The 2018 Farm Bill made the production and sale of hemp federally legal, which meant that businesses and individuals could legally sell, transport, and possess cannabis products with 0.3% dry weight THC.
Seeing the potential to improve on the natural products we already have, manufacturers started playing with cannabinoids to create legal but enhanced products for consumers to enjoy. However, just because something is legal, doesn’t make it safe. If you’ve been considering trying THC-O products, keep the following points in mind.
It’s Not Found Naturally in Hemp
When you start comparing different cannabinoids, such as THC-O vs THC-P and Delta-8 THC vs. Delta-10 THC, you will identify something unique about THC-O. Unlike Delta-8 and many other cannabinoids, THC-O acetate is not naturally found in the hemp plant, nor is it derived from hemp in the same way that other cannabinoids are.
Instead, manufacturers use a highly flammable colorless liquid chemical compound called acetic anhydride to synthesize it. This chemical compound is used in the creation of explosives, plastic, dyes, pharmaceuticals, and more.
Very Little Research Has Been Conducted
While there are still study limitations on CBD to prove its efficacy for benefits like sleep, stress, and anxiety, there appear to be even fewer studies focused on the effects and dangers of THC-O. It’s reportedly more potent than THC and might also produce more psychedelic effects than its cannabinoid counterparts, such as Delta-8 THC. However, it’s unknown whether it’s beneficial, harmful, or even both without further research.
Consumers Have Reported Many Side Effects
Everyone responds to CBD differently, which means there isn’t yet a clearly defined list of common side effects associated with the use of THC-O. However, many consumers have reported feeling anxious, paranoid, tired, and dizzy after consuming THC-O. According to the Addiction Center, some people have also experienced hallucinations, vomiting, and seizures.
It’s in a Legal Gray Area
Many manufacturers look for loopholes when creating products they believe their customers can enjoy, and THC-O is in a legal gray area. With the signing of the Farm Bill, hemp and hemp-derived products are federally legal, and THC-O fits into that category.
However, the Farm Bill also stated that synthetically derived THC would remain a schedule 1 substance. THC-O is derived from a natural hemp compound, but it contains synthetic components. Both rules may apply, and THC-O is yet to appear on the list of schedule 1 substances.
There Are No Guarantees That It’s Not Toxic
Studies have looked at CBD positively, with the majority stating that it has a ‘favorable safety profile.’ However, the same can’t yet be said about THC-O. According to neurologist Dr. Ethan Russo, who studies the medicinal effects of cannabis, there is no data to confirm that THC-O isn’t potentially toxic. Dr. Russo also stated that if it’s two or three times more potent, as some sources have suggested, it has the potential for serious side effects.
While extensive studies have been carried out looking at the potential benefits of CBD, there is so much we don’t yet know about THC-O. Ensure you conduct thorough research and ask questions before trying any new cannabinoid.