We've updated our Privacy Policy to make it clearer how we use your personal data.

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience, read our Cookie Policy

Analytical Cannabis Logo
Home > News > Science & Health > Content Piece

THC-O-Acetate Isn’t a Psychedelic, Say Consumers

By Leo Bear-McGuinness

Published: Jul 18, 2023   
Vape device surrounded by cloud.

Image credit: iStock

Listen with
Register for FREE to listen to this article
Thank you. Listen to this article using the player above.

THC-O acetate isn’t as trippy a chemical as the hearsay suggests. That’s the main finding of a survey of self-declared THC-O acetate consumers.

Published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, the study surveyed 267 members of THC-O themed subreddit forums. The members said they experienced low-to-moderate levels of cognitive distortions and few visual hallucinations.

These reports contrast with some of the rumors around THC-O acetate, which has been purported to produce a more psychedelic experience than THC.

According to Reddit

THC-O acetate is a variation on THC that is considered a controlled substance by the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Despite this status, it is increasingly consumed, particularly in states without legal cannabis access. Because while recreational cannabis may be illegal in such states, hemp isn’t – and THC-O acetate can be produced from the CBD extracted from such legally produced hemp.

To understand the effects of THC-O acetate, researchers from the University of Buffalo and other institutions probed the depths of Reddit to recruit 267 members for a survey. They asked the participants whether THC-O acetate altered their sense of time, made it difficult to concentrate, or altered their levels of anxiety, euphoria, hallucinations, paranoia, pain, and sense of relaxation.

Many participants said their experiences of THC-O acetate were characterized by moderate relaxation, euphoria, and pain relief. There were fewer reports of altered sense of time and difficulty in concentrating, and even fewer reports of anxiety, hallucinations, or paranoia.

Participants also completed the Mystical Experience Questionnaire (MEQ), a standard assessment of four psychedelic indications.

None of the average participant scores for any of the four categories (“mystical”, “positive mood”, “transcendence of time and space”, and “ineffability”) exceeded the threshold for a “complete mystical experience”.

Furthermore, those participants who had experienced classic psychedelics such as LSD tended to rank THC-O acetate’s ability to produce mystical experiences lower than those who hadn’t used psychedelics.

“THC-O-acetate has been getting a lot of attention because people are saying it’s stronger than regular THC and there are these claims that it produces psychedelic effects,” study lead author Daniel J. Kruger, a research associate professor in University of Buffalo’s School of Public Health and Health Professions, said in a statement.

“We wanted to study this and see, is there really a psychedelic cannabinoid? Can we find evidence that THC-O-acetate has this effect? And the answer is, not so much.”

So, why does THC-O acetate have its psychedelic reputation, then? Kruger posits that, given the clandestine conditions in which THC-O acetate products are commonly manufactured in, it’s possible any subsequent psychedelic experiences may have risen from contaminants.

“People have to be careful,” he said. “It’s possible that some of these extreme effects are the result of some sort of contamination, and that’s one of the real dangers of these products if you don’t really know what’s in them.”


Like what you just read? You can find similar content on the topic tags shown below.

Extraction & Processing Science & Health

Stay connected with the latest news in cannabis extraction, science and testing

Get the latest news with the FREE weekly Analytical Cannabis newsletter