The increase in the legal use of hemp and different cannabis products has prompted consumers to better understand their available options, including THC and THC-O. As most of us know, THC is the main psychoactive compound found in cannabis. On the other hand, THC-O is a powerful new synthetic cannabinoid extracted from hemp, which contains the euphoric sensations and psychoactive effects of cannabis.
THC, also known as tetrahydrocannabinol, is a naturally occurring compound found in cannabis that causes psychoactive effects. It is mainly consumed while smoking, but also exists in other types of products, such as oils, gels, supplements, gummies, and extracts, among others. The cannabinoid receptors – to which THC binds – are primarily found in a particular area of the brain related to memory, coordination, thinking, pleasure, and the perception of time.
THCO, also known as ATHC or THC acetate, is a chemical compound extracted from legal hemp plants. Unlike various cannabinoids, it does not occur naturally in the cannabis plant but is produced through a process called acetylation. This chemical reaction replaces the hydrogen group with the acetyl group, leading to a more robust form of THC derived from it. Therefore, it acts like Delta-8 THC since the two composites are artificially synthesized. THC has a variety of uses, especially for people who appreciate the psychoactive impact of Delta-9 THC. However, these people may reside in states that have not legalized it for medical or recreational purposes. THC-O also produces more potent psychoactive effects than THC.
The main difference between THC and THCO is their legality at state and national levels. THC-O is fully legalized nationally and acceptable in 38 states, while THC is illegal nationally and in most states. Both cannabinoid compounds cause psychoactive and euphoric effects on consumers and are used for a variety of medical and recreational benefits. THC-O is extracted from hemp, for which the production of raw materials has been legal in the United States since 2018, and it does not contain Delta-9 THC. However, despite being made from hemp, THC-O is virtually similar to conventional cannabis products and could be classified as a drug on its own. Thanks to the analogue law of 1986, it is the source of the debate on its future legality.
Nonetheless, other distinctions between THC and THC-O involve differences in availability and potency.
Various hemp brands already sell their products online. Even with the national legalization of THC-O in most states, it is not accessible to most consumers as it is still a relatively new product on the market. Although it has been produced for decades, hemp was not legalized until 2018 after the current basic hemp laws were passed. It is also relatively complex to synthesize, making potential producers hesitate. Therefore, THC-O is less available in the market than THC, which offers products ranging from cookies to lotions and topicals. However, THC-O products are expected to become more widely available soon, as more and more companies begin to manufacture and sell them to the public.
Potency is one of the main things that sets THC-O apart from THC. THC-O is more potent than THC because it contains all the effects and benefits of Delta-9 THC. It is 300% more psychoactive (3x) than THC. THC-O is therefore not recommended if you are new to using marijuana products. Therefore, the substance is also claimed to be psychedelic, unlike the different types of THC available in the market. People are said to experience distorted visuals and minor hallucinations after consuming THC-O, which means that its potency is much higher than THC.
The Basics on THC-O
THC-O is a different and unique cannabinoid that contains certain aspects of THC. However, it causes different psychoactive effects since it is produced by other means. Its therapeutic benefits are also still questionable. However, various people depend on THC-O for the relief and treatment of symptoms of anxiety, stress, and depression. Some people can even use THC-O to fight insomnia. Information on this form of the cannabinoid is still scarce, but it is expected to increase over time as companies focus on its transformation, stepping up research studies that focus on it.
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