THC-O and Delta-8 THC are analog cannabinoids that initially gained popularity after Delta-9 was held back from legalization for recreational use when the 2018 Farm Bill was passed. Delta-9 got a bad rep for causing anxiety and paranoia-like feelings in some users. As a result, manufacturers immediately started to look for alternative THC analogs. These are cannabinoids that are slightly different from Delta-9 because of the molecule’s structure. However, they still have mood and mind-altering effects. This is how the market came across Delta-8 and THC-O. Both are THC analogs that give users a “high” feeling while being perfectly legal to manufacture, sell, and consume. Delta-8 and the others have been exempt from scheduling because their effects are different from the Delta-9 THC commonly found in most cannabis.
THC-O has become mainstream through widespread commercial availability; now’s time for cannabis connoisseurs to determine which one they like the best. As with most things of this nature, the answer depends on each person. So let’s compare THC-O vs. Delta-8 THC to help us understand how to choose between them.
Origin: THC-O vs. Delta-8
THC-O was first identified in the mid-1900s in a military experiment trying to use THC as a non-lethal weapon to immobilize a potential threat. Military personnel were experimenting on dogs and needed a water-soluble version of THC. So, they created THC-O-Acetate, which is a prodrug version of THC that gets metabolized inside the body and turns into bioavailable THC that the body can absorb. THC-O can be made from both Delta-9 and Delta-8 THC, and the resulting compound has effects that somewhat differ from each other. This is why it is essential to know where your THC-O comes from.
Chemistry: How THC-O Different From Delta-8 THC
THC-O is made by reacting THC (Delta-8 or Delta-9) with acetic anhydride, and then the heated concoction is purified through distillation. The resulting chemical is pure THC-O Acetate. Delta-8 THC is naturally present in Cannabis plants, but the concentration is very low – about 0.1% of total cannabinoids. That is why it is only made in labs using the artificial synthesis process. However, the starting point is pure CBD extracted from the Cannabis plant matter. The CBD extract is mixed into a solvent, heptane, and usually catalyzed with formic acid. After this process is done, it is evaporated and distilled to obtain pure Delta-8, above 95% concentration and often 99.9%. In both cases, the process must be handled by a trained and certified chemist. Also, the process must be done in a safe lab environment with all necessary professional equipment. The chemicals involved are hazardous when handled in any other way.
Effects of THC-O vs. Delta-8 on the Human Body
Coming to the central question of the effect of THC-O vs. Delta-8. For those who want something mellow and great for relaxing, Delta-8 is ideal. It is about 30% less potent than Delta-9 THC and has a soothing and relaxing feeling. Most products sold with the Delta-8 label have less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC. So users are unlikely to get the intense high and feeling of euphoria associated with cannabis. However, there are full-spectrum CBD tinctures and products which may have a significant amount of Delta-9 THC along with Delta-8 THC. This will undoubtedly cause an intense effect upon consumption. Delta-8 is only made in labs. So, the purity and lack of contamination from other chemicals used in the process depend on the manufacturing practices involved. Therefore, purchasing Delta-8 products from reputed brands or labs is essential. It can also have side effects if taken in large amounts. Consequently, it’s recommended to start low with the recommended doses.
Various studies have shown promising results for using this cannabinoid for medical intervention. THC-O came after Delta-8 THC was already established as a dominant cannabinoid on the market. Even though everyone was happy about the mellow, feel-good effect of Delta-8 THC, many users wanted something that would rival the potency of Delta-9 THC. Enter THC-O.Whether made from Delta-8 THC or Delta-9 THC, THC-O is always more potent than the parent compound. This artificial cannabinoid is about three times more psychoactive than Delta-9 THC. It causes intense experiences that can mimic other entheogenic substances. This is why it is often called the “spiritual cannabinoid.” However, it does not rival the popular hallucinogenic substances that cause intense psychedelic experiences.
The original military experiment that made the compound for the first time was trying to use it as a way to immobilize a person. So you can expect limited movement when you use THC-O. So make sure you have plenty of free time before you start. It also has an onset delay of about 30-minutes, even when smoked. This is because THC-O is a pro drug, which means the active compound (THC, in this case) needs to pass through the body and be metabolized to become bioavailable for the body to absorb and use it. So, keep this in mind and wait for the onset before taking more.Potency:
THC-O vs. Delta-8 THC
THC-O is by far the most intense cannabinoid on the market right now. It rivals the strongest of regular cannabis strains. It is probably only second to something like an asteroid or a moonrock. Delta-8, on the other hand, is mellow, mild, and relaxing. It is the opposite feeling and is quite lovely; this is why Delta-8 is popular with beginners.
Most states where CBD is legal will also allow THC-O and Delta-8 THC products and derivatives like gummies. However, the law does differ from state to state in the US and from country to country. Therefore, it is crucial to do your research before ordering products. In most cases, the sellers have already identified locations that cannot be serviced, and your order will most likely be canceled. You can also check with your local dispensary or CBD shop to see if they are available. If they have medical cannabis available, they might also have THC-O and Delta-9 THC.
What and Where to Buy: THC-O vs. Delta-8 THC
- Vape cartridges and disposable vapes: THC-O and Delta-8 are both available as vape cartridges and disposable vapes from various sellers online and in real-world stores. Dosage may vary between brands and variations within the brands. Ensure that you read the product description carefully.
- THC-O and Delta-8 Flower Buds: These are regular CBD flowers that have been sprayed with THC-O or Delta-8 THC extract. Since these cannabinoids do not occur naturally in cannabis, all such flowers are prepared by adding them after harvest. Pre-rolled joints and cigarettes are made using these flowers.
- Asteroids and Moon Rocks: These are more common for Delta-8 than THC-O but are available for both in various combinations. CBD flowers are rolled in CBD hash and then sprayed with the desired cannabinoid, much like the flowers described earlier. These are incredibly potent and should be portioned accordingly when smoking or vaping.
- Dabs and concentrates: These are highly concentrated, usually pure extracts meant for use on a dab nail. These are incredibly potent and definitely not meant for beginners.
- Tinctures: One of the easiest methods for beginners. These are usually based on an edible oil like MCT oil and come in various concentrations and flavors to choose from. The 500mg/30ml is a moderate dose, and the 1500mg/30ml is high.
- Edibles: Cannabinoids have been added to everything edible – from chocolate to popcorn to coffee. The most popular form, however, is the THC gummy. Available in many potencies, shapes, and flavors, these are easily the most benign-looking method for taking THC-O or Delta-8 THC.
All of these products are readily available on major online retailers. Additionally, they are also sold in physical retail stores. If you’re curious, you can try Googling your location with the cannabinoid of choice and see what comes up. If going out is not an option for you, an online order may be the best choice. One of the best things about ordering online (apart from the convenience of delivery) is the wide variety of strains and products that are there to choose from. You can go through the various comments and reviews previous users have left and quickly decide which product might be best for you.
Most sellers will provide a way for you to get in touch and ask questions, whether over chat, email, or phone. Following their social media pages is another helpful way to get information about new products and sometimes even get special discounts and freebies. Some sellers offer samples of their products, often for free. This is a great way to try out a product before buying it. It is also suitable for comparing THC-O vs. delta-8 THC and getting a first-hand experience.
Even though Delta-8 THC can occur naturally, it has to be artificially converted from CBD to obtain a large amount of it. THC-O is a synthetic cannabinoid, one of the few ones we know of. It was first synthesized in a lab for a military experiment. To put it simply, Delta-8 THC is great for beginners and those looking for a mild, chilled-out session. Great for ending your day or around bedtime. THC-O produces a more intense Cannabis high and is not recommended for beginners. It is much more psychedelic and can slow down physical movement. Whichever you choose, start low and go slow. Stay within the recommended dosage for the first time. Try to start with a milder version before trying more potent products. Be safe and have fun.