Since the 2018 Farm Bill was signed into reality by former U.S. President Donald Trump, there has been a spike in the number of new cannabinoid-based products on the market. While many of these products are made with major cannabinoids like CBG or CBD, there are a number that are made with lesser-known minor cannabinoids that can have varying effects.
Although most cannabinoid-based products sold in the U.S. are non-intoxicating with a variety of potential health and wellness benefits, there is also a new series of cannabinoids gaining popularity that could have more intoxicating effects.
One of these new compounds gaining rapid popularity, and some scrutiny, is THC-O. Over recent years, several products have emerged containing THC-O, also known as THC-O acetate or ATCH. But what exactly is THC-O? Let’s take a closer look.
What Is Delta 9 THC?
Delta 9 THC is the most well-known cannabinoid in cannabis plants, often associated with the euphoric high it can produce. Delta 9 is abundantly found in cannabis plants, making it a major cannabinoid. Delta 9 THC can be extracted and turned into a variety of products, as well as dried and smoked.
The effects of delta 9 THC are thought to be based on its interaction with the human body’s endocannabinoid system, or the ECS. Delta 9 THC is believed to have a heavy interaction with the CB1 receptor of the ECS, which is where the “high” can originate from.
What is THC-O?
THC-O shares a similar name to traditional THC or delta 9 THC, but there are some key differences. THC-O is an ester of THC, meaning they have a different chemical makeup. Unlike delta 9 THC or other cannabinoids like CBD that be directly extracted from cannabis or hemp plants, THC-O is not naturally found in these plants. Rather, THC-O is synthetically made with a process that converts CBD into delta 8 THC, which is then combined with an acetic anhydride which further transforms the compound into THC-O acetate.
Though the process to create THC-O is becoming more refined, there is still a lot of research needed to understand the effects of the compound. Some reports of THC-O have alleged it is more potent than delta 9 THC, as much as three times more powerful.
When it comes to THC-O and our understanding of its effects and possible benefits, both long and short-term, require much more scientific research and evidence. The biggest difference we do understand about THC-O and delta 9 THC are that they have different levels on intoxication.
Some users of THC-O have said the compound is more psychedelic than delta 9 THC, offering a more spiritual and psychoactive experience. The majority of what we know about how THC-O can make you feel comes from anecdotal evidence and user reports, so keep in mind there is no tried and true use guide when it comes to THC-O.
With that, THC-O exists in a similar gray area to the one delta 8 THC just escaped from regarding its legality. With the 2018 Farm Bill, cannabinoid-based products produced using hemp plants with a delta 9 THC threshold of 0.3% or less are legal for production and sale. Because the majority of THC-O is created using CBD, THC-O may be the next cannabinoid to undergo state or federal regulation.
Although the THC-O market is still in its earlier phases, there are more and more products emerging containing the substance. As with any cannabinoid-based product, it is important to consider third-party lab testing to ensure the quality of your product. Turning to independent lab tests and unbiased product reviews gives you the insight you need to make an informed cannabinoid purchase. Having a good experience with any cannabinoid falls heavily on your product being exactly what you need and expect.
The easiest way to make sure this happens is by relying on third-party lab tests from the most transparent source in the cannabinoid industry, Real Tested CBD.