Is THC-O Legal in Oklahoma?


Is THC-O Legal in Oklahoma?

Yes. Although the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority issued a legal advisory warning that THC-O is not medical marijuana, the state has no specific law banning residents from consuming the cannabinoid. The advisory published on the OMMA website on October 18, 2021, contained no specific statement prohibiting the sale or use of THC-O in Oklahoma.

What is THC-O?

THC-O is a synthetic derivative of THC. Unlike THC, it does not occur naturally in cannabis and requires a chemical process to be created. Also called THC-O acetate, THC-O is created by first isolating CBD from hemp plants and then obtaining Delta-8 THC from the CBD isolate. Subsequently, acetic anhydride is added to the extracted Delta-8 THC, leading to a final product that is multiple times stronger.

There are not yet enough studies to outrightly claim that THC-O is safe to use. With THC-O products not strictly regulated, users are advised to tread carefully when consuming products containing the compound. Also, a study published in the Journal of Medical Toxicology (an official journal of the American College of Medical Toxicology) indicates that vaping or inhaling THC-O products may lead to the accumulation of toxicant in the lungs.

THC-O users have reported benefits similar to other THC forms, such as sleep improvement, pain relief, and appetite stimulation. Nonetheless, side effects such as nausea, sedation, dizziness, vomiting, seizures, and lethargy were also reported. THC-O products are usually sold in hemp and CBD stores in the form of oils, wax dabs, flowers, and edibles.

Is THC-O Legal Under Federal Law?

No. The consensus before 2023 was that THC-O was legal due to the provisions of the 2018 Farm Bill. The bill allowed for the cultivation, possession, manufacturing, sale, and use of hemp-derived products, provided they contain no more than 0.3% Delta-9 THC. Many have argued that with Delta-8 THC falling within the definition of hemp pursuant to the 2018 Farm Bill, THC-O, obtained from a starter cannabinoid, consequently meets the definition of hemp.

However, the DEA in February 2023 ruled that THC-O is an illegal controlled substance. According to the DEA, while Delta-8 THC occurs naturally in cannabis plants, it meets the definition of hemp. However, THC-O does not occur naturally in cannabis and has to be synthesized, and can therefore not be considered hemp.

Following the clarification from the DEA on the status of THC-O, hemp processors, retailers, and cannabinoid sellers must be aware that criminal charges may result from the possession, distribution, or sale of THC-O under federal laws.

How Long Does THC-O Last in the Body?

How long THC-O-acetate (THC-O) lasts in the body varies and is influenced by several factors, including metabolic rate, method of administration, and dosage. Body fat and metabolism are interconnected factors impacting how long THC-O remains in the body. Individuals with higher body fat percentages are likely to retain THC-O metabolites longer. An individual’s metabolic rate contributes to how quickly THC-O is eliminated from the body. Older adults usually have slower metabolism, therefore, THC-O is likely to stay longer in their systems.

The frequency of THC-O use also plays a crucial role. For infrequent or one-time users, the metabolite may be detectable for a short duration, typically up to 15 days. By contrast, consistent and frequent use can extend the detection window, with metabolites potentially detectable for up to 30 days or even longer.

The method of consumption influences how long the body takes to eliminate THC-O from the body. For instance, edible THC-O products may take longer to exit the body than Inhaled THC-O products. The quantity of THC-O consumed further influences the length of time THC-O remains in the body. Therefore, consuming higher quantities of THC-O may result in the creation of large amounts of THC metabolites in the body, potentially extending the detection period.

Can You Fail a Drug Test From Using THC-O?

Yes. Even if you have only used THC-O and not Delta-9 THC, you may still fail a drug test. This is because both compounds are metabolized similarly in the body. When THC-O is consumed, the primary compound produced from its metabolism is 11-hydroxy-THC. This metabolite is identical to the one produced when Delta-9 THC is metabolized.

Most conventional drug tests are designed to detect the presence of THC or its metabolites, including 11-hydroxy-THC. Therefore, when you consume THC-O, a drug test will likely identify the presence of THC metabolites, prompting a positive result.

Drug tests have varying windows of detecting THC metabolites. Some drug tests may return negative even when THC-O remains in certain parts of the body. Typical window periods for detecting THC metabolites in the body are:

  • Saliva test: Saliva tests can reveal the presence of THC metabolites in the body for up to 24 hours after the last use
  • Blood test: Blood tests are capable of detecting the presence of THC-O metabolites in the body for up to 36 hours after use
  • Urine test: Urine tests have longer detection windows than saliva and blood tests and can reveal the presence of THC metabolites in the body for up to 30 days after the last use
  • Hair test: Tests for THC metabolites using hair samples can detect THC use for up to 90 days after the last consumption

THC-O vs Delta-8

Delta-8 THC, a naturally occurring cannabinoid found in cannabis, is an isomer of Delta-9 THC, differing slightly in structure. It is derived directly from the cannabis plant through extraction methods. In contrast, THC-O, or THC-O-acetate, is a synthetic cannabinoid synthesized in laboratories through chemical processes. It is a product of converting other cannabinoids, such as Delta-8 THC or Delta-9 THC.

The effects of Delta-8 THC are known for providing relaxation and a clear-headed high with milder psychoactive effects. In contrast, THC-O is recognized for its intense and potentially spiritual or introspective effects, leading to profound cognitive and perceptual alterations. THC-O is often reported to be about 6-8 times more potent than Delta-8, leading to stronger psychedelic experiences.

Delta-8 THC typically has a moderate onset time, with effects being felt within 15–30 minutes. THC-O may have a longer onset time, especially with edibles, as it needs to be metabolized in the liver. Delta-8 THC is increasingly available in various cannabis products, including edibles, vapes, and tinctures. On the other hand, THC-O is less prevalent in the market, and its availability may be limited compared to other cannabinoids.

THC-O vs Delta-9

Delta-9 THC, the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis, naturally occurs in cannabis and hemp plants. It is derived from the decarboxylation of its precursor, tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), during processes like drying or heating. In contrast, THC-O is a synthetic cannabinoid produced in laboratories through chemical processes. It is often derived from other cannabinoids like Delta-8 THC or Delta-9 THC.

In terms of potency, Delta-9 THC is considered a moderately potent cannabinoid, responsible for the euphoric and psychoactive effects commonly associated with marijuana use. THC-O, on the other hand, is reported to be at least three times more potent than Delta-9 THC, potentially leading to stronger psychedelic experiences.

The effects of Delta-9 THC typically include euphoria, relaxation, increased appetite, and altered perception of time. In contrast, THC-O is known for its more intense and potentially spiritual or introspective effects, often inducing profound cognitive and perceptual alterations.

Delta-9 THC has a relatively rapid onset time, typically within minutes when inhaled and a bit longer when consumed orally. THC-O, especially when used in edibles, usually has a longer onset.

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