Is THC-O Legal in Louisiana?

Is THC-O Legal in Louisiana?

Yes, THC-O derived from hemp is legal in Louisiana in line with House Bill 491. House Bill 491 legalized hemp and all its hemp derivatives, cannabinoids, extracts, and isomers containing no more than 0.3% THC. This means it is lawful to use THC-O and THC-O-based products in Louisiana. The best places to purchase THC-O products in the state are online THC-O and CBD stores.

What is THC-O?

Tetrahydrocannabinol acetate (THC-O) is a non-naturally occurring compound derived from hemp-based cannabinoids through a process known as isomerization. In other words, it is not found naturally in the hemp plant but synthetically produced. THC-O is created by converting the CBD from hemp to Delta-8 THC and then mixing the Delta-8 THC with acetic anhydride, a highly flammable and potentially explosive compound.

THC-O is a psychoactive compound, and its effects are similar to Delta-9 THC. However, because it binds more tightly with the body's cannabinoid receptors than other forms of THC, THC-O produces a more intense high than other THC forms. Reports from THC-O consumers suggest that it is five times stronger than Delta-8 THC and at least three times stronger than Delta-9 THC. Hence, THC-O's psychoactive effects are much stronger than other THC forms. It produces relaxing and euphoric effects in most users.

Most THC-O forms are safe to consume, but users are advised to start with low doses because its effects are always delayed. Usually, consumers may not feel any effects until after an hour. The full effects of THC-O are usually not felt until the body metabolizes it. Commonly available forms of THC-O include vapes, edibles, flowers, and oils. However, edibles are thought to be safer for consumption. While it is also possible to vape or smoke the compound, exposing it to heat produces ketene, a known lung toxicant. Repeated exposure to ketene can lead to cumulative lung damage.

Is THC-O Legal Under Federal Law?

Although THC-O is hemp-derived, it is illegal under federal law. The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has clarified that despite being a derivative of hemp CBD, THC-O is federally illegal because, unlike Delta-8 THC and Delta-10 THC, it is not naturally derived from hemp. THC-O is synthetically produced in the lab, and according to the DEA, it falls within the Controlled Substances Act's definition of marijuana. The DEA considers THC-O as a substance with potential for abuse without proven benefits or safety as medical treatment, just like marijuana.

How Long Does THC-O Last in the Body?

The duration of the "high" produced by THC-O in the body usually depends on the quantity consumed and the method of consumption. Generally, it may take between 3 and 8 hours for this effect to clear out of the body system. Similarly, how long THC-O stays in the system depends on factors such as the frequency of use and dosage. It takes the body some time to break down THC-O into 11-hydroxy-THC, which can remain in the body for several weeks. While THC-O and its metabolite may clear out of the system of an infrequent consumer within two weeks, it may take 4 weeks or more to clear out from the body of a regular, heavy consumer.

Can You Fail a Drug Test From Using THC-O?

Yes, THC-O consumers may fail drug tests that screen for marijuana. This is because THC-O is a THC analog and can show up on drug tests. After consuming a THC-O-infused product, it is processed and metabolized into 11-hydroxy-THC, the same metabolite the body generates when THC is ingested. This metabolite can remain in the body for several weeks and can be detected by blood, urine, saliva, and hair follicle tests. However, the detection window varies depending on the frequency of consumption and a few other factors.

The saliva test has one of the shortest detection windows and can detect THC-O for up to 48 hours after use. Similarly, the detection window for a blood test is short and can detect THC-O metabolite for up to 36 hours. THC-O metabolite is detectable in urine for up to 30 days after the last consumption. It may stay in the hair follicle for up to 90 days after dosing and remain detectable by a hair follicle test within this period.

THC-O vs Delta-8

Delta-8 THC is one of the chemical compounds naturally found in hemp plants, although it exists in small amounts. On the other hand, THC-O, although considered a hemp-derived compound, is synthetically made. It is synthesized by extracting CBD from hemp, converting it into Delta-8 THC, and refining it into THC-O. While both Delta-8 THC and THC-O have psychoactive properties, the psychotropic effects of THC-O are noticeably stronger than Delta-8 THC. Evidence from first-hand users suggests that consuming a large enough dose of THC-O may produce psychedelic effects, including auditory and visual hallucinations.

The potential benefits of consuming THC-O include intense euphoria, calm feelings, alleviation of discomfort, and an increase in appetite. Delta-8 THC has similar benefits and can also help with pain and inflammation management, anxiety management, sleep, and nausea treatment. Although it is safe to consume Delta-8 THC, using it in excess may cause side effects like itchiness, red eyes, forgetfulness, and confusion. Similarly, a misuse of THC-O has some adverse effects, including red eyes, sleeplessness, and dry mouth.

THC-O vs Delta-9

Delta-9 THC is a psychoactive cannabinoid, but unlike THC-O, it exists naturally in the hemp plant in good amounts. Although both compounds are psychoactive, THC-O is believed to be at least three times more potent than Delta-9 THC. As a result, THC-O consumers should expect to experience a stronger "high" they will get from using Delta-9 THC derived from hemp. Generally, the major benefits users will get from consuming Delta-9 THC and THC-O include relaxation, increased focus, and euphoria. However, the feelings of euphoria and relaxation from using Delta-9 THC are not as intense as those produced by THC-O.

Delta-9 THC and THC-O can cause some side effects despite their therapeutic benefits. The downsides associated with Delta-9 THC use include memory loss, red eyes, anxiety, difficulty thinking, and dry mouth. Similarly, the potential adverse effects of THC-O include lightheadedness, disorientation, dry mouth, dry eyes, and feelings of nervousness.

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