THC-O Gummies: List of Products, Legality, Safety, & Natural Alternatives

THC-O is a synthetic cannabinoid that’s derived from hemp but is NOT naturally occurring. So, how are companies selling it? What are the risks? Let’s explore…

By Connor McElroy Last Updated: May 31, 2024
Last Updated: May 31, 2024

THC-O is an interesting cannabinoid that has been in a legal gray area in the United States for some time. Several brands are selling THC-O gummies online in the United States. 

However, this compound has recently been added to the controlled substances list, making it illegal under federal law.

THC-O is an acetate — a synthetically sourced cannabinoid made by taking CBD and converting it to delta-8 or delta-9 THC before adding acetic anhydride to create “THC-O acetate.” Although THC-O is hemp-derived, it isn’t found in raw cannabis plants.

Here, we’ll explore everything you need to know about THC-O gummies and some of the best legal alternatives you can still pick up online in the US.

Related Guides: Cannabis 101 | Delta-9 THC Gummies | Delta-8 THC Gummies | Best THC Gummies (All)

What is THC-O?

THC-O (tetrahydrocannabinol acetate) is a synthetic cannabinoid that’s made from hemp-derived compounds. 

Although THC-O could be considered “hemp-derived,” it’s not naturally occurring in either hemp or cannabis. Unlike other cannabinoids that are extracted from hemp, such as CBD, delta-8 THC, CBG, etc, it cannot be obtained from extraction alone. 

THC-O is an acetylated version of THC. It’s made by taking CBD, converting it to delta-8 or delta-9 THC, and adding acetic anhydride. This process is known as acetylation — turning regular THC into an acetate (THC-O). This cannabinoid is said to be two to three times as potent as regular THC. 

Anecdotal reports claim that THC-O is a more psychedelic version of delta-9 THC. It may offer the user a more spiritual, psychedelic, and hallucinatory experience compared to other naturally occurring hemp-derived cannabinoids. 

THC-O Molecule

Effects of THC-O

THC-O is said to be two to three times as potent as delta-9 THC. It produces similar effects but may be more intense than regular THC. 

Here are some of the common effects of THC-O:

  • Relaxation
  • Sedation
  • Euphoria 
  • Mild hallucinations
  • Altered perception of time
  • Altered perception of space
  • Increased appetite
  • Dizziness

Is THC-O Legal?

Although THC-O products are sold across the United States in physical and online stores, it was recently added to the restricted substances list, making it federally illegal. 

The 2018 Farm Bill states that cannabinoids derived from hemp are legal in any quantity, except for delta-9 THC, which is only legal in concentrations below 0.3% by weight. So why is THC-O illegal?

Although THC-O can be considered “hemp-derived,” it’s not naturally present in the plant.  

THC-O is a modified form of THC that’s chemically altered by adding an acetyl group to the cannabinoid. The Federal Analogue Act states that any synthetic compound that’s similar to a Schedule 1 or Schedule 2 drug will be treated as a scheduled substance regardless of its molecular differences. 

Although the Federal Analogue Act makes this clear, several brands have brought THC-O products to market, and for some time, they’ve gone under the radar as a “gray-market” cannabinoid. 

The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has since released a statement explaining that both delta-8 and delta-9 THC-O are synthetically derived from hemp (not naturally derived). They are, therefore, not considered hemp products and are on the restricted substance list.

Is THC-O Safe to Consume?

There’s very little research into the safety of THC-O, unlike cannabinoids such as CBD, delta-9 THC, and delta-8 THC. Although we can’t be certain about the long-term effects of this synthetic cannabinoid, we have uncovered some safety concerns. 

The first concern is how the cannabinoid is manufactured. To make THC-O delta-8 or delta-9, THC must be altered through acetylation by adding a chemical called acetic anhydride. 

Despite many companies claiming to be “all-natural,” synthetic chemicals like acetic anhydride are always used in the production of THC-O. 

Acetic anhydride is an essential acetylating agent. It’s a highly reactive chemical that’s used to produce pharmaceuticals, dyes, perfumes, and even explosive devices. This chemical must be handled with care. It’s corrosive to the skin, eyes, and respiratory tract, causing severe burns and irritation. It’s highly flammable and extremely toxic if ingested or inhaled. 

If high levels of this toxic chemical are present in THC-O gummies and vapes, it could cause serious health consequences. 

Many legal THC brands cut corners when it comes to chemistry to make the products cheaper. There’s also no regulatory body checking the quality of these products. It’s likely that a high percentage of the THC-O gummies and vape products on the market contain toxic levels of acetic anhydride. 

The second concern is the inconsistency in terms of effects. THC-O produces similar effects to cannabis, but most agree they’re stronger and more psychedelic. It takes longer for THC-O to kick in compared to other types of THC, making it easy to consume too much.

It can take up to an hour to notice the effects of THC-O after consuming a gummy and up to 30 minutes after using a vape. Those who are unaware of this may consume a second dose, believing the first to be too weak to take effect. 

Like any cannabinoid, the effects of THC-O can vary widely depending on the person. Some may have an enjoyable, relaxing experience, whereas others may experience severe nausea, vomiting, anxiety, and paranoia. 

Side Effects of THC-O

Here are some of the common side effects of THC-O:

  • Anxiety
  • Dizziness
  • Hallucinations
  • Headaches 
  • Nausea 
  • Paranoia
  • Sedation 
  • Seizures
  • Vomiting

THC-O Dosage Guide

Consuming the correct dodge is key to having an enjoyable experience with THC-O. As with any substance, it’s important to start with a low dose and work up gradually until the desired effects are achieved. Since THC-O can take longer than other cannabinoids to kick in, it’s important to wait for at least an hour and a half between doses.

Make sure to check how potent the THC-O product you wish to consume is. Check the packaging and take a look at third-party lab data (available on any reputable brand’s website) to ensure the brand’s potency claims are correct. A dose could be equivalent to a few puffs of a vape, one or two drops of a tincture, or a single gummy — it depends on the potency of the individual product. 

Here’s a simple dosage guide for THC-O:

  • Low Dose: 3–10 mg 
  • Medium Dose: 10–25 mg
  • Strong Dose: 25–50 mg (or more)

Safer Legal THC Alternatives to THC-O

THC-O has been added to the restricted substances list in the United States. It’s only a matter of time before all of the hemp-derived THC brands remove the cannabinoid from their online stores. There are also some health concerns with THC-O, so it may be best to avoid it. 

Luckily, several psychoactive, hemp-derived cannabinoids are completely legal and far safer to consume. 

Here are three of the best, most potent legal alternatives to THC-O:

1. Delta-9 THC

Delta-9 THC is legal in quantities under 0.3% (of total weight), provided it’s extracted from federally legal hemp. The effects of hemp-derived delta-9 THC are typical of cannabis. 

The problem with hemp-derived delta-9 is the federally set 0.3% by weight limit. This limit makes it difficult for brands to develop products that contain psychoactive doses of THC while staying within the law. 

The best delta-9 THC products to look at are gummies. Some companies, such as Area 52, have developed dense, heavy gummies that can accommodate psychoactive doses of delta-9 at 0.3% of their total weight. For example, the UFO Max gummies contain 15 mg of Δ9 THC and are fully Farm Bill-compliant.

Delta-9 THC molecule


THCA is the precursor of delta-9 THC. Hemp-derived THCA is legal in any quantity. It’s non-psychoactive in its raw form. However, when decarboxylated through heating, the cannabinoid is converted to delta-9 THC. 

THCA is the best cannabinoid to look at if you want a vaping or smoking experience that produces similar effects to cannabis. THCA vapes, pre-rolls, and flower work because the cannabinoid is converted to the psychoactive delta-9 THC during ignition (smoking) and heating (vaping). 

THCA is expensive to produce, so genuine THCA vapes and smokeables can be pricey. Look for products that contain 400 mg or more of THCA and additional psychoactive cannabinoids such as HHC. 

THCA Molecule

3. Delta-8 THC

Delta-8 THC is similar to delta-9, but it has a slightly different molecular structure. Instead of a double bond at the ninth carbon, it has a double bond at the eighth carbon. This slight difference in molecular structure makes hemp-derived delta-8 THC legal in any concentration.

Delta-8 THC produces similar effects to delta-9 but is less intense. Feelings of euphoria are milder, and potential negative effects such as anxiety and paranoia are decreased. This cannabinoid is perfect for people who are more sensitive to THC or those who want to induce a functional high that’s less sedative. 

Delta-8 is effective in many different consumption formats. Gummies, vapes, pre-rolls, and capsules are all good ways to consume this cannabinoid. 

Delta-8 THC Molecule

Best Legal THC-O Alternatives (Gummies)

THC-O gummies aren’t the best option if you’re looking for an edible that’ll get you high without breaking the law. The best legal THC gummies contain hemp-derived delta-9 THC extracts that are Farm-Bill compliant. 

Let’s take a look at five of the most popular…

1. Area 52 UFO Max Gummies (Best Potent Delta-9 THC)

The UFO Max gummies from Area 52 are a super potent variant of their Classic UFO gummies, which contain 5 mg of hemp-derived delta-9 THC per gummy.

Area 52 figured out a way to pack a stronger dose of THC into their UFO Max gummies while staying under the limit of 0.3% THC by weight. They did this by increasing the weight and density of each gummy to accommodate a whopping 15 mg of delta-9 per piece. 

Each UFO Max gummy contains 15 mg of hemp-derived delta-9 THC, 100 mg of CBD, and 5 mg of CBG. These are some of the strongest delta-9 THC gummies on the market that are genuinely Farm Bill-compliant. 

All of the cannabinoids used in these gummies are the result of full-spectrum supercritical CO2 extraction from US-grown hemp. Each pack contains 30 gummies, flavored with natural mango extract and terpenes derived from the “Green Crack” cannabis strain. 

If you’re interested in using legal THC gummies recreationally, UFO Max is the way to go. If you’re more sensitive to THC, want to induce a more functional high, or are interested in microdosing THC, the Classic UFO gummies are a good option.

Product Specs & Rating:

Tripsitter Ranking10/10Most potent hemp-derived THC gummies on the market
Trust Score10/10Supercritical CO2 extracts from US-grown hemp. Lab-tested, Farm Bill-compliant, & natural ingredients 
THC Per Gummy (mg)15 mg 15 mg THC, 100 mg CBD, & 5 mg CBG. Lower-potency “Classic” UFO gummies containing 5 mg THC are also available
Taste9/10Flavored with natural mango & terpenes
Cost$69Well-priced for such a potent gummy
Sold ByArea 52Reputable brand with a range of quality legal cannabinoid products

2. Cycling Frog THC + CBD Gummies (Best Low-Potency Option)

The THC + CBD gummies from Cycling Frog aren’t the strongest delta-9 gummies on the market, but they’re worth a look if you’re interested in microdosing THC or are particularly sensitive to the cannabinoid. 

Each gummy contains 5 mg of THC and 25 mg of CBD. They come in packs of 10 or 40 gummies in a choice of three flavors — mango & pineapple, watermelon, and huckleberry. 

Cycling Frog is an ethical brand that uses high-quality ingredients. The THC + CBD gummies are cruelty-free, vegan, gluten-free and are made using all-natural, GMO-free ingredients. The cannabinoid extracts are obtained from US-grown hemp and the gummies are 100% Farm Bill-compliant.

This isn’t the best option for recreational use, but if you’re looking for a quality, low-potency THC gummy, the Cycling Frog THC + CBD gummies are a good choice. 

Product Specs & Rating:

Tripsitter Ranking8/10High-quality, low-potency gummies that won’t break the bank
Trust Score8/10Cruelty-free, vegan, GMO-free, & third-party lab-tested.  
THC Per Gummy (mg)5 mg5 mg of delta-9 THC & 25 mg of CBD per gummy. All extracts derived from US-grown federally-compliant hemp
Taste9/10Mango & pineapple, watermelon, & huckleberry
Cost$9.99–$40Low cost per pack. Cheaper options (per mg) are available from brands that make more potent gummies
Sold ByCycling Frog Artisan ExtractsReputable brand that manufactures high-quality cannabinoid edibles, tinctures, and vapes

3. Koi CBD Delta-9 THC Gummies (Best Mid-Potency Option)

The Delta-9 THC gummies from Koi CBD are a great mid-potency legal THC gummy for casual recreational and therapeutic use. They are made using a 2:1 blend of CBD and THC. Each gummy contains 10 mg of hemp-derived delta-9 THC and 20 mg of full-spectrum CBD. 

Koi CBD offers these gummies in a range of flavors such as strawberry, watermelon, mango, lime, “blue-razz,” and a variety pack containing all five flavors. They come in packs of 10, 20, and 60 pieces.

If you’re looking for an “all-around” hemp-derived THC gummy, Koi is a good brand to look at. They’ve been around for decades and have a great reputation. One gummy will induce a mild experience, and two or more will induce a more potent high. If you’re a regular cannabis user, you may need a few to feel stoned.

Product Specs & Rating:

Tripsitter Ranking8/10Good mid-potency option for a reasonable price
Trust Score10/10Lab-tested, hemp-derived, & made using natural ingredients
THC Per Gummy (mg)10 mg10 mg delta-9 THC & 20 mg of CBD (all hemp-derived & Farm Bill-compliant)
Taste8/10Strawberry, watermelon, mango, lime, and “blue-razz”
Cost$11.99–$89.99Relatively low cost per mg of THC 
Sold ByKoi CBDReputable brand that sells a range of hemp-derived cannabinoid edibles, vapes, and tinctures

4. Harbor City Hemp D9:CBD Gummies (Best Tasting Option)

The Delta-9:CBD Gummies from Harbor City Hemp are some of the best-tasting hemp-derived delta-9 gummies on the market. They come in a variety pack of three flavors — lemon lime, orange cream, and pineapple mango. They come in packs of 25 for a very reasonable price.

They contain a 1:1 blend of THC and CBD. Each gummy contains 10 mg of THC and 10 mg of CBD. Although not as potent as some other brands on the list, we enjoyed the relaxing, euphoric effects that these gummies induce — they’re surprisingly potent. 

You’ll need a couple of gummies to really get things started, but a single piece will induce a mild experience for the regular user. Newbies to THC should start with half or a whole gummy.

These gummies aren’t vegan and do contain artificial flavors and colorings — this could be why they taste so good. If you’re not too concerned about consuming E-numbers and want a potent gummy for a good price, definitely check out these gems from Harbor City Hemp. 

If you’re more conscious about what you put in your body, one of the other options on the list may be a safer bet. 

Product Specs & Rating:

Tripsitter Ranking7/10Average-potency gummies that taste great
Trust Score8/10Made from US-grown hemp 
THC Per Gummy (mg)10 mg10 mg of THC, 10 mg CBD (full-spectrum, extracted from federally-compliant US-grown hemp)
Taste10/10Lemon lime, orange cream, and pineapple mango
Cost$24.99Sensibly priced per mg of THC
Sold ByHarbor City HempA reputable brand that manufactures a range of different legal THC products

5. Simply Crafted Delta-9 THC Gummies (Best for Beginners)

The “High-Spectrum Delta-9 THC Gummies” from Simply Crafted is a great low-potency option for beginners, microdosers, and those who are more sensitive to the effects of THC. 

Simply Crafted is a reputable brand that manufactures a range of high-quality THC and CBD edibles, vapes, drinks, and tinctures. All of their products are vegan, GMO-free, and contain all-natural ingredients.

Their delta-9 gummies contain 5 mg of hemp-derived delta-9 THC and 5 mg of CBD, as well as a host of other cannabinoids found in the hemp plant, such as CBG, CBC, and THCA. They come in packs of 10 gummies in one flavor — blackberry. 

If you’re new to hemp-derived THC edibles or want a low-potency gummy for microdosing or casual, functional use, check out the High-Spectrum delta-9 gummies from Simply Crafted.

Product Specs & Rating:

Tripsitter Ranking7/10Low-potency hemp-derived THC gummies that are ideal for beginners
Trust Score7/10High-quality extracts that are Farm Bill-compliant & lab-tested. GMO-free, all-natural, & vegan
Potency Per Gummy (mg)5 mg5 mg delta-9 THC, 5 mg CBD, & other hemp-derived cannabinoids (CBG, CBC, THCA, etc)
Taste8/10Blackberry flavor
Cost$20Relatively cheap for high-quality hemp-derived THC gummies
Sold BySimply CraftedLegitimate brand that manufactures a range of different hemp-derived cannabinoid products

FAQs: THC-O & Other Hemp-Derived Cannabinoids 

Want to learn more about hemp-derived THC analogs? 

Check out the answers to the FAQs we’ve received below:

1. What’s the Best Legal Form of THC?

If you want effects as close to those produced by cannabis as possible, the best options are hemp-derived delta-9 THC and THCA. If you’re more sensitive to THC, a weaker analog may be a better option. Delta-8 THC produces similar effects to delta-9, but the experience is much milder. Delta-10 is weaker still. These cannabinoids are perfect for inducing functional highs and relaxing effects without intense feelings of euphoria, paranoia, or anxiety. 

2. What’s the Strongest Type of THC?

The strongest form of THC is THCP. This cannabinoid is three to 33 times stronger than delta-9 THC. However, like THC-O, the risk of side effects is increased. 

The cost of manufacturing THCP is also insanely high, making THCP products expensive. Most people opt for hemp-derived delta-9 THC instead. It’s potent, poses less risk of side effects, is cheaper to buy, and produces effects typical of cannabis. 

3. How Many Types of THC Exist?

Around 20 different THC analogs have been discovered so far. Not all of these cannabinoids have been researched as extensively as delta-9 THC. 

The most researched and common THC analogs include:

  • Delta-9 THC
  • Delta-8 THC
  • Delta-10 THC
  • THCA
  • THCV
  • THCP
  • HHC

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