The Farm Bill 2018 has indirectly and inadvertently allowed the weed industry to produce and sell cannabis products containing cannabinoids with psychoactive effects without needing a medical marijuana card. One of these new compounds that are sweeping the market is THC-O acetate (or ATHC). This is a non-natural cannabinoid and it’s getting the interest of many cannabis consumers–and for good reason!
Let’s take a look at what THC-O Acetate has to offer…
What is THC-O?
THC-O-acetate (THC-O, THCO, or tetrahydrocannabinol acetate) is a synthetic cannabinoid said to be more potent and have longer-lasting effects than regular THC. Some people even claim it gives you a spiritual high!
This trending cannabinoid was first created sometime between 1955-1975 during the Edgewood military experiments. Although officials knew of its existence and high potency, it was never officially added to the controlled substances list, making it less clear where THC-O belongs in today’s cannabis legislation. As a result, many cannabis businesses are eagerly jumping on this new opportunity and selling it as the new big thing, similar to how delta-8-THC and delta-10-THC were marketed (and still thriving by the way).
How is THC-O-Acetate made?
If THC is heated and mixed with a compound known as acetic anhydride, a chemical reaction takes place and creates a new and more potent chemical compound – THC-O-acetate.
In the case of the THC-O-acetate that is currently available and being sold online and in smoke shops, THC-O-acetate is more likely to technically be delta-8-THC-acetate. The reason is, due to the way the 2018 Farm Bill was written, products that are derived from CBD fall into a legal grey area including D8, Delta 10, HCC, THC-O, and other cannabinoids. Sellers are capitalizing on this opportunity while the US regulators have so far been unable to adapt to a rapidly changing market, which is good news for weed consumers.
The chemical synthesis is somewhat dangerous and should only ever be done by a qualified chemist, as it uses flammable and corrosive substances that could contaminate the end product if not done properly.
It’s important to note that THC-O is not a natural, or naturally-derived cannabinoid. You won’t find any THC-O in botanical cannabis products. THC-O is a synthetic cannabinoid obtained from a process that is comparable to making heroin out of morphine.
THC-O is an ester of THC. It can be synthesized through a chemical process using acetic anhydride, a high-inflammable and colorless liquid used to make fibers, plastics, pharmaceuticals, dyes, and explosives. The production of this compound requires specialized equipment as it involves using volatile and flammable chemicals. The process to synthesize THC-O consists of extracting Delta 8 THC from CBD, which is extracted from the hemp plant. Finally, acetic anhydride is added to the Delta 8 THC molecules to produce THC-O Acetate.
The Effects of THC-O
More recently, there have been claims online that THC-O gives you a “spiritual high.” Even taking a moderate dose of THC-O is said to have psychedelic effects such as intense visuals and experiencing an altered headspace. Several news publications report that THC-O is more potent than more popular THC as it is reported to be three times as powerful as THC. Consumers report THC-O as being more psychedelic THC as it offers a more spiritual or psychedelic psychoactivity than other cannabinoids.
Reports suggest it could all be related to pharmacokinetics. As mentioned above, the acetate that chemists added protects the THC from being broken down by enzymes, increasing THC levels in the blood and brain. This would explain a lot of the increased potency and the ‘lag-time’ in onset that has been reported with THC-O use.
But this altered metabolism may also have downstream effects. Since you’re likely getting higher THC blood levels when you consume THC-O, you will also see a greater production of 11-hydroxy-THC compared to inhaling traditional THC. Large doses of edibles are sometimes reported as psychedelic-like and suspect it’s the production of more 11-hydroxy that is giving people that spiritual-psychedelic feeling.
Like what happens when consuming cannabis edibles, THC-O takes time to metabolize in the body before its effects are activated. THC-O-A is most commonly available in vape cartridges, tinctures, and gummies.
Michael Starks, the author of the book Marijuana Chemistry, claims that the effects of THC-O are 300% stronger than THC. This, if true, may explain some of the psychotropic effects people are reporting from THC-O.
What we do know is that THC-O is considered a prodrug, meaning that it only activates once it’s been metabolized and converted back into THC inside the body. There are theories that THC-O may have a higher bioavailability, meaning more THC is going to be delivered to the place of action in the body and in the brain.
As THC-O is metabolized, the acetate group that chemists added is removed, which allows the THC to take effect at cannabinoid receptors just like other cannabinoids, but in a much higher concentration. This means compared to when taking the same amount of non-acetylated THC, THC-O may help achieve much higher blood levels of THC thanks to its improved bioavailability. This cannabinoid delivers something so powerful and unique, what users can expect to feel with THC-O acetate is a high from a more potent cannabinoid.
These new cannabinoid variations offer another echelon of effects but also a new experience to cannabis fans. So what are you waiting for?
D8 THC Shop Offers THC-O Acetate Products
We make buying THC-O online simple and straightforward. We believe in educating our customers on the benefits of THC-O, along with our unique and exclusively offered cannabinoid products. When shopping our THC-O store, we provide full transparency by making our third-party lab results easily accessible, along with a scannable QR code on all boxes and bottles. At D8 THC Shop, you can rest assured that you are purchasing the safest, highest quality THC-O products online.
Fly High on the Perfect High.