What Is THC-O Acetate?

Written by Derek Johnson

It seems like only yesterday that cannabidiol (CBD) was the only cannabinoid people could talk about. However, others, such as Delta 8 and Delta 10 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), began popping up and have become quite popular in the marketplace. In fact, those two cannabinoids have been causing quite a stir due to the questions surrounding their legality.

Well now, there’s another cannabinoid making waves. It’s a semi-synthetic compound called THC-O acetate and it is reported to be up to 300% stronger than Delta 9 THC, which is the cannabinoid responsible for getting users high. Additionally, it’s a prodrug, meaning it must be metabolized to work.

THC-O acetate is not naturally occurring and must be made by manipulating cannabinoid molecules. Currently, CBD is the cannabinoid most-often used in the creation of THC-O for one main reason: CBD is abundant and legal in the United States.

That said, the final product at best exists in a murky gray swamp of legality. According to the Federal Analogue Act, any substance substantially similar to a controlled substance shares the legal status of said controlled substance. THC-O and Delta 9 THC are substantially similar at the molecular level, thus making THC-O federally illegal.

In response to this, proponents of THC-O cite the 2018 Farm Bill, which makes all derivatives from hemp legal, including CBD extracts, from which THC-O is made. Since THC-O comes from legal CBD, then THC-O must be legal, the argument goes. The issue most likely won’t be settled until Congress finally legalizes marijuana at the federal level.

Until then, those interested in trying THC-O should know that there are no regulations or testing procedures in place to protect consumers. Since THC-O is made with highly toxic chemicals, there is a real danger of contaminated products ending up in the hands of consumers. For the time being, it may be a good idea to stick with cannabis products that are verified safe for consumption.


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Derek Johnson

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