Welcome back, fellow cannabinoid enthusiasts! Today we’ll be continuing our journey through the cannabinoid world, this time exploring what THC-O is. In our previous article, we touched on what HHC is and how it compares to marijuana. HHC was created as a legal alternative to marijuana, but what exactly is THC-O and how does it compare? We’ll be answering these questions and quite a few others, but first it’s important to understand what cannabinoids are and why they’re the talk of the cannabis industry.
What Are Cannabinoids, Exactly?
An educated guess might lead you to believe that cannabinoids are somehow related to the cannabis plant, and you’d be right! Cannabinoids are the compounds, both psychoactive and non-psychoactive, that are found within the hemp plant. CBD is the most well-known non-psychoactive cannabinoid and Delta-9 THC is the most popular psychoactive cannabinoid. Some other cannabinoids may already be familiar, such as the psychoactive Delta-8 THC, Delta-10 THC, HHC, etc. and the non-psychoactive cannabinoids CBG, CBN, CBGA, CBNA, etc. There are currently more than a hundred cannabinoids that are recognized and there will undoubtedly be more as the scientific research of the hemp plant continues to thrive. Cannabinoids are generally found naturally in the cannabis plant but can also be synthetic or semi-synthetic, meaning they require some chemical processing in order to be viable. Cannabinoids can be combined with others in what’s known as the “entourage effect,” meaning that the user will enjoy more benefits from several cannabinoids rather than just one.
Synthetic and Semi-Synthetic Cannabinoids
We discussed in our previous article how the psychoactive cannabinoid called HHC falls into the category of semi-synthetic cannabinoids. A THC molecule is saturated with hydrogen in a catalyst and is a more stable form of THC, similar to how butter is hydrogenated to create a more stable form called margarine. Semi-synthetic cannabinoids require chemical processing of an already-existing cannabinoid whereas synthetic cannabinoids are manufactured completely in a lab and are not found naturally in the hemp plant. THC-O is one such cannabinoid and has garnered much attention for both its effects and its legality.
The Legality Behind Cannabinoids
When derived from federally legal hemp, cannabinoids are classified as federally legal in compliance with the 2018 Farm Bill. However, this blanket legislature was not completely adopted by the entire country. Many states came up with their own specific legislation on the legality of purchasing and consuming cannabinoids within that state. As such, you should always do your research before attempting to buy or consume any cannabinoid-infused product. In order to build consumer confidence, many brands offer testing from third-party independent labs to confirm that the THC-O products in question are derived from federally legal hemp and contain 0.3% THC or less.
What Is THC-O?
Now that you have a better understanding of what cannabinoids are, it’s time to explain what THC-O is. THC-O is a completely synthetic cannabinoid; rather, it is not found naturally in the hemp plant. Tetrahydrocannabinol, the full name of THC-O Acetate, is an intriguing cannabinoid that is extremely potent and is rumored to be 3x stronger than regular marijuana and 5x as strong as Delta-8 THC. Its powerful effects have made it wildly popular in the psychoactive cannabinoid market and is infused into vape cartridges, gummies, pre-rolls, and a variety of other forms. THC-O requires a precise and specialized chemical processing, but it is actually a derivative of Delta-8 THC. When Delta-8 THC is combined with acetic anhydride, a colorless and highly flammable compound, the result is a highly potent compound known as THC-O.
What To Expect From A THC-O High
When it comes to psychoactive cannabinoids, there is a great deal of variance based on the individual. While you will most certainly experience a heady high, the time it takes for the effects to kick and how long the high lasts will depend on several factors: your age, weight, gender, previous experience with THC, and metabolism. That being said, there’s some guidelines to help you estimate what you should feel and how quickly.
If you’re consuming an edible like gummies, you might feel the effects anywhere between 45-90 minutes. For inhalables like vape cartridges and pre-rolls, the effects typically kick in around 15 minutes or less. Keep in mind that the effects of THC-O may take longer than other cannabinoids. It’s important to wait a reasonable amount of time before consuming more.
Once your high does begin, you may experience an increase in your appetite. Cravings for sweet or savory treats may ensue, a phenomenon lovingly referred to as “the munchies.” You might feel an increased sensitivity to touch and experience a warm tingling sensation in your hands, feet, legs, face, arms, and/or chest (commonly called a body high). Your focus may seem sharper, your creativity may increase, your memory may improve, and you should feel a deep sense of relaxation. The effects of THC-O may vary depending on the strain consumed. Indica strains will have you feeling drowsy and relaxed, sativa strains will have you feeling energized and awake, and hybrid blends will feature a blend of both.
How Much THC-O Should I Consume?
If you’ve never tried THC-O or are curious about its effects, it’s best to start off with a small dosage. Most manufacturers will list a suggested dosage, such as a half or a whole gummy, 1-3 puffs from a vape cartridge, and so on. You might feel impatient that the effects aren’t kicking in as quickly as you want them to and be tempted to consume more to kickstart the effects into high gear (pun intended!). It is imperative that you do not consume more than the suggested dosage until you have accurately gauged how your body will react. Taking too much THC-O (or any cannabinoid) can result in an overwhelming and extremely uncomfortable high. If you do end up taking more THC-O than is recommended, try to stay calm and remind yourself that the effects, unpleasant though they may be, will soon dissipate and you’ll be much more careful how much you consume the next time around. As always, be sure to consult your primary care physician before consuming any THC-O.
We’ve covered quite a bit of information regarding the THC-O cannabinoid. This synthetic cannabinoid is a powerful one and should not be taken lightly. When it comes to the effects, some users report it being stronger than both Delta-8 THC and traditional weed. Yet the effects of THC-O will vary based on the individual and certain variables that pertain to the consumer (i.e., weight, age, metabolism, previous exposure to THC, etc.) THC-O, though created in a lab under very specific conditions, is derived from hemp and thus considered federally legal under the 2018 Farm Bill. Provided that the hemp is federally legal, THC-O should contain 0.3% THC or less and should have the independent lab test results to prove it. When it comes to dosing THC-O products, always follow the recommended dosage or less until you can accurately gauge how your body reacts. Remember that you can always increase your dosage the next time around, but taking too much in a single dose can result in an overwhelming and uncomfortable high.
Here at Two Hawk Hemp, we offer both inhalable and edible forms of THC-O. Our Apple Jack disposable vape pen is a great way to enjoy the effects of THC-O without waiting over an hour for the effects to kick in. Our Passion Fruit Gummies provide the perfect sweet treat to enjoy after a long day. Regardless of which THC-O product you choose, you can rest assured that you’re getting a premium product that has been crafted with premium ingredients and has been lab-tested to ensure purity and potency. In our next article, we’ll be going over what federally compliant Delta-9 THC is and how it compares to traditional weed. Be sure to check back soon for this and other frequently asked questions about hemp, cannabis, and everything in between. We look forward to seeing you again soon!