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THC-O vs Delta-8 THC: What’s the Difference?

cuentagotas y tubos de ensayo para el THC y la mano de la mujer con las letras Delta 8 THC

THC-O and Delta-8 are hemp-derived cannabinoids. They produce similar effects, providing a range of recreational and medical uses, but they have a few key differences that set them apart.

The main difference between THC-O and Delta-8 is their legal status. THC-O is fully legal in most states, while Delta-8 is illegal or in the process of becoming illegal in most states.

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What Is THC-O?

How It Works

THC-O stands for “tetrahydrocannabinol-O-acetate.” THC-O-acetate is a new hemp-derived synthetic cannabinoid that produces psychoactive and euphoric feelings in the user. THC-O is not found naturally within a hemp plant; thus, it is not derived from hemp like other compounds such as CBD, CBN, and CBG.

Synthesizing THC-O requires the use of acetic anhydride and specialist equipment. The synthesis of THC-O begins with the extraction of CBD from the hemp plant and converting it into Delta-8 THC. Delta-8 THC is then combined with acetic anhydride to produce THC-O. The final product is refined to remove unwanted chemicals and solvents.

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THC-O products potentially carry therapeutic effects similar to other THC products; however, it is most often used for recreational purposes. THC-O may be more potent than THC and is said to provide the consumer with mild hallucinogenic or psychedelic effects.

Some users report that the potent effects of THC-O have increased their spiritual and mental awareness and have provided them with mild visual effects similar to those found by using other psychedelic substances.

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Potential Benefits

In addition to its recreational use, THC-O is also said to be helpful for stress relief and has anti-anxiety and anti-nausea effects. It can also be used as an appetite stimulant.

Risks and Drawbacks

THC-O has a number of benefits. However, there are also several risks and drawbacks associated with its use.

THC-O is more expensive than other compounds such as Delta-8 because it is more difficult to produce. However, because THC-O is much more potent than Delta-8, you’ll likely need to use less THC-O for each use, so the price may even out.

THC-O is also not regulated and is often manufactured without having to meet standards. In fact, due to the way THC-O and Delta-8 are produced (i.e., the use of industrial chemicals and appliances), product safety is a huge concern.

For this reason, it is important to be conscientious about using THC-O, potentially even avoiding it entirely. There has been little research done on THC-O; however, consumers have reported side effects such as:

  • Hallucinations
  • Dizziness
  • Sedation
  • Seizures
  • Vomiting
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia

It can also take up to 30 minutes to feel the effects of THC-O after it is consumed, which may make using it dangerous. Those unaware of this may assume that they haven’t taken enough to feel the effects, causing them to take a second dose.

There is also the possibility that THC-O can lead to tolerance increases, where more of the compound is needed to feel the same effects. With the lack of research on THC-O, it may be best to avoid its use.

What Is Delta-8?

How It Works

Delta-8 THC (often shortened to “Delta-8”) is a psychoactive compound in marijuana and hemp. The cannabis plant naturally produces it, however, it is not found in significant amounts, and thus, it is typically made from hemp-derived cannabidiol.

Delta-8 has a similar chemical structure to Delta-9 THC, the main psychoactive component of marijuana that produces the feelings of a “high.” Delta-8 is said to cause a milder high than Delta-9 THC and has less potent side effects.


Many people use Delta-8 to relax and produce euphoric feelings, and it’s also used for pain relief and its anti-nausea effects. However, little research has been done to support these claims.

Researchers still cannot tell us if the benefits of using Delta-8 outweigh the risks.

Potential Benefits

Due to the lack of research, the potential benefits of Delta-8 are reported through social media. Some people have suggested using Delta-8 alongside prescription medications to help with substance abuse and depression. Other effects of Delta-8 that have been reported are:

  • Increased appetite
  • Preventing nausea associated with cancer treatment
  • Increased pain relief
  • Improved mental outlook

Risks and Drawbacks

The FDA has not evaluated or approved the use of Delta-8 products sold in physical stores and online. This can put the consumer at risk, as products have not proven effective or safe.

There is a lack of research surrounding the health impacts of Delta-8. Some users have reported side effects, such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Drowsiness
  • Fast heart rate (tachycardia)
  • Slow heart rate (bradycardia)
  • Low blood pressure
  • Confusion
  • Slowed reaction times
  • Dry mouth
  • Red eyes

Similarities and Differences Between THC-O and Delta-8

THC-O and Delta-8 are hemp derivatives and can give the user a “high.” THC-O is up to three times more potent than Delta-8 and provides the user with a borderline hallucinogenic experience, whereas using Delta-8 is more likely to produce soothing and sedative effects.

How to Decide Which One Is Best for You

When to Use THC-O

THC-O is mainly used for recreational purposes. Users often report almost hallucinogenic or psychedelic experiences after consuming THC-O products. It may be best to avoid using it.

When to Use Delta-8

People often use Delta-8 for therapeutic benefits. The low potency of Delta-8 produces less psychoactive effects and is sometimes used for its anti-anxiety and anti-nausea effects. The safety of Delta-8 THC is also called into question due to how it is produced. Avoid using Delta-8 THC products for this reason.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is THC-O the same as Delta-8?

While both hemp products, THC-O is different from Delta-8 because it produces different effects and is not produced naturally within the cannabis plant.

Is THC-O stronger than Delta-9?

THC-O may be up to three times more potent than Delta-9, so keep the high THC-O potency in mind when consuming any synthetic cannabinoid products containing this substance, including (but not limited to) THC-O edibles, THC-O vapes, etc.

Keep Reading

structural formula of THC-O
What Is THC-O?

THC-O is a non-natural cannabinoid produced in a lab, and the substance hasn’t been studied thoroughly for safety and may be dangerous to use.