Is THC-O Legal in Alabama?

Is THC-O Legal in Alabama?

Yes. While Alabama does not have a specific law explicitly addressing the legality of THC-O, the state's Controlled Substances Act, which categorizes substances considered to have a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use, does not include THC-O.

What is THC-O?

THC-O, also called THC-O Acetate, is a synthetic derivative of Delta-9 THC, the main psychoactive compound in cannabis. It is typically created through synthesis using acetic anhydride. Common effects of THC-O include vivid hallucinations, increased anxiety, paranoia, tiredness, seizures, nausea and vomiting, dizziness, and loss of balance. THC-O products are available in several forms, including vape cartridges, edibles, dabs, tinctures, flower, and oils.

While there has been little research done on the impact of THC-O use on the human body, it is generally considered safe to use, especially at low dosages.

While precise timelines can vary, THC metabolites are typically detectable in urine for a few days to several weeks. It is important to note that extended detection does not necessarily indicate impairment, as THC metabolites can linger in the body even after the psychoactive effects have worn off.

Is THC-O Legal Under Federal Law?

No. In February 2023, the United States DEA stated that Delta-8 THC-O and Delta-9 THC-O are categorized as Schedule I controlled substances. The DEA, tasked with regulating the distribution of substances with a potential for dependence and abuse, categorizes Schedule I as the most restrictive class of controlled substances. Therefore, any business or vendor selling products containing THC-O or any other Schedule I controlled substance must cease sales.

In 2022, Rod Kight, North Carolina's cannabis attorney, inquired with the DEA on their stance on the legality of the THC-O cannabinoid. In response, the DEA issued a letter stating that Delta-9 THC-O and Delta-8 THC-O do not occur naturally in the cannabis plant and may only be obtained synthetically and, as a result, do not fall under the definition of hemp.

How Long Does THC-O Last in the Body?

The duration of THC-O remains detectable in the body and can extend up to 12 weeks in certain instances. The major metabolite resulting from the breakdown of THC-O after use is 11-hydroxy-THC, which is the same major metabolite associated with Delta-9 THC. 11-hydroxy-THC is fat-soluble and tends to accumulate in the body's fatty tissues, extending the detection window.

The exact period can vary based on factors such as individual metabolism, frequency of use, and the sensitivity of the drug test employed. For instance, the more frequently a user consumes THC-o, the longer it takes to leave the user's body.

Also, the slower a THC-O user's metabolism is, the longer it takes for the compound or its metabolites to leave the body. The enzyme CYP3A4 found in the liver breaks down THC-O after use. Some individuals typically have more of this enzyme than others, meaning they are likely to break down THC-O more quickly than others.

Furthermore, the method of THC-O use also affects how long the compound stays in the body. Some forms, such as THC-O vaporizers, leave the body quicker than others, while edibles may remain in the body for longer periods.

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

THC-O can lead to a failed drug test if you have used it in the weeks leading up to the test. Note that most conventional drug tests are unable to test for THC-O use specifically. Most drug tests are designed to test for the presence of THC or its metabolites. Since THC-O is metabolized in the body similarly to THC, a drug test will reveal the presence of THC metabolites if you have used THC-O recently.

THC-O is detectable in the body over the following periods:

  • Urine: Typically, THC metabolites are detectable in urine samples within 60 minutes of consuming products containing THC. THC metabolites may be detectable in urine for up to 30 days after the last consumption, depending on factors such as frequency of use and the user's metabolism
  • Saliva: Saliva tests have a short detection window. THC metabolites are usually only present in saliva for about 48 hours after use
  • Blood: A blood test detection window is short for THC metabolites. If you have used THC-O recently, its metabolites are usually detectable in the blood for up to 36 hours after use
  • Hair: Hair tests offer the longest detection window for THC metabolites. Hair samples may contain THC metabolites for up to 90 days after the last use

THC-O vs Delta-8

Delta-8 THC is a lesser-known minor cannabinoid commonly found in small amounts in hemp plants. It is a byproduct of the degradation of Delta-9 THC and is often produced by converting hemp-derived CBD. Commercial THC-O products typically share the same base structure as Delta-8 THC. However, THC-O is an acetylated version created by taking Delta-8 THC and binding it with acetic anhydride, a high-inflammable and colorless liquid used to make plastics, fibers, pharmaceuticals, and dyes. THC-O is typically derived from Delta-8 THC, although it can also be produced by converting Delta-9 THC and Delta-10 THC.

Delta-8 THC can produce feelings of euphoria and relaxation and also help relieve pain. However, its effects are milder than those induced by the more popularly known Delta-9 THC. In terms of potency, anecdotal reports indicate that THC-O may possess greater potency compared to Delta-8 THC, usually at least 6 times more. This heightened potency has increased the demand for THC-O and contributed to the presence of more cannabis products containing THC-O in the market.

THC-O vs Delta-9

Delta-9 THC, the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis, is well-known for inducing the characteristic marijuana high. In contrast, THC-O, an alternative form of THC, is less recognized but distinguished by an added acetyl group in its structure. Not naturally occurring in hemp, THC-O is synthesized through isomerization. Despite molecular similarities with Delta-9 THC, THC-O is reputed to be more potent, potentially 3-4 times stronger.

Delta-9 TC is associated with uplifting effects, inducing relaxation and promoting restful sleep. THC-O is believed to produce more intense effects, although individual responses to both cannabinoids vary. Comparatively, Delta-9 THC effects onset faster, depending on consumption method, while THC-O has a longer onset time, requiring 30 - 60 minutes or more, whether inhaled or consumed as edibles.

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