a few firms producing them at this time. Before you purchase any type of hemp-derived cannabinoids, do your due diligence and research. The company should be transparent about its practices and willing to share its production details.

If you’re shopping for Delta-8 vape products through our website, we’re happy to provide that information for you. In fact, we openly post all of our lab reports online, so you know exactly how our products are made and tested. You can find them all here.

What to Expect From a THC-O High

Before you buy THC O, you naturally want to know if it will get you high. In this case, the answer is a resounding yes. Remember: It’s around three times as powerful as Delta-9, and we all know how potent that substance can be.

Not only is this substance powerful, but its psychoactive effects are also unique. Many users describe the experience of being on THC-O as reaching a high that’s almost psychedelic in nature, with effects that border on hallucinogenic.

Consuming THC-O Safely

You already know that THC-O is technically legal, as long as it’s produced from industrial hemp. However, does this always mean that it’s safe to consume?

As mentioned above, the best way to ensure a high-quality, premium cannabis strain is to only purchase from a reputable supplier. Yet, we recommend taking even more precautions when shopping for THC-O.

This minor cannabinoid hasn’t been in the mainstream hemp industry for long. Unlike Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 THC, there hasn’t been a ton of research into its long-term safety or efficacy. There are also few regulations that strictly regulate the production of this compound.

As such, there is room for untrustworthy suppliers to sneak into the conversation. Their websites might look slick and their product descriptions may sound incredible, but remember our advice. Unless they can provide test reports and a clear explanation of their production details, it’s best to stay away.

Some companies will go so far as to claim their product contains THC-O, but it’s really just Delta-8 or Delta-10 THC. In some cases, the products they sell could even be contaminated with unsafe additives, including pesticides and heavy metals. Always look for a Certificate of Analysis (COA) or third-party lab testing information before buying from any company that sells cannabis products.

What Is a Pro-Drug?

Beyond the ambiguity of this drug, there are also concerns over its immense potency. THC-O is what’s known as a pro-drug. This means that, unlike most THC, the substance that you swallow or inhale is not pre-activated by heat. That process is known as decarboxylation, and it doesn’t take place when you use THC-O.

As a result, you might not feel the effects right after you take it, even though it’s wildly powerful. Rather, your body may take around 20 to 30 minutes to process it before it kicks in. You’ll only start to feel it once it’s fully processed by your body, much like taking an edible.

During that time period, wait patiently. You could easily take too much if you start upping your THC O dosage before it has a chance to take effect. You don’t want to be too high and start tripping at the same time, so take this particular strain very slowly.

Finding Your Ideal THC O Dosage

Once you’ve purchased THC-O from a reputable company, it’s time to figure out your perfect dosage. If you’ve taken Delta-9 THC in the past, you know that the method of ingestion you use makes a difference in how quickly it affects your body.

For instance, if you take Delta-9 gummies, they’ll need to pass through your digestive system before entering your bloodstream. This means it may take up to 30 minutes or longer for the effects to take hold. On the other hand, smoking or vaping Delta-8 or Delta-9 allows the substance to enter your bloodstream almost immediately.

If you’ve gotten used to these timelines, don’t assume they’ll translate with THC-O. This compound can take up to 20 or 30 minutes to hit you regardless of the way you consume it. Don’t add any new substance until you know for sure how your body will react to it.

This is the same rule that most people follow when taking other psychedelic substances, such as psilocybin or “magic mushrooms”, for instance. You want to have an enjoyable, pleasant experience, and the quickest way to ruin it is with a high that’s uncomfortably extreme.

Recommended Dosing Guidelines

To date, there are no regulated guidelines that explicitly explain how much THC-O you can safely consume. However, we can recommend general guidelines based on other, similar substances.

Not sure which dose to start with?

The minimum amount that you need to take to feel the effects of THC-O is 0.5MG. This is equivalent to about two or three pulls on a disposable vape, with each pull lasting about five seconds.

If you want to achieve a standard psychoactive effect similar to Delta-9, you can slowly increase it to 1 to 3MG, which is equivalent to roughly five 5-second pulls. You can get a more intense psychedelic dose by taking 5MG or more, which is about five or six 10-second pulls on your vape.

Factors That Affect Your Dosage

While the dosing guide above can be helpful, keep in mind that it will not work for everyone. There are many different factors that affect how much THC-O you can safely consume. Your perfect amount might not be the same as your neighbor’s and that’s OK!

Listen to your body and think about the way these elements may affect your optimal dosage:

  • Your age
  • Your weight
  • Your gender
  • Your general lifestyle

At the same time, it’s also important to remember that while THC-O may deliver a fun high, it’s still a cannabinoid that carries little to no research. The documentation that does exist is highly anecdotal and is based on the author’s personal experience with the substance.

It can be very risky and dangerous to take too much, so always start with the smallest, most conservative dose first. Allow yourself plenty of time to adjust and gauge how you feel before moving on to a higher dose.

Risk of Overdosing on THC-O

Have you ever taken a little too much Delta-8 or Delta-9 THC? If you’ve been there, you know that while the experience can be unpleasant, it isn’t inherently miserable. However, taking too much THC-O can be a lot more dangerous.

Overdosing on this compound can lead to detrimental health effects. Some of the symptoms you may experience can include:

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Hallucinations
  • Dizziness
  • Sedation
  • Seizures
  • Paranoia

The bottom line? You can definitely have too much of a good thing when it comes to THC-O, so don’t go big here.

Will THC-O Show Up on a Drug Test?

As mentioned, scientists are still learning exactly how the body processes THC-O. However, given that it’s the acetate-ester form of THC, it stands to reason that it will show up on a standard drug test. These tests are designed to look for the presence of THC metabolites in your blood, urine, or hair, and those will definitely be present after you’ve vaped, smoked, or taken a THC-O edible.

As far as how long they will show up, the jury is still out. To stay on the safe side, treat THC-O like Delta-9 and assume that it will stay in your system for just as long, if not longer. This means you should avoid taking THC-O for up to a few months before your drug test occurs.

Is THC-O Right For You?

What is THC O? Now you know! Especially for those who are accustomed to taking Delta-9 THC, the idea of achieving an even more psychoactive experience can be attractive.

As more research is performed into the safety and quality of THC-O, we expect that this compound will become more accessible. Right now, it’s still critical to be extra careful when buying or using this substance, especially when buying online.

Looking for a more gentle high from a company you can trust? Try our Delta-8 THC vape products. They’re lab-tested, effective, and ready to ship right to your doorstep!