The DEA ruled “delta-9-THCO and delta-8-THCO do not occur naturally in the cannabis plant and can only be obtained synthetically, and therefore do not fall under the definition of hemp.” Feb 13th DEA Letter
What is THC-O?
THC-O is a cannabinoid that is derived from the hemp plant. This Cannabinoid then goes through a synthetic process to change its molecular structure, and in turn, changes the effects that it has on the body. The DEA declares cannabinoids that are naturally extracted from the Hemp plant are legal. Therefore, THC-O is an illegal substance due to the chemical process delta-9-THC has to go through to become THC-O. Consumers are heavily suggesting that THC-O is stronger than other cannabinoids such as Delta-9 THC, Delta-8 THC, and HHC. THC-O is said to be 2-3 times stronger in some cases. Like other cannabinoids, THC-O can be produced in edibles, oils, vapes, and even cannabis flower. Because of THC-O’s strength and comparison to THC, it can be said that THC-O is THC’s psychedelic variant.
Why is THC-O different from other cannabinoids?
Natural cannabinoids (CBD, THC, Delta-9-THC, Delta-8-THC) can be extracted from the natural cannabis plant itself. Extraction can be done via heated pressing or HPLC isolation. Synthetic cannabinoids (Delta 9-THCO, Delta 8-THCO) go through a chemical reaction process to alter the cannabinoid. Because of this chemical process, THC-O can be considered a danger to the consumer.
This determination does not impact the legal status of delta-8 THC, which is naturally found in the hemp plant and is legal. You can find that DEA letter confirming Delta-8 THC's legality here.
2018 Farm Bill
In 2018, President Trump signed the Farm Bill into law. This made hemp products federally legal as long as products have .3% or less delta-9 THC content, making all the other naturally occurring cannabinoids in the hemp plant legal. There is no potency cap on cannabinoids other than delta-9-THC. Because of this there are loopholes to get around regulations to get the consumer products they desire. Delta-9-THCO is a cannabinoid that finds itself navigating around these loopholes and then allows customers to consume and get a stronger high than delta-9-THC.
The DEA proclaims that cannabinoids that are not naturally derived from the cannabis plant are unsafe and cannot be sold for consumption. Carolina Dream agrees with the DEA decision, being that THC-O has health concerns when consumed because of its irregularities. While Carolina Dream agrees with DEA on their decision, we also want to highlight that we do not and have not used cannabinoids that are not extracted naturally from the hemp cannabis plant. If you are curious what cannabis products are still federally legal click here.
We recommend NOT using any form of THC-O including vape carts or smoked flower. When heat is applied in creating vapor or smoke it could cause a dangerous lung toxicant. Further, the DEA now considers THC-O federally illegal, Schedule 1 drug, it is illegal to buy or sell in any form.