What Is THC-O?

Table of Content

Tetrahydrocannabinol-o-acetate, also known as THC-O Acetate or THC-O for short, is not a naturally occurring cannabinoid.

While it begins with a cannabis plant, its development does not end there. Instead, THC-O results from a delicate manipulation process that involves taking the plant's THC compound and adding a chemical acetic anhydride to it in a laboratory environment.

While publicly shared scientific research and safety data on this synthetic cannabinoid currently is limited, curiosity has cannabis enthusiasts of all experiences continuing to ask questions about this interesting man-made cannabinoid. Read more to learn what we do know about THC-O acetate.

Key Takeaways:

  • THC-O is a synthetically modified THC or a THC analog.

  • Known as the “spiritual cannabinoid” or "psychedelic cannabinoid."

  • It delivers feelings of euphoria and emotional release and may have hallucinogenic effects.

  • Up to five times stronger than Delta-8 THC and 3 times stronger than Delta-9 THC.

  • Recommended for experienced users in low dosages.

  • Federally legal when made from legal hemp plants.

History Of Cannabis and THC

While the Cannabis Sativa plant has a rich history that dates back thousands of years, pooling accounts of its renowned usage for medicinal, religious, recreational, and industrial purposes; the scientific exploration of its cannabinoids, such as tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, began in the mid-twentieth century.

Originally born in Bulgaria and after immigrating to Israel with his family, Raphael Mechoulam would later become the organic chemist who first discovered and isolated THC in 1964.

His dedicated work opened up a portal to the primary psychoactive constituent of the cannabis plant, and extensive research and experiments on THC from scientists around the world would follow.

Now, we have the therapeutic offerings of THC-O Acetate, which has a similar molecular structure to regular THC but is considered a multitude of times more potent. The potential benefits of THC-O range from anti-nausea, anti-anxiety, and stress relief.

What Is THC-O? And How Is It Made?

THC-O is a man-made cannabinoid. It is developed by taking cannabis-derived THC and adding a highly flammable, potentially explosive compound called acetic anhydride. Making

THC-O acetate is a complex process that should not be mimicked outside of professional endeavors done in a laboratory equipped with a hooded vacuum that can handle explosive chemicals.

How Strong Is THC-O?

THC-O Acetate is synthesized to be five times stronger than delta-8 THC and three times stronger than delta-9 THC.

You should prepare for strong psychoactive, euphoric, sedative, and even hallucinatory effects when using synthetic cannabinoids. Thus, it is only recommended for the very experienced user to begin with low to moderate doses [1].

What Does THC-O Do?

When consuming THC-O, it will enter the body, and its effects will activate once the liver metabolizes it.

Although the metabolizing process ultimately breaks the THC-O back down to its Delta-9 THC format, the increased potency of THC-O is still experienced by the body.

This is because the acetic anhydride version of THC has a higher bioavailability than the non-acetic anhydride option, and the body’s endocannabinoid system will be increasingly receptive to the substance’s active effects once it enters the bloodstream [2].

How Long Does It Take For THC-O To Kick In?

THC-O biologically inactive compound until metabolized, meaning it will have a slightly delayed onset than standard THC or CBD. Overall, effects are expected to come forward thirty minutes to one hour after ingesting THC-O products.

In the 1974 book, Cannabis Alchemy: Art of Modern Hash Making, by D. Gold, he states: "The effect of the acetate is more spiritual and psychedelic than that of the ordinary product. The most unique property of this material is that there is a delay of about thirty minutes before its effects are felt" [3].

What Does THC-O Feel Like?

THC-O Acetate is called the “spiritual cannabinoid" and the "psychedelic cannabinoid."

Individuals who have tried THC-O products share experiences of feeling a deep sense of relaxation, euphoria, emotional release, sedation, psychoactive effects, and even visual distortions or hallucinations.

How Long Does THC-O High Last?

In general, the average duration of THC-O effects is three to four hours.

Factors influencing how long the high will last include: how much THC-O you have ingested, administration method type, and your overall genetic disposition.

How Long Does THC-O Stay In The System?

THC-O may stay in your system for up to 30 days.

Delta-8, Delta-9, Delta-10, THC-O, and all other THC variants produce a metabolite response that shows up on drug tests. Depending on the drug test type, THC-O may be detected from 1-30 days after your last use.

Blood tests can usually detect THC-O 36 hours after use of a THC-O product, saliva tests 48 hours after use, and urine tests 15 days after last use for moderate users or 30 days after for frequent users.

Related Article: What Are The Differences Between Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 THC?

Is THC-O Legal?

The United States 2018 Farm Bill, or Agriculture Improvement Act, legalizes the regulated production of raw hemp and other hemp derivatives. Thus, THC-O is federally legal and legal in 38 states when synthesized from a federally legal hemp plant or cannabis plant that contains no greater than 0.3% delta-9 THC by dry weight.

It is important to know that the legal status of THC-O and other cannabinoids may be subject to change at any time.

The Takeaway: THC-O Should Be Used With Caution

For those still interested in THC analogs, a low dose of the “spiritual cannabinoid'', THC-O, may deliver a positive experience that induces feelings of euphoria, emotional processing, and hallucinogenic effects.

However, because very few scientific research publications and safety data on THC-O exist, user caution is strongly advised as risks may be involved.

Want A Beginner’s Introduction to THC?

Try Neurogan Delta 8 THC Gummies for a more mellow high. Artisan batched and hand-poured in a cGMP facility, these delicious watermelon-flavored treats are made with non-psychoactive potency and quality in mind.

Per AB-45 Bill, our Full Spectrum Delta-8 THC Gummies are always naturally hemp-derived and below 0.3% total THC.


  1. Starks M (1990). Marijuana Chemistry: Genetics, Processing, Potency. Ronin Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9141-7139-3.

  2. Almogi-Hazan, Osnat, and Reuven Or. “Cannabis, the Endocannabinoid System and Immunity-the Journey from the Bedside to the Bench and Back.” International journal of molecular sciences vol. 21,12 4448. 23 Jun. 2020, doi:10.3390/ijms21124448

  3. Gold D (1974). Cannabis Alchemy: Art of Modern Hash Making. Ronin Publishing (2010). ISBN 978-1-5795-1095-4.

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