THC-O vs Delta-8: Is THC-O stronger than Delta-8?


Is THC-O stronger than Delta-8?

Hemp-derived CBD is an emerging market. The first few years introduced consumers to CBD oil tinctures, softgels, gummies, topicals, infused foods, and infused skincare products. Now, the next generation of products is here. A few of the new products are extracts and isolates, including THC-O, Delta-8, and Delta-9. And yes, what you’ve heard is true—these new products deliver an intoxicating effect.

Let’s dive in and take a look at the difference between these extracts and isolates, including why Holmes Organics only sells Delta-9.

What is THC-O?

To answer this question, we must first look at a few other cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are the active compounds in the marijuana and hemp plant. There are over 100 cannabinoids in the over 700 strains of the cannabis plant. Different plant strains contain different compositions of cannabinoids. For example, the hemp strain is naturally low in THC, which is why CBD products are legal in all 50 states since the Farm Bill of 2018.

The majority of the studies to date focus on THC and CBD. As the industry evolves, more studies are being performed to determine how cannabinoids work together to deliver wellness benefits.

THC-O, Delta-8, and Delta-9 are derived from hemp, but unlike CBD—they provide an intoxicating effect. For this reason, their use and legality vary from that of CBD, which we cover in greater detail further down in this article.

THC—this is the abbreviated term for the intoxicating compound found in marijuana known as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. All strains of the cannabis plant that have a dry weight above 0.3% THC are considered marijuana. Marijuana also contains CBD. CBD and THC are known as “major” cannabinoids, as they are found at a higher concentration than “minor” cannabinoids in the cannabis plant.

CBD—while cannabidiol (CBD) is found in marijuana, CBD most often refers to hemp-derived cannabis that has a dry weight below 0.3% THC. CBD does not get you high and is responsible for the primary medicinal benefits of marijuana. However, it works synergistically with other cannabinoids.

THCa—have you ever wondered why marijuana is always dried first? Or why CBD is extracted into an oil? This is because in their raw state, cannabis plants do not deliver wellness benefits. For THC, CBD, and other key cannabinoids to be activated, the plant must be heated. In its raw state, the THC cannabinoid is known as THCa. THCa has zero wellness benefits and will not get you high.

Delta-9 THC—while technically the same thing as THC, Delta-9 is often used to describe the new hemp-derived Delta-9. To convert a cannabis plant (either marijuana or hemp), a process of decarboxylation must be completed. This occurs by heating or drying the flowers, leaves, and stems. This process converts the THCa to Delta-9 and activates CBD and other cannabinoids. Delta-9 THC derived from CBD provides a milder high than marijuana. As a “major” cannabinoid, it is easy to extract.

Delta-8 THC—Delta-8 is a “minor” cannabinoid. It is naturally occurring in both marijuana and CBD, but due to its minor composition, it is difficult and expensive to extract. So, synthetic solvents are used to synthesize Delta-8 to create an extract alternative. Delta-8 provides a milder high, but many worry about the potential side effects of its synthetic solvents.

THC-O Acetate—THC-O is an entirely synthetic product created after Delta-8 is extracted. The Delta-8 is further processed by adding a chemical compound known as acetic anhydride. Its intoxicating effect is described as psychedelic, as it is approximately 3 times stronger than Delta-9 THC. The feeling is often referred to as spiritual, euphoric, and borderline hallucinogenic. As a highly processed product, there are also concerns about the potential side effects.

There are several other major and minor cannabinoids that are being further researched. These are the ones that help you understand what THC-O is.

Is THC-O stronger than Delta-8?

The short answer is yes, THC-O effects are stronger than all current THC extracts. It is approximately 3 times stronger than marijuana or hemp-derived Delta-9. Since Delta-8 provides a milder buzz, THC-O may be closer to 4 times stronger. However, the effects of each product vary from one person to the next. Whether marijuana-derived or hemp-derived, all THC products must be taken responsibly as each has an intoxicating effect.

THC-O’s history is quite interesting. While it’s a seemingly new product, it was developed by the US military in the 1940s. It was used in military experiments as a non-lethal way to incapacitate enemies.

The 1940s experiments inspired the current range of products, including THC-O gummies, oil, vapes, edibles, and more.

Is THC-O more potent?

Many Delta-9 products clarify how many milligrams of THC they contain per serving and how many milligrams of CBD per serving. This allows for a wider range of wellness benefits. However, Delta-8 and THC-O products are typically an isolate product that doesn’t contain CBD or other cannabinoids.

While an increasing number of studies are geared toward the individual benefits of key cannabinoids, full and broad-spectrum products provide a synergistic effect.

Here’s a look at the difference between full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolates.

Full-spectrum CBD—these are products processed using the whole hemp plant, meaning that it contains all of the up to 100 types of cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, including trace amounts of THC and terpenes. Full-spectrum products have a mild, but earthy aroma and flavor.

Broad-spectrum CBD—these are products processed using the whole hemp plant, meaning that it contains all of the up to 100 types of cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, NOT including trace amounts of THC and terpenes.

CBD isolate—these are products that are processed to eliminate all other active compounds. While it may sound better because it’s a pure form of your desired cannabinoid, but you miss out on the synergetic effects of cannabinoids working together. Isolate products have no aroma or flavor, other than the oil or product they are added to.

What is THC-O good for?

Please Note—CBD companies cannot provide medical advice and we cannot guarantee that CBD will effectively soothe your mind or body. The data we provide is for informational purposes. Consult with your physician for guidance on all dietary supplements.

THC-O’s psychedelic experience is what inspires most to give it a try. The goal is often to enjoy a spiritual and euphoric trip. While there is limited data and studies, some adults who’ve compared different cannabis products share that THC-O does a better job of soothing physical pain, stress, nausea, and depression.

What are THC-O’s side effects?

There simply aren’t enough studies available to assess THC-O’s side effects or safety. There are far more studies on pure strains of marijuana and CBD. In addition to THC-O’s psychedelic effect, there are concerns about its synthetic ingredients and chemical processing.

As with all cannabis products, it is essential to be mindful of dosage. This is especially true with edible products that taste more like candy. Be sure to keep intoxicating products out of the reach of children. Especially products they children may easily mistake for candy.


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