THC-0, ever heard of it?
THC-0 acetate, pronounced ” THC-oh” is a synthetic compound derived from hemp and quickly gaining popularity. The attraction to THC-0 is due to the potency and legal status. Research has found that THC-0 is roughly three times stronger than conventional THC. It is being called “the psychedelic cannabinoid” because of its hallucinatory effects. Being that it is derived from hemp that is federally legal, THC-0 products are becoming popular for users who do not live in legal states or have access to delta-9 thc products. It is important to note that depending on who you ask and how they look at it, will determine the legal status.
Currently, the production process of THC-0 acetate is causing concern within the state-licensed cannabis industry. To produce the molecule, a highly-flammable compound called acetic anhydride is added to THC molecules. This process involves a series of extractions that begin with hemp. First, CBD is extracted from raw hemp. Second, delta-8 THC is extracted from the CBD. Finally, acetic anhydride is added to the delta-8 THC molecules to create THC-O acetate. Researchers have concluded that THC-O acetate is a “prodrug,” meaning that the compound is not activated until it has been metabolized. It takes about 20 to 30 minutes to kick in. Due to the high levels of potency, go slow. I repeat, go slow. Being that this compound is three times as potent as delta-9 THC, there lies a risk of users consuming too much THC-O and suffering with unpleasant effects (Leafly).
Although it may be gaining lots of popularity in the recent days, THC-0 is no new product. The US Military actually started studying the effects back in 1949. They observed “how it eroded dogs’ muscle coordination twice as much as conventional delta-9 THC” (Leafly). THC-0 was not on the DEA’s radar until almost 30 years later. Back in 1978, DEA agents discovered a clandestine lab in Jacksonville, Florida that had combined a cannabis extract with acetic anhydride. Within the following 10 years, THC-0 did not enter the illegal cannabis market. The FDA declinded further investigation.
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