February 15, 2022 4 min read

THC-O is many things–highly potent, federally legal, and made from hemp. But is THC-O Delta-8? How are the two related? And is THC-O worth the extra cost?

THC-O and Delta-8-THC are directly related, but they aren't the same thing. Before you buy either, here's what you should know:

Find Delta-8 and THC-O in our Elev8 Collection.

Key Takeaways

  • THC-O is made from Delta-8, but they are not the same thing.
  • THC-O is far more potent and needs to be dosed accordingly.
  • In general, both cannabinoids have totally different effects and may be suitable for different uses.
  • THC-O may be used in smaller doses, primarily for recreational use.
  • Because both are federally legal, you can buy Delta-8 and THC-O online.

THC-O is Made From Delta-8

A model comparing the molecular structure of Delta-8, Delta-9, and THC-O

To make THC-O, manufacturers must first extract CBD from hemp and convert it to Delta-8. Then, Delta-8 can be transformed into THC-O by introducing acetic anhydride.

Afterwards, the solution is refined to remove any unwanted materials or leftover chemicals. After a proper refinement period, the result is a potent THC-O extract that's clean and safe to consume.

Note: Acetic anhydride is incredibly corrosive and dangerous to handle without the proper equipment, so you should never try to make THC-O at home. This is also why it's important to only buy THC-O products from a reputable, trustworthy source that uses an experienced manufacturer and cGMP compliant manufacturing facility.

THC-O is Far More Potent

Although THC-O is technically made from Delta-8-THC derived from hemp, the two have many significant differences. In fact, THC-O is so much more potent than Delta-8 that it could potentially be dangerous to dose them the same way.

To get an idea of the difference, understand that Delta-8 is thought to be about 60% as potent as traditional Delta-9-THC. THC-O, on the other hand, is about three times stronger than Delta-9-THC. That's a major difference which leads to totally different dosages, methods of use, and effects.

THC-O'S Effects are Different

Thanks to its increased potency (meaning it binds with Endocannabinoid receptors at a much higher rate), THC-O has entirely different effects than Delta-8 or even traditional THC products.

In some cases, these potent effects are described as “borderline hallucinogenic”, and it's not uncommon for people to report heightened mental and spiritual awareness, mild visuals, and a potent euphoria that is similar to other psychedelic substances.

Delta-8, on the other hand, is known for having mild euphoric effects that are relaxing and potentially sedating. It's a great place for new THC users to start, and it's often related to the effects of a mild indica cannabis strain.

Both May Have Therapeutic Benefits

Although the effects of Delta-8 and THC-O are vastly different, both cannabinoids potentially have some therapeutic benefits. Of course, research is lacking in both areas, but experts believe that they may both provide some of the same benefits as traditional THC products because they interact with the Endocannabinoid System in a very similar way.

It's possible that both cannabinoids are useful for managing symptoms like nausea, poor sleep, and physical discomfort. Delta-8 may be a better solution for anyone who is prone to anxiety or paranoia after THC use. It's milder effects are thought to be less likely to produce these uncomfortable side effects.

All in all, more research is needed before we can fully understand how either cannabinoid can be used to it's full therapeutic potential.

In the meantime, you may want to read about:

A selection of different hemp THC products, like THC-O, all of which are used differently.

THC-O is Usually Used Recreationally

Although THC-O possibly has therapeutic benefits similar to other THC products, it's most often chosen for recreational use. It's increased potency is exciting to experienced THC users, and many consumers enjoy the mild "psychedelic" effects. As more THC-O research unfolds, we may see a spike in THC-O use for therapeutic purposes.

THC-O May Cost More

You may notice that the price point is higher for THC-O products, and there’s a simple explanation: it’s more difficult to make.

First, the manufacturer must make Delta-8 from CBD material. Then they need to take that a step further and convert Delta-8 to THC-O. Finally, the final product needs to be carefully refined to remove any solvents or other unwanted chemicals.

Of course, THC-O is so much more potent than Delta-8 that you can’t exactly compare the costs milligram for milligram. All in all, you’ll likely take less THC-O at a time, so the price difference usually evens out.

Both Are Subject to State Laws

Although both Delta-8 and THC are made from legal hemp material and are therefore legal by federal law, they're both subject to varying state laws across the country.

Many states have declared a ban on Delta-8-THC and other THC analogues. Some states specifically declared a ban on Delta-8 by name, while others have simply made hemp-derived THC illegal.

Thankfully, this is not the case in the majority of states. If you're wondering if you can buy Delta-8 or THC-O in your area, read our State by State Guide to Delta-8 Laws.

You Can Combine THC-O and Delta-8-THC

You may not be surprised to hear that many people are using Delta-8 and THC-O together. In fact, many of the THC-O products on the market contain Delta-8, even if they aren't necessarily marketed that way. This is because THC-O is difficult to produce and can also be difficult for consumers to dose appropriately.

Combining THC-O with Delta-8 can produce an experience that's closer to that of traditional THC, meaning it's much more potent than Delta-8 on its own but is still appropriate for new or inexperienced THC consumers.

Our Disposable Delta-8 + THC-O Vape is a perfect example of this, and you can grab it and either the sativa, indica, or hybrid variety.

Vida Optima THC-O Vape

Conclusion: Is THC-O Delta-8?

To put it briefly, no, THC-O is not the same as Delta-8. The two have some similarities, but also have many differences that change the overall experience.

Most significantly, THC-O could be five times as potent as Delta-8, so the dose sizes and method of use may be different. Both Delta-8 and THC-O can be used by new and experienced THC consumers, but you'll want to carefully consider your dosage before you begin.

To learn more, you may want to read:

How Much Delta-8 Should I Take?

Can You Vape THC-O?

Will THC-O Show Up on a Drug Test?


Ready to buy high-quality Delta-8 + THC-O products? Check out ourElev8 Collection.


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in Cannabis Encyclopedia

CBN Side Effects | Vida Optima
CBN Side Effects

April 26, 2022 6 min read

CBN's safety profile is sound, but dosage is everything when it comes to avoiding side effects.
Read More
CBN Dosage | Vida Optima
CBN Dosage

April 26, 2022 6 min read

CBN is more potent than many other cannabinoids, so smaller doses may do the trick.
Read More
CBN Benefits | Vida Optima
CBN Benefits

April 26, 2022 4 min read

CBN is a lesser known cannabinoid with a big claim to fame. Here's what you should know:
Read More

Subscribe