What Is THC-O? Dangers and Risks of Using Cannabinoids like THC-O

Even though CBD has been popular for a long time, many people are increasingly turning to cannabinoids that can cause psychoactive effects. One of the biggest examples is THC-O. Early reports indicate that this type of THC might be more powerful than other active ingredients in cannabis.

As THC-O continues to increase in popularity, it is important to take a closer look at some of the risks associated with this psychedelic cannabinoid. It has a high potential for abuse, there is not a tremendous amount of research related to it, and it has been shown to cause some serious side effects.

Therefore, it is critical for everyone to know what to do if they or someone they know is having issues with THC-O. What do you need to know?

What Is THC-O?

THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol. When people are talking about THC-O, they are usually referring to THC-O acetate. While THC can be derived from hemp like CBD, THC-O is typically synthesized externally. This form of THC can be made using acetic anhydride, which is a colorless liquid that is closely associated with plastics, fibers, pharmaceuticals, and even explosives. There are a lot of chemicals involved in the production process, which is why THC-O usually requires very specific equipment.

First, delta-8 THC is removed from hemp. Then, the extracted substance is mixed with acetic anhydride to produce THC-O. Why would people go through so much work to create this substance when THC occurs naturally? There are some early reports that THC-O could be stronger than THC, meaning that it could lead to more potent effects.

There is still a significant amount of research being done, but it appears that some users might be drawn to the powerful effects of THC-O; however, with more powerful effects come a greater frequency of side effects as well.

Is THC-O Legal?

Given the way public perceptions of marijuana and hemp are changing, there are some people who are wondering about the legality of THC-O. In 2018, Donald Trump signed the Farm Bill, which separated hemp and marijuana with low concentrations of THC from other substances. Under this bill, cannabis products that have 0.3 percent of THC or less can be possessed, transported, and sold legally; however, it is still unclear whether THC-O is legal or not.

In general, a drug is considered Schedule I if there is a high potential for abuse and if the substance does not have a clear medical purpose. Given that THC-O probably falls under this category, it may be considered a Schedule I, even though it has yet to be listed under that category. The exact answer may depend on the concentration of THC under the Farm Bill, but this is still a question that is open for debate.

Regardless of the legal status of THC-O, it is clear that it can have some significant side effects that people need to know about.

What Are the Effects of THC-O?

THC-O is considered a prodrug. That means that it will not have any noticeable effects until it has been transformed in the human body. In general, the effects of THC-O can be felt in approximately 30 minutes, but the exact impacts can vary from person to person.

Some of the most common impacts of THC-O include:

  • Some people who take THC-O report very vivid hallucinations.
  • Some individuals report an increase in anxiety, particularly in individuals who have underlying mental health issues.
  • THC-O can also cause someone to get very dizzy, possibly falling over or passing out.
  • THC-O can also cause someone to develop paranoia.
  • Some people who take this substance report feeling very relaxed and tired.
  • Nausea and vomiting are also very common with this substance.
  • Some people may even develop seizures.

One of the biggest reasons why the impacts of this substance can vary significantly from person to person is that there are no FDA (Food and Drug Administration) regulatory standards related to THC-O right now. Furthermore, many of the packages that sell THC-O claim to be natural or hemp-derived cannabinoids (like HHC), but there are synthetic processes that are required to produce THC-O.

Like delta-9 THC, THC-O products are available for vape cartridges and can be baked into edibles from a dispensary, such as gummies.

Therefore, it is difficult for someone to know exactly what they are purchasing if they decide to use THC-O, which is one of the biggest reasons why it is so dangerous. As a result, individuals who take THC-O have an increased chance of being addicted to it, particularly when compared to other hemp products in the cannabis industry.

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Riverside Recovery of Tampa understands all of the emotional challenges of addiction recovery and is here to support you or your loved one. Contact us today for more information.

What Are the Signs Someone Might Have a Substance Abuse Issue Related To THC-O?

There are several signs that someone could have a significant substance abuse issue regarding THC-O. Some of the acute signs of THC-O intoxication include:

  • Many people develop a very dry mouth.
  • Problems with balance and coordination are also very common.
  • Bloodshot eyes are often immediately apparent with THC-O.
  • Reflexes will often get very slow when someone uses THC-O.
  • Many individuals will have a difficult time carrying on a conversation at all.

There are also some significant long-term side effects that can manifest when someone uses THC-O frequently. Some of the signs of a severe substance abuse issue include:

  • Relationships: People with substance abuse issues related to THC-O will start to prioritize this drug over their relationships with their family members and friends.
  • Negative Outcomes: Individuals with an addiction issue will continue to use THC-O even after experiencing significant negative side consequences of their continued use.
  • Guilt: Many people with a substance abuse issue related to THC-O feel guilty about its use. They will often go to extreme lengths in an effort to hide how much THC-O they are using.
  • Financial and Legal Troubles: If someone continues to use THC-O even after they have developed significant financial and legal difficulties, it is a sign that they may have a significant substance abuse issue.

Even though THC-O is still relatively new, it is obvious that there are many people who have already developed significant substance abuse issues related to its use. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms related to THC-O, you should contact medical professionals who can help you or your loved ones. 

Getting Help for Substance Use Disorders

It can be challenging if someone you love has developed a substance abuse issue related to THC-O, but this is not something that you need to tackle on your own. At Riverside Recovery of Tampa, we provide our clients with access to treatment professionals who have a tremendous amount of experience dealing with a wide variety of substance abuse concerns.

We can work with you to customize your treatment plan to meet your needs, giving you the tools you need to not only get sober but also stay sober. While THC-O can have a variety of short-term and long-term side effects, we can help you get on the road to recovery.

If you would like to learn more about how we can help you, contact us today to speak to one of our treatment experts.