THC-O Effects

by Kat Austin June 13, 2022 6 min read

THC-O Effects - Vida Optima™

THC-O is nicknamed the "spiritual cannabinoid" thanks to its highly-potent effects that supposedly "unlock a new consciousness." It's thought to be up to three times as potent as Delta-9, and the effects are sometimes even described as "psychedelic."

It's a bit hard to imagine–a federally-legal, hemp-derived cannabinoid that's got psychedelic effects. So what's the catch? Here's the truth about THC-O effects so that you know what to expect from your first THC-O experience:

Table of Contents
THC-O Basics
What are the effects of THC-O?
Will THC-O Make You Hallucinate?
How long do THC-O effects take to kick in?
How long do THC-O effects last?

Key Takeaways

  • THC-O is a legal psychoactive cannabinoid that may be accessible across the U.S.
  • THC-O’s are more potent and much different than traditional THC products.
  • You can find THC-O in different forms, like vaporizers and edibles, an each has a different onset time and duration.
  • Starting with small doses and working your way up to larger doses is the best way to understand your personal dosing threshold and enjoy THC-O’s effects.

THC-O Basics

Before we dive deep into THC-O's effects let's cover some basics. For instance, what is THC-O, where does it come from, and exactly how potent is it?


Raw hemp material grown indoors to use for THC-O manufacturing
THC-O, or THC-O acetate, has a molecular structure that is almost identical to Delta-9-THC. Because it's a THC analogue that's made from legal hemp material (but contains less than the legally specified amount of Delta-9-THC, which is 0.3%), THC-O is federally legal and much more accessible than traditional THC products.


In fact, THC-O is made by exposing Delta-8-THC, another legal hemp-derived cannabinoid, to acetic anhydride. Then, the solution is refined to remove any unwanted materials or leftover chemicals. After a proper refinement period, the result is a potent THC-O that usually contains no Delta-9-THC at all.

Thanks to its structural similarities to traditional THC, however, it's actually able to interact with the body's endocannabinoid system in a similar fashion, inducing psychoactive effects that impact both the body and mind.

The endocannabinoid system is a neuromodulatory system that's responsible for maintaining homeostasis and regulating many important bodily functions. That means that THC-O, like traditional THC and even CBD, may have some potential health benefits. More research is needed to understand how THC-O may impact general wellness, but researchers have every reason to believe that it could have some therapeutic potential of its own.

With that said, let's discuss what we do know about THC-O effects and what you should expect from your first THC-O experience:

What are the Effects of THC-O?

THC-O may be derived from legal hemp, but it's nowhere near as mild mannered as other hemp-derived cannabinoids, like CBD or even Delta-8. Research suggests that it may be up to three times as potent as Delta-9, which is pretty well known for its substantial psychoactive effects.

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. Some people have even described the effects to be significantly different, more on the spectrum of "psychedelic" substances.

The effects of THC-O may be more accurately described as borderline hallucinogenic, but it's unclear the dosage used to reach these effects, and it's totally possible to experience a potent high without the hallucinogenic effects.

In short, you should definitely expect some of the same effects you'll 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. Typically, THC-O is meant to be taken in smaller, manageable doses in order to provide a mild to moderate euphoric experience.

Will THC-O Make You Hallucinate?

Again, THC-O is sometimes described as “borderline hallucinogenic,” but it shouldn’t have substantial hallucinogenic effects. Some people do report visual disturbances or enhancements, but the effects aren’t comparable to true hallucinogens, like psilocybin mushrooms. The visual effects of THC-O may be due to the increased dilation of the eye, which causes you to be more sensitive to light, color, and movement.

Read "Is THC-O Psychedelic?" to learn more. 

Raw hemp material and a THC-O vape, two different ways to experience THC-O effects

Why is THC-O Nicknamed the “Spiritual Cannabinoid”?

It’s not surprising that this extremely potent cannabinoid has gained a reputation for enhancing the “spiritual connection between body and mind.” In fact, cannabis has a history of “enhancing spiritual enlightenment” and is often used as a tool during certain spiritual practices, like meditation. Generally speaking, though, this nickname simply comes from the fact that THC-O is so potent, much more so than other THC products on the market.

How long do THC-O effects take to kick in?

The amount of time that THC-O's effects will take to kick in varies greatly depending on the delivery method. While other methods do exist, THC-O dosing methods are still pretty limited, so we'll cover the three most common products available: vaporizers, tinctures, and other edibles.

In general, many sources report that THC-O takes slightly longer to take effect than it's analogues, like Delta-8 and Delta-9. Currently, there's no scientific evidence available to help us understand why this may be the case or how different the onset and duration may be. For now, the following are estimates of how long you should expect to wait to feel THC-O effects, but keep in mind that they may vary slightly for every person:

Vida Optima Elev8 Delta-8 + THC-O Cart

THC-O Vapes

THC-O vaporizers are an instant delivery method, which means the effects should begin to creep on only minutes after each dose. You should feel the full effects of your dose after approximately 20 minutes.

Because this method allows a "low and slow" approach to dosing, it's often preferable to those looking to gradually experience the effects of THC-O.

Our THC-O + Delta-8 Vape Cart is an expertly balanced formula that makes it simple to stack doses until you reach the perfect lift level.

THC-O Edibles

THC-O edibles are much different. Many edibles (like cookies and other infused foods) are designed to be processed by digestion, which means they will take effect more slowly. Although it varies for every person, these types of edibles may take 1-3 hours to kick in.

Some edibles, like hard candies and chews, are designed to dissolve slowly in the mouth for sublingual absorption, similar to tinctures. That means you could begin to feel effects after roughly 45 minutes.

The onset time for different THC-O products will vary for every person based on a range of biological factors, like weight and metabolism. Experimenting with small doses is a great way to feel out these effects if you’ve never taken edibles before.

THC-O Tinctures

Tinctures are a liquid form of THC-O meant to be dropped under the tongue where they can be absorbed through the mouth’s mucous membranes. This delivery method, called sublingual absorption, bypasses the digestive process and carried THC-O directly to the blood stream. THC-O tinctures may kick in after 30-45 minutes.

How long do THC-O effects last?

As with all forms of THC, the amount of time that a THC-O high lasts mainly depends on body weight and dosing method. Your metabolism affects how long certain substances stay in the body, and different forms of THC-O are metabolized at different rates.

For digestible forms of THC-O, you can expect the effects to last around 4-6 hours, while faster-acting methods (like tinctures and vapes) may offer effects that last 2-4 hours. Keep in mind that THC-O, although not active, may stay in your system for even longer. 

Your tolerance, activity levels, diet, and other unique factors can impact the duration of THC-O’s effects, so its important to allow plenty of time to enjoy the full THC-O experience. The first time you try THC-O, make sure your schedule is cleared for at least 8 hours, ideally for the day, so that you don’t have to worry if the effects last a bit longer than you expected.

Buy Safe THC-O Online

Thanks to its natural hemp source, THC-O is federally legal and legal in many U.S. states, which means it's far more accessible than traditional cannabis products. It's important that you source from trustworthy hemp manufacturers that provide third-party lab tests for every batch. If you're interested in trying THC-O, we also recommend that you take dosing slowly and feel out the effects of this highly potent THC product in order to ensure a safe, positive experience.

Looking for THC-O products you can buy online? Check out our  Delta-8 + THC-O Vape Cart.

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