The 2018 Farm Bill was the dawn of a new era of cannabis as the hemp plant became legal. However, with the ease in restriction of cultivation and use of the hemp plant, new cannabinoids are surfacing. THC-O is one of those new cannabinoids derived from hemp. Read on till the end to discover THC-O’s benefits, risks, and legal status.
What Is THC-O?
THC-O is an abbreviation for Tetrahydrocannabinol, a cannabinoid that does not occur naturally in the hemp plant. It is also called THC-O-acetate because acetic anhydride is involved in its extraction.
The process of generating THC-O is complicated and requires extensive knowledge. CBD is first isolated from the hemp plant, and next, delta 8 THC is extracted from CBD. Finally, acetic anhydride is then added to delta-8 THC to produce THC-O.
Acetic anhydride is highly flammable. Therefore, resist the urge to try isolating THC-O in your homes.
THC-O is biologically inactive until metabolism occurs within the body. As a result, it has a higher bioavailability than delta 8 and delta 9 THC because the body absorbs more of it. It has a similar feel to delta 9 THC when taken in lesser doses. However, its psychoactive effect in higher doses is more intense and crippling.
What Are The Effects of THC-O Carts?
THC-O is an analog of THC; therefore, we can expect similar effects. However, it is three times more potent than delta 9 THC. However, the effect is largely dependent on the dose. THC-O is a psychoactive substance that makes consumers experience the “high,” which could be described as sedative or euphoric.
THC-O cartridges can also trigger psychedelic experiences and hallucinations. As a result, it has earned the name psychedelic cannabinoid. Effects of THC-O include:
- Body high
- Psychedelic effects
- Consciousness expansion
- Higher level of connection with the universe
What Are The Benefits of Using THC-O Carts?
THC-O is undoubtedly a highly potent cannabinoid. It has euphoric effects that resonate with veteran users. However, there is limited research on the compound. As a result, there is no research to prove its application in the medical field. A
Therefore, any information on potential medical benefits is largely anecdotal. Some users have reported the following benefits:
- Pain relief
- Improved appetite
- Better sleep quality
- Relieves stress
Nevertheless, always remember that the effects of THC-O are stronger than the “regular” THC.
What Are The Risks Associated With THC-O Carts?
The primary risk associated with THC-O use is that the standard of production is poorly regulated. It is hilarious to see products claiming all-natural THC-O because that is simply false. Therefore, it may be impossible to know the chemicals used to make the THC-O carts and other products.
THC-O carts are intense and highly potent. Therefore, some side effects in users are not a surprise. However, there is no evidence of THC-O’s cumulative adverse effects on the body due to limited research. Here are some of THC-O carts side effects:
THC-O vs. Delta-9 THC
|Synthetic cannabinoid||Naturally occurring cannabinoid|
|Intense “high” effect||Users experience the “high” effect|
|Not naturally found in hemp plant||Less than 0.3% concentration in hemp|
|0% concentration in marijuana||About 20% concentration in marijuana|
|More expensive to produce and purchase||Less expensive|
|THC-O has an acetate group||The molecular structure has an hydroxyl group on the 9th carbon|
Is THC-O Legal?
According to the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp production is legal in the United States of America. Also, hemp derivated with a low concentration of THC (less than 0.3%) was excluded from the category of controlled substances.
One may argue that THC-O is legal because it is produced from the hemp plant. However, there are more things to consider. You must remember that the production of THC-O involves the use of synthetic compounds. The 2018 Farm Bill also indicated that all synthetically derived THC was still under the category of schedule 1 substance.
Additionally, in 2021, the DEA responded to an inquiry about the legal status of delta-8 THC thus: “delta-8 THC synthetically produced from non-cannabis materials is controlled under the CSA as a tetrahydrocannabinol.”
Therefore, following the explanations of the DEA, THC-O is a semi-synthetic cannabinoid. Consequently, it may be classified under schedule 1 substance under the Controlled Substance Act.
Tips On Using THC-O Carts
THC-O is a very potent cannabinoid. Therefore, there are some useful tips for users to prevent extreme side effects that could lead to hospitalization.
- Start with a low dose. Always have it at the back of your mind that THC-O is a pro-drug. Therefore the effects may not kick in until about 20 minutes.
- Remember that it is arguably the most potent psychoactive cannabinoid. Therefore, don’t take so much to feel something. Stick to the dose so you can enjoy the effects when they kick in.
- If possible, ask for a lab analysis of the purity of the THC-O used in making the product.
- Stay away from THC-O if you have a personal or family history of psychosis or schizophrenia.
- Individuals with underlying heart diseases should avoid THC-O. Instead, you can seek your thrill with CBD.
- Speak to your doctor before you commence using THC-O, especially if you are on prescription drugs.
THC-O is a synthetic cannabinoid with thrice the strength of delta 9 THC. As it is an emerging cannabinoid, there is no evidence to support its safety, benefits, and side effects. However, since it is an analog of THC, the effect and risks are similar but more intense. It is best to buy THC-O carts from a trusted brand with a third-party lab result on purity. This is to protect yourself from the adverse effects of ingesting toxic chemicals. The legal status of THC-O is in the grey area.
As cannabis enthusiasts, you may be very excited to try out this new product. However, it is crucial you start with a very low dose and be patient with its effects. It helps if you consult your medical doctor before you dive into it. The effects of THC-O are intense. Therefore, use with caution!
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