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A new hemp-based derivative is gaining popularity with cannabis lovers thanks to its powerful effects. THC-O acetate, known simply as THC-O, is a synthetic cannabinoid that is considered to be three times as strong as THC. 

As the demand for THC-O ramps up, employers will undoubtedly become more aware of its existence. Especially since cannabis is the most commonly detected drug in workplace urine drug tests.

Setting aside any legitimate criticisms of workplace drug screenings and debates about the efficacy and accuracy of the tests, let us simplify it down to a straightforward question: if I have THC-O in my system, how can I purge it?

Since THC-O is an analog for THC, it likely metabolizes similarly in the body, meaning it will almost certainly be picked up on a drug test for THC.

There are still methods that might help you rid your body of any objectionable substances.

In general, detoxifying is a method to drive any unhealthy chemical out of your system. The THC chemicals are stored in your body’s fat cells, which makes it stubborn, but our body is capable of cleansing the system naturally.

The fundamentals of THC-O

THC-O is a synthetic cannabinoid manufactured from hemp. It is gaining attention due to its robust, psychotropic potency, up to three times as potent as the Delta-9 THC we are familiar with!

This bump in potency can be attributed to the chemical process, Acetylation, in which a THC hydroxyl group is replaced with an acetyl group.

This molecular change results in increased solubility and permeability, making it more available for our bodies to absorb. 

THC-O produces a very similar high to other forms of weed but with a much more psychedelic twist to it. 

While a low dose reportedly feels similar to THC, moderate amounts are supposedly nearly psychedelic due to the more intense visuals and altered headspace it creates.

Meanwhile, high doses of THC-O have been compared to low doses of mescaline but with milder visuals and a much heavier, more physically sedating effect.

THC-O is a relatively new and potentially beneficial innovation for consumers and patients alike.

However, there is little research on its safety and efficacy because it is so unique. 

Furthermore, the synthesis of THC-O from hemp sources and the resulting products is not regulated. There is no way for consumers to be sure of the safety or purity of products.

How does THC-O break down in the body? 

Although more definitive research and data are needed, researchers have determined that THC-O is a “prodrug,” meaning that the liver must metabolize it before it is activated.

Once THC-O is metabolized, what is left behind is a highly bioavailable variation of delta-9 THC.

This increased bioavailability is believed to be responsible for the significant boost in potency.

Like all other cannabinoids, THC-O works in our body by interacting with the Endocannabinoid System (ECS), a complex cell-signaling system responsible for maintaining homeostasis.

When a person takes THC-O, the cannabinoid quickly attaches to receptors throughout the brain and body, resulting in various effects.

Will THC-O show up on a drug test?

THC-O would likely cause a failed drug test result similar to 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 in much the same way as THC, its metabolites, and its variants. 

Presently, no actual studies show that a person produces THC-COOH after consuming THC-O-Acetate. Still, at the same time, based on their similarities, we must surmise that your body will produce similar metabolites. 

If we follow this reasoning, it is safe to assume that THC-O will probably remain in your system for as long as regular THC can. 

Several individual factors determine how long THC can remain in your body:

  • Body mass
  • Metabolic rate
  • The concentration of THC consumed
  • Frequency of THC consumed

Due to the THC’s lipid-solubility, it tends to get deposited in the fat cells of your body.

It is relatively easier (and faster) for a person with lower body fat to flush out the toxins.

Frequent consumption coupled with high body fat can prolong THC retention (and therefore the cleansing procedure) in an individual’s body.

THC-O’s tendency to cling to fat cells is purely speculative until more data is available. So please proceed with caution and check back with us for updates.

How to get THC-O out of your system? 

You have already consumed THC-O and want to flush it out of your system. What kind of steps can you take?

As mentioned above, THC-O metabolites can often end up stored within layers of fat cells, so it is best to avoid fat altogether.

Junk food is probably the first thing to start cutting out of your diet since binge eating can slow down your detoxification process.

It is vital to check the calories of your snack before actually eating it up. This will help you evaluate the rest of the calories to intake the whole day.

Ensure that there is as little sugar as possible in your diet.

Besides fixing up your calorie intake, it is also essential to work out.

This method helps you burn fat cells much quicker than usual. Incorporating an exercise plan into your daily routine can help your body burn up the fat accumulated as an energy source.

While there are various detoxifying drinks and supplements you can take, they can be hit-or-miss.

Generally, you want to focus your energy on drinking plenty of water. The goal is to urinate frequently so that you cleanse your body of toxins.

For this, you can consume cranberry juice with several glasses of water. Like a sports drink, Cranberry juice can also be gulped down with electrolytes to ensure maximum urination.

This will ensure that no toxin is left behind.


‘What is THC-O?’ by Ali Mans Cornwell. Published August 26, 2021. 

‘THC-O: The Psychedelic Cannabinoid’ by Justin Cooke. Published October 2021.

‘A Simple Guide to the Endocannabinoid System’ by Crystal Paypal. Published May 2019.

‘Marijuana Detox: How to Detox from Weed & How Long Will It Take?’ by the American Addiction Center. Published December 2021.

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