What is THCo?
THC. CBD. Delta-8 THC. CBN. CBDv.
Just when you thought you’d heard it all … a new cannabinoid comes out. First it was THC, then CBD.
And while these cannabinoids are still wildly popular, today’s trendiest tokers have already turned their attention to delta-8 THC and THCo.
What gives? Well, it turns out that the hemp plant contains plenty of different cannabinoids. One of them is illegal — that’s delta-9 THC — but the other hundred or so are completely in the clear. And among these hundred hemp-derived compounds is something called THCo.
If you’re hoping to learn more about THCo (and other cannabinoids that have three-letter acronyms in their name), you’re in the right place!
- What is THCo?
- How is THCo made?
- THCo: potential health benefits
- THCo: potential side effects
- THCo: is it legal?
- How to find (and use!) premium THCo products
What is THCo?
THCo is a hemp-derived cannabinoid, which puts it in the same category as CBD, delta-8 THC, and so many others.
But THCo sets itself apart from most other hemp-derived cannabinoids with its potency and power. THCo is likely the most psychotropic cannabinoid of all — it’s up to three times stronger than ‘normal’ delta-9 THC. Some cannabis experts report that high doses are actually psychedelic. 
Also called THCo acetate or delta-O THC, THCo is one of the most mysterious cannabinoids of all. It was discovered ages ago (back in 1949, to be exact) and promptly researched by the US military, who found that it could relax muscles twice as powerfully as ‘normal’ THC. But a series of DEA busts in the 70’s served to put an end to this early research.
How is THCo made?
THCo is made from a chemical reaction involving natural cannabinoids and unnatural acids.
Combine a chemical called acetic anhydride with either delta-9 THC, delta-8 THC, or CBD, and the end result is pure THC0 acetate. Here’s a summary of the full process:
- Delta-8 is extracted from hemp flower via CO2 extraction
- Delta-8 is separated from other cannabinoids via fractional distillation
- Delta-8 is slowly mixed with acetic anhydride, causing a timed-released reaction
- Over time, acetic anhydride evaporates and delta-8 converts to THCo
While this process is efficient and fairly straightforward, it also requires trained chemists working in a totally sterilized lab. Acetic anhydride is volatile and flammable — so be sure to stay away if you’re not specially trained!
Even though THCo is derived from hemp, some experts still feel that its production process places it in the “semi-synthetic cannabinoid” category.
“THCo acetate is what’s called a semi-synthetic derivative, or analog,” neurologist and cannabis research pioneer Dr. Than Russo says. “Through a chemical process using a very toxic chemical called acetic anhydride, you can turn some of the [THC] into THCo acetate. The process of making THCo acetate is inherently dangerous […it’s] something that’s got to be done in a technical lab with a vacuum hood [and] no exposure to humans.”
Other industry leaders agree. “Don’t try to make THCo on your own,” extolls the Honest Marijuana Company. “[It] requires special equipment and advanced training to get right. And volatile, flammable, and explosive chemicals are necessary. It’s not worth your life to do something that a lab can do better and safer.”
When THCo is manufactured in the right way, however, it manifests as a borderline magical product that looks like maple syrup and tastes like cannabutter.
But is THCo good for you? That’s just as debatable as its legal status. Some experts say yes…others say no…others suspect it depends. More on that next.
THCo: potential health benefits
You might think that the scientific world would have a full handle on how THCo works by now — after all, they discovered it in 1949!
But that’s actually not the case. To this day not many researchers have taken the time to really understand THCo, nor have many studies taken the time to document scientific understanding. We pretty much just know that THCo is extremely strong. Here are a few other possibilities:
- THCo’s downstream metabolites are more powerful than it is. In other words, THCo becomes more powerful once it’s within your body.
- THCo causes more of a body-based high than alternatives. Deep sedation and ‘couch-lock’ are common.
- THCo appears to be quite safe. There have been no recorded overdoses and virtually no hospitalizations resulting from its overuse.
- THCo is likely safer than fully-synthetic THC isomers like K2 and ‘spice.’
- THCo’s effects are very transient — they begin and end very quickly.
- THCo is up to three times stronger than delta-9 THC.
THCo can also be pretty dang fun to take! Consume a high enough dose and you’ll notice visual distortions beginning to kick in. Colors may become brighter or more alive…small movements of animals and humans may feel more animated. Even the most mundane aspects of life might begin to feel exciting!
THCo: potential side effects
THCo’s status as a cannabinoid isolate (not a full spectrum extract) means its mechanism of action is too narrow to be free of side effects. While THCo is totally safe, some people do experience these side effects…especially if they take too much! Potential sides include:
- Inability to communicate easily
- Serotonin syndrome
- Difficulty speaking
- Intense nausea
Taking too much THCo can result in a too-high experience where it’s difficult to think, talk, and/or move how you normally do. Believe it or not, some people find this fun! If you’re not a seasoned cannabis connoisseur, however, then be sure to keep your THCo intake a little lower. Here are some other little hacks to ensure you respond well to THCo:
- Only use THCo from a trusted source
- If you’re new to THCo, take it in the presence of family or friends
- Don’t mix THCo with alcohol or pharmaceuticals
- Don’t mix THCo with other mind-altering compounds
- Don’t use THCo if you have existing mental health conditions
THCo: Is it legal?
That depends on who you ask. Most THCo producers will tell you that 2018’s Federal Farm Bill deemed THCo legal. The truth, however, may not be so clear-cut.
A growing number of cannabis experts agree. These experts argue that THCo falls into the same category as delta-8 THC, as both are hemp-derived 
It’s possible, however, that the FDA will use older legal acts (like 1986’s Federal Analogue Act) to outlaw THCo in the future. Stay tuned as this story unfolds! 
THCo laws by state
Just like what we’ve seen with delta-8, some states are actively banning THCo products. Other states are taking a more balanced approach, prosecuting illegal (and dangerous) THCo operations while letting licensed operators work freely. As of right now THCo is still legal in 38 states.
THCo international laws
Hemp-derived THCo is only legal in certain parts of the world. It might be most popular in America, in fact! Other pro-THCo areas include New Zealand and Britain. Most of Europe isn’t exactly friendly to the compound.
How to find (and use!) premium THCo products
THCo is new enough that not many brands carry it yet. And of the available options, not everyone is doing things right. Some companies are suspected of placing other synthetic cannabinoids or fillers in their THCo products. Not good!
At Think Apollo product safety is our very top priority, and we have the lab tests to show that our products contain THCo and nothing but THCo. Our THCo products are GMP-certified and triple-lab-tested. Check out the certificates of analysis (i.e. lab test results) for yourself by clicking this link.
How to Use THCo
Are you still interested in trying THCo? Do you consider yourself to be a high-tolerance cannabis connoisseur who’s ready for anything? If so, check out this next section.
THCo vape cartridge
Apollo uses the highest quality, most potent THCo in our cartridges. Our THC vape cartridge features 1000 milligrams of premium THCo distillate in 5 amazing flavors: Tangie Dream, White Cherry Gelato, Rainbow Sherbert, and Strawberry Lemonade.
THCo disposable cartridges
Our disposable cartridges are just as premium as the longer-lasting options. They contain the same 1000mg of pure THCo distillate and are available in the same 5 flavors. The only difference? Our disposable product utilizes high-grade CCELL ceramic cartridges to ensure a smooth, toxin-free vaping experience. You won’t find any additives or cutting agents here!
Summing things up
THCo’s recent rise to popularity is one more thing for cannabis enthusiasts to get excited about. If you’re looking for a truly immersive cannabis experience, consider giving the most powerful cannabinoid of all a try! As long as you don’t take too much — or try making your own — we think you’ll enjoy the buzz.