The last time we placed our regular order of Delta-8 THC, we noticed something new amongst the selection. A THC that transcends traditional numerical identification. In fact, based on the descriptions on the internet, one might be inclined to call it the alpha THC family: THC-O. We couldn’t resist the opportunity to try this “hot” new cannabinoid rumored to be 3X MORE POWERFUL than traditional Delta-9 THC and 5 to 6 more powerful than the Delta-8 THC we have on offer. Before expounding upon our experience, some background on the legality, and our opinion the latest ‘magic’ minor cannabinoid.
The Difference between CBD, Delta-8 THC, and THC-O
The first notable difference between CBD and its Delta THC cousins is that CBD is not psychoactive. It feels almost trite making this point over and over, but it’s an important one especially to those new to cannabis. That said, the relationship between all three (and reason we’re able to market psychoactive THC) is that they all derive from legal, industrial hemp containing less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC. The fact that all the arguably legal is different than explicitly so. Full Spectrum CBD is explicitly federally legal (although, poorly regulated) while its’ derivatives (Delta-8, THC-O) are not explicitly federally illegal.
THC-O-acetate is distinguished from Delta-8 & CBD in that it does not naturally occur in the cannabis plant. Delta-8 occurs naturally within the plant, and like CBD could theoretically produced in higher quantities through genetic breeding programs. Right now, Delta-8 rich strains do not exist because breeding programs have focused primarily on THC-9 & CBD. If a particular cannabinoid proves a persistent trend genetics will eventually catch up to demand. In the interim, Delta-8 is derived from industrial hemp CBD. It is a derivative and consumers should only buy from trusted suppliers as a result. Our supplier publishes Certificates of Analysis for every batch, and if there’s ever a concern we are happy to share it.
THC-O acetate is a derivative of Delta-8 (2nd order derivative CBD), and is not naturally produced at detectable levels by current cannabis genetics. In that sense, it is a truly ‘synthetic’ cannabinoid, but we hate to use that term due to it’s negative connotations. Due to the fact that it doesn’t naturally exist, we have insufficient data on it’s safety, long term health effects, etc. That’s true amongst a wide range of naturally occurring substances such as cannabis and psilocybe mushrooms.
Our THC-O Experience
After reading all the hype, we were admittedly apprehensive about trying THC-O, and cautiously made up a batch of 10 mg to test out. Before we delve into the experience, a quick note on the types of THC-O products that are being marketed: ingestible, tinctures, and vape. At this juncture, we believe it’s irresponsible for brands or retailers to actively market vape products in a compound none of us understand. We can bring up the fact that THC-O’s full name THC-O Acetate which sounds half like vitamin E acetate which is the compound that lead to a surge of health issues and hospitalizations in vape products. Tinctures are a fine medium, but unlike Delta-9 or CBD they might not actually increase bio-availability or effect (this is true for vaping, as well). The reason being THC-O is a prodrug compound that activates into a drug (generating psychoactive reaction) by being metabolized in the body. This is important to understand because it creates a “lag” between feeling THC-O’s effects and consumption. Generally, individuals report feeling the effects within 30 minutes to an hour and experiences vary. Still, it’s important to start slow when gauging your own reaction.
Our THC-O were dosed in pate de fruit using homemade, fresh peach puree. Unlike our Delta-8 & CBD products, we simply dosed this gummy with THC-O. As a result, the gummies lacked the terpenes we traditionally associate with that ‘cannabis’ taste. As a result our first observation was that these were absolutely delicious. We deeply appreciate the value of terpenes, but the taste of this fresh peach jelly without them was surreal. In terms of effect, our experience was entirely inconsistent with what’s represented, but note that we consumed in very controlled amounts (no one consumed more 20 mg in first tasting).
We cannot attest to what happens when consuming large quantities of THC-O, but at moderate to high doses (assuming it’s truly 2-3x “stronger than THC-9) our experience was primarily of deep relaxation. In fact, several of our samplers had never experienced the same degree of pain reduction from CBD or THC-9 before (and we’re all high consumers). Everyone reported falling asleep within several hours without having any recall of the moment it occurred. Almost as if we were put into a state of mild sedation… Prior to knock out, no one reported experiencing psychedelic effects, and the physiological response was nothing like psilocybin (which often makes it difficult to sleep). There was a psychoactive sensation, but it was nothing like how it traditionally feels to get high.
Ultimately, THC-O offered an amazing, targeted, functional experience for pain reduction & sleep. In fact, it seemed much of the relief traditional THC-9 and CBD users seek… In fact, we enjoyed the experience so much we’d like to share it. Perhaps in Apricot and Morello Cherry?