THC-O Overview: What is THC Acetate Ester?

Updated: Jun 1




THC-O acetate, known simply as THC-O, is a hemp-derived cannabinoid considered more potent than conventional THC. THC-O has been around for decades and has recently become popular and more widely available.


THC-O is the acetylated version of THC. It shares a similar chemical profile to delta-8, delta-9, and delta-10 THC. The acetyl group in THC-O molecules allows the compound to be more easily absorbed so that more of it reaches your systems for greater cerebral and body effects.


THC-O comes from natural CBD extracted from the hemp plant. Using a multistep process involving acids and filtration in a controlled laboratory, naturally-occurring CBD is converted into THC-O.



THC-O Effects & Benefits: How Does THC-O Make You Feel?



Nicknamed “the spiritual cannabinoid, THC-O is described as having uniquely powerful relaxation effects that stimulate deep thought and introspection. It’s considered best for the evening and nighttime use when you’re done with responsibilities for the day and in a place where you can safely settle in for an immersive experience.


THC-O can be a great option for stimulating deep thought and introspection and enhancing activities like meditation, listening to music, and spiritual reflection. Some find THC-O helpful for better sleep.


While effects and tolerance vary from person to person, THC-O reportedly delivers more intense effects than delta-8, delta-9, and delta-10 THC. These anecdotal reports suggest that THC-O may benefit those who rely on high servings of delta-9 THC, and could use a more potent option. High servings of THC-O can be physically sedating.


Once consumed, THC-O needs to be metabolized to activate so there's a noticeable delay in the onset of effects. When vaping THC-O, it can take up to 20 minutes for effects to kick in. With THC-O edibles, like THC-O gummies, effects can take up to an hour or longer before they are felt. Once effects do begin to appear, they come on pretty fast.



THC-O Servings: How Much THC-O Should I Use?


So how much THC-O should you take? Because of differences in genetics and tolerance, there’s no ideal milligram amount of THC-O that works for everyone.


As a general guide, THC-O beginners and those of low tolerance generally prefer 2mg-10mg THC-O, while advanced users with a high tolerance may use 25mg-50mg THC-O during a session.


Remember that THC-O has the potential to be more potent than standard delta-9 THC. So, if you're trying THC-O for the first time, start with a small serving (between 2mg and 5mg) to get a feel for it and see how the cannabinoid affects you. This will help you establish a reference point for you to gradually increase your milligram intake as desired until you dial in on the perfect amount of THC-O for you.


Also, with THC-O edibles, keep in mind that it will take more than 60 minutes for effects to kick in. Be careful to not take more right away, assuming that it's not working.



THC-O vs CBD: What’s the Difference?


The main difference between CBD and THC-O is the presence of noticeable effects. Both have benefits because of their interaction with the body's endocannabinoid system, but they differ in how they interact and therefore the effects they elicit.


CBD's influence on the system supports overall homeostasis in the body. It's used to promote everyday general wellness and doesn't carry any euphoric effects that THC-O does.


While THC-O can also be used for wellness and health purposes, it has sometimes extremely strong effects that you will feel.



THC-O vs Delta-8: How Do They Differ?


THC-O is chemically similar to delta-8 THC but has a unique acetate group attached. The two hemp compounds directly interact with both of the endocannabinoid system’s receptors, CB1 and CB2.


As an acetylated version of THC, THC-O can more easily cross lipid-sensitive layers and reach cannabinoid receptors more efficiently. So while THC-O and delta-8 produce similar relaxing effects, THC-O is substantially stronger.



Is THC-O Safe?


THC-O appears to share a similar safety profile to other types of THC, including delta-8, delta-9, and delta-10. There have never been any reported cases of severe adverse effects from THC-O.


To help ensure the THC-O products you use are safe, make sure you buy only from a reliable manufacturer who uses independent, third-party lab testing to ensure quality, consistency, and purity.


Of course, you should check with your doctor about THC-O use and its possible interaction with any prescriptions or other medications you use.



Where is THC-O Legal?


Currently THC-O is not 'scheduled' in South Africa. This means that there is no legal control over the substance. We have liaised closely with SAHPRA on this matter, and they have agreed that as long as the products do not contain any D9-THC or levels of CBD that do not adhere to the scheduling on CBD, then THC-O is legal.


Any THC-O products sold in South Africa have been tested by the independent UIS Organic Laboratory, and have been certified to contain no THC or CBD



THC-O and Drug Tests


So will THC-O show up on a drug test? While more research is needed to be sure, using THC-O will likely result in a positive drug test.


Most drug tests screen for the metabolite 11-hydroxy-THC, created in the body after ingestion of THC. You can expect that this same metabolic byproduct will exist from using THC-O and that a drug test will pick it up.


In short, it’s better to be safe than sorry and avoid THC-O use if you’re subject to drug testing.



Shopping for THC-O Near Me


You can buy your THC-O products from one of our stockists or from Koi and have them delivered right to your doorstep. Koi THC-O products are also available at many retailers throughout the South Africa. Take a look at our Koi Stockists page to find a shop near you.


As demand for THC-O grows and more products hit the market, it’s even more important that you do a little research to ensure you get only safe, high-quality products.


When buying THC-O, be sure to follow the following three quality and safety guidelines:

  1. Always order your THC-O products from reputable companies with positive reviews from others users.

  2. Make sure the THC-O products have been tested for quality and safety by an independent, third-party lab.

  3. View or request the product's lab analysis (also known as a COA or Certificate of Analysis) to make sure the product you're using is pure and free of toxins.

At Koi, we hold ourselves accountable by placing QR codes on our THC-O and other cannabinoid products that will take you right to that product's COA. We operate with full transparency and make sure this information is readily accessible to you so that you can feel good about your purchase.


More on HHC and Other Hemp Cannabinoids


There are many more beneficial cannabinoids in the hemp plant. Learn even more about new alternative cannabinoids like HHC, THCV, as well as well-known CBD, through the Koi CBD blog.


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