Comparing THC compounds: What we know about THC-O versus delta-9 & delta-8
THC-O acetate is even stronger than regular THC. Here’s what you need to know to try it safely.
From delta-8 to delta-10, cannabinoids from hemp are having a moment. And now there’s a new kid on the block poised for a takeover: THC-O. But while the deltas are gentler versions of the classic THC, or delta-9 of cannabis fame, THC-O can be three times stronger than its more mainstream cousin.
Because it’s made from hemp, THC-O occupies a different legal status than cannabis products, especially in many states that don’t have a recreational market yet. That being said, there is still some debate about whether THC-O constitutes “synthetic THC” under federal law, which is still a controlled substance and illegal even when derived from hemp, so proceed with caution.
There’s still a lot we’re learning about THC-O, although there’s research on it dating back as far as the 1940s. As its popularity rises, it’s critical to keep up with the facts—and how to find safe, effective, reputable products.
Here’s what we know about THC-O and how you can make sure it’s coming from a trusted source before you give it a try.
What is THC-O and where does it come from?
THC-O’s full name is THC-O acetate, and the earliest research we have on it dates back to American military experiments on non-lethal incapacitating agents in the 1940s. Researchers tested the compound on dogs. At the end of the experiment, the dogs had lost significant control of their motor function.
To derive THC-O from hemp, first CBD is converted to delta-8 or a similar THC modification. But it goes one step further. By adding Acetic Anhydride to the mix, it becomes an acetate—specifically, THC-O.
But don’t try this at home! Acetic Anhydride is highly corrosive and flammable, and puts your health, safety, and environment at risk unless it’s made in a highly-controlled lab environment. This is one of several reasons why you should only buy THC-O if you know it came from a reputable source.
How do you take THC-O?
Once finished, THC-O acetate is a kind of thick brown liquid. You can take it in a vape cartridge, a tincture, or an edible. It takes about 20-30 minutes to kick in.
What does THC-O feel like?
How is it different from delta-8, -9, and -10?
Delta-8 and delta-10 are both milder, and generally less intoxicating, than traditional delta-9 THC. Delta-8 is known for more sedative effects, while delta-10 has a reputation for a more active, sativa-like high.
THC-O is significantly stronger than not only delta-8 and -10, but also regular THC. Some consumers have reported a more spiritual high with strong effects that can even border on hallucinogenic. Like any drug, effects and tolerance are going to vary from person to person.
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