What Is THC-O And How Is It Beneficial For You?

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The growing interest in cannabis products has triggered a corresponding demand for artificial cannabinoids. One such compound is THC-O.

If you're encountering this term for the first time, you're in luck. We've prepared a comprehensive guide to THC-O, including its perceived health benefits and adverse effects.


What Is THC-O?

THC-O is short for tetrahydrocannabinol acetate. It's a synthetic cannabinoid obtained by adding an acetate group to THC. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is a naturally-occurring phytocannabinoid in marijuana best known for its psychotropic abilities.

THC-O goes by many other monikers, including THC-O-acetate, THC acetate, THC acetate ester, and O-acetyl-THC.

Although not as common as natural cannabinoids, THC acetate ester has garnered immense popularity in the recent past. That explains the growing number of cannabis retail outlets where you can try THC-O products and experience the healing benefits of this novelty synthetic cannabinoid.


How Is THC-O Prepared?

Most natural cannabinoids are obtained directly from cannabis plant biomass. However, synthetic cannabinoids like tetrahydrocannabinol acetate are generally manufactured in the laboratory.

As indicated, THC acetate is typically prepared by adding an acetyl group to regular tetrahydrocannabinol. The acetyl group serves as the functional group in the new product, increasing its potency and absorption rate.

Now, the process of manufacturing THC-O-acetate is similar to that of making morphine and heroin. It usually begins by extracting cannabidiol from hemp. Cannabidiol (CBD) is another prevalent naturally-occurring cannabinoid in cannabis. The compound is commonly contrasted with THC because it contains no psychoactive properties. Therefore, it's typically used for therapeutic and not recreational purposes.

Hemp is a cannabis cultivar noted for its abundance of CBD and lower yield of THC.

After obtaining cannabidiol from hemp, manufacturers add specific acidic solutions to the CBD to convert it to THC. This process usually converts CBD to delta-8 first and then eventually to delta-9, both of which are THC isomers.

Lastly, adding acetic anhydride to delta-9 converts the solution to THC-O-acetate. The resultant product is usually an oral tincture. It can be sold and consumed as is or used as a basic ingredient in manufacturing other THC-O formulations, such as gummies, creams, and vape oils.

What Are The Health Benefits Of THC-O?

Although tetrahydrocannabinol acetate is a product of THC and acetic anhydride, most of the compound's potential therapeutic properties come from THC and not the functional acetyl group.

Tetrahydrocannabinol is widely used for pain management. Studies have shown that administering THC products might relieve pain by desensitizing the pathways along which pain signals travel from various body parts to the brain.

Tetrahydrocannabinol also boasts immense anti-inflammatory properties. The compound (including its derivatives like THC acetate) might help address various inflammatory disorders, including cancer, arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Numerous studies have established THC's inhibitory effects on cytokines, proteins that cause inflammatory flare-ups.

THC-O-acetate products might also relieve nausea and inappetence. Again. This has everything to do with the tetrahydrocannabinol compound in these products. Studies have shown that THC may interact with the regions in the brain known to trigger munchies.

Anxiety and insomnia are other significant conditions you might address using THC acetate ester. As with all tetrahydrocannabinol derivatives, THC-O is energizing at small doses and sedating at relatively high doses. Those sedating properties may come in handy in treating anxiety and sleeplessness.  


Will THC-O Get You High?

THC-O will surely get you high. That's because the compound derives from tetrahydrocannabinol, one of the most common psychoactive chemicals. Like most cannabinoids, THC-O's mind-altering effects depend primarily on consumed doses.

At relatively small doses, tetrahydrocannabinol acetate will induce feelings of euphoria and enhanced mental creativity. But as you work up the dosage chart, the compound will get more sedating. The effects of THC acetate will finally become outright unpleasant at the point you cross your ideal dosage. That's when you may develop adverse reactions to the substance, such as hallucinations, disorientation, and bloodshot eyes.

How Strong Are THC-O's Psychedelic Effects?

The best way to judge the effects of tetrahydrocannabinol acetate is to compare them with those of regular THC, also known as delta-9 THC. Dose for dose, tetrahydrocannabinol acetate is stronger than delta-9 THC. The compound is the most potent of all known THC derivatives.

THC-O's ability to induce a more potent high can be both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, it's easier to get high from considerably smaller THC-O doses. This can reflect favorably on your finances as you won't need to hit the cannabis stores every other week.

But on the other hand, THC-O's potent mind-altering properties increase its risks of adverse effects. That's especially true for new users yet to find their ˜sweet spot.'


Is THC-O Legal?

All cannabis products are legal in the United States, provided they're hemp-derived and contain 0.3% of delta-9 THC. The fact that tetrahydrocannabinol acetate comes from hemp makes it potentially legal at the federal level.

However, note that cannabis laws generally apply to naturally-obtained cannabinoids. Since THC acetate ester is a synthetic cannabinoid, you'll need to check with your local authorities before using this compound.

Wrap Up

Tetrahydrocannabinol acetate is the most potent THC derivative. The compound can also provide tons of health benefits and get you high. But as with all cannabinoids, you can only enjoy THC-O's benefits by practicing moderation. Note that the compound can trigger severe adverse reactions if overdosed.

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