any chemists here?
Perhaps you’ve heard of THC-A Crystalline, which is said to be the world’s most potent pot. With a THC content of 99.9 percent, you would think that no weed product out there could top it. But as it turns out, there’s something much, much stronger. THC-O-acetate is a cannabinoid that is supposedly two to three times more powerful than THC. Michael Starks’ book Marijuana Chemistry: Genetics, Processing, Potency even describes THC-O-acetate as being 300 percent stronger than the THC that we’re used to smoking. While research is sparse at this time, here’s what we do know about this top-secret cannabinoid.
What is THC-O-acetate?
According to D. Gold’s Cannabis Alchemy: Art of Modern Hash Making, THC-O-acetate is a brown oil that is soluble in petroleum ether, as well as ethanol.
Donald Cooper of the United States’ Drug Enforcement Agency noted that the administration first came across this cannabinoid during 1978 in Jacksonville, Florida. And apparently, it was made from THC in a similar way to how heroin is made from morphine. Yikes.
“In this case, a concentrated extract of cannabis had been obtained by a Soxhlet extraction,” reads the account written by Cooper. “The extract had been acetylated with acetic anhydride, and in the final step, the excess acetic anhydride removed by distillation.”
Ever since that finding, DEA labs have yet to encounter another sample of THC-O-acetate, although there were talks about classifying it as a controlled substance. The government decided not to proceed because the incident was isolated.
A similar case came about in 1995 in the UK. As it turns out, a man used D. Gold’s book to formulate his own THC-O-acetate extracts. Police detained the man and the THC acetate was then ruled to be a Class A drug. New Zealand police also reportedly came across THC acetate that same year as well.
Photographer: Rina Castelnuovo/Bloomberg via Getty Images
What are the effects of THC-O-acetate?
Between 1949 and 1975, the U.S. Army Chemical Crops, as part of the Edgewood Arsenal experiments, investigated THC-O-acetate as a potential non-lethal incapacitating agent. After testing it on dogs, researchers found that it had two times the ability to impair muscle coordination as THC, more formally known as “delta-9 THC.”
As for humans, Cooper says that the effects are far more psychedelic and spiritual than your ordinary bud. And unlike a couple puffs of the dank, which can hit us instantly, he says there is a delay of about 30 minutes before the effects are felt.
Is THC-O-acetate legal and where can you find it?
During 1986, the Federal Analogue Act made any chemical similar to that of a Schedule 1 or Schedule 2 controlled substance illegal on a federal level. However, it’s hard to say whether or not that applies to THC-O-acetate being that research on it is so limited.
With that being said, you’re probably not going to find any at your local dispensary anytime soon. As for your bud man, well, he or she likely won’t have any either. And we wouldn’t recommend making it at home….unless you want to set your valuables and potentially even yourself on fire.