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What is THCO? Does it come from hemp? What you need to know about THC-O

Posted by Charley Smoak on Mar 10th 2022

What is THCO? Does it come from hemp? What you need to know about THC-O

What is THC-O?

THC-O (sometimes spelt THCo or ATHC) is an abbreviation for THC-O-Acetate, a highly psychedelic synthetic derivative of THC.

THC-O creates a high similar to other forms of THC, although it is significantly more psychedelic.

Low doses are practically equivalent to delta 9 THC, while high amounts are nearly psychedelic in terms of the more intense visuals and altered headspace they produce.

THC-O in high concentrations can be somewhat incapacitating.

THC-O has a completely distinct headspace than other cannabinoids. It's most similar to low-dose mescaline, but with milder visuals and a considerably heavier, physically sedating impact. Though I doubt you’d find anyone with a MMJ habit calling this psychedelic.

What is it about THC-O that makes it so much stronger than regular THC?

While there is still plenty we don't know about this chemical, it's evident that the effects are far more potent than the THC you're used to.

THC-O is a prodrug, which means it is not active until it is digested by the liver.

When it's metabolized, all that's left is delta 9 THC. So what makes this chemical any more potent?

There's a lot of conjecture here, but the theory is that it all boils down to bioavailability.

THC that has been acetylated is substantially more bioavailable than THC that has not been acetylated. Once THC-O is absorbed, the unique functional group (-O) is eliminated, allowing THC to perform its regular effects, albeit at a considerably larger dose.

Another cannabinoid known as THCP is considerably more potent than THC-O, possessing more than 30 times the potency of delta 9 THC. This cannabinoid is also a minor cannabinoid meaning it accounts for about 1% of the cannabinoids in Hemp and Cannabis.

How Long Does THC-O Take to Take Effect?

Because of the prodrug nature of THC-O, there is a notable delay in the start of effects. THC-O can take up to an hour before the effects are felt, whereas delta 9 THC normally takes 15 to 30 minutes to kick in (oral).

Delta 9 or delta 8 THC normally kicks in within a few minutes of smoking or vaping, however THC-O can take up to 20 minutes.

The come-on is really fast once the symptoms begin to manifest. Within 20 minutes of feeling the first wave of effects, the peak experience is usually reached.

People who are impatient and take a second dose to soon make a typical (and potentially dangerous) mistake with this chemical. If you took THC-O and didn't feel anything after an hour, you should wait at least another hour before taking another dose. The last thing you want is for both doses to kick in at the same time.

Where Can I Purchase THC-O?

THC-O isn’t currently difficult to come by. There are a few companies that sell it, including Binoid, Delta Effex, and Bearly Legal where some of the firsts to bring it out. They do say to avoid vape carts and stick to candies or tinctures for this cannabinoid. We personally trust one shop and you can find them by clicking HERE

Because of its distinctive acetate chemical group, there is some worry about the safety of smoking THC-O. Many Reddit users have already reported delayed onset coughing and lung congestion after smoking THC-O-acetate.

Some scientists relate THC-O-risk Acetate's to that of vitamin E acetate, a substance found in substandard vape carts from China in 2015 that has been connected to a severe lung illness known as lipoid pneumonia.

Is THC-O a Cannabinoid Found in Nature?

THC-O does not exist in nature. It's one of many semi-synthetic cannabinoids on the market. Semi-synthetic meaning that a process can’t occur in nature but the substances used are still from Hemp, in this case they’re processing what’s known as THCA, a completely inert cannabinoid if left alone.

THC-O is classified as a classical cannabinoid, which implies it has the same basic structure as natural cannabinoids. The functional acetate group, on the other hand, is not present in nature.

THC-O, in particular, has the same ABC-tricyclic structure as a benzopyran moiety. This is the distinguishing trait of all cannabinoids (including CBC, CBD, delta 8 THC, and delta 9 THC).

Non-classical cannabinoids are substances with structures that differ significantly from naturally occurring cannabinoids. They are nonetheless classified as cannabinoids because they can attach to endocannabinoid receptors and exert cannabinoid-like actions. When compared to other chemicals, these have a much higher risk of negative effects, or a bad “high”

Naphthoylindoles, cyclohexylphenols, and phenylacetylindoles are a few examples.

Is THC-O a legal substance?

THC-O is not a controlled substance in most countries, with the exception of New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

THC-O is most certainly a Schedule I substance through proxy in the United States under the Federal Analogue Act. This act was passed in 1986 and by default prohibited any analogs of current Schedule I drugs. To be removed from this list, substances must be manually exempted.

THC-O is likely prohibited under the FAA in the United States and much of Europe because it is an analog of delta 9 THC (a Schedule I narcotic). With all of that being said THCO has become popular and in Colorado where it’s not legal, most lawyers are giving the go ahead thinking they have a decent case in court if someone was to get in trouble for this.

What Is the THC-O Dose?

There have never been any official studies on the optimal dose of THC-O; however, there have been numerous anecdotal stories of persons evaluating the effects of THC-O at various amounts.

THC-O is often thought to be three times as potent as delta 9 THC, thus the amount would be roughly one-third of what you would ordinarily take when utilizing standard THC products.

THC-threshold O's dose (the lowest dose required to induce detectable psychoactive effects) is around 2 mg or 0.5 mg inhaled.

This indicates that anything above this level will have psychotropic effects.

When smoked, the usual psychoactive dose range is 1 to 5 mg, and 3 to 10 mg when taken orally as a tincture or gummy.

Psychedelic levels often begin at 50 mg, but you should only attempt doses this high once you've become acquainted with the effects of THC-O at lower doses, or are used to the effects of DELTA-9-THC. The more people report the more people compare it to Delta-9-THC in terms of effects.

To Conclude

When taking a new substance for the first time, it's a good idea to start with the threshold dose. Before taking a bigger amount on another occasion, wait and observe how it affects you. Everyone is different and as more hemp derived psychoactive substances make their way into our lives it’s important to know these exist and to talk to whoever about them. Your doctor your family all will be effected by this dynamic shift taking place. Arm yourself with knowledge as it’s our best weapon against misinformation.

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