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As the cannabis industry continues to evolve, new compounds are being discovered. Among the compounds on the market that have been generating much buzz lately is THC-O, or “the spiritual cannabinoid.” With reports that it offers intense physical and psychological effects, it stands out from other cannabinoids on the market…..but there may be some risks involved too! Let’s take an in-depth look at the potential benefits & drawbacks that come with using THC-O so you can make an informed decision about whether or not it’s right for you.

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

For those unfamiliar with THC-O, here’s the lowdown: Basically, it’s a synthetic cannabinoid created through the chemical conversion of Delta-8 or Delta-9 and then further converted into an acetate ester known as THC-O. While it’s technically derived from a non-psychoactive cannabinoid (CBD), it’s known to produce psychoactive effects that can be 2 to 3 times more potent than THC. Research on the potential applications and safety of THC-O is still in its infancy; however, a study led by Neal L Benowitz., published in the Journal of Medical Toxicology, raised concerns about the safety of inhaling THC-O acetate. The author found that THC-O becomes hazardous when heated and can cause lung damage to users when inhaled.

How long does it take for THC-O to take effect?

THC-O is a prodrug, which means the effects do not kick in until the liver metabolizes it. Therefore, it may take longer for it to start working than other cannabinoids.

Here are estimates of how long you can expect to wait to feel its effects based on consumption method, but onset may vary slightly for each individual:

Smoking or Vaping 

Generally, effects are felt twenty to thirty minutes after consumption, peaking around twenty minutes after the first wave of effects. However, this varies from person to person, so patience and awareness are essential. Taking too much too quickly could result in an overwhelming experience that won’t be enjoyable—as such, starting with small doses and gradually increasing over time is recommended for THC-O newbies. 


Depending on factors such as weight, metabolism, and individual tolerance, people usually feel the effects of THC-O edibles such as gummies and chews between half an hour and three hours after eating them. If you’re looking for a faster-acting product, then tinctures are the way to go. With a sublingual delivery system, it is absorbed directly into your bloodstream in 30 minutes or less. 

No matter what type of THC-O product you choose, it’s essential to start with a low dose and give yourself plenty of time to monitor your experience – that way, you can enjoy its benefits safely and responsibly.

What Does A THC-O High Feel Like?

THC-O is a synthetic cannabinoid believed to unlock and expand users’ consciousness, giving them access to a deeper level of introspection that can bring them closer to nature and the universe. In addition, users have reported feeling intense euphoria after consuming it. The psychoactive properties of it can cause hallucinations, allowing people to explore their inner worlds in ways they previously couldn’t have imagined with cannabis-derived products.

Is THC-O Legal?

It’s no secret that THC-O is a synthetic cannabinoid made through the chemical conversion of Delta-8 and Delta-9. As a result, the DEA recently declared Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC-O to be controlled substances. In light of this, consumers are advised to understand the regulations surrounding this novel cannabinoid to comply with state and federal laws when purchasing or using it.

The Meat And Potatoes

The Bottom Line?

Unfortunately, due to the lack of research and regulations associated with this product, it’s hard to know exactly what you’re getting into when purchasing THC-O. There is no standard for production, meaning potency levels can vary widely from product to product, and there’s no guarantee that safe and natural ingredients are used in its formulation. There’s also a possibility that some THC-O products contain potentially dangerous chemicals that may have adverse effects or health consequences if consumed. Therefore, you should conduct your due diligence before purchasing any THC-O products. Make sure your vendor offers complete transparency on their ingredients list, and check out online reviews and third-party lab results. While THC-O may provide an interesting new experience for cannabis enthusiasts – especially those looking for something a bit stronger than regular THC – it should always be handled carefully and responsibly. Nevertheless, with so much potential on both sides of the spectrum, we are keen to watch the developments unfold for this exciting yet controversial compound!

Benowitz, N.L., Havel, C., Jacob, P. et al. Vaping THC-O Acetate: Potential for Another EVALI Epidemic. J. Med. Toxicol. 19, 37–39 (2023).

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