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If you have never heard of THC-O, do not worry; it is still relatively new to the cannabis industry.

THC-O is becoming popular across the U.S. thanks to growing interest in other THC analogs such as delta-8 and delta-10 and their growing availability in the market.

THC-O is also psychoactive: up to three times more potent than THC! Making it an enticing experience for curious cannabis users across the U.S. 

While not explicitly listed as a controlled substance, THC-O’s legality remains questionable, begging the question: Will using THC-O result in a failed drug test?

Although more definitive research is needed, because THC-O is an analog for THC, it metabolizes similarly in the body. This will almost certainly be picked up on a drug test for THC, resulting in a failed test.

Let’s take a closer look at this confoundingly curious cannabinoid.

How is THC-O-acetate made?

THC-O, or THC-O acetate, is a synthetic analog of THC. Although it is a cannabinoid, it does not occur naturally in cannabis and can only be safely manufactured using the latest cannabis technology and methods.

THC-O is produced by first extracting Delta-8 THC from CBD. Then, acetic anhydride is added to the Delta-8 THC molecules in a process that eliminates all terpenes and flavonoids.

What is left over is a flavorless, scentless, thick oil with powerful potency: THC-O.

THC-O shares the same base structure as THC but with a unique functional group attached (an acetate group).

This added portion of the molecule makes it substantially more potent than most other forms of THC. THC-O-acetate’s effects can be up to 300% stronger than THC!

How does our body metabolize THC-O?

More research, regulation, and data are needed, but scientists have concluded that THC-O is a “prodrug,” or a compound that must be metabolized to activate.

Once THC-O is metabolized, what’s essentially left is a highly bioavailable variation of delta-9 THC, meaning the variation is absorbed and circulates well in the body. This bioavailability speculatively increases the overall potency. 

Our bodies are unique, and some of us seem to metabolize THC-O more quickly than others due to individual metabolic processes. 

Our metabolism plays a more significant role than we might think in the time it takes for you to become clear for a drug test.

Unfortunately, there is no way to know precisely how efficiently your body breaks down THC compared to someone else.

However, it is safe to say that you cannot just rely on a fast metabolism to get the THC-O out of your body quickly. It is still very risky.

Does THC-O show up on a drug test?

THC-O would likely cause a failed drug test result the same way as THC. However, this is purely speculative, and very little scientific research exists to verify this claim.

Because THC-O is a synthetic analog of THC with a similar molecular structure, it is metabolized, excreted, and detectable on a drug test much the same way as THC, its metabolites, and its variants. 

Furthermore, because THC-O is fat-soluble, stored securely in your fat cells after the metabolization process finishes, it can be challenging to rid of your body.

Therefore, the only sure-fire way to purge THC-O out of your body is time.

In short, if you are regularly drug tested at work, it is probably best to avoid THC-O products. 

What factors could lead to a positive result?

Ultimately, it is suggested that you avoid THC-O if you might be subject to drug testing since the risk is too high of failing.

However, if you already have been eating or smoking THC-O and have a test coming up, there are some factors to consider that can help determine the potential outcome.

How long ago did you use THC-O? How much did you use? What type of product did you use?

If you only had a tiny amount a couple of days ago, there is a good chance you may be in the clear. But if you are a daily user who consumes a good amount of THC-O, it may take over a month before your test will come back negative.

It is also important to remember that THC-O is not the only federally legal hemp cannabinoid that can result in a failed drug test. For example, Delta 8 THC, Delta 10 THC, THC-O, and THC-P can cause the same response. 


We are entering a golden age for psychoactive cannabinoids. There seems to be something new cropping up every day that can offer its unique hemp or cannabis-derived high.

Currently, it is not too easy to find THC-O-acetate for sale right now. And although there is no specific THC-O-acetate drug test, the jury is still out whether or not having it in your urine would lead to a positive drug test result (although it seems likely).

Since there is not much research involving THC-O, we will have to wait until it is more accessible to find out more.

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