Is THC-O a Psychedelic? 

by Kat Austin June 17, 2022 6 min read

Is THC-O a Psychedelic?  - Vida Optima™

THC-O, one of the newest hemp-derived THC products to hit the market, has serious appeal for recreational consumers. It's federally legal and easily accessible, offering psychoactive effects that can be up to three times stronger than traditional THC.

However, what's intriguing is that THC-O is often described as "borderline psychedelic," earning it the nickname "the spiritual cannabinoid." This has sparked curiosity among recreational users and THC enthusiasts alike, leading to a debate about its unique effects and potential for a more profound experience.

So, what's the verdict? Is THC-O psychedelic? 


Some people have described the experience that way, but a recent study has debunked these claims, saying that most people don't experience psychedelic effects from THC-O. 

Let's take a look:

Table of Contents
What are THC-O’s Effects?
Will THC-O Make You Hallucinate?
How to Use THC-O
Does THC-O Have Any Potential Side Effects?

Key Takeaways

  • THC-O is not psychedelic in nature, but it’s incredibly potent psychoactive effects have earned it the title “the spiritual cannabinoid.”
  • The effects you experience from THC-O are dose dependent, and higher doses may provide much stronger effects.
  • Different THC-O products contain different terpene blends or other ingredients that may have different effects.
  • Make sure that you purchase a high-quality THC-O product before you begin to experiment with THC-O dosages.

THC-O Psychedelic Effects: Debunked

Claims about THC-O's psychedelic effects are widespread, but a 2023 study suggests these claims might be overstated. The study used the Mystical Experience Questionnaire (MEQ) to measure whether THC-O-acetate could trigger true psychedelic experiences. The results showed that the scores were below the threshold for a genuine psychedelic experience.

In fact, participants who had used classic psychedelics like LSD or psilocybin scored lower on the MEQ compared to their previous experiences.

Additionally, when asked directly about THC-O's psychedelic potential, 79% of the participants said it was either "not at all" or "a little" like a psychedelic experience. This data indicates that THC-O might not be as psychedelic as some believe.

What are THC-O’s Effects?

As we mentioned, THC-O’s effects are quite a bit more potent than traditional THC products, and are especially more potent than other hemp-derived THC products, like Delta-8 and Delta-10.

In addition to inducing much stronger effects, the high from THC-O is different. It’s often described as uplifting and not sedating, and many people relate it to the effects you may experience from a highly potent sativa strain of cannabis.

In fact, some people have described the effect as “borderline hallucinogenic,” but it’s hard to tell what this really means, especially since everyone's THC-O experience is unique. That begs the question–

Will THC-O Make You Hallucinate?

A hemp THC-O flower nug before smoking to reap fast-acting, strong psychoactive effects

No, you aren’t likely hallucinate after taking THC-O.

In fact, THC-O shouldn’t induce any potent visuals like you may expect from psychedelic substance, like psilocybin mushrooms. You may, however, experience enhanced visual effects, such as a higher sensitivity to color and brightness, which can create a vivid visual experience.

Many people also find that higher doses of THC-O can create a body high that feels similar to “floating,” and it’s becoming a popular tool for enhancing some spiritual practices thanks to how well it relaxes the body and opens the mind.

You can find reports of people using THC-O to enhance meditation practices, which is why its earned itself the nickname “the spiritual cannabinoid.”

How to Use THC-O

Although THC-O is not necessarily a psychedelic substance, you can, to an extend, control the effects you experience from THC-O by adjusting your dosage and experimenting with different product styles. Before you get started with THC-O here are some things to consider:

Source and Quality Importance

Always look for a well made supplement from a trustworthy distributor. The best supplements are made in a cGMP compliant facility and are third party tested to ensure they are free of harmful contaminants.

At Vida Optima, all of our hemp THC products are 100% Farm Bill compliant and are made according to industry leading standards. We use in-house and third-party testing processes throughout manufacturing to ensure that our THC-O formula is clean and potent.

How Much THC-O Do You Have to Take?

Since THC-O’s effects, like other THC products, are dose dependent, you may find that you need to take more or less THC-O to achieve the psychoactive experience you’re after. Typically, THC-O is meant to be taken in smaller, manageable doses in order to provide a mild to moderate euphoric experience. A small to medium dose of THC-O can range from 2-10 milligrams.

Those seeking a more potent mind or body high may try larger doses (typically between 10 and 20 milligrams), but we strongly recommend that you start with small doses first until you understand how THC-O affects you. Again, it’s also crucial that you choose a high-quality product since possible contaminants, like pesticides and mold, can be harmful in large doses.

Vida Optima THC-O Vape Cart

In general, you can expect many of the same effects you’d get from traditional THC, like some delayed coordination and reaction time, which means that it's unsafe to drive or operate machinery after taking THC-O products.

If you are looking for a milder way to dip your toes in the THC-O experience, try our THC-O + Delta-8 Vaporizer. This multi-THC formula is designed to offer a balanced high that’s more potent than Delta-8 on it’s own, but easier to manage than pure THC-O.

To learn more, read “How Much THC-O Should I Take?

Try Different Forms of THC-O

Depending on the dosages and effects you’re after, different types of THC-O products may better suit your needs. For instance, vapes and flower may offer hard-hitting, fast acting effects that make it easy to stack doses until you reach your desired effects. Alternatively, edibles and other ingestible products are often said to provide more potent effects due to the way they are metabolized by the body.

You can also find THC-O products with different terpene blends or other functional ingredients that alter the effects. For instance, our THC-O vapes come in three varieties: The Indica blend is designed to provide more mellow, relaxing effects, while the Sativa formula is designed to spark creativity and provide a more potent cerebral effect. The Hybrid is the perfect balance between the two–choosing the perfect formula is up to you!

Does THC-O Have Any Potential Side Effects?

While on the topic of whether THC-O is psychedelic, its only natural to wonder if it has any potential adverse effects to worry about. Currently, THC-O research is limited, which means we have to draw conclusions about its side effects from anecdotal reports, as well as what we know about Delta-8-THC’s side effects. In general, the risk profile is thought to be pretty similar, meaning that THC-O may have some rare, mild side effects when used in responsible doses.

Some of the the side effects most commonly associated with THC-O may include:

  • Dry, red eyes
  • Dry mouth
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased hunger

With larger doses, the risk may be higher, although side effects are still rare. Some additional side effects that could arise with larger doses include:

  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Rapid heart rate

To learn more, read “THC-O Side Effects.”

Conclusion: THC-O is NOT Psychedelic

THC-O is a powerful hemp-derived product with a reputation for its potent psychoactive effects. While some have described it as "borderline psychedelic," recent studies suggest that it does not induce true psychedelic experiences.

Despite its intensity, THC-O offers a unique, uplifting high often compared to strong sativa strains of cannabis. However, it's important to approach it with caution, as higher doses can lead to stronger effects and potential side effects like dizziness and fatigue.

When using THC-O, start with small doses and always choose high-quality products from reputable sources. If you're curious about its effects, remember to use responsibly and be aware of your local laws and regulations.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What makes THC-O different from traditional THC?

THC-O is a hemp-derived cannabinoid with potent psychoactive effects, often described as three times stronger than traditional THC. It provides a unique, uplifting experience compared to other THC products.

2. How long does THC-O take to kick in?

THC-O can take between 30 minutes to 2 hours to kick in, depending on the method of consumption and individual factors like metabolism. Vaping or smoking usually has a quicker onset, while edibles take longer due to digestion.

3. What are the common side effects of THC-O?

Common side effects of THC-O include dry mouth, dry eyes, increased thirst, and hunger. Higher doses can lead to more severe effects, such as dizziness, fatigue, anxiety, and rapid heart rate. Start with a low dose to minimize risks.

4. How should I use THC-O safely?

Use THC-O responsibly by starting with a low dose and avoiding activities like driving. Choose high-quality products from reputable sources to avoid contaminants, and always check third-party lab results to ensure safety and legality.

5. Is THC-O legal?

THC-O is federally legal if it is derived from hemp and contains less than 0.3% Delta-9-THC. However, state laws vary, so check your local regulations before buying or using THC-O products.


1. "THC-O-Acetate: Scarce Evidence for a Psychedelic Cannabinoid" 


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