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  • Alternative Cannabinoids

February 18, 2022

Is THC-O Safe?

Estimated Read Time: 6 min

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By Valerie Orta on February 18, 2022

THC-O is quickly becoming a highly sought-after cannabinoid for its powerfully relaxing benefits. But is THC-O safe to use? Let’s look at what’s known so far.

Key takeaways:

  • There is little peer-reviewed scientific research on THC-O.
  • User reports indicate it has a similar safety profile as widely-used THC.
  • Regulation is lacking, so take extra steps to buy safe, reliable products.
  • Set yourself up for a good first experience by choosing a time and place that’s safe, starting with a small serving, and giving the compound enough time to kick in before taking more.
  • It’s best to talk with your doctor before starting THC-O or any other wellness product.

Although it’s not yet a mainstream cannabinoid, THC-O offers an enticing experience to hemp cannabinoid users across the U.S. Also known as THC-O acetate, its appeal is its potency and strong relaxing effects.

With THC-O products like gummies and vape carts now available, you should be aware of THC-O benefits and safety considerations before trying them yourself. Read on to learn more.

THC-O and Safety

No long-term studies have examined THC-O safety. Anecdotal reports from those who have used THC-O suggest that the compound has a comparable safety profile to traditional delta-9 THC. There are no reports of overdose as a result of consuming THC-O.

THC-O is an acetylated form of THC, which means it does not naturally occur in hemp. Instead, it’s made by altering delta-8 by way of naturally-occurring hemp CBD under laboratory conditions. It shares the same base structure as the cannabinoids found in nature.

Some may immediately jump to the conclusion that all synthetic compounds are unsafe. But acetylated compounds themselves aren’t inherently unsafe. Creating acetylated compounds is a widely used practice in health care, such as Aspirin being made by acetylating Salicylic Acid.

Still, we don’t know enough about THC-O, and basing knowledge on anecdotal reports of people testing its effects at different servings on their own isn’t ideal. More research into the safety of THC-O is very much needed. Despite having been around since the late 1940s, the compound has primarily gone unstudied. You always want to talk with your medical care provider before introducing THC-O or anything into your wellness routine.

Right now, seemingly the biggest risk with THC-O is the lack of regulations ensuring product quality. There continues to be no rules on how THC-O products are made and tested, so it’s up to you to identify the brands and companies that you trust to prioritize quality and safety.

How to Make Sure You Buy Only Safe THC-O

A profound lack of regulation means there are wide variations in THC-O product quality right now. The market for THC-O is only just emerging, and not all products you find are the same. Some brands may use low-quality extract material and irresponsible processes, creating a less pure product that you’ll want to avoid.

As your shopping for THC-O, look for:

  1. Full transparency of the product’s contents through an accredited third-party lab analysis. Every product you buy should have a Certificate of Analysis (COA) available for review.
  2. Whether there are positive reviews from other users who have had good experiences with the product.

Koi THC-O products feature QR codes on their packaging that direct you right to their COA so you can feel good about your purchase. You'll also find reviews from verified buyers who have actually used the products.

Tips for Safe THC-O Use

As you dive into THC-O, follow these tips to help you have the best experience:

  1. Make sure you’re in a location where you can safely experience THC-O. Even better, have someone you trust with you on your first time.
  2. Start with a smaller serving (2-10 mg) and gradually work your way up as you feel comfortable.
  3. Refrain from taking more too soon after your first serving. Give at least 20-60 minutes for the effects of THC-O to kick in before taking more.
  4. Always buy THC-O products from reputable brands that provide lab analysis so you can be sure the product is pure and safe.
  5. Talk with your doctor before adding THC-O or any other product to your wellness routine.

When you compare THC-O vs delta 9 in strength of effects, there are big differences. While people can have varying experiences, THC-O is significantly more potent than conventional THC and other hemp-derived cannabinoids. It’s known for its heavy, physically-sedating effects described as immersive and spiritual. It’s a good idea to use THC-O when you’re done with responsibilities for the day and in a location where you can safely let go.

Start with a smaller serving until you have a better understanding of how THC-O will cause you to feel. We’ve all overdone it, and consuming too much doesn’t make for a good time. A good place for beginners to start is 2-10 mg. Over time, advanced users with high tolerance could eventually use upwards of 25-50 mg.

Once you take a serving, wait roughly 60 minutes before taking more. There can be a noticeable delay before effects kick in because THC-O needs to be metabolized first. Effects from vaping THC-O can take up to 20 minutes while effects after swallowing edibles like THC-O gummies can take up to an hour. The effects of THC-O tend to last significantly longer than other cannabinoids.

FAQs About THC-O Safety

Is THC-O acetate harmful?

THC-O acetate, commonly shortened to THC-O, appears to have a similar safety profile as conventional THC based on anecdotal reports, but there is a lack of studies on its safety and long-term effects. More research is needed.

Is THC-O legal to use?

THC-O is legal to buy and use in the United States. The passage of the 2018 Farm Bill legalized all parts of the hemp plant, including isomers and derivatives.

Will THC-O cause you to fail a drug test?

While there are some reports that THC-O won’t make you fail a drug test, there’s no reason to believe it won’t be detected on a test that screens for THC.

What are the effects of THC-O?

Users report that THC-O offers a more spiritual effect than other cannabinoids. Others describe its deeply relaxing effects that suggest THC-O is helpful for better sleep. Everyone has a different biochemistry and can have varied experiences.

How long does it take for THC-O to kick in?

THC-O takes time to metabolize in the body before its effects kick in. Expect 20-30 minutes when vaping THC-O and up to an hour when consuming THC-O edibles.

Discover More About THC-O

There is much more to know about THC-O and how it may play a beneficial role in your everyday routine. Check out our guide explaining what THC-O is and its benefits or how THC-O compares to delta-8 to learn more, or explore other new hemp cannabinoids surging in popularity.

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