Delta 9o vs. Delta 9 THC

Published July 31, 2023
Delta 9o vs. Delta 9 THC - Secret Nature

Delta 9o products are starting to appear on the market, making it necessary to learn about the potential risks and benefits of this new and rare cannabinoid. While delta 9o and the conventional form of THC — delta 9 THC — are very similar in almost every way, these two cannabinoids are chemically (and relevantly) different. Discover the differences between delta 9o and delta 9 THC to decide which form of THC you’d rather use.

What is delta 9o?

The term “delta 9o” is a relatively new abbreviation now used to refer to the cannabinoid delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol acetate, or delta 9 THCO. Why isn’t delta 9o called THCO, then? Because the name was already taken by delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol acetate, which arrived on the scene about a year prior to the advent delta 9o.

Technically, though, either cannabinoid can be referred to as “THCO.” The “O” at the end simply stands for “acetate,” which refers to the acetyl group that has been added to either delta 8 or delta 9 to produce tetrahydrocannabinol acetate. As an acetylated compound, delta 9o appears to offer better oral bioavailability at the cost of extended activation time.

Is delta 9o the same as delta 9 THC?

No, as long as they are outside of your body, at least, delta 9o and delta 9 THC are different compounds. Delta 9o is the result of combining delta 9 THC with an acetyl group, a process that is commonly used to make drugs and other substances more bioavailable.

Due to its status as a combination of a cannabinoid and an acetyl group, delta 9o is inherently synthetic. The digestive tract harmlessly processes out the acetyl group attached to the THC molecule, however, transforming delta 9o back into normal THC. The only difference is that the new THC molecule offers greater absorption than natural THC, providing increased experienced effects.

Delta 9o and delta 9 THC compared

How do delta 9o and delta 9 THC stack up side by side? Below, we’ll comprehensively compare the two cannabinoids across 11 separate categories:

1. Source

While the tetrahydrocannabinol in delta 9o and delta 9 THC may come from the same place, delta 9 THC is a naturally occurring cannabinoid while delta 9o can only come into existence by human intervention. The acetyl groups in delta 9o must also be derived from non-cannabis sources since they are not naturally available in cannabis, taking delta 9o’s status as a synthetic cannabinoid a step further.

2. Structure

The chemical structures of delta 9o and delta 9 THC precisely mirror each other aside from the acetyl group that has been added to the head of the delta 9o molecule. Even though the human body sheds this acetyl group soon after delta 9o is ingested, the fact that delta 9o is chemically different from delta 9 THC prior to ingestion is enough to qualify this acetylated cannabinoid as a hemp substance.

3. Potency

Reports vary, and hard research is both old and limited. However, it’s generally believed that delta 9o is considerably stronger than conventional delta 9 THC. Users even believe this to be the case for conventional THCO, which is made with delta 8, an inferior cannabinoid to delta 9 THC in terms of sheer potency. If THCO is stronger than THC, then delta 9o must also be considerably more potent than its original form.

4. Activation time

One of the most major differences between delta 9o and conventional delta 9 THC is the speed at which each cannabinoid absorbs into your bloodstream via the oral ingestion path. Before delta 9o can be processed by your liver, it must first be liberated of its acetyl group, a process that can take up to 45 minutes.

As a result, most users report that taking delta 9o orally results in effects that take over an hour to kick in. This delayed activation time is not believed to apply to inhaled delta 9o, however.

5. Effects

Though they take longer to set in, the effects of delta 9o are considered to be far stronger than the effects of conventional THC. While reports that delta 9o may be so strong that it is genuinely “psychedelic” could be overstated, this acetylated cannabinoid will certainly hit you harder than you expect from THC — especially if you’re a light user with a limited THC tolerance.

6. Benefits

The potential benefits of delta 9 THC are well-known. This cannabinoid has been used in pain and terminal illness care for decades, and its potential psychological benefits are well-researched. What’s unknown is how acetylating this cannabinoid might impact THC’s benefits — either for better or for worse.

7. Safety

Acetylation is generally considered to be a safe process since acetyl groups rapidly break down into acetic acid in the body, a natural substance the body already produces in small quantities and uses in metabolism and other purposes. Research into the safety of acetylation has mostly focused on oral ingestion, however, so not much information is available on the potential impact of acetylation on inhaled products like hemp flower or vapes.

8. Legality

Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol is generally the only cannabinoid any longer federally recognized as the Schedule I illicit drug “marijuana.” As a result, delta 9 THC is strictly prohibited on the federal level, overlooking the fact that dozens of states have now made the cannabinoid legal in some capacity.

Since it has been chemically modified, delta 9o does not generally fall under the definition of “marijuana.” It is in the same regulatory category as the host of THC alternatives that have recently appeared such as delta 8, delta 10, and THCO.

9. Availability

The availability of both delta 9o and delta 9 THC is limited, but for different reasons. In the case of delta 9 THC, you’ll have a hard time getting your hands on this cannabinoid (legally) in states that have not legalized marijuana. In the case of delta 9o, on the other hand, there aren’t many products available yet, and it can be difficult to sort through the various offerings to find a delta 9o product that meets your safety and quality standards.

10. Variety

If you are lucky enough to live in a state where cannabis is legal and plentiful, the variety of delta 9 THC products available to you vastly outstrips the variety of delta 9o products you can buy online. If you can’t buy any delta 9 THC legally at all, though, you’ll be happy to access whatever variety is beginning to emerge within the internet’s nascent delta 9o industry.

11. Quality

Right now, you’d need to search harder to find a high-quality delta 9o manufacturer than you would to find an equally high-quality conventional delta 9 THC brand. That is, of course, if you live in a recreational or medical cannabis state. Otherwise, you won’t be able to find any delta 9 THC to buy legally at all, making it necessary to vett the quality of the delta 9o products that are starting to appear on the internet.

The bottom line: Is delta 9o better than delta 9 THC?

For some people, delta 9o might be better than delta 9 THC for a variety of reasons, chief among which being the increased potency and nationwide availability of delta 9. Others, though, may be content with their current sources of THC, or they might simply prefer the effects of delta 9 THC’s toned-down cousin, delta 8, over its super-powered offspring, delta 9o.

One thing’s for sure though: If you’re a cannabis lover who has not yet tried delta 9o, the time is now. This cannabinoid has the potential to turn the hemp industry upside down, and you’ll want to be able to say you were there when it did.

Delta 9o vs. delta 9 THC FAQ

Still want to learn more about the differences between delta 9 THC and delta 9o? Broaden your knowledge in this FAQ section:

What is “delta 9o THCO”?

Some manufacturers refer to delta 9o as “delta 9o THCO” to reinforce the fact that it is a form of tetrahydrocannabinol acetate. This extended version of the name, however, means the exact same thing as delta 9o — it is not a new cannabinoid or some combination of delta 9o and delta 8o, the cannabinoid more commonly referred to as THCO.

What is delta 8o?

Delta 8o or delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol acetate is more commonly known as THCO even though this acronym could just as easily refer to delta 9o instead. As delta 9o becomes more popular, expect it to become common for manufacturers to start adopting the term “delta 8o” to distinguish this derivative of delta 8 from other types of THCO.

What are the best delta 9o products?

The best delta 9o products on the market will consist of pure delta 9o distillate and as few additional ingredients as possible. The delta 9o molecules in delta 9o distillate should be naturally derived from conventional THC or another cannabinoid that originated in organic, indoor-grown hemp. For now, the best types of delta 9o products you can buy are vapes, gummies, and capsules.

Is delta 9o federally legal?

The conventional form of THC, delta 9 THC, is the only version of this substance that is considered to be the federally illegal drug “marijuana.” As a result, delta 9o usually falls under the definition of “industrial hemp” under the 2018 Farm Bill, generally placing delta 9o in the same regulatory category as CBD.

Is delta 9o lab-tested?

Yes, all delta 9o products sold online or anywhere else should be accompanied by thorough lab reports produced by an independent testing lab. These reports should not only convey cannabinoid concentrations but also prove the lab tested for heavy metals, mycotoxins, industrial solvents, and any other relevant potential contaminants.

What is a good dose of delta 9o?

Most users indicate that doses of delta 9o as low as 5mg are effective with efficacy increasing with dose. Only heavy THC users will feel the need for more than 25mg delta 9o at a time.

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