August 25, 2022 4 min read

Many people are excited about THC-O’s increased potency, but there's still many important things to learn about this new hemp-derived cannabinoid. Most importantly (for most consumers, at least) is the question of THC-O risks. In other words, how safe is THC-O, and what risks should you understand before you try it for yourself? 

There are two ways to look at this–what are the risks associated with THC-O itself, and what are the risks of the general hemp market (and the chances of buying a low quality THC-O product)?

Purchasing high-quality, safe THC-O products can be confusing. Here's how to navigate the market and safeguard yourself against THC-O risks:

Key Takeaways

  • THC-O has similar side effects to traditional THC products.
  • The side effects of THC-O are dose dependent and proper dosing is the best way to stay safe.
  • The most significant risk comes from low-quality formulas.
  • Ensure you buy only high-quality, safely made THC-O products when shopping online.

What is THC-O?

First and foremost, we want to discuss the basics of THC-O and why it may have increased risks compared to other hemp-derived cannabinoids.

A hemp leaf and a model of the THC-O molecule to show its similarity to Delta-9

THC-O is a hemp-derivative, but it isn't naturally extracted like CBD or CBG. Instead, THC-O is made through a process called isomerization, or the process of transforming one cannabinoid into another. This process is perfectly safe when carried out by an experienced cannabinoid technician, but it can produce issues for less experienced manufacturers. This is why many of the THC-O products on the market are sub-par and potentially unsafe.

Because of THC-O’s unique molecular structure, it has a stronger affinity for CB1 receptors in the body. This means that it's much more potent, producing a stronger high. For some people, especially those who are prone to experiencing anxiety or paranoia with high THC doses, this may impose an increased risk.

Of course, many of the side effects of THC-O are dose dependent, meaning you can reduce your risk of adverse reactions by understanding how to properly dose your THC-O product of choice. Read “How Much THC-O Should I Take?” to learn more.

Potential Side Effects of THC-O

Most of what we know about THC-O’s potential side effects come from what we know about Delta-9-THC. After all, the two are incredibly similar in function, so it’s fair to believe that they have a similar safety profile. Just like traditional THC, the side effects associated with THC-O are generally thought to be rare and mild.

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

  • Dry, red eyes
  • Dry mouth
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased hunger
  • Increased heart rate
  • Dehydration
  • Tiredness
  • Trouble focusing
  • Anxiety or paranoia

The side effects of THC-O may be dose dependent, and the most severe side effects are generally linked to over-consumption of THC-O. Truly, the most severe risks of consuming THC-O come from the possibility of consuming a low-quality or contaminated THC-O product.

A variety of different types of THC-O products that can be bought online

Safety Risks of Low-Quality THC-O Products

The hemp market is still facing inconsistent regulation across many states, and there are many products on the market that aren’t necessarily made according to the highest industry standards. For instance, many products may contain pesticides, mold, or other contaminants that can naturally make their way into the product during manufacturing.

It’s also possible, although more rare, that you encounter products made with dangerous synthetic cannabinoids, like K2. These substances are illegal, but are cheap to produce and induce prominent psychoactive effects, so they are sometimes used by shady manufacturers to imitate THC products.

More commonly, you may just find THC-O products that claim to contain THC-O, but actually contain very little THC-O at all. The risks of the aforementioned issues vary (and in the most severe cases could result in severe injury or even death), so it’s important to understand how to shop for high-quality THC-O products that won’t cause you any issues. Here’s what you should look for:

Experienced Manufacturer

Make sure that the hemp brand that you choose has verifiable experience with hemp products. The process for making THC-O is a bit involved, so choosing a company that has a background in cannabinoid extraction and cannabinoid isomerization is ideal.

Premium Hemp Source

Check that the brand you choose uses organic hemp sourced in the US that's free of pesticides, molds, heavy metals, and other potential contaminants. In order to maintain its federal legal status, THC-O needs to be made from hemp material that contains less than 0.3% Delta-9-THC.

High-Quality Ingredients

Check the label to verify that all of the additional ingredients besides hemp extract are also high quality, organic, safe ingredients that otherwise meet your needs. This is a good opportunity to check for any allergens or other ingredients that you may have trouble with.

Third-Party Lab Tests

Finally, make sure that the products that you choose come with third-party lab tests to verify purity and potency. These labs should verify the information given on the product’s label so that you can accurately measure and dose your chosen THC-O product. Taking the correct THC-O dosage is the best way to avoid any side effects.

Vida Optima Elev8 THC-O Vape

Where to Buy High Quality THC-O

There are many different options for buying THC-O online, but the quality of the products you choose directly impact your safety and the overall THC-O experience. At Vida Optima, we only use the highest quality U.S. derived hemp available. Our extraction technicians are experienced in many different forms of cannabinoid extraction and isomerization. Every product is tested multiple times throughout the manufacturing process, starting with the original hemp material. 

Looking for THC-O products you can buy online today? Check out our Delta-8 + THC-O Vape Cart. Or, check out our Elev8 Collection for a variety of federally legal, hemp-derived THC products.

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