What is THC-O and How is it Made?

Written by Antonio DeRose

Oh my, we’ve got another cannabinoid on our hands, and it’s THC-O-acetate (THC-O). Although knowledge and awareness about THC-O may be gaining steam, THC-O has been around for quite some time. Records of research by the United States government indicate that THC-O was first made in 1940. How THC-O is made is a complicated process that we’re going to talk about, but first, let’s look at why people are getting interested in it in the first place.


What are the effects of THC-O?

There is very little scientific research on the effects of THC-O. However, anecdotal accounts from consumers say its potency may rival the potency of regular tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). If the effects of THC-O are more powerful than THC, then it can be easy to see why consumers may want to get their hands on it, especially in states where THC is still not legal.


How is THC-O made?

There are several steps involved in making THC-O. It has to be synthesized using acetic anhydride, a very flammable compound. The first to making THC-O is to start with hemp and  make delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (D8), which is a complicated process that involves synthesizing D8 from cannabidiol (CBD).

Once the D8 has been created, the D8 is treated with acetic anhydride, which converts the D8 into THC-O. This is a very complicated and dangerous process, and experts recommend you never try this at home. It can only be made safely in the right lab environment, with the correct lab and safety equipment.


Is THC-O legal?

THC-O fits in the same legal grey area as D8, except for states that made it very black and white by banning D8. There are no current bans on THC-O, and since it is technically derived from legal hemp, it’s considered a legal cannabinoid. At least, for now, it is. There is some concern that states who’ve proposed bans on other synthetic or synthesized cannabinoids, like D8, may also look at banning THC-O. For the time being, it’s legal and being sold in several state markets.



1- Possible long-term health effects of short-term exposure to chemical agents. Volume 2. Cholinesterase reactivators, psychochemicals, and irritants and vesicants. Final report. 1984. United States.

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Antonio DeRose

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