Recently, many cannabinoid variations have made headlines across the globe. First, it was Delta-9, now it is THC-O. So what is the deal with THC-O? Is it psychoactive? Is THC-O legal? We answer those budding concerns here.
Exploring the history of cannabis
Cannabis dates back as far as 2000 B.C. During this time, cannabis was used strictly for medicinal and religious purposes. Additionally, individuals utilized cannabis as a form of aromatherapy thanks to its intoxicating fragrance. Historians believe that these utilizations occurred in China as well as in the Middle East. Fast forwarding a millennium, cannabis would endure an intense propaganda campaign known as the ‘Reefer Madness Era’ of 1920. This movement would make cannabis public enemy #1 for nearly 100 more years. Today, the cannabis industry has made cannabis and cannabinoids more accessible than it has ever been. These advancements within the cannabis industry have allowed researchers to hone in on cannabinoids such as Delta-8-THC.
What is THC-O?
For researchers, THC-O is a moderately new analog of the popular cannabinoid Delta-9 THC. The two makes of THC are molecularly the same; however, they pose minute differences. Delta-9 THC is known for being psychoactive; however, various researchers believe it can trigger excessive paranoia and anxiety. THC-O may provide the psychoactivity that cannabis patients enjoy. However, it may pose severe side effects as it is currently believed to be noticeably more potent than traditional THC.
The differences in ‘new’ THCs
As aforementioned, Delta-8-THC, Delta-9-THC, and THC-O all can produce psychoactive effects. This is due to the almost interchangeable molecular composition of the cannabis compounds. The quantitative mark in the name Delta-8 and Delta-9 represents the number of carbon molecules found within the compound. This indicates that the modern cannabinoid Delta-9-THC has one more molecule than Delta-8 THC. Despite this subtlety, Delta-8-THC is not as popular as Delta-9. However, thanks to the research performed by the medicinal cannabis community, Delta-8-THC shows great promise in providing the high without the fear of a psychotic episode. Although this may appear to be minute, this is a medical breakthrough in cannabis research and utilization.
Side effects of new cannabinoids
Contrary to popular belief, all cannabinoids profess a risk to patients in particular doses. Most people are equipped to handle excessive amounts of cannabinoids such a THC, CBD, CBG, and many more. This is thanks to your body’s Endocannabinoid System or ECS. This is the network of nodes and junctions that are accountable for the administration and delivery of cannabinoids such as Delta-8 and Delta-9, and THC-O. About the latter, THC-O can produce severe episodes of anxiety and paranoia. It can also create undesired levels of visual and audible hallucinations. This can be damaging for some patients. This is why most consumers avoid Delta-8 and THC-O: it’s safe to smoke what you know. However, THC-O is slowly becoming noticed by the cannabis community.
Response to THC-O from the cannabis community
Despite the promise that new cannabinoids pose, the legality of the compounds like Delta-8 and THC-O has become murky. This is due to the research regarding traditional Delta-9-THC is federally outlawed in the United States. This has made research (almost) impossible. However, a 2018 law surrounding the industrialization of cannabis possessing low levels of Delta-9-THC gives cannabis academia and cannabis companies a bit of a legal grey area. The 2018 law refers to the Farm Bill that protects hemp in the United States. This is because Delta-9, Delta-8, and THC-O are virtually similar and can be found within industrial-grade hemp at low levels. Other researchers and cannabis companies have chosen to await elucidation of the legality of THC-O before preceding any further with the cannabinoid