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What’s the Difference Between Delta 8 THC and THCo?

CBD, CBG, CBN, delta-8 THC, delta-10 THC, THCo, and more — it’s safe to say that hemp-derived cannabinoids are having a moment. 

But with all this newfound popularity comes a newfound need for education. If you’re anything like most people, you might be wondering what distinguishes one cannabinoid from the next. 

Despite the fact that many new users have questions about delta-8 and THCo, their differences haven’t really been covered in detail. 

Until now. Keep reading to learn more about the difference — actually, differences — between delta-8 THC and THCo.   

  • Delta-8 and THCo: what they are
  • Delta-8 and THCo: where they come from
  • Delta-8 and THCo: how to take them
  • Delta-8 and THCo: what they feel like
  • Delta-8 and THCo: where to buy them
  • Delta-8 and THCo: some of our favorite products

Delta-8 and THCo: what they are

Let’s start off with the elementary-level stuff. What are delta-8 THC and THCo, exactly?

What is delta-8 THC?

Delta-8 THC is one of about 113 hemp-derived cannabinoids in existence. It’s probably the third most popular cannabinoid of all, overshadowed only by CBD and delta-9 THC. 

Even when compared to these highlights, however, delta-8 sets itself apart. It’s one of the few 100% natural, 100% federally legal cannabinoids that can get you high, and it might be the only cannabinoid known to bind to both CB1 and CB2 receptors within your body’s endocannabinoid system. 

Delta-8’s inner workings are holistic enough to give in strong — but not overpowering — effects. It can definitely get you high…but it’s unlikely to give you an out-of-control case of the munchies! Think of it as a pleasant blend of delta-9 THC and CBD’s bests. 

What is THCo?

THCo, also called THCo acetate, is another hemp-derived cannabinoid. Unlike delta-8 THC, THCo undergoes quite the production process en route to taking its final form. It’s usually synthesized from hemp’s CBD content, instead of being extracted from hemp directly. 

Although THCo research began way back in 1940, it remains relatively understudied compared to CBD or delta-8. We’re still uncovering new ways that it could benefit one’s mental and physical health. 

Delta-8 and THCo: where they come from

As we stated above, sourcing is one thing delta-8 and THCo have in common. They both come from industrial hemp! Let’s take a deeper look at how that works next. 

Where does delta-8 come from?

In order for delta-8 THC (or any cannabinoid, for that matter) to be federally legal, it must come from low-THC industrial hemp. These cannabinoids became legal after 2018’s Federal Farm Bill caused sweeping changes in the way the FDA, DEA, and other agencies viewed the hemp plant. As one study explains:

“Products containing delta-8-THC became widely available in most of the USA following the 2018 Farm Bill and by late 2020 were core products of hemp processing companies, especially where delta-9-THC use remained illegal or required medical authorization.” [1

Most hemp cultivars aren’t all that high in delta-8 THC, so manufacturers have had to get creative. Manufacturers usually convert a CBD-rich hemp extract into delta-8 through a process called isomerization. This process produces >99% pure delta-8 distillate. 

Where does THCo come from?

THCo also comes from hemp, but perhaps not in the way you’d think. THCo isn’t present in mature hemp in anything more than trace amounts, so most THCo products get their namesake cannabinoid from a special chemical conversion. 

First, hemp’s CBD is converted to delta-8 or delta-9 THC…and this is where things get crazy. 

Next trained chemists add acetic anhydride, a fairly common chemical reagent, into the mix. This triggers a chemical reaction where delta-8 is slowly converted into THCo. [2]

* Don’t try to make THCo at home. Acetic anhydride is corrosive, flammable, and generally harmful. Leave such things to experts who have access to specialized equipment and fireproof labs! 

Delta-8 and THCo: how to take them

Delta-8 and THCo can be taken in many of the same ways, though you’ll find that delta-8’s relative longevity (it’s been on the retail market for a few years now) means it’s easier to find D8 products than it is to find THCo stuff. 

How do you take delta-8 THC?

You can take delta-8 THC via tinctures, oils, vape pens, infused gummies, and other edibles. The sky is pretty much the limit! The key to it is to find:

  1. A reputable brand you can trust
  2. A product you enjoy enough to take consistently
  3. A dosage that uplifts without causing unwanted side effects

How do you take THCo?

In theory THCo can be taken in all the same ways delta-8 can…in practice, however, THCo products tend to take the form of vapes. At Think Apollo we offer two premium THCo vape products, and we hope to offer new and novel stuff in the near future!

Delta-8 and THCo: what they feel like

Okay, now onto the really important stuff. What do delta-8 THC and THCo feel like? What kind of experiences do they provide? What kind of vibes do they instill? Let’s take a look.

What does delta-8 feel like?

Delta-8 offers a milder, mellower high than relatives like delta-9 THC. Experts call it ‘THC lite’ for a reason!

Delta-8 is pretty dang healthy, too. One brand-new study from January of this year surveyed over 500 delta-8 users en route to making some impressive findings. 

  • Didn’t experience unwanted side effects: 74-83 percent
  • Experienced tangible relaxation: over 70 percent
  • Experienced pain relief: over 50 percent
  • Experienced euphoria: over 65 percent

Delta-8 is also a great choice for those who want to microdose — that is, get maximum results out of minimal D8 doses. One study found that the human equivalent of less than a tenth of a milligram normalized food intake and improved cognitive performance. Study authors concluded that “a low dose of delta-8 THC might be a potential therapeutic agent in the treatment of weight disorders.” [3

What does THCo feel like?

THCo is stronger than ‘regular’ delta-9 THC and significantly stronger than delta-8 THC. 

Users report a borderline spiritual high, waves of bliss and euphoria, and even some psychedelic visuals! 

The research we have available says something similar. American military research from back in the 40s found that high-dose THC-O-acetate was powerful enough to act as a (non-harmful) incapacitating agent. This research was done in dogs, not on humans, but even people notice just how much THCo affects proprioception. [4

If THCo is anything like structurally-similar cannabinoids, it possesses several other benefits. THCo may: 

  • Promote deeper sleep
  • Reduce your stress levels
  • Blunt your perception of pain
  • Improve creativity and dynamic thinking

Delta-8 and THCo: where to buy them

The newness of delta-8 and THCo means you should carefully vet products before buying. 

Some delta-8 brands are only around to make money, making them liable to cut corners and produce substandard products. 

On the brighter side, not all brands who make delta-8 products are shady! Far from it; at Think Apollo product quality is our highest priority. We test all of our products three times before providing them to the public, and we’re one of the few brands that’s cGMP compliant. 

Vetting before buying is especially important when it comes to THCo; poorly-made THCo products can be downright dangerous!  Cannabis researcher James Stephens attests that low-quality THCo sometimes contains unknown ingredients. [5]

Regardless of whether you decide to try delta-8 or THCo, you’ll be alright if you ensure that the product you’re pondering meets the following qualifications:

  • Made in the USA
  • Sourced from US hemp
  • Verifiably lab tested (with online COAs)
  • Free from synthetic fillers, flavors, or other ingredients

Delta-8 and THCo: some of our favorite products

Now that we’ve covered the many differences and similarities between delta-8 and THCo, let’s shift gears a little and look at some of the industry’s best products!   

Top delta-8 products

D8 Gummies

Apollo’s award-winning D8 gummies might just be the most fun way to experience delta-8 THC of them all. They’re all-natural, fully vegan, and designed specifically to uplift. They’re also loaded with 25 milligrams of delta-8 each — enough to fuel a really, really good time!

And then there are the flavors. Available in either Very Berry or Mango Passionfruit, we guarantee that these gummies are the best-tasting delta-8 gummies on the market. 

Because gummies pass through your digestive tract before getting fully absorbed, they take  30-60 minutes to take effect. Once they’ve kicked in, buckle up! Users can expect 4-8 hours of steady upliftment. If you’re looking for something that kicks in a little faster, try our delta-8 vape pen instead. 

D8 Vape Cartridge

Our delta-8 vape cartridges feature premium, potent, undiluted delta-8 extract. Each vape contains 1000 milligrams of pure delta-8 — enough to fuel hundreds of blissful moments. 

Like our gummies, these vapes also taste delicious. They’re available in four all-natural, terpene-fueled flavors:   

  • Tangie Dream
  • White Cherry Gelato
  • Rainbow Sherbert
  • Strawberry Lemonade

Our vapes make use of some premium tech, too. We use high-grade CCELL ceramic cartridges to guarantee that you have the smoothest vaping experience possible. And you won’t find any additives here — just pure delta-8 and all-natural terpenes. 

Top THCo products

At Think Apollo we carry two premium vape products: a reusable vape and a disposable vape cartridge. 

THCo Vape Cartridge

Just like our delta-8 vapes, our D10 offerings are ultra-potent and ultra-pure. To make them we combine premium THCo distillate with natural terpenes. You won’t find any additives or cutting agents here…just all-natural bliss! 

Be sure to start slow if you’re new to THCo. Take a puff, reflect on how you’re feeling, then take another puff as needed. 

THCo Disposable Vape Cartridge 

Our disposable vape was designed with maximum convenience in mind. It utilizes the highest-grade CCELL ceramic cartridges to provide a pure, smooth, and long-lasting experience. Try it for yourself if you need some natural upliftment ASAP. 

Wrapping things up

All in all, delta-8 and THCo are quite different. Both are uplifting, sure — but they uplift in radically different ways.

Which one is better for you? That depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re a relative novice seeking a fun way to get into the hemp scene, be sure to go with delta-8. 

If you’re a cannabis connoisseur looking for an immersive high, though, definitely go with THCo. Users say it’s the most psychedelic cannabinoid of all.