Does THCO Show Up on a Drug Test — Why or Why Not?
It seems we’re entering a golden age for psychoactive cannabinoids. While for many years there was essentially only one that was ever available to the public — Delta 9 THC — there now seems to be something new cropping up every day that can offer its unique hemp or cannabis-derived high.
THCO is one of the latest on that list, and unlike the more well-known THC variants, like Delta 8 and Delta 10, this fascinating analog is said to be two times stronger than Delta 9, if not even more than that.
If you’re considering giving THCO a try, then you’ve probably heard about the effects it offers, which extend beyond the realm of what your standard Delta 9 THC high can provide.
It’s said to be the “spiritual cannabinoid” as its high is a reflective and mind-expanding one that has been compared to the sort of trips offered by psychedelics. But while this notion may appeal to your inner psychonaut, there are a few questions you should ask before delving into the world of this bold new cannabinoid.
Questions like, “is THCO safe? and” Is it legal?” and “Will it show up on a drug test?”
Fortunately, we’ve gone ahead and compiled all of that information and more into this article for your edification. The idea of all of these new cannabinoids becoming available to the public is pretty exciting, but don’t let that excitement obscure your judgment.
Due diligence is imperative when deciding whether to use a psychoactive substance, and your due diligence for THCO is all right here.
What Is THCO?
THCO, or tetrahydrocannabinol acetate, is an analog of Delta 9 THC, the main psychoactive component found in cannabis. This analog is man-made, so unlike many other alternative cannabinoids that have hit the market lately, you cannot find it naturally in hemp or cannabis plants.
Instead, it must be synthesized through a process known as acetylation.
While products containing THCO have just recently begun to hit the market, the Delta 9 analog has been known for quite some time. It was being used in military experiments as early as 1949. One recorded instance of an American citizen synthesizing THCO and being arrested in Jacksonville, Florida, dates back to 1978.
How THCO Differs from Delta 9 THC Structurally
The chemical structure of THCO is nearly identical to that of Delta 9 THC, except for one small difference: acetylation.
Acetylation is when an acetyl group replaces a hydrogen group. While it may only be a minor structural difference, it is still a complex and difficult process to create THCO, which is why you shouldn’t even bother attempting to create your own.
What Is a THCO High Like?
One of the distinguishing features of THCO is its potency, which is said to be multiple times stronger than Delta 9 THC. While there are no hard numbers to prove or disprove these claims, anecdotal evidence suggests THCO can provide a stronger and more psychedelic high than psilocybin.
This description may sound highly enticing to you, but keep in mind that not everybody enjoys the psychedelic experience, and jumping into one headfirst with a THC analog that has very little research behind it is going to come with some risks. You should inform yourself about those risks before deciding to venture into the world of THCO.
Is it Safe?
It’s very easy to fall into the trap of assuming that because you’ve enjoyed plenty of Delta 9 THC in your day and you’ve never experienced any adverse effects that you’ll be safe if you give THCO a try.
They may be similar structurally, but they are not the same. There’s a ton of research available about the safety of Delta 9, but there is no research at all about that of THCO.
On top of the lack of knowledge about the potential health risks posed by THCO, there’s also the fact that it is highly potent. You don’t necessarily need to have a health-related incident to have a very bad time using a powerful psychoactive substance. That’s why you should consider the risk of a bad trip an aspect of THCO’s overall safety.
Currently, there are no reports of overdoses or deaths connected to THCO, nor is there any anecdotal evidence to suggest that it can cause any health problems, but that doesn’t mean those things are not possible. In other words, try THCO at your own risk.
Is it Legal?
The answer to this question is rather unclear. While there is no explicit language in the United States Controlled Substances Act naming THCO as a prohibited substance, language in the Federal Analog Act may make it illegal.
The determining factor is whether THCO can be considered to be a synthetic THC analog. If it is regarded as a synthetic THC analog, that will make THCO illegal under the Federal Analog Act. As of right now, however, the legal status of THCO remains vague enough for products containing the THC analog to be available for purchase.
Will THCO Show Up on a Drug Test?
If you’re currently worrying about whether the THCO you tried the other day is going to register a positive on an upcoming drug test, we’ve got some bad news for you.
Because THCO is so similar to the Delta THCs, a standard drug test is likely going to detect it as such. While there is not currently any research to back this up, you should still consider yourself at high risk for a failed drug test if you’ve got THCO in your system.
Does this Cannabinoid Produce the Same Metabolites as Delta 9 THC?
Again, there is no research out there that can either prove or disprove this, but it’s hard to imagine that THCO would metabolize differently enough in your system that your body would not produce the same metabolites as they do when exposed to Delta 9 THC. Metabolites are what a drug test is designed to detect.
How Do I Clean My System of THC?
It’s safe to assume that if you came here hoping that THCO wouldn’t show up on a drug test, you’re probably panicking right about now.
Without getting too far into it, we should first say that we hope this is at the very least a learning experience for you. Before trying out any psychoactive substance, you should do your research, so you don’t find yourself in such predicaments.
Now that we’re past that, let’s look at your options for passing that drug test.
If you’ve only tried THCO that one time and you’re otherwise clean, then you should be clear to pass a drug test in just 1 to 5 days. If you're a frequent user of alternative cannabinoids, then you likely won’t be naturally cleansed of them for a month or two.
Every stoner has a buddy who thinks they know all of the homemade tricks of the trade when it comes to dodging a drug test, but we’re here to tell you that your buddy is full of it. Home remedies won’t get you very far at all, so you’d be wise to ignore them.
If you’re looking to quickly cleanse your system of all of the various THC compounds currently residing in it, a detox kit may be able to do the trick. A high-quality one should help you pass a drug test within 5 to 10 days, but be aware that there are no guarantees here, and you may still be disappointed with the results.