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THC-O or THC acetate ester can be synthesized from THC, or THCA. Its most notable attribute is its significant psychoactive potency- it can two to three times as potent as Delta-9 THC. Hence it has fittingly been dubbed “the psychedelic cannabinoid”.
Following a wave of cannabis legalization across an increasing number of states and the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill which eased restrictions on the cultivation of hemp, THC-O-acetate has become increasingly available as a recreational drug, initially in the USA but subsequently in other countries. This THC derivative is interesting in that it is one of the few analogues of THC to have been encountered as a recreational drug sold and used in a highly pure smokable form. While the acetate ester of delta-9 THC is the best studied, the acetate esters of other isomers such as delta-8 THC and delta-10 THC are also known, as are other esters such as THC-O-phosphate or THC hemisuccinate.
Although the substance was first experimented with in the late 1940s by the U.S. Military, the first published book referencing THCO came in 1974. That year Author D. Gold provided synthesis instructions for this compound (calling it "THC acetate") in his book Cannabis Alchemy: Art of Modern Hashmaking, in which it is described as follows; "The effect of the acetate is more spiritual and psychedelic than that of the ordinary product. The most unique property of this material is that there is a delay of about thirty minutes before its effects are felt." Following Gold’s proclamation and how-to notes, THC-O appeared on the DEA’s radar In 1978, as DEA agents discovered a clandestine lab in Jacksonville, Florida, had combined a cannabis extract with acetic anhydride. However THC-O never entered the illicit market. Since it didn’t seem to be a growing problem, the federal drug agency declined further investigation into the unusual compound.
In 2022, restrictive access to cannabis in large parts of the country have pushed residents in many States to seek out options available to them. THCO along with other alternative cannabinoids such as delta 8, delta 10, and HCC are gaining popularity
It’s not called the ‘the psychedelic cannabinoid’ for nothing, THCO will get you quite high. THCO is more bioavailable than conventional (delta-8 or delta-9) THC, which means we can absorb more of it, thus potentially feeling higher. However its important to note that THC-O acetate is also called a ‘prodrug’, meaning the compound is not activated until it has been fully metabolized. So especially when metabolized(eaten), It takes about 20 to 40 minutes to kick in. THCO vapes will conversely take effect almost immediately. It is reported to be a relatively short high, with effects anecdotally wearing off sooner than other THC isomers. For psychedelic users, the most comparable example is DMT, which is known for its intense effect but markedly shorter trip than say LSD or ayahuasca.
In States where cannabis is legal, It may be produced from extracts of dispensary- sold psychoactive strains, in which case the product will be primarily O-acetyl-Δ9-THC. However it is also commonly produced from Delta-8-THC which is synthesized from CBD extracted from hemp, in which case the product will be primarily O-acetyl-Δ8-THC. Because Delta-9 THC and Delta-8 THC have different potency levels the corresponding acetylated derivatives will also differ in the same way. The process of acetylation of THC does not change the properties of the compound such as with other acetate esters, but potency is nonetheless increased to an extent.
Yes, THC-O is THC derivative which will be detected and cause those who have it in their system to fail a drug test.
The 2018 US Farm Bill legally defines hemp as all parts of cannabis plants (that contain less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC), including both isomers and derivatives. THC-O Acetate is not an isomer but is currently legally protected because it is a derivative of the plant.
Yes, THC-O acetate is highly psychoactive. THCO Vapes and Gummies will get you higher than Delta-9 THC, Delta-8, or HHC products similarly dosed.
When looking for THC-O gummies and vapes its important to find safe vetted products. We have partnered with hempshop, an online dispensary that ships premium THC-O vapes and gummies all over the U.S. They make it easy for everyone to ‘find THCO near me’.