THC-O-acetate: What Is THC-O?
Posted by Tweedle Farms on Sep 16th 2021
Table of Contents (skip ahead)
- How THC-O-Acetate Is Made
- The Strength of THC Acetate
- Is THC-O-Acetate Legal?
- Is There an Application for THC-O-Acetate?
- Should You Try THC-O and Is It Safe?
- Possible Effects of THC-O-Acetate
- Are You Looking for High-Quality THC and CBD Products?
Although cannabis is one of mankind's oldest cultivated crops, it has seen some very rapid developments in the last few years.
One of the latest is THC-O-acetate. THC-O-acetate, also known as THC-O-A, THC-O, or THCO was allegedly first developed in the mid-1900s. However, since this original experimentation, the compound has figuratively been gathering dust, until the Farm Bill sparked renewed interest in it.
Now, THC acetate is fast becoming the latest controversial child of the cannabis space.
While still a relatively new option, it is popping up next to CBD wellness products and recreational flower at a rapid pace.
Have you been wondering what is this new cannabis product and whether it's safe to use? If so, don't go anywhere, because we're about to expand on everything you need to know in this comprehensive guide to THC-O-acetate.
How THC-O-Acetate Is Made
Put simply, THC-O-acetate is a semi-synthetic derivative of THC.
To understand what THC-O is, and why there's a demand for it, we need to look at how it's made.
THC-O-acetate is produced via a chemical process involving a series of extractions, beginning with the hemp plant. To describe it crudely, by synthetically converting CBD from hemp into Delta-8, and then combining these THC molecules with acetic anhydride, a highly corrosive compound, chemists can create THC-O-acetate.
Although a relatively simple process, the creation of THC-O-acetate involves dangerous, highly flammable chemicals, of which acetic anhydride is just one. Therefore this is not something one can do outside of a laboratory environment.
In short, don't try this at home kids.
The Strength of THC Acetate
One of the big questions around THC-O-acetate is how strong is it. As it happens, THC-O-acetate is estimated to be roughly 2-3 times stronger than regular THC.
What's more, it innately comes in a highly concentrated form.
Is THC-O-Acetate Legal?
Another thing to think about when it comes to THC-O-acetate is whether or not it is actually a legal substance.
Presently, the general consensus is that THC-O is legal. However, a more accurate way to describe THC-O's current legal status is unregulated.
One of the reasons why many people assume THC-O is legal is because as of yet there is no federal regulation around it. However, the reason for this could purely be thanks to the fact that THC-O-acetate has only recently entered the consumer market.
Currently, the jury is still out as to whether or not THC-O has a footing as a legal substance at a federal level, or whether it will become a scheduled substance.
THC-O-Acetate Is Derived From Hemp
The primary argument for THC-O-acetate being a legal substance is that it's derived from hemp.
As dictated by the 2018 Farm Bill, the cultivation and sale of hemp and hemp products are legal at a federal level. Because THC-O-acetate comes from hemp, many people assume it is a legal substance.
However, THC-O-acetate is a very strong compound. It is an entirely different kettle of fish to the primarily CBD-related products that come from hemp. In fact, THC-O-acetate is far more like regular THC than CBD or any other cannabinoid.
This is where analogs come in.
Analog or Not?
According to the Federal Analogue Act of 1986, "analog" drugs are just as illegal as the drugs they synthetically mimic.
An analog is a drug that is similar, but not necessarily identical to another. In the case of THC-O-acetate, it is very similar to THC, but its chemical structure, strength, and effects are slightly different.
By this definition, THC-O-acetate is an analog of THC and therefore will likely come under some kind of federal regulation.
Is There an Application for THC-O-Acetate?
At this point, there isn't a lot of research around the use cases of THC-O-acetate. This makes it hard to give a definitive list of use-cases for the compound.
However, from what we know so far, there are three main areas of THC-O-acetate use and demand.
Legal Vehicle for THC Use
One of the big drivers of demand for THC-O-acetate is it gives consumers a legal way to access a synthetic cannabinoid that's very similar to regular THC. In states where THC and recreational cannabis is outlawed, people can currently opt to purchase THC-O-acetate.
At this point, while THC-acetate isn't regulated, it provides somewhat of a loophole for sellers and consumers.
How long this will stay the same is up for debate, however. At some point, the FDA is likely to look into THC-O-acetate. If they classify it as a scheduled drug, this might make impact the demand.
Another "use-case" for THC-O-acetate is its psychedelic effects.
Often described as more psychedelic than regular THC, some users have reported effects akin to substances like psilocybin. (mycelium is the vegetative state of fungus, psilocybin is the ingredient that produces psychedelic effects)
In short, instead of simply elevating your mood, reducing stress, or inciting creativity—things that cannabis strains are renowned for—THC-O-acetate provides a more trip-like experience.
Should You Try THC-O and Is It Safe?
If you're trying to find out what is THC-O-acetate, you're probably also wondering whether you should try it.
There isn't a clear-cut answer to this, but there are some things to consider around the safety of THC-O-acetate.
Not All THC-O-Acetate Is Clean
The first thing to keep in mind when deciding whether or not to try THC-O-acetate is the quality.
Currently, there is no control over THC-O-acetate quality levels. While cannabis flowers and CBD products are undergoing more rigorous testing and quality control processes, this doesn't necessarily apply to THC-O-acetate.
As it happens, there is probably even more need for testing and quality control when it comes to THC-O-acetate. This is because THC-O-acetate is manufactured using potentially toxic chemicals.
Ideally, there shouldn't be any acetic anhydride or other chemicals present in THC-O-acetate. However, there's currently no guarantee that the THC-O-acetate on the market is clean and free from these harmful compounds. To make matters worse, labs which test cannabis and cannabis products are not currently able to test for the presence of the chemicals that are used to synthesize THC-O
The lab processes that hemp goes through to become THC-O-acetate can leave residues and other unwanted compounds in the final product.
This isn't to say that all THC-O-acetate is impure and tainted with harmful chemicals. However, because THC-O-acetate doesn't (as of yet) go through any established testing processes, it's almost impossible to know what you're getting when you buy THC-O-acetate products.
What's more, just because a product might say it's clean and safe, doesn't mean it is.
Currently, even renowned thought-leaders in the cannabis space are holding back on releasing THC-O-acetate products they are developing, thanks to purity concerns. For instance, Matthew Guenther, Founder of the American Cannabinoid Association recently revealed in an interview that he is waiting to take his formula mainstream. Although he personally trusts it, he is waiting to be 100% sure that it is clean.
This gives us an indication of how young the THC-O-acetate industry is and the importance of clean products.
There’s Very Little Research on THC-O-Acetate
Another reason to approach THC-O-acetate cautiously is that there's very little research on the compound. As of yet, we don't know if there are any long-term side effects to be aware of.
We also don't know if THC-O-acetate is addictive or not.
Despite the old-fashioned stigma, research has revealed that only 9% of people ever become addicted to cannabis. As it happens, alcohol, caffeine, and cough syrup are actually far more addictive than cannabis.
However, we don't know if the same holds true for THC-O-acetate. Therefore, it's wise to proceed with caution if you choose to try out the compound.
No Entourage Effect
Besides the possible risks, another thing to consider is that THC-O-acetate doesn't provide the entourage effect.
Whether you are taking cannabis or CBD products for medicinal or recreational reasons, one thing is usually certain. You want to feel better.
Recently, research has revealed that cannabis's healing and uplifting effects aren't linked to just one single cannabinoid. Instead, all of the cannabinoids, terpenes, and compounds work in tandem, each enhancing the other's effects.
Unfortunately, isolates and semi-synthetic cannabis compounds do not deliver the entourage effect. For this, you will need to consume flower products or broad-spectrum isolates.
There May Be a Chance of Overdosing
Because THC-O-acetate is stronger in potency than regular THC, there might be a risk of overdosing.
According to the CDC, fatal overdoses with cannabis are highly unlikely. However, because THC-O-acetate is a new and untested compound, one can't say for certain that the same holds true for it.
Although it is improbably that one would die from THC-O-acetate consumption, keep in mind that it is highly concentrated. Accidentally taking too much could result in unwanted effects.
The Effects Are Slow to Kick In
Another thing to be aware of when deciding whether to try THC-O-acetate is that the effects are slow to kick in. Although this might sound like a good thing, it can be misleading.
Like cannabis and CBD edibles, THC-O-acetate requires a little bit of time for the body to assimilate. The reason for this is that your system has to separate the acetate molecule from the THC molecule before the THC can reach the endocannabinoid system.
Unfortunately, delayed onset can lead one to over-consume.
Therefore, when trying THC-O-acetate, make sure you take it slow and start at a low dose. Most importantly, don't assume after a few minutes that it's not working and promptly take a double dose.
Possible Effects of THC-O-Acetate
If you're thinking of trying out THC-O-acetate, one of the primary things you might be wondering about is its effects.
Because THC-O-acetate is very similar to regular THC, you can probably expect similar effects. However, THC-O-acetate isn't exactly the same as THC, and your experience taking it might differ widely from vaping other extracts or smoking cannabis or hemp flowers.
It can take longer for your body to assimilate and is reportedly much stronger than ordinary THC, so you're more likely to experience adverse effects. These include:
- Dry mouth
Besides this, THC-O-acetate could also trigger what is known as cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome.
This is a condition where exposure to THC triggers nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain, instead of preventing it.
Lastly, if the THC-O-acetate you are consuming isn't clean, this could also produce side effects. Because THC-O-acetate has only recently gone mainstream, we still aren't sure what the potential side effects from impurities are.
Are You Looking for High-Quality THC and CBD Products?
Legalization has brought about many developments in the cannabis space. However, so have restrictions. Currently, THC-O-acetate is arguably one of the latest responses to these restrictions.
Do we think THC-O-acetate is the next best thing, better than cannabis itself? No.
We feel that THC and CBD products are best consumed as close to nature as possible, which is why we concentrate on high-quality genetics, farming, and processing.
If you are interested in purchasing the best CBD products, we invite you to browse our online store today.
Not only do we stock CBD wellness products, but we also offer a variety of easy-smoking CBD-centric genetics designed to uplift and benefit.