THC O Acetate 101

Published Feb 16, 2019 10:32 p.m. ET

What is THC O Acetate?

THC acetate is an acetate ester for the chemical THC. An acetate is a form of salt that is produced when acetic acid and alkaline are combined. It behaves like a metabolic prodrug for the chemical THC in the very same way heroin is one for the drug heroin. THC O Acetate is three times as strong as THC crystalline and has twice the potency of THC. Consuming THC O Acetate is done for recreational purposes as it induces an intense psychoactive high that can last for several hours. It consists of a synthesized form of THCA or THC and appears as a deep brown oily substance that does not need to be heated to be activated making it consumable by smoking, drinking, vaping, or eating it while also offering the option to take it orally via a dropper.

What are the effects of THC O Acetate?

THC acetate is known for its intense psychedelic effect that is often compared to those of LSD or psilocybin mushrooms. Most users report an overwhelming sense of euphoria that can be both introspective and spiritual. Unfortunately, due to its potent nature, there isn’t much for studies to refer to when trying to describe the exact way a user should expect any of these effects to take place. What is for certain is that THC O acetate takes longer, a full 30 minutes to be completely absorbed into the bloodstream where THC is instantaneous. Most users report a very delayed effect in comparison to THC.

History of THC O Acetate

The history of the THC O acetate is an interesting one.


The very first three studies to ever be conducted on the drug took place in 1948, 1956, and 1975. These studies were all done by the United States Army and called the Edgewood Arsenal Experiments. They tested THC O acetate on canines attempting to assess its benefits as a weapon for war. The army also studied the drugs ability to incapacitate without causing lethal consequences and found it to be twice as effective as THC.



One of only three times that law enforcement or the DEA has dealt with anything to do with THC O acetate is an incident that took place in 1978 in the heart of Jacksonville Florida. A man was thought to be making morphine but was actually producing THC acetate. While there were some suggestions to discuss making the drug a controlled substance under the law, the idea was quickly forgotten. The only place in the world that currently has existing laws surrounding THC O acetate is the UK who has classified it as a class A substance that can legally be consumed.  

The second time was a report that was made in June of 1995 which took place in the United Kingdom. In this instance, THC O acetate was labeled as a Class A drug but further laws to control the substance were never formed. This case found the makers of the substance were using D. Gold’s Cannabis Alchemy book as a how-to guide.

The third instance was in New Zealand in 1995 where police found a large-scale operation in the basement of a home where several people were performing acetylation of a purified form of marijuana extract using a chemical called acetic anhydride. All charges were dropped, and the drug did not receive any legal drug classification as a result.


Literature on the history of the THC O acetate is almost non-existent with one sole piece of the puzzle resting with a book written in 1974. The book is called Cannabis Alchemy: Art of Modern Hashmaking and is where author D. Gold publicly gave complete synthesis instructions in the form of a step by step guide that inspired a select few to try to recreate the substance themselves.



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