Is THC-O Legal in Ohio?

Is THC-O Legal in Ohio?

Yes. Although there is no THC-O-specific law in Ohio, the state's legalization of Delta-8 THC makes products derived from the compound legal. Following the passage of the federal 2018 Agricultural Improvement Act, which is considered to have legalized Delta-8 THC at the federal level, Ohio updated its law accordingly via SB 57. SB 57 defined hemp products based on the 0.3% Delta-9 THC threshold and removed THCs derived from hemp from the definition of marijuana in the state's Controlled Substances Act.

Hence, provided a Delta-8 THC-O is derived from compliant hemp, and the final product contains less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC by dry weight, Delta-8 THC-O products are legal hemp products in Ohio.

What is THC-O?

THC-O, or Tetrahydrocannabinol-O-acetate, is a synthetic cannabinoid that has recently gained popularity owing to its intense psychoactive effects. To create THC-O, CBD is initially extracted from the hemp plant. Through isomerization, CBD is transformed into Delta-8 THC. The subsequent addition of acetic anhydride results in the conversion of Delta-8 THC to THC-O-acetate.

THC-O is available in various forms including pills, flower, edibles, tinctures, and oils. Its reported uses span a spectrum of applications, with users citing benefits for sleep, mental relaxation, pain relief, and anti-inflammatory properties. THC-O is reputed to induce potent psychoactive effects and some users find it useful for enhancing activities like meditation.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that THC-O may produce stronger psychedelic effects compared to more commonly known THC isomers. A survey of 267 THC-O users noted experiences of low to moderate cognitive distortions and few visual hallucinations after using the compound. However, individual responses to cannabinoids can vary significantly.

While anecdotal reports suggest that THC-O use is safe, it is essential to highlight the lack of comprehensive scientific studies assessing its safety profile. Currently, THC-O products are not subject to robust regulation, leading to uncertainties about their composition, purity, and potential long-term effects.

Is THC-O Legal Under Federal Law?

No. The 2018 Farm Bill legalized all hemp-derived products as long as they contain no more than 0.3% Delta-9 THC, excluding them from the definition of marijuana, a controlled substance. This created an industry for several cannabinoid products as long as they do not exceed the Delta-9 THC limit.

However, to clarify the status of the synthetically derived THC-O, Rod Kight, a cannabis lawyer, wrote a letter to the Drug Enforcement Administration in 2022 requesting the legal status of THC-O under the Controlled Substances Act. In the DEA's response letter issued on February 13, 2023, the agency stated that following its review of the Controlled Substances Act, Delta-9 THC-O and Delta-8 THC-O possess similar chemical structure and pharmacological activities to those found in cannabis plants. Therefore, Delta-9 THC-O and Delta-8 THC-O meet the definition of tetrahydrocannabinol. However, since they are not naturally occurring in cannabis or hemp plants, the DEA maintained that they are controlled substances categorized under Schedule I, making them illegal.

How Long Does THC-O Last in the Body?

THC-O can remain in the body for several months after use, depending on a lot of factors. For consumers who engage in infrequent or single-instance use of THC-O, the metabolite created from the breakdown of the compound in the liver may remain in the body for up to 2 weeks. Conversely, consistent and frequent use of THC-O can considerably extend the window of detection, potentially allowing metabolites to persist in the body for up to a month or even longer.

The interplay of body fat and metabolism is another influential factor. Individuals with higher body fat percentages are more likely to retain THC-O metabolites for extended periods, while an individual's metabolism significantly contributes to how quickly THC-O is processed and eliminated from the body. In older adults who generally experience slower metabolism compared to younger adults, THC-O metabolites may remain in the body for even longer.

The manner in which THC-O is consumed can also impact its duration in the body. For instance, inhalation or vaporization, as opposed to other consumption methods, tends to expedite the elimination of THC-O from the body. A user who consumes THC-O in edible forms may experience extended THC-O stay in the body.

Furthermore, the quantity of THC-O consumed will also influence the length of period taken for THC-O to remain detectable in the body. Higher consumption levels typically result in prolonged circulation of metabolites in the body, thereby extending the potential detection period.

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

Yes. THC-O is broken down in the liver in much the same way as other THC compounds. Hence, a drug test will return positive if you have taken THC-O or any other product containing THC recently. After consumption, THC-O is metabolized into 11-hydroxy-THC, which is detectable by most drug tests. Note that drug tests do not typically detect specific THC compounds. So, if you have not used THC but have consumed THC-O in recent times, you can expect the drug test to return positive.

Note that drug tests have varying windows for detecting THC metabolites in the body. Approximate periods for drug tests are:

  • Saliva test: 24 hours
  • Blood test: 36 hours
  • Urine test: 30 days
  • Hair test: 90 days

THC-O vs Delta-8

Delta-8 THC, a minor cannabinoid, is often considered a milder alternative to the more prevalent Delta-9 THC, renowned for its psychoactive effects. THC-O, in contrast to Delta-8 THC, does not occur naturally and is synthesized in the laboratory.

Comparing THC-O with Delta-8 THC, the former is reputed to be stronger in its psychoactive impact. Users commonly report heightened potency with THC-O, suggesting it may be 6-8 times more potent than Delta-8 THC. This increased potency is evident in the more intense effects experienced by individuals using THC-O.

Benefits associated with Delta-8 THC and THC-O vary, influencing user preferences. Delta-8 THC is often lauded for inducing uplifting effects that promote calmness and relaxation, making it a preferred choice for those seeking a more restful sleep or a mood boost.

On the other hand, THC-O, with its reputed stronger effects, is often sought after for more profound and introspective experiences. Users report spiritual and deep thought stimulation, making it an appealing choice for activities such as meditation, spiritual reflection, or solitary endeavors like listening to music.

THC-O vs Delta-9

Delta-9 THC, the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis, is commonly associated with the characteristic "high" of cannabis and delivers uplifting effects, inducing calmness, relaxation, and often a sense of euphoria. It is widely used for its potential to alleviate various medical conditions, including pain, nausea, and appetite loss. Delta-9 THC is favored for its mood-boosting impact, making it a popular choice in social settings.

In contrast, THC-O is reputed to be stronger than Delta-9 THC in terms of psychoactive effects. Anecdotal evidence suggests that THC-O is 3-4 times more potent than Delta-9 THC, leading to more intense experiences for users.

The benefits associated with Delta-9 THC and THC-O differ, influencing user preferences based on desired outcomes. Delta-9 THC is known for its versatile therapeutic applications, making it valuable for medical marijuana patients seeking relief from various conditions. On the other hand, THC-O's stronger psychoactive effects may be appealing to individuals seeking more profound experiences.

As with any cannabinoids, both Delta-9 THC and THC-O have potential side effects. Users may experience anxiety, dizziness, tiredness, nausea, paranoia, and dehydration. However, it is essential to note that individual responses may vary, and factors such as dosing amounts, tolerance, and method of administration play crucial roles in shaping the user experience.

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