Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the compound in marijuana that allows users to get high. So obviously it's pretty powerful stuff. But did you know there's actually a cannabinoid that's three times more powerful than the THC you're used to?
THC-O-acetate is a fairly unknown cannabinoid that's far more powerful than normal THC. The federal government discovered it back in 1978, and it's supposedly created from THC in a method similar to how heroin is made from morphine. To produce THC-O-acetate, people must use a complex laboratory process that can be incredibly complicated, which is why it's not encountered very often. Why go through so many steps to make it when THC is perfectly fine on its own?
The government was considering labeling THC-O-acetate as a controlled substance, but considering this was the only time they'd encountered it, they didn't. In fact, the U.S. government has not encountered it at all since 1978. HC-O-acetate was discovered in a couple isolated incidents in the United Kingdom and New Zealand back in 1995.
Experts disagree on how much more powerful the acetate is compared to normal THC. Some say two to three times more potent, while others say it's 300% more powerful. The U.S. army actually studied THC-O-acetate, and found that it produced about two times as much muscle impairment in dogs compared to normal THC. They also found that it took at least 30 minutes in humans for it to take any effect.
It's unclear if THC-O-acetate is illegal under federal law. A 1986 law says that any substance similar to a Schedule I or II narcotic is also considered against the law. It might not matter, considering it's highly unlikely you'll ever run into THC-O-acetate in your regular trips to a dispensary. The only way you would find it is by making it yourself, and unless you're trained chemist who understands how these processes work at an expert level, it's probably a bad idea to try.