The previous president of the US, Donald Trump, legalized hemp cultivation under the 2018 Farm bill. Since then, we have seen a series of CBD-derived cannabinoids manufactured under various chemical processes. Although some cannabinoids occur naturally in very small amounts in cannabis plants, some don’t. Fortunately, manufacturers have discovered how to produce these cannabinoids in large quantities by producing them from federally legal hemp plants.
The THC-O is one of such cannabinoids; it produces a psychedelic effect in users and is three times stronger than the delta 9 THC. Therefore, many cannabis lovers are interested in this cannabinoid. Suppose you would love to get an insight into this cannabinoid. In that case, keep reading as we will discuss the THC-O and THC, then compare the effects of the THC-O distillate to THC in this write-up. Let’s begin!
What Is THC-O
THC-O-acetate, usually referred to as THC-O for short, is more potent than basic weed. Still, it has a similar effect in smaller doses. However, it can be pretty psychoactive and even immobilizing for some users in large amounts. So, it would be best to tread with caution as a cannabis lover who is a first-timer to the THC-O. Although THC-O is not a synthetic cannabinoid, one of the features that stands out about the THC-O is its bioavailability.
Generally, THC-O acetate is biologically inactive until the body metabolizes it. Still, it is essential to note that the body can absorb more of this cannabinoid. As a result, the THC-O acetate is way more potent than traditional weed. It could cause hallucination or immobilization if the body absorbs a larger portion. THC-O is available in different cannabis styles, such as vapes, flowers, oils, and edibles, for easy access.
Conventionally, when it comes to THC-O extraction, the process involved is usually dangerous and shouldn’t be carried out at home. Making the THC-O distillate begins by extracting the CBD from hemp. Then, the Delta-8 is extracted from the CBD, and acetic anhydride is added.
The organic solvent, acetic anhydride, is highly flammable, so extraction should only be done in the lab by professionals. However, the organic solvent removes all terpenes and flavonoids, leaving you with a flavorless, scentless thick THC-O distillate with high potency.
What Is THC
Tetrahydrocannabinol, popularly referred to as THC for short, is one of the naturally occurring compounds found in the resin secreted by marijuana plants. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, THC acts similarly to the cannabinoid made naturally by the body. Thus, this enables the compound to interact with your cannabinoid receptors. Cannabinoid receptors located throughout the body are part of the endocannabinoid system, affecting several physiological processes such as mood, appetite, etc.
However, the cannabinoid type 1, also called the CB1 receptor, is distributed in the parts of the brain associated with thinking, memory, coordination, and more. Thus, THC attaches to these receptors and activates them to affect a person’s memory, thinking, concentration, etc. Additionally, THC is the major psychoactive compound in cannabis that produces a high state or a sense of euphoria. THC is also available in oils, tinctures, flowers, edibles, etc.
When it comes to the distillation of cannabinoids, we are separating the cannabinoid extracts from flavonoids, terpenoids, and other unwanted stuff such as pesticides so that the extract can be free from the impurities. In most cases, distillate is made from a molecular process such as employing agent solvents through CO2 to ensure that our distillate is free of impurities.
Hence, while there are different methods of extracting THC Distillate, we will look at the C02 extraction method. However, you should note that the extraction process is risky and should only be done by a professional. The extraction process via CO2 deals with the manipulation of temperature and the pressure of the gas to extract THC from the cannabis plant.
The process kills any bacteria and causes a loss of any flavor or terpene content, leaving you with a clear and pure extract. Afterward, the clear extract is put through technical distillation to get that clear and viscous extract with zero percent impurities. Note that while the use of CO2 for extraction doesn’t involve any flammable gases, the process is risky as the CO2 tanks subjected to high pressure during the process are known to explode frequently.
What’s The Difference: THC-O Distillate Vs. THC Distillate
THC-O distillate is a highly purified form of THC-O and is three times more potent than THC. However, despite being three times more potent than its counterpart, the cannabinoid doesn’t cause a body high or put the mind in a daze. Hence, you could use it for outdoor functions to increase creativity and other beneficial effects.
Still, it is important to take it slow if you start with the THC-O because of its high potency. In contrast, THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in the hemp plant, has a psychotropic effect on the central nervous system, which unleashes a dopamine chemical; the dopamine gives you a high feeling. Plus, the effect is quicker when you vape the THC Distillate because it takes faster to reach your bloodstream.
Unfortunately, the THC-O study is limited, and there is still a lot to be found out about its short and long-term impacts. Yet, considering the potency of the THC-O, it’s unlikely to say that there won’t be side effects. Some prevalent side effects that have been reported include nausea, lethargy, dizziness, seizures, vomiting, etc.
However, while these side effects aren’t as serious, there could be chances of more serious effects of THC-O, such as kidney damage, seizures, lung injury, and others. On the other hand, the THC Distillate is widely accepted to deliver a pleasurable high that can elevate moods, reduce depression, and improve health. Yet, THC Distillate is also associated with increasing or worsening disorders related to anxiety or depression.
Plus, overconsumption and frequent use of THC above 20%, such as the THC distillate, can cause addiction and increases the risk of depreciation of mental health. Hence, while the THC-O and THC distillate might not seem harmful, you must take them in reasonable portions because it’s not particularly safe. Taking them is at your own risk.
The THC-O distillate and THC distillate are legal in most states of the United States and used for different medicinal benefits. However, if you use them for recreational purposes, it would be best if you didn’t overconsume them to avoid long-term risks to your health.