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What is THCO?

Note saying what is thco? surrounded by hemp and herbsAs we move closer to potentially legalizing cannabis in many states, an often overlooked point is the different types of cannabinoids available. Take the newest one to hit the market - THCO. Delta 8 and delta 9, along with delta 10, have made their bones, so to speak, in the world of cannabis enthusiasts.

But did you know THCO, short for THC-O acetate, maybe the most diverse of all cannabinoids? That's because it can be isolated from its sister cannabinoids and made available in vape cartridges, gummies, and THCO disposables.

This post will cover what THCO exactly is, its effects, and where you can buy it. Keep reading to learn more!

THCO: A Brief Rundown

Unlike delta 8 and delta 9, THCO is derived synthetically. THCO is made by first converting hemp-based CBD into delta 8, then further processing that by adding acetic anhydride.

Like all THC-based compounds, THCO is psychoactive. The most significant difference between THCO and other THC cannabinoids is that THCO is exceptionally potent. 

Although every user experiences varying psychedelic levels, most report THCO to be at least three times stronger than delta 9. Because THCO is an isolated compound, it's flavorless, odorless, and fits easily into just about any product - from vapes to oils.

When Was THCO Discovered?

We know THCO was used as early as 1947. The U.S. Military conducted experiments using it to see if enemy soldiers could be anesthetized from its effects. At Edgewood Arsenal in Maryland until 1974, humans and dogs were tested to see how THC affected muscle function.

Researchers found that delta 8, converted into THCO, had a much more significant effect on test subjects than standard THC. With the passage of the Farm Bill Act in 2018, making hemp-derived products legal, manufacturers could finally start to manufacture THCO.

Does THCO Get You High?

Yes. THCO is generally reported to be 3x stronger than delta 9. For those familiar with the 'mild' high of delta eight and nine and the intense high of some marijuana strains, THCO fits somewhere in the middle.

Yes, you'll get high - but with a caveat. THCO is reported to have a spiritual quality, unlike the munchies or giggling often associated with standard THC. You might feel more relaxed but also more introspective - in a good way.

There's still very little evidence on THCO, however. We know that it is pretty potent, and most report it's generally safe to use. After all, its base compound, THC, comes from mother nature. 

What Are the Benefits of THCO?

Different types of THCO in wax bud and dab formThere's still very little, in terms of research, published online about THCO. Most of what we know comes from early reports by THCO-users. What we do know is that THCO is very potent and may benefit users in the following ways:


  • Spiritual connection, much like peyote.
  • Relaxed feeling.
  • Euphoric high.
  • Connected to yourself.
  • It may help with insomnia.
  • The overall sense of well-being.


What Are the Side Effects of THCO?

At the end of the day, THCO is a psychedelic cannabinoid at heart. It may give you benefits outside the psychedelic experience, but you'll most likely experience all the mind-altering components first. 

And that 'high' isn't always pleasant for some. THCO side effects may include the following:


  • Prolonged high (if unwanted).
  • THCO kicks in late, so don't overtake it until you feel the effects (wait about an hour).
  • Paranoia
  • Racing Heart
  • Dry mouth
  • Red eyes



Picture saying THC with hemp plantTHCO, like THC, is metabolized similarly, but the similarities end there. THCO acts differently in the following ways:


  • THCO is chemically different than standard THC.
  • 300% more potent than some THC strains, such as delta 9.
  • THCO has a delayed onset of around one hour after consumption.
  • Too much THCO may cause unpleasant side effects such as paranoia.
  • Unlike THC, very little research has been conducted on it.



When we talk about THCO and CBD, we're essentially talking about two separate cannabinoids. But that's where the similarities end. Some of the differences between CBD and THCO include the following:


  • Unlike CBD, which occurs naturally in cannabis, THCO is synthetically-derived.
  • CBD is non-psychoactive, so it won't make you high.
  • CBD is generally well-tolerated.
  • THCO may have side effects, such as racing heart, if overused.
  • Much more research has been conducted on CBD.
  • The FDA has even approved a CBD-based drug for epilepsy.


Is It Legal To Buy THCO?

From a legal standpoint, delta 9 is the only THC compound mentioned in the Controlled Substances Act, meaning THCO is technically legal. Any hemp-derived product, as long as it contains less than 0.3% THC, is legal. 

Known by lawmakers as 'industrial hemp,' manufacturers sell products containing the entire spectrum of cannabinoids, such as our full-spectrum CBD oil and CBD soft gels. Unlike THCO, you'll find all-natural ingredients in most online and retail CBD outlets.

Where To Buy THCO?

difference between CBD and THCThis is a little tricky. There are a few online resources, but because THCO is new, you might consider other options. For example, you won't find quality testing information on the THCO product itself. 

And because there's so much processing involved with creating THCO, it's best to consider sticking with what you know, for now at least. Conversely, the CBD and delta 9 market is already well-established. For a quality, rich hemp experience, consider the following guidelines.

Eden's Herbals provides the following for your THC needs:


  1. We provide a certificate of analysis, ensuring THC strength.
  2. Use CO2 extraction, removing impurities.
  3. Source all our hemp from organic, American farms, meaning no pesticides.
  4. No prescription is required.


THCO: Key Takeaways

The military first used THCO as a potential weapon to inebriate our enemies. Not much has changed since those early days, as the process for creating THCO stays the same.

We're almost entirely in the dark with THCO, except for some of the following bits of information, including:


  • Sold, by select online outlets, as an alternative to lower-strength THC.
  • It's a synthetic form of delta 9 THC.
  • Up to 300% stronger than delta 9.
  • Side effects are not well-researched.
  • Delayed onset of one hour after ingestion.
  • Unlike CBD and delta 8, like that found in our Full-Spectrum Tinctures, THCO may not be reliable quality.


One day, after more research is conducted, we may better understand THCO and its benefits. Because of its synthetic nature, consider alternatives to THCO, such as CBD gummies or CBD creams and salves. 

 If you want to learn more about THCO, contact Eden's Herbals at today!

*These statements have not been evaluated or approved by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any illness. Medical advice should be taken from a medical professional.

All of the articles on this site are written by 3rd party content providers, expert bloggers or doctors not directly affiliated with Eden's Herbals.

Individuals should learn the risks and side effects prior to taking CBD. Make sure to always check with a medical professional before starting any new CBD treatment or medication that is not FDA-approved.