THC-O, also known as THC-0 acetate, is among the new cannabinoids that have been causing a stir in the cannabis market recently. It is actually an ester of the popular psychoactive cannabinoid THC. Some sources claim that THC-O is three times more potent than THC.
In the US, THC is a controlled substance that is listed under schedule 1. This makes THC illegal at the federal level. THC-O being very similar to THC, one would wonder whether THC-O is legal.
Unlike most other cannabinoids, THC-O is synthetic and does not exist naturally in natural hemp. THC-O is made synthetically from CBD. Hemp was legalized in the U.S in 2018 when the 2018 Agricultural Act was passed. This made hemp-derived products such as CBD legal under federal law.
The THC-O products that are “flying off dispensary shelves” are derived from hemp CBD. In that case, hemp-derived THC-O should be legal in all states, right?
Sadly, that’s not the case. While THC-O is legal at the federal level, some states have banned it and declared it illegal.
At the height of the delta-8 controversy last year, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), stated that “delta-8 THC synthetically produced from non-cannabis materials is controlled under the CSA as a tetrahydrocannabinol.” This was an implicit attempt at outlawing delta-8 as well as other THC-O.
While some states have been quick to place a ban on delta -8, others have chosen to give the DEA’s direction a wide berth and held onto the interpretation that since hemp is federally legal all hemp-derived products are legal.
Here is a list of all the states that have not banned THC-O.
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
That is the current THC-O state of legality. Should cannabis be removed from schedule 1 and made legal then THC-O will be legal in all the states. Otherwise, more states may move to place a ban on THC-O.