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    Fact or Fiction: Can You Get Addicted to THC-O?

    THC-O-Acetate (THC-O) is a unique hemp derivative on the market in that it’s the only compound widely available that is partially synthesized.  Derived from naturally occurring ‘THC’ in the hemp plant, it promises a potent high that’s considered to be stronger than even delta 9 THC.  Not only that, but THC-O is known for its euphoric effects that can really elevate the mind into a state of unparalleled bliss. 

    One thing that you may be wondering is whether or not it’s possible to become addicted to THC-O-Acetate.  First off, it’s important to keep in mind that there are two types of addictions: physical addictions and mental addictions.  That being said, let’s explore whether or not a person can develop a dependency on THC-O, and in particular, if that could lead to dangerous withdrawal symptoms down the road, should the person choose to stop taking it.

    What We’re Still Learning About THC-O

    THC-O-acetate is a non-naturally occurring cannabinoid derived from the hemp plant.  It’s semi-synthesized to create a new cannabinoid with its own unique effects and properties.  THC-O was invented in the mid-20th century, and even was developed specially to offer a high significantly stronger than delta 9 THC.  It’s estimated to be about 3x as intoxicating, while offering feelings of euphoria and a potent body high that can lead to couchlock.

    THC-O-Acetate has been around for decades, but it was swept under the rug, more or less, due to strict anti-cannabis laws that made up the second half of the 20th Century.  Only now does it exist on the market because hemp-derived THC-O is legal, as a result of hemp’s federal legalization in 2018

    The important thing to know is that THC-O has not been researched nearly as extensively as we would like it to have been.  What this means is that there is no data we can refer to when talking about the possibility of THC-O being addictive. 

    Can You Get Addicted to THC-O?

    While we can’t reference any scientific literature in terms of the likelihood for someone to get addicted to THC-O-Acetate, what we can say is that there are two types of addictions, and that plays a big role. 

    • Physical addiction refers to addiction to a substance that our body physically depends on in order to function. The most notorious example is alcohol, with alcohol withdrawal symptoms being potentially deadly since the body learns that it can’t regulate itself without regular alcohol consumption.
    • Mental addictions mean that we become psychologically dependent on something. A person can be mentally addicted to anything, including any substance that gives them relief, as well as non-substances like shopping or gambling.  A mental addiction is tricky because if a substance makes a person feel better, and they use it frequently enough, this sends a message to the brain that a person cannot feel good without it.  While their bodies may not be dependent on the substance, a person’s mood relies on it.

    With THC-O-Acetate, there is no link to any kind of physical addiction.  But, anyone can be addicted to THC-O mentally if they’re prone to addiction in general.  It really depends on the individual, for these main reasons below.

    Reason #1: Everyone’s Brain is Unique

    Some people’s brains are simply wired to become easily addicted to things in the psychological sense.  This is an area that’s still largely misunderstood, but it seems clear that addiction can be a genetically inherited trait.  It also seems to have to do with how the brain’s reward center works.  If the brain is prone to making a strong connection between performing an action and feeling “rewarded,” then the person is more prone to becoming mentally dependent on that action, which in this case would be consuming THC-O.

    THC-O’s unique high can make us feel very euphoric, and the feeling of euphoria can be addicting to some individuals.  For instance, someone who struggles to produce enough serotonin may develop depressive symptoms, and even become addicted to the relief that THC-O can provide, believing that the only way that they can feel happy is by consuming THC-O as frequently as possible to keep their mood up.  Then, when they stop taking it, they need to relearn how to regulate their emotions without any substances in their system.

    Reason #2: Your Particular THC-O Routine Can Matter

    Yes, it also has to do with how frequently you are using THC-O. 

    • If you’re taking THC-O every day, you’re more likely to become mentally dependent on it, because your brain is being taught that it needs THC-O to “feel good”.
    • If you’re a sporadic user who just consumes the cannabinoid occasionally, then you’re not reinforcing the message that THC-O is something that you need in order to maintain a good mood, and so the less likely it is that you would become addicted.

    Can You Get Withdrawal Symptoms by Stopping THC-O?

    Fortunately, the large majority of THC-O users do not experience any kind of dependency, nor do they end up getting withdrawal symptoms when they don’t use the cannabinoid for a while.  THC-O-Acetate is not associated with dangerous withdrawal symptoms, such as alcohol and certain medications like Xanax can cause when the user stops taking them.

    But, if you’re using THC-O as a way to self-medicate for something like a mood disorder, then you may experience a rebound effect when you stop taking it, because your brain is not used to regulating its emotional state.  So, you might go through a brief period of time where you’re more prone to stress and irritability, and also may experience short-term sleeping disturbances.

    Overall, THC-O Doesn’t Appear to Be Any More Addicting Than Any Other Cannabis Derivative

    More importantly, it does not look like there is any real concern about developing dangerous symptoms when withdrawing from the cannabinoid.  However, keep in mind that a person can develop an emotional dependency when taking any type of substance regularly, if it offers them some sense of relief.  Still, if your fear of being a THC-O user is that stopping your routine could cause harm, you very likely have nothing to fear.


    Please Note: Before taking THC-O, speak with your doctor first.  Your physician has access to your medical records and can therefore, make a proper determination if THC-O is right for you.