Is THC-O Legal in Florida?


Is THC-O Legal in Florida?

No, THC-O is illegal in Florida. Florida sides with federal law by banning the sale of products containing THC-O as they do not meet hemp's statutory definition. Following Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody's emergency ruling in September 2023 and the FDAC's letter to all Florida hemp and food establishments, Florida's position on Delta-9 THC-O and Delta-8 THC-O has changed, as authorities state that both compounds do not occur naturally in the cannabis plant. On September 22, 2023, the Florida Commissioner of Agriculture announced the results of a multi-day inspection of a warehouse in Miami Beach, which led to the seizure of several THC-O products.

What is THC-O?

Also known as THC-O acetate, THC-O is a synthetically derived cannabinoid from the cannabis plant. Unlike CBD, THC, CBG, AND CBN, it is not synthesized naturally and must be created in the laboratory. To obtain THC-O, CBD or cannabidiol, which occurs naturally in the hemp plant, must be converted into Delta-8 THC. After, Delta-8 THC is converted to THC-O by combining it with acetic anhydride,

THC-O is used for therapeutic purposes, such as inducing sleep and mental relaxation, reducing pain and inflammation, and psychedelic effects. However, users have also reported side effects, such as disorientation, lightheadedness, low blood pressure, dry mouth and eyes, and changes in perceived color and brightness.

THC-O is available in the form of oils, edibles, vapes, flowers, and dabs. THC-O is generally considered safe to use at low dosages; however, more research needs to be done to verify its safety for consumption. Note that THC-O is not regulated and manufactured without recommended standards. THC-O is considered a prodrug, meaning its psychoactive effects may not be noticeable until the chemical has been transformed after use.

Is THC-O Legal Under Federal Law?

No. In 2018, the Farm Bill signed by former President Trump effectively legalized the production and sale of hemp and low-concentration derivatives on a federal level. This bill distinguished hemp and its derivatives, containing no more than 0.3% THC, from marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), permitting their legal sale, transportation, and possession.

While it might seem that THC-O falls within this legal framework, the situation is more intricate. Despite being derived from a naturally occurring hemp compound, Delta-8, THC-O involves synthetic compounds. The 2018 Farm Bill explicitly maintained the classification of synthetically derived tetrahydrocannabinol as a Schedule I substance. The Federal Analog Act, enacted in 1986, further complicates the legality of THC-O by stipulating that chemicals substantially similar to illegal drugs are treated as Schedule I substances.

However, in February 2023, the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) stated that Delta-8 THC-O and Delta-9 THC-O are not to be considered in the same category as hemp but Schedule I controlled substances under the Controlled Substances Act. The DEA's stance on the matter stems from its finding that both compounds do not occur naturally in hemp.

How Long Does THC-O Last in the Body?

Although the visible effects of THC-O use in an individual may only appear for a few hours, the compound or its metabolites can stay in the body for up to a month, as THC-O undergoes a similar metabolic process to other forms of THC. THC-O is broken down in the liver via oxidation, resulting in the formation of multiple metabolites.

The actual period over which THC-O lasts in the body depends on various factors, such as individual metabolism, frequency of use, dosage amount, and dosing method.

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

Yes. THC-O, like Delta-9 THC, possesses a high chance of triggering a positive drug test result. This can be attributed to the metabolic transformation of THC-O into 11-Hydroxy-THC, the same metabolite produced by the body when THC is consumed.

Conventional drug tests typically target the detection of THC metabolites rather than THC itself. Since THC-O metabolizes into 11-Hydroxy-THC, the body processes THC-O in a manner that makes It detectable by standard drug tests.

THC-O is detectable over specific periods depending on the drug test type, such as:

  • Saliva: 48 hours
  • Hair: 90 days
  • Blood: 36 hours
  • Urine: 3-5 days in single-use case scenarios or up to 30 days in frequent-use cases

THC-O vs Delta-8

Delta-8 THC is a psychoactive compound in marijuana and hemp. It is more commonly found in hemp but not in significant amounts and is one of the over 100 cannabinoids produced naturally by the cannabis plant.

THC-O shares certain similarities with Delta-8 THC as both are hemp-derived cannabinoids delivering psychoactive effects. However, anecdotal evidence suggests THC-O is about 6-8 times more potent than Delta-8 THC. Delta-8 THC produces feelings of euphoria and relaxation. While THC-O offers the same effect, euphoria and relaxation feelings are stronger with THC-O.

THC-O vs Delta-9

Delta-9 THC is the main psychoactive compound in cannabis that produces the high associated with marijuana and is an isomer of THC. THC-O, an alternative form of THC, is less widely recognized than its counterpart, Delta-9. Distinguished by an added acetyl group in its chemical structure, THC-O is not naturally present in the hemp plant but is synthesized from hemp through isomerization. While both THC-O and Delta-9 share molecular similarities and interact with the endocannabinoid system similarly, THC-O is reputed to be more potent, producing more intense effects.

Delta-9 is commonly associated with uplifting effects, inducing calmness and relaxation, making it a popular choice for achieving restful sleep. Some users also report a natural mood-boosting impact, enhancing social experiences. In contrast, THC-O is acknowledged for its noticeable and often heightened potency compared to Delta-9, with many believing it is 3-4 times more potent than the more commonly available Delta-9 THC. However, note that, as with many cannabinoids, individual responses to both compounds can vary.

Another factor to consider in comparing THC-O and Delta-9 is the onset time of their effects. Delta-9 effects' onset depends on the method of consumption, with vaping being the fastest and edibles taking longer. Conversely, THC-O typically has a longer onset time because it remains inactive until metabolized by the liver. Whether inhaled through THC-O vape cartridges or consumed as edibles like THC-O gummies, users can expect a waiting period of 30-60 minutes, or longer in the case of edibles, before experiencing its effects.

In this section: