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What is THC-O?

THC-O is three times as strong as delta 9 THC and five times as strong as delta 8 THC.  It is a synthetic cannabinoid that produces psychedelic effects to its users.

Many cannabis fans are interested in THC-O because it is easily absorbed by the body and produces a potent and tranquilizing high.

About THC-O

THC-O, is also known as THC-O-acetate.  It is stronger than traditional cannabis but has a similar feel in small doses.  When consumed in larger amounts, it is psychoactive can be debilitating for users, and can even cause hallucinations.

THC-O is not an entirely natural cannabinoid.  THC-O-acetate is a man-made compound. It’s one of many synthetic cannabinoids and does not occur on its own without human intervention.  The process used to make THC-O is extensive and dangerous. It is made by extracting CBD from hemp. Delta 8 THC is then removed from the CBD and then added to acetic anhydride.  Acetic anhydride is highly flammable.  It is critical that you do not try to make THC-O at home.

THC-O is biologically inactive until the body metabolizes it, and may have greater bioavailability than delta 8 and delta 9, meaning it has better absorption in the body.


THC-O and Delta 8, Delta 9, Delta 10 THC have the same molecular structure,  except for their double-bonded carbon atom (in the 8th, 9th, and 10th position, respectively.)  THC-O tends to have a similar high for users depending on the dosage.

THC-O-acetate molecule carries the same base structure (THC) but is an acetylated THC version.

The biggest difference in the THC-O variant is the psychedelic high it produces.  THC-O is pricier and not many suppliers carry it.

What Does THC-O Feel Like?

THC-O is up to three times as potent as typical Delta 9 THC.  THC-O delivers a psychoactive, hallucination-producing high that can be both euphoric and tranquilizing.

THC-O-acetate is called the psychedelic cannabinoid and many users report psychedelic experiences, hallucinations, and visuals.   It has also been said to promote spiritual sensations.

THC-O users have described the feeling of THC-O having:

  • Buzz & body highs
  • Heightened awareness and consciousness
  • Psychedelic hallucination
  • Intense joy
  • Relaxation and tranquilizing effect
  • Self-awareness
  • Increased creativity

THC-O Benefits

THC-O is potent and can be euphoric and enjoyable for its users. THC-O’s research is very limited and benefits are based on user experiences.

Users report that THC-O has helped ease their pain and stress.  Like THC, it can also help with sleep and increase appetite.

THC-O Side Effects

THC-O is very concentrated and intense and it is common that some users will experience undesirable side effects.  THC-O is also new to the market and does not have any long-term data.  Effects differ from person to person.

There is some risk involved in using THC-O.   Some synthetic compounds, including synthetic cannabinoids, have resulted in psychosis, kidney damage, lung injury, seizures, and other health problems.

These are some common side effects of THC-O:

  • Tiredness
  • Dizziness & Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures

In terms of dosing, it is recommended to start with small moderate amounts and build up to larger doses once familiar with how it will affect you. You can get an idea of the potentially hallucinogenic effects before experiencing something that can be incapacitating or overpowering.

There is not enough research to make a conclusive claim that THC-O-acetate is safe. though there have not been any reported overdoses from using THC-O.

Is THC-O Legal?

As with anything unregulated, there is a chance of impurity.  To be safe, it is crucial to have third-party lab tests and certificates of analysis done to ensure safety.  Use caution when consuming THC-O products and stay up-to-date on scientific research and laws.

THC-O legality is a grey area.  THC-O is not an illegal substance in the U.S. as long as it comes from hemp. Under the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp (cannabis with less than 0.3% THC) and its derivatives are legal. Marijuana or cannabis products with more than 0.3% delta 9 THC are Schedule 1 Drugs.

THC-O is made from hemp and therefore legal, however, DEA tightened the law by stating that all synthetic THC is illegal.

Is THC-O Detectable on a Drug Test?

THC-O is likely detectable on drug tests, as with most cannabinoids.  If you are going to be tested for a drug test, it is recommended to avoid using THC-O.

Types of THC-O Products

Each method of consumption differs in onset time, duration and effect.  There are a variety of THC-O products on the market which include some of the following:

THC-O Distillate

THC-O distillate is a black, resin-like product with an oily appearance and gooey texture.  The most popular method is to smoke it.

THC-O Gummies

THC-O gummies are one of the more popular ways to consume cannabinoids like CBD, D8, D9, and THC-O.  Eating sweet, fruity candies is an enjoyable way to consume cannabis.  Gummies can be easy to dose since each gummy has a specific amount of THC-O.

THC-O gummies are discrete, and you can eat them anywhere.

THC-O Tinctures

THC-O Tinctures are usually combined with an oil that is fat-soluble and easy for the body to digest and metabolize.

Like gummies, it is safer on the body and can help prevent lung or heart issues.  THC-O tinctures have a shorter onset time compared to gummies.

THC-O Vape Carts

THC-O Vape carts are common and available in various flavors that can be smoked from a traditional vape pen.

This can be dangerous since heating the chemicals and byproducts used to create THC-O-acetate are highly flammable.   Also, watch out for health concerns and risks associated with smoking like lung disease or heart attacks.

How to Dose THC-O

Bodyweight, height, metabolism, and health considerations play an important part in the right dose of THC-O.  Because THC-O is relatively new there is no clear or specific recommendation for dosing.

The best method to dose is to start small and work your way up to larger doses if you feel you need it.

THC-O is three times more potent than the traditional Delta 9 THC and keep that in mind as to how much you think you will need.

THC-O generally has these effects in these types of doses:

  • In small doses: mild psychoactive effects
    In moderate doses: common psychoactive effects.
    In higher doses: psychoactive effects and potentially psychedelic effects.


More and more users are becoming interested in THC-O and its psychoactive effects.

There is limited research available and data is still being collected to learn more about this synthetic, bioavailable cannabinoid.

Use caution when consuming THC-O and stay up-to-date with more current research and the laws.

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