THC-O, also called ATHC, which is short for THC-O-acetate, is a cannabinoid derived from Hemp, just like its analog Delta-8 THC. To break it down to its full form, for better clarity, THC-O is an abbreviation for tetrahydrocannabinol acetate. Roughly 3 times as potent as Delta 9 THC and 5 times stronger than Delta 8, the question that comes to the front is whether THC-O is legal or not.
How strong is THC-O exactly?
It’s powerfully psychedelic. It produces around a similar “high” as other THC forms but is only much more psychoactive. It implicitly alters mood, perception, and cognitive processes just like its counterparts. However, it is the acetate group tagged along in this form of THC that relatively enhances its potency. The (-O) functional group makes it significantly more bioavailable – meaning that it is absorbed at a much higher rate than those compounds without the functional group.
The high activity of absorbance into the blood circulation comparatively adds up to the potency of THC- O-acetate. Low doses of the cannabinoid produce the same effect as Delta 9 THC, but moderate doses are virtually more psychedelic in nature. Commonly known for its anti-nausea, anti-anxiety, and stress-reducing properties, THC-O is federally legal in the United States but may involve some extent of controversies in other parts of the world.
Let’s explore the legality of THC-O-acetate around the world and in the United States.
The lawful status of THC-O: Legal or not?
As mentioned earlier, THC-O is federally legal in the United States of America except for certain states where the government does not allow laws in favor of Hemp or CBD. To take it back to the 90s, THC-O and other derivates were primarily banned in the United States. Under the Federal Analogue Act that was passed in 1986, all analogs of existing Schedule I substances were banned by default and required manual exemption to be taken off the list.
For those who don’t know, “Schedule I substances” were a list of drugs/compounds, including Delta 9 THC and CBD, that were forbidden for consumption. Today, however, thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, ratified into law in December 2018, all Hemp derivatives containing no more than 0.3% Delta 9 THC were legalized.
Earlier, because THC-O is an analog of Delta 9 THC, which is a Schedule I drug, it was most likely that either compound was strictly prohibited. As of now, with the legalization of Delta 9 THC to be manufactured, distributed, and sold to consumers in the United States, THC-O has also earned the lawful status conditioned to the fact that all cannabis products contain less than 0.3% Delta 9 THC.
In a nutshell, Delta 8 stands as a federally legal compound, all hemp derivatives containing no more than 0.3% Delta 9 THC products are lawful, and thus THC-O, which is a 100% hemp derivative, also falls under the 2018 Farm Bill and is classified as a legal drug.
Now that we have understood that THC-O is a legally classified drug under all intent and purposes, it’s important to know which states are standing apart from the federal law and have explicitly banned all cannabinoids.
Where is THC-O illegal in the United States?
12 states have expanded legislature to ban all cannabinoids and hemp derivatives, consequently forbidding the consumption of Delta 9 THC and all of its analogs. For this reason, states that are producing and shipping THC-O to other cities and worldwide cannot ship the drug to the following states:
If you are a resident in one of the above-mentioned states, you’re missing out on a big deal of pleasurable escape. Why not reach out to the lawmakers of your state and demand change?
It should also be kept in mind that cannabinoid-related laws can change at any day and time, both at the federal and state level. While this is the most up-to-date information on the legal status of the compound, you must always double-check on the legislation to ensure you are not breaking the law when you are buying the product.
Where else is THC-O illegal in the world?
Out of hundreds of countries in the world, the best news is that THC-O is not listed as a prohibited substance in most parts of the world. The prominent exceptions are New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
In Canada, however, although no specific acts are banning chemical analogs, THC derivatives, in particular THC-O, is very rarely found in the country. Therefore, the production and consumption of the drug are nearly scarce there except for export.
In Europe, the Federal Analogue Act of 1986 is still in place, which lists Delta 9 THC along with all of its analogs under Schedule I drugs. Consequently, it’s most likely you will not be allowed to consume THC-O in the UK.
What else do you need to know?
In the United States, there are no elaborate regulations on a federal level that set the minimum age requirement to purchase or consume THC-O. Nevertheless, some state regulations may mandate consumers to be above 21 years to purchase or consume the product. Thus, it is always best to reach the benchmark before you enjoy getting high to avoid violating the law, no matter which state of the USA.
Conclusively, in case you are wondering whether it is lawful to ship THC-O from states where the compound is legally manufactured and sold, you do not need to worry. Under the clarification published in the United States Postal Service (USPS) regulations, all Hemp products such as Delta 9 THC and THC-O-acetate can be safely and legally shipped within the USA. Therefore, if you want to enjoy THC-O products of Florida while living in Hawaii, you can always purchase them online and get them shipped by mail via USPS.
As much exciting as it is to consume THC-O and enjoy its general benefits, you must always be conscious of your dosage and administer yourself carefully.