Over the past few years, there has been a surge of interest in THC alternatives that are derived from hemp. The two most popular ones are Delta-8 THC and the lesser-known THC-O. While Delta-8 exploded in popularity in 2020/2021, THC-O is now gaining traction as the next potential big thing in the hemp cannabinoid space.
THC-O acetate is a relative newcomer that is structurally similar to the well-known Delta-9 THC that dominates marijuana strains. Like other hemp derivatives, THC-O exists in a legal gray area but is widely available for purchase online and in CBD stores. Most consumers are taking THC-O in vape cartridge form for ease of use and fast onset of effects. Let’s take a deeper look into the growing trend of THC-O cartridges and what exactly THC-O is.
Using THC-O cartridges
Vaping remains one of the most popular methods for consuming hemp-derived cannabinoids like Delta-8 THC and THC-O. Cartridges contain THC-O oil formulated specifically for vaping, allowing the effects to hit quickly within seconds/minutes of inhalation.
THC-O carts provide several advantages over other consumption methods:
- Rapid onset and short duration – Effects kick in within 1-5 minutes and last 1-3 hours, giving users more control.
- Ease of use – Carts are pre-loaded so no measuring is required. Quick and discreet.
- No odor – Allows consumption discreetly with little scent or smoke.
- Higher bioavailability – More THC-O enters the bloodstream compared to edibles or oral tinctures. Means effects felt from smaller doses.
- Precise dosing – Carts allow users to microdose in small inhales for more control over effects.
THC-O cartridges are designed to be used with a compatible vape pen or 510-threaded battery. Know more about the top THC-O carts at https://hempercamp.com/products/thc-o-carts/.
Most batteries have variable temperature control and an auto shut-off feature for safety. This gives users control over the heat applied to get the ideal vapor production.
There are a few key types of THC-O vape cart hardware:
- Disposables – Come with battery included, simply inhale to activate. Toss when empty.
- Screw on carts – Metal or glass cartridge with THC-O oil. Screw onto reusable battery.
- Pod systems – Special pod-shaped carts for compact, discreet devices. Popular for stealth vaping.
When first using THC-O carts, it’s advisable to start with small puffs and wait 10+ minutes to gauge the effects before increasing the dosage. This helps avoid overconsumption as carts make it easy to overdo it.
For the best experience, keep voltage fairly low to prevent burning the oil and stick to slow, steady draws of 2-4 seconds. Holding vapor in the lungs for 2-3 seconds optimizes absorption before exhaling.
Where to Buy THC-O carts?
THC-O vape carts can be purchased from a variety of online retailers as well as in local vape shops or CBD stores where hemp products are sold. Availability may vary by state.
When choosing a place to buy THC-O cartridges, here are some things to look for:
- Independent lab testing – Reputable brands will have up-to-date COAs for purity and solvents.
- Reviews – Read feedback on the company’s cartridge quality and overall buying experience.
- Pricing – THC-O carts range from $20-$60 depending on potency, hardware, and brand. Avoid “too good to be true” cheap carts.
- Transparency – The brand should disclose ingredients, and extraction methods, and provide product details upfront.
- Return policy – In case you receive a defective or unsatisfactory product.
Consumers should beware of potential fake or counterfeit vape cartridges being sold with no oversight. Only purchase from reputable, trusted vendors. Also check local state laws, as THC-O is prohibited in a handful of states even though it is federally unscheduled.
Responsible THC-O vape usage means keeping carts locked away from children and pets, not driving or operating heavy machinery while under the influence, and avoiding use if pregnant or breastfeeding.
Effects and Benefits of THC-O
Users state that THC-O provides many of the same effects traditionally associated with marijuana. This includes a typical suite of cannabis effects:
- Euphoria, mood-lift, and relaxation
- Symptom relief and anti-inflammatory properties
- Stimulation of appetite
- Anti-nausea effects
- Creativity enhancement
- Sedation at higher doses
Most users report the psychoactive effects kick in around 15-45 minutes after ingesting THC-O and last for 2-4 hours. THC-O is often described as providing a “cleaner” high than traditional THC without as much anxiety, sedation, or clouded mental state at typical doses. The overall potency is said to be on par with Delta-9 THC.
There is still minimal scientific research on THC-O itself. However, studies on THC, in general, have identified some potential medical and therapeutic benefits that may apply to THC-O as well:
- Pain relief – THC acts on cannabinoid receptors involved in pain modulation. Both human and animal studies show significant painkilling effects from THC and cannabinoids for both acute and chronic pain. This suggests that THC-O could be used for pain management as an alternative to prescription opioids.
- Appetite stimulation – THC activates CB1 receptors involved in hunger signaling. This leads to increased appetite and potential application for conditions involving weight loss.
While these potential medical uses are promising, much more research on THC-O specifically is still needed. For now, it remains popular in the recreational space, especially using vape cartridges which offer convenience and user-friendliness.
What is THC-O?
THC-O, also known as THC-O-acetate, is a psychoactive cannabinoid that is chemically derived from federally legal hemp plants. The full scientific name is Tetrahydrocannabiphorol-O-acetate. It has a similar molecular structure to Delta-9 THC, the primary intoxicating compound found in marijuana, but with some key differences.
THC-O is created by acetylating Delta-8 THC – adding an acetic acid group to the compound. This acetylation process is said to make THC-O more stable than other THC variants. Some early research indicates THC-O maybe even more potent than traditional THC, with anecdotes of very low doses providing strong effects.
THC-O acetate is primed to be the next big thing in the evolving landscape of hemp-derived cannabinoids for recreational use. And according to early feedback on major cannabis review platforms like Hempercamp, indicates effects similar to traditional THC, perhaps even more potent by weight. While the legal status remains uncertain, THC-O cartridges are widely available and provide a convenient way to experience its effects.