The cannabis industry is experiencing a significant transformation. That’s partly due to the many studies indicating that marijuana extracts may serve as effective remedies for various common ailments and partly because of the herb’s continued legalization.
But with sustained demand for cannabis supplements, it may only be a matter of time before the global marijuana market experiences gross shortages of weed-based products. These fears are the main inspiration behind the development of synthetic cannabinoids like THC-0.
This post offers a definitive guide to THC-O, with a particular focus on THC-O and its benefits and the effects and side effects of this semi-artificial cannabinoid.
What Is THC-O?
THC-O, also known as THC-O acetate or tetrahydrocannabinol-O-acetate, is an analog of tetrahydrocannabinol, the most famous psychoactive compound in marijuana. But unlike other tetrahydrocannabinol isomers, such as delta-9, delta-10, and delta-8 THC, THC-O acetate doesn’t occur naturally in the cannabis plant. The compound is classified as semi-synthetic.
THC-O is way more potent than all tetrahydrocannabinol analogs, including the more popular delta-9 THC. Most seasoned marijuana users claim that THC-O is up to three times more powerful than delta-9 THC. No wonder the chemical is nicknamed the” psychedelic of cannabinoids.”
Therefore, it’s essential to tread caution while using THC-O acetate, whether for medical or recreational purposes.
History of THC-O
Tetrahydrocannabinol-O-acetate may have only begun to generate considerable buzz recently. However, the compound enjoys a reasonably long history.
The American military started investigating THC acetate as a potential non-lethal incapacitating agent decades ago. These investigations were part of the Edgewood Arsenal experiments conducted between 1949 and 1975. The findings from these programs indicated that THC-O was more than twice as likely to produce ataxia as THC when administered to dogs.
Interestingly, regulators never took a keen interest in the compound as it didn’t make its way to the mass market then.
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How Is THC-O Extracted?
As already mentioned, THC-O acetate isn’t a naturally-occurring cannabinoid. The compound is a synthetic derivative of tetrahydrocannabinol. Therefore, THC-O can only be manufactured, not extracted.
THC-O acetate follows the same manufacturing process as narcotic drugs like morphine and heroin. The process mainly involves adding an acetate group to tetrahydrocannabinol, apparently to increase the compound’s bioavailability (absorption rate) and potency.
First, manufacturers extract fresh hemp buds. Hemp is a cannabis cultivar noted for its remarkably high cannabidiol (CBD) concentrations, the popular non-psychoactive chemical in cannabis widely used for medicinal purposes.
The next step involves extracting CBD from the harvested buds. Here, manufacturers may utilize solvent-free methods that involve targeted heat and pressure or solvent-based ways that incorporate certain liquid solvents in addition to heat and pressure.
Next, manufacturers obtain delta-8 THC from CBD. Delta-8 is a THC isomer noted for its milder effects than delta-9.
The process is finalized by adding acetic anhydride, a highly inflammable compound that reacts with delta-8 THC to form THC-O acetate.
Health Benefits of THC-O
Not much is known about the therapeutic benefits of tetrahydrocannabinol-O-acetate. However, emerging research and anecdotal reports suggest that the compound may offer the same therapeutic effects as tetrahydrocannabinol. Bearing that in mind, the following are some of the medical problems you can address using this synthetic cannabinoid;
All cannabinoids affect the body through the endocannabinoid system. It’s safe to infer that THC-O also similarly impacts the body.
THC-O likely relieves pain by desensitizing the nociceptive receptors involved in pain signaling. The compound may also mediate pain by stimulating the signaling of chemical neurotransmitters, including anandamide.
Most cannabinoids (both natural and synthetic) are generally effective against pain and inflammation. So, it’s equally logical to attribute some anti-inflammatory properties to THC-O. The substance likely treats inflammation by blocking the relaying of inflammatory signals across the body.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re suffering from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), cancer, or arthritis. Supplementing THC-O can go a long way in mediating the pain and inflammation associated with these conditions.
THC-O acetate is highly stimulating. That fact alone makes the compound a potential remedy for physical and mental fatigue. When paired with exercise and the right supplements, THC-O can supply you with the energy required to supercharge your workouts and even sex life.
However, take care that you don’t become intoxicated in the process. Remember, this compound is more than twice as powerful as THC.
THC-O acetate may activate anandamide signaling, making the compound a potential remedy for stress and anxiety. Besides mediating pain, anandamide is also associated with ‘feel-good’ effects.
Therefore, any substance that stimulates the signaling of this neurotransmitter may produce subsequent positive effects on mental health. And that’s another area THC-O acetate may come in handy.
Like regular tetrahydrocannabinol, THC-O acetate is energizing and uplifting at low doses but sedating and tranquilizing at high doses.
While you don’t want to overdose on this high-potent synthetic cannabinoid, increasing your servings slightly above its euphoric threshold may produce immense tranquilizing effects. And as with most sedatives, THC-O can improve insomnia symptoms by reducing your sleep onset time.
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As already indicated, THC-O produces more than twice the effects of tetrahydrocannabinol. According to research, the compound can be up to three times more potent than regular THC. Therefore, it’s essential to regulate your THC-O intake.
Presently, there are no officially approved dosage guidelines. Most cannabinoids have no ideal dosage. Servings normally depend on factors like a user’s age and body chemistry and the compound’s potency and delivery method.
That said, you can work out the right amount of THC-O to consume based on your regular tetrahydrocannabinol dosages.
Let’s assume you’re presently administering 10 mg of THC to relieve, say, arthritis pain. Considering THC-O’s comparative potency, you’ll need about 3 mg of the compound to manage the same arthritic pain.
THC-O Side Effects
THC-O acetate produces more potent effects than regular THC, which means the compound can induce even more severe adverse effects. That’s especially if overdosed.
The following are some of the side effects of THC-O to watch out for;
- Bloodshot eyes
- Anxiety and insomnia
- Ataxia or reduced muscle coordination
- Dizziness or drowsiness
- Nausea and vomiting
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Tetrahydrocannabinol-O-acetate is more than twice as potent as regular delta-9 THC. Therefore, it’s important to moderate your doses using this synthetic cannabinoid. Also, never attempt to prepare THC-O at home. The acetate anhydrite used in manufacturing this compound is highly flammable and volatile and may trigger dangerous explosions. Above all, remember to check the cannabis laws in your jurisdiction before administering THC-O.