While there is plenty of anecdotal evidence and anecdotal reports claiming that high-potency THC is more effective, when it comes to the science there is not much to support the claim. The most direct evidence is that the higher the potency of the THC, the stronger the subjective effect.
For the past two years, I have been working on a Cannabinoid Potency Protocol, or CPP for short. This protocol is designed for anyone who wants to work more efficiently with their cannabis herb and extract. This protocol focuses on the extraction process, as opposed to the effects of a particular strain. It’s not about using a particular kind of herb or extracting via a particular method. The extraction process is what will get you the most bang for your buck.
The question of how a cannabinoid is produced is not often addressed. That’s because it’s usually pretty easy:. The cannabis plant makes them. However, there are several compounds that are byproducts of phytocannabinoids and some other types of chemical catalysts….. i.e. they do not occur 100% in nature. THC-O-acetate falls into this category. So what is the potency of THC-O and how is this new cannabinoid produced?
Psychedelic THC-O acetate looks interesting and shows how many different products can be derived from cannabis. Compounds like THCV, delta-8 THC and delta-10 are the new face of the cannabis industry. We support the expansion of cannabis use and offer great deals on delta-8 THC and many other compounds. Check out our offerings and get involved in the best practices in marijuana.
What is THC-O?
In short, THC-O is analogous to THC, i.e. it has a similar chemical structure, but, as happens in chemistry, small differences often result in significant changes. THC-O stands for THC-O-acetate, or THC-acetate/ATHC. It is usually spelled and referred to as THC-O. It is important not to confuse ATHC with THCA, the parent molecule of THC found in raw plants that have not yet been decarboxylated.
In tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), the letter A stands for acid, not acetate, as in ATHC. THCA can be converted to THC-O, but THCA is a natural phytocannabinoid and THC-O is not. THC-O is a synthetic cannabinoid that can only be produced under laboratory conditions, preferably by an experienced chemist. With the development of DIY technology, you might be tempted to try making THC-O yourself, but the process can be complicated and quite dangerous, so it’s best to leave it to the professionals.
As a man-made cannabinoid, what you see is what you get – that is, you get only THC-O and none of the beneficial terpenes and flavonoids found in natural oils. This is an obvious issue for whole plant and environmental effect advocates, but when it comes to pharmaceuticals, isolated cannabinoids are always preferable.
The purity of these compounds means that one milligram of isolate corresponds exactly to one milligram of cannabinoid, while one milligram of full-spectrum plant extract may contain 0.5 milligrams of THC, 0.3 milligrams of CBD and 0.2 combinations of other terpenes and compounds. This makes the isolate very easy to use for targeted dosing and production.
According to Serge Chistov, inventor of the nanobidiol technology, his team has found a safe and effective method to acetylate THC, using only approved solvents. Chistov says his team has developed an analytical standard for testing for TGC-O and is finalizing the product’s retail launch. If all goes according to plan, we can therefore expect therapeutic products based on THC-O to appear quite soon.
THC-O potency: Delta 9 THC vs.THC-O
We already know that THC and THC-O are chemically similar, but this small difference in molecular structure makes a big difference in potency. While this may seem exaggerated, it is quite common in chemistry – think of CO and CO2, the former a man-made and potentially dangerous substance, the latter a natural gas essential for plant and human life. Another well-known example is H2O versus H2O2, water versus hydrogen peroxide. Small molecular changes can make a big difference.
More specifically, the potency of THC-O is such that it is considered to be three to four times more potent than THC Delta 9. Sometimes, despite its amazing properties, THC doesn’t seem strong enough to do the job, especially when used to treat pain, digestive disorders, and other chronic illnesses. Not only is THC-O much more potent, but our bodies recognize it as a completely different compound. This means that THC-O can be used in place of Delta 9 THC if you have developed a tolerance.
The prodrug [THC-O] enters the body like a Trojan horse. The body sees the horse, the body tries to destroy the horse by keeping the horse’s innards ready to be processed by the body. This means that the THC in the prodrug is not metabolized to 11-hydroxy-THC to the same extent and at the same rate as the original THC molecule. It is this change in the body’s metabolic perception that is partially responsible for the effect most people describe as different, Chistov explains.
Even for recreational purposes, it has its place in the industry and, frankly, looks very nice. There’s a huge market of people looking for more potent cannabis products, and that’s how concentrates were born. It’s certainly not for everyone, but for people who like to experiment with weed and psychedelics (myself included), it sounds like something worth trying at least once.
Those who have tried it say THC-O produces a much more spiritual, psychedelic and introspective high than they are used to from Delta 8, 9 or 10. Even regular cannabis users noticed a difference. As a daily user, this is a selling point for me, and I know many other people who feel the same way (hey subscribers, the products are coming soon in our newsletter!).
How THC-O is produced
To recap, let’s talk a bit more about the relationship between THCA and THC-O. I already talked about the difference between the two types (acid and acetate), now it’s time to talk about how THCA can be converted to THC-O. Again, this is a complex chemical process that should only be handled by experienced chemists. This is NOT something that can be done safely at home.
In raw cannabis plants, cannabinoids are present as carboxylic acids. Carboxylic acids are a class of organic compounds in which the carbon atom is linked by a single bond to the hydroxyl group and by a double bond to the oxygen atom. When exposed to heat, these compounds lose their carboxylic acid groups and turn into the cannabinoids most users are familiar with.
The carboxylic acids and hydroxyl groups are polar and hydrophilic, which means that small amounts of THCA (or any other cannabinoid acid) are water soluble. Two chemicals, sulfuric acid and acetic anhydride, are used to initiate the conversion. In summary, the process looks like this: THC + heat > D9 + sulfuric acid + acetic anhydride = THC-O-acetate. When THCA becomes THC-O, the polar C-OH becomes C-O-CH2C=O-CH3. The carboxylic acid group is hydrolyzed by heating with sulfuric acid, which then reacts with the excess anhydride to form acetic acid. This acid reacts with ordinary THC at the hydroxyl group and turns it into the potent THC-O-acetate.
Again: Sulfuric acid and acetic anhydride are highly corrosive and dangerous chemicals that should be kept out of the reach of amateurs and ordinary consumers. Trying to do this process at home is incredibly risky.
THC-O-Potency – Final considerations
THC-O is such an interesting compound. Not only is it four times stronger than Delta 9, the most potent THC we know, but it is also so pure and has unlimited therapeutic potential. You may want to try it, but since it’s too risky to do it at home, it’s better to familiarize yourself with some of the existing products that have just hit the shelves.
Frequently Asked Questions
How is THC o acetate made?
THC o acetate is made by reacting THC with acetic acid.
Is THC o acetate?
THC is the abbreviation for tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis. THC is also known as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. Acetate refers to a chemical compound that has an -ate suffix and it means that it contains oxygen atoms in its molecule.
Is THC an ester?
No, THC is not an ester.
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