If you’ve been reading our blog (or even if you haven’t), you may have heard of the dangers of delta-8 THC. It’s best avoided.
But along with the delta-8 THC, you should also steer clear of THC-O. This derivation from hemp has been making the rounds lately. And because it comes from hemp, many deem it as federally legal.
The problem is, it can pack a pretty potent psychoactive punch that is anything but pleasant.
So Just What Is THC-O?
In case you haven’t already heard, the naturally occurring THC in cannabis that makes you high is delta-9 THC. And THC-O is an analog of it.
THC-O is processed through a series of extractions that strip away all of the terpenes and flavonoids – leaving you with an overwhelmingly powerful THC isolate.
It sounds simple enough. The process starts with extracting CBD from the hemp plant. After that, delta-8 THC is extracted from the CBD and those molecules are added to acetic anhydride. When all is said and done, you have THC-O acetate.
Why Steer Clear of THC-O
First off, the fact that THC-O is not a natural derivative and the processing of it involves highly flammable acetic anhydride leaves many dubious about its safety.
But when we say it delivers an intense psychoactive reaction, we’re not exaggerating. In fact, between 1948 and 1975, the U.S. Army Chemical Corps conducted experiments on dogs using THC-O acetate and regular delta-9 THC. They wanted to determine whether THC-O was powerful enough to incapacitate enemy forces during warfare.
The THC-O had twice the capacity to produce ataxia (lack of muscle control and coordination) in the body. Many say that the effects feel more like mescaline than cannabis.
And while most consumers don’t use cannabis as a hallucinogen, THC-O is coming out strong in states such as Texas that have only legalized medical marijuana. That’s because it’s considered, by some, to be federally legal under the 2018 Farm Bill.
Another issue with THC-O is that it’s slower to process in the body – whether ingested or smoked/vaped. So the chances are good of taking too high a dose.
Furthermore, the risks of THC-O acetate are similar to those caused by vitamin E acetate which careless manufacturers with no concern for the cannabis plant or their customers used as a cutting agent. Vitamin E acetate is now linked with lipoid pneumonia – a serious and severe lung condition.
ATHC Is Another Name for THC-O
In any effort to steer clear of THC-O, it’s important you know that it’s also referred to ATHC. This can be confusing since you may also run across THCA.
THCA stands for tetrahydrocannabinolic acid and you don’t need to avoid it. It’s the parent molecule of THC. In this case, the A stands for acid and this molecule occurs naturally in raw cannabis and converts to THC through decarboxylation.
By contrast, the A in ATHC stands for acetate. And that’s what you want to avoid. This indicates that not only was the compound created in a lab, but that the THC will be far more potent. So be cautious of any A, lower or upper case, before THC.
Medicinal Applications for THC-O?
For folks who live in states where cannabis is legal, high quality and safe cannabis from reputable production facilities is readily available. Even so, there are still those who will be willing to take their chances with THC-O. So be it.
In the meantime, researchers are looking at the potential of THC-O to stimulate the cannabinoid receptors in people whose bodies resist regular THC. And this could have amazing medical applications down the road. So where regular THC may not offer relief from pain or anxiety for this population, THC-O may just work.
Natural Is Better
As we stated earlier, for people who are fortunate enough to live in states where cannabis is legal, it’s easy enough to steer clear of THC-O and insist on only safe and natural cannabis.
We care deeply about the cannabis plant and those who consume it. So to find all of the places where you can purchase our top-of-the-line high quality cannabis, simply click here.
And skip the synthetics.