Does THC-O Cause Headaches?

by Kat Austin June 30, 2022 5 min read

Does THC-O Cause Headaches? - Vida Optima™

Have you ever heard of a “rebound headache” from THC? It’s a common claim that you’ll find when inquiring about THC’s side effects. In a modern era of hemp-derived THC products, many people want to know if ultra-potent THC-O products can have the same effect. And if so, can they be avoided?

There’s plenty to learn about THC-O and it’s potential side effects, but we want to narrow our focus down on this common concern. So, let’s find out–does THC-O cause headaches?

Table of Contents
THC-O Effects
Are Headaches a Side Effect of THC-O?
Other Reasons That THC-O Could Cause a Headache
Avoiding THC-O Side Effects
Beware of Severe Headaches
Conclusion: Can THC-O Cause Headaches?

Key Takeaways

  • Headaches are a rare side effect that some people experience when using THC products.
  • Overconsumption is the most common cause of THC-induced headaches, but they can also be a result of dehydration, poor eating habits, or increased sensitivity to light and sound.
  • A severe headache should be taken seriously, and you should consult your doctor if you experience a migraine or other debilitating headache after using THC-O.
  • Poor quality formulas can also cause a headache, so you should be careful to buy only high-quality, lab tested THC-O products.

A model of the THC-O acetate molecule to show its similarities to other THC products

THC-O Effects

Before we can dive into the reason that THC-O could cause headaches for some people, we want to touch on one very important point–THC-O is much more potent than traditional THC products.

In fact, it’s thought to be about three times as potent as Delta-9-THC, and Delta-8 may be more accurately described as borderline hallucinogenic. In addition to being much more potent, the high from THC-O is described as being more uplifting and not as sedating, akin to potent sativa-dominant strains of cannabis.

In short, you should definitely expect some of the same effects you'll get from traditional THC, but on a much more potent scale. Typically, THC-O is meant to be taken in smaller, manageable doses in order to provide a mild to moderate euphoric experience.

Read “THC-O Effects” to learn more.

Are Headaches a Side Effect of THC-O?

Just like THC-O’s effects are pretty similar to Delta-9’s, the side effect profile of THC-) is thought to be very similar, too. That means that it’s very possible that some people may experience headaches as a side effect of THC-O, but there may be some factors that lead up to this experience.

For instance, side effects like headaches, nausea, or anxiety may be linked to overconsumption. Here’s the gist of how that works–the Endocannabinoid System, or the bodily system that cannabinoids can interact with, is responsible for maintaining balance.

In a case where your endocannabinoid system is running a bit low on endocannabinoids, or the cannabinoids that are naturally produced by the body, cannabis consumption could help to “level you out” so to speak. This is the primary idea behind why cannabis is thought to be useful for conditions that are possibly linked to clinical endocannabinoid deficiency. This may be a key factor in how cannabinoids help to provide therapeutic effects (like potentially relieving headaches, nausea, or anxiety).

But lets say your endocannabinoid system is already “leveled,” or maybe its even over-regulated, meaning you have too many endocannabinoids circulating your body. What then?

Well, intaking too many cannabinoids, or intaking a heavy dose of a cannabinoid as potent as THC-O, may have the opposite effect. In other words, over consumption could cause a dysregulation that leads to headaches or other side effects for some people.

The good news is, THC-O’s side effects are rare and usually mild, and you may be able to avoid them entirely by taking your dosing journey slow until you understand how your body reacts to THC-O. In fact, we often recommend microdosing THC-O to new THC consumers since it can be helpful for finding the perfect THC-O dose.

Other Reasons That THC-O Could Cause Headaches

Let’s say the headache isn’t linked to overconsumption or endocannabinoid dysregulation like we mentioned above. Then, we need to look deeper to find the cause behind a headache that’s seemingly induced by THC-O. Here are some possible reasons you may experience this side effect:


Have you ever noticed that THC makes you thirsty? This phenomenon is jokingly referred to as "cotton mouth," but it's a very real side effect of THC use. It happens because THC increases the metabolism and the rate at which your body uses water, so you feel thirsty to signal you to drink more. Ultimately, this could lead to dehydration if you don’t increase your water intake, which is a leading cause of dehydration.


As we mentioned, Delta-8 THC-O, like other THC products, may boost your metabolism and increase your appetite. If you aren’t well nourished, this could cause a headache. Make sure that you eat well before taking your THC-O dose, or fix yourself some healthy snacks to enjoy when the dose kicks in.

Increased Sensitivity

Part of THC’s psychoactive effects include an increased sensitivity to light and sound which could potentially result in a headache. You may be able to avoid this by choosing a calm environment, and make sure to wear your lenses if you have impaired vision.

Bad Products

Hemp industry regulations are still pretty scattered, and while some states do have a more strenuous quality assurance program, others do not. It’s incredibly important that you buy THC-O from a trustworthy source.

THC-O products that are cut with synthetic cannabinoids are not only illegal, but they can be dangerous. Other ingredients, like various fillers and artificial flavors used to make cheap versions of THC-O products, may also cause a headache or other unwanted side effects.

Avoiding THC-O Side Effects

We mentioned that you can likely avoid the headache potentially caused by THC-O by simply managing your THC-O dosage closely. The same is true for other THC-O side effects. In fact, overconsumption is the most common reason that you may experience side effects from THC.

Here are some other tips to help ensure that your THC-O experience goes smoothly:

  • Make sure that you are properly hydrated before using THC-O
  • Drink plenty of water after taking THC-O, too.
  • Make sure you've gotten plenty of sleep and aren't overly tired
  • Reduce environmental stimulation, like bright lights or loud noises.
  • Wear your glasses or contacts, if applicable.
  • Make sure you've eaten a nutritious meal or snack before (or soon after) consuming THC-O
  • Always ensure that your THC-O products are free of contaminants and made by a trustworthy hemp manufacturer.

Beware of Severe Headaches

Generally speaking, a severe headache is not a commonly reported side effect of using THC. However, you should definitely take this side effect seriously when it arises.

If you experience a severe or debilitating headache after using THC-O, you should seek medical assistance. This may be caused by an unwanted ingredient or chemical in the THC-O product you choose, or could even be related to an underlying health condition.

Conclusion: Can THC-O Cause a Headache?

While it's possible for THC-O to cause a headache, it's not a common side effect. Most people use THC-O with no adverse reactions at all. Staying hydrated, eating well, and avoiding overstimulation can help prevent a headache from happening. If you're worried about THC-O side effects, we suggest starting with small doses. Read "How Much THC-O Should I Take?" to learn more.

To find high-quality, hemp-derived THC products, check out ourElev8 Collection. You'll find a wide range of federally legal edibles, tinctures, flower, and more that fit all potency and dosing needs.

Vida Optima Elev8 Gummies

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