What is THC-O Acetate?

What is THC-O Acetate?

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If you've been keeping up with the latest cannabis trends, you may have heard about THCO, a relatively new and rare cannabinoid that's become increasingly popular. In this article, we'll explore what THCO is, how it's different from other cannabinoids, and what potential benefits it may offer. We'll also discuss the current state of research on THCO and what we can expect in the future. So, whether you're a cannabis enthusiast or just curious about the latest developments in the field, read on to learn more about this fascinating compound.

What is THCO?

Drying natural marijuana flowers closeup. Cannabis growing, harvest time. Trimmed weed in round dish isolated on black background.

THC-O is a cannabinoid that is chemically similar to Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the primary psychoactive compound found in cannabis. However, THC-O is believed to be more potent than THC and produces more intense and longer-lasting effects. THC-O is typically consumed through vaping or smoking, but it is also available in the form of edibles, tinctures, and capsules.

THC-O can stand for:
  • THC acetate ester
  • THC-O acetate
  • THC acetate
  • O-acetyl
  • ATHC
  • THC acetate ester
And yes, that's a lot of names, but they all refer to the same hemp-derived cannabinoid. Now, regarding why it's similar to Delta-9 THC, THC-O is an acetylated form of THC.

So what does "acetylated" mean? An acetyl group is a small molecule of two carbon atoms, three hydrogen atoms, and one oxygen atom. THC-O has an acetyl group where Delta-8 or Delta-9 would have a double bond

Cannabinoids such as CBD and THC consist of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. THC-O has all the "stuff" that THC has...but more. There's a lot more to it than that. But that should be about what one needs to know regarding the chemical differences.

What Does THC-O Feel Like? 

As mentioned above, THC-O is believed to produce stronger and longer-lasting effects compared to Delta-9 THC. Of course, studies are limited and the effects of THC-O can vary depending on the method of consumption and the individual's tolerance and sensitivity to cannabinoids.


Generally speaking, some common effects of THC-O consumption include euphoria, relaxation, altered perception of time, heightened sensory experiences, and increased appetiteIt is important to note that THC-O is a potent cannabinoid and should be consumed responsibly and in moderation.

There is one critical difference between THC-O and other popular cannabinoids that should be noted. Because THC-O has an acetate group, it takes longer for the body to process it and for the effects to "set in." Yes, this applies to all consumption methods.

Someone can smoke or even vaporize the cannabinoid, and instead of the nearly instantaneous effects associated with inhalables, it could take a half hour for the effects to kick in.
Of course, "half-hour" is just an example. That timeframe can vary from person to person.

How Long Do THC-O Effects Last?

Like other cannabinoids, the duration of the effects of THC-O heavily depends on the medium and the person consuming it. If you eat a THC-O edible, the effects will last longer than if you were to smoke or vaporize THC-CO.

But again, no matter which way you consume THC-O, it will have a more prolonged onset of effects than other hemp-derived cannabinoids. If you're new to THC-O, you should try it at night when you've got nothing on your schedule.

This way, you can gauge the duration of effects for yourself without risking any obligations.

How Strong Is THC-O?

You'll find plenty of hype online that THC-O is some "super THC." And, in fact, a few animal studies support the notion that its potency is greater than Delta-9. 

However, some people have found it to feel less active than Delta-8 THC. In the world of hemp-derived cannabinoids, both takes could be true.

It sounds crazy, and we may sound like a broken record, but the truth is that cannabinoids affect everyone differently. The best (and most importantly, enjoyable) way to find out how this cannabinoid affects you is to take the "low and slow" approach.

What's the low and slow approach? Well, let's say you had a THC-O gummy. First, you want to start with a low amount. That means you're not having the entire gummy or most of the gummy- just a small piece. You eat it. And you wait for a bit.

But because it's THC-O that you've consumed, you'll wait a bit longer than you would with other edibles. So instead of 45 minutes, you'd wait over an hour, or until you feel the effects of THC-O.

Do you take more? Not yet. You'll take it slow, so you'll wait a bit more. You're all set if you're feeling good with where you're at.

But if you aren't satisfied, you eat more and then repeat the process.

How Long Does It Take For THC-O To Kick In?

The onset of effects is one of the defining and interesting characteristics of THC-O. Because of that acetyl group, it takes longer for your body to process the cannabinoid.

For hemp enthusiasts who enjoy smoking, the effects of THC-O in flower form will not be as nearly instantaneous as other cannabinoids. As stated earlier, some have felt the effects as late as 30 minutes after smoking. But remember, the onset of the impact will vary.

Whether you're talking about Delta-8 or Delta-9, edibles already take a while to set in. With THC-O, be prepared to be even more patient.

Expect to wait a bit longer for the effects of THC-O.

How Much THC-O Should I Take?

There is no universal serving size for THC-O products.

Cannabinoids affect everyone a bit differently, so with that in mind, it's best to take the "low and slow" approach. If you’re satisfied after a bit of time has passed, then you’re good. If you’re not satisfied, just repeat the process until you are.

This might take a session or two, but once you find your “sweet spot,” you’re all set.

How Long Does THC-O Stay In Your System?

Everyone's body breaks down cannabinoids at a different rate. There are too many variables to answer this question in good faith. Avoid consuming THC-O or other hemp-derived cannabinoids if you have a drug test soon.

Does THC-O Show On A Drug Test

Do not consume hemp-derived cannabinoids if you need a drug test soon. That includes THC-O.

Drug tests designed to detect cannabis detect the byproducts of your body breaking down THC, also known as metabolites. 

They can't determine if you were consuming a form of THC that's federally legal and legal in your state or not.

Is THC-O Legal?

Hemp and marijuana are the same species—cannabis. Their only difference is a matter of legality. Hemp is defined as cannabis with a 0.3% or lower concentration of Delta-9 THC by dry weight. Anything above that concentration is marijuana.

When derived from hemp, THC-O is legal on a federal level and in many states. So whether THC-O is or isn't legal will depend on your state.

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