Is THC-O Legal in Mississippi?


Is THC-O Legal in Mississippi?

No, Mississippi prohibits the use of THC-O within its borders. All forms of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) found in the cannabis plant, synthetic equivalents of the substances in the plant, and synthetic cannabinoids are listed as Schedule I drugs in House Bill 1547 and are considered to have no accepted medical use.

What is THC-O?

THC-O (Tetrahydrocannabinol acetate) is a synthesized cannabinoid and does not occur naturally in the hemp plant, unlike Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 THC. THC-O can be made by first creating Delta-8 THC, a THC isomer, by refluxing CBD from hemp in an organic solvent like heptane or toluene with an acid such as p-toluene sulfonic acid as a catalyst. Once Delta-8 THC is ready, it can be converted to THC-O by combining it with acetic anhydride.

THC-O became popular because of its striking potency. Although it has not been fully researched, users have reported THC-O to be about two to three times stronger than Delta-9 THC, which is commonly known to be more potent than Delta-8 THC and Delta-10 THC. This means that anyone consuming THC-O should expect to experience a "high" that is stronger than the one associated with Delta-9 THC. Users often feel a calming effect after consuming it. Besides its intense psychoactive properties, THC-O produces a psychedelic experience that is almost like the intoxication associated with psilocybin.

THC-O is infused in various products, including edibles, oils, vapes, and flowers. Edibles such as gummies and chocolates are the most common and safest for human consumption. According to studies, when THC-O is heated, it can produce a toxic gas known as ketene, which can cause lung damage. Hence, consumers are advised to exercise caution when smoking or vaping THC-O as they risk serious lung damage from repeated exposure to ketene.

Is THC-O Legal Under Federal Law?

Federal law prohibits the sale or consumption of THC-O and all THC-O-based products. Against public belief that the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp and its derivatives, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) clarified in February 2023 that THC-O cannot be extracted naturally from the hemp plant. Unlike Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 THC, which naturally occur in hemp plants, THC-O is produced synthetically. As a result, the DEA, in its February 2023 letter, considers THC-O as a federally controlled substance with a potential for abuse and no accepted medical use.

How Long Does THC-O Last in the Body?

Depending on the product form, it may take between 3 and 8 hours for THC-O high to clear out of a user's system. Unlike Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 THC, THC-O has to be processed by the body before it becomes active, so it takes longer for users to feel the effects. This, in turn, increases the duration of its effects. When the body processes THC-O, it is broken down to a metabolite known as 11-hydroxy-THC, which may stay in the body for up to 6 weeks or more after dosing. How long it remains in the user's system depends on several factors, including the frequency of consumption and how much was used.

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

Yes, because THC-O metabolites can show up on a drug test. Typically, drug tests screen for 11-hydroxy-THC, a metabolite created by the body after consuming THC or its analogs, including THC-O. As a result, if a person has consumed THC-O products in the last few weeks, chances are that such a person will fail a drug test. It is best to avoid taking THC-O-base products in advance if expecting a drug test for employment or other reasons.

THC-O (or its metabolite) stays in the body and can remain detectable in the blood, urine, saliva, and hail follicle after the last use. However, the detection window depends on many factors, including frequency of use, body weight, and the body's metabolic rate. Saliva tests can detect THC-O for up to 48 hours after the last consumption, while blood tests may only detect it for up to 36 hours. A person who takes a urine test can test positive for THC-O between 15 days and 30 days after dosing, depending on the frequency of use. Hair follicle tests can detect THC-O metabolites for up to 90 days after the last consumption.

THC-O vs Delta-8

Delta-8 THC is a naturally occurring cannabinoid in hemp plants, although in low concentrations. On the other hand, THC-O is not naturally found in hemp. It is produced synthetically. While both THC-O and Delta-8 THC are psychoactive compounds, Delta-8 THC produces a milder "high" than THC-O. THC-O's potency is reported to be at least five times stronger than Delta-8 THC. However, the effects of each cannabinoid greatly vary from one person to another. Many THC-O and Delta-8 THC products are isolate products and do not contain CBD or other cannabinoids. These products are great for sleep and relaxation. They are also beneficial in the management of pain and inflammation.

Besides its psychoactive properties, THC-O produces psychedelic effects, which may be an advantage or a disadvantage, depending on the user's preference. Except for the feelings of relaxation and euphoria, Delta-8 THC users are not likely to experience any psychedelic feelings. Consuming Delta-8 THC in excess can have side effects such as hallucinations, confusion, dizziness, and vomiting. Similarly, misusing THC-O may lead to low blood pressure, dye eyes, dry mouth, disorientation, and lightheadedness.

THC-O vs Delta-9

Unlike THC-O, Delta-9 THC is a naturally occurring compound found in hemp. THC-O, on the other hand, can only be made synthetically in the lab through an acetylation process. While they are both psychoactive, THC-O has more potent effects than Delta-9 THC for many consumers. Users believe that the potency of THC-O is three times stronger than Delta-9 THC. Another distinguishing difference is the psychedelic properties of THC-O.

Like Delta-9 THC products, THC-O products produce a high that makes consumers feel euphoric and content, but in a stronger way. Both compounds can help with health issues like addictions, insufficient appetite, and nausea. Despite their health benefits, abusing Delta-9 THC or THC-O has some downsides. For THC-O, the potential side effects include anxiety, paranoia, vomiting, hallucinations, dizziness, and sedation. Consumers who abused Delta-9 THC have reported dry mouth, rapid heart rate, red eyes, memory loss, and anxiety as some of the side effects.

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