Does THC-O Show Up on a Drug Test?

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There are so many different cannabinoids out there that things can get quite confusing. This is especially the case in terms of knowing what is legal and what is not, and what will get you busted on a drug test. Today, we look at one very special cannabinoid, THC-O, otherwise known as THC-O acetate.

THC-O is one of the newest cannabinoids causing quite a controversy. Because it is technically hemp-derived, THC-O is federally legal. However, this does not mean that THC-O won't show up on a drug test, particularly as regular THC, which is what drug tests scan for.

Let's find out exactly what THC-O is, how it's made, if it will show up on a drug test, and how long it stays in your system. We'll also take a quick look at some of the best ways to detox your system from THC-O, so you can pass a drug test as quickly as possible.

Key Takeaways

  • THCO stands for THC-O-Acetate .
  • This is not a naturally occurring cannabinoid , but man-made.
  • If the proper production processes are followed, THC-O is completely legal.
  • Will THCO Fail a Drug Test? YES, THC-O will make you fail a drug test!
  • Depending on the drug test method being used, it may be detectable in your system for several months.

What is THC-O?

THC-O, also known as THC-O-Acetate, aka THC acetate ester, is a synthetic cannabinoid. Unlike many other cannabinoids that we synthesize instead of extracting from the plant matter (due to cost-effectiveness), such as Delta-8 THC, THC-O cannot be extracted from plant matter.

Note: Creating THC-O in a laboratory setting is dangerous. There are plenty of corrosive and poisonous chemicals involved, lots of flammable components, and more. This is not something you should do at home due to the risks involved.

Making THC-O starts with extracting CBD from hemp. Through hydrogenation and other processes, it is then turned into Delta-8 THC. Then, a substance known as acetic anhydride is added to the Delta-8 THC, which effectively turns it into THC-O-Acetate.

If you think stopping at Delta-8 is enough for you, take a look at our super tasty Botany Farms Delta-8 Blueberry Kush. THC-O, as long as it follows this production process, should be federally legal as set out by the 2018 farm bill. That said, THC-O is highly intoxicating and psychoactive. It is thought to be up to three times more potent than regular Delta-9 THC.

On that note, if you’d like to try some regular Delta-9 THC first, check out our own Botany Farms Delta-9 Blue Raspberry Microdose Gummies. Some people say that it is so strong or potent that it is borderline psychedelic or hallucinogenic. However, people only experience borderline psychedelic effects when huge quantities of THC-O are consumed.

Either way, this particular cannabinoid produces an extremely strong cerebral high characterized by creativity, elation, euphoria, and feeling talkative and giggly. Many people also report feeling extremely thoughtful and wanting to look inward. People also report feeling an extremely strong body high.

Yes, technically speaking, THC-O is perfectly legal. As set out by the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp-derived cannabinoids and contains less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC by dry weight concentration is legal. Because THC-O is made out of Delta-8 THC, which is derived from hemp, it is 100% legal at the federal level.

However, this does not mean that individual states cannot outlaw THCO or take action against it. The issue is that Delta-9 THC is not legal at the federal level. Therefore, if you take THC-O and do a drug test, you may test positive.

Does THC-O Show Up on a Drug Test?

Even if you don't take Delta-9 THC, drug tests can produce a positive result if you have taken THC-O. The reason for this is that THC-O metabolizes in your body in the exact same way as Delta-9 THC. This metabolite of THC is what drug tests scan for.

To be exact, drug tests usually look for what is known as 11-hydroxy-THC, which is the metabolite created after the body consumes THC. Both Delta-9 THC and THC-O, along with various other cannabinoids, metabolize into 11-hydroxy-THC, therefore all producing positive results on a drug test.

How Long Does THC-O Stay in Your System?

Exactly how long THC-O stays in your system, in terms of being detectable, depends on a variety of factors. Firstly, it depends on the frequency of use. For instance, if you only used it a single time, it should only stay in your system for up to 10 or 15 days.

However, if you consistently use THC-O, the metabolite may be detectable in your system for 30 days or even longer. Depending on the method of testing, it could be detectable for several months, particularly if you are a daily user.

The quantity of THC-O you consume as well as your body weight and your metabolism also determines how long THC-O stays in your system. So, if you are a small person with a slow metabolism and take THC-O daily, and a lot of it too, how long is THC-O going to show up in your system?


If we are talking about a urine test, if you are an occasional user, it will be detectable for around 15 days. If you are a frequent or daily user, a urine test may detect the 11-hydroxy-THC metabolite for up to 30 days.


Blood tests generally aren't very effective. THC-O and THC metabolites are usually only detectable for around 36 hours after the last use, regardless of the frequency of use.

Hair Follicle

Hair follicle tests are by far the longest or farthest reaching. If you are a regular user, a hair sample test can detect the THC metabolite in your system for up to 90 days.


Saliva is one of the least effective testing methods here, as it usually only detects THC metabolites for around 48 hours after it was last consumed.

How to Detox from THC-O Naturally

If you don't want to worry about passing that drug test, here are some good ways to help your body naturally detox from THC-O.

Abstain from THC-O Products

Quite obviously, the best way to get rid of THO in your system is to stop taking it. You can't get rid of it in your system if you keep consuming it.


Besides actually abstaining from THC-O products, the next best way to try and flush it out of your system is through exercise. Exercise is a great way to get your metabolism going. Exercise also causes your heart rate to increase. If you have a faster metabolism, your body should burn through various components in your system, such as THC metabolites, much faster.

Furthermore, if you exercise and it increases your heart rate, it should theoretically also increase the rate at which your blood is filtered by your liver and kidneys. This should theoretically also flush the THC metabolites out of your system faster.

Drink Plenty of Water

Drinking plenty of water may also help to flush the THC metabolites out of your system faster. Although it may not flush all of the THC-O out of your system, it may dilute your blood and urine significantly. The more diluted your urine and blood are, the lower the chances of something showing up. However, this is not 100% proven to be effective.

Eat a Balanced Diet

Although this is also not 100% proven to be effective, eating a well-balanced diet with plenty of vitamins and minerals may also function to help detox your body from THC-O and its metabolites. Do you know what else can be part of a balanced diet? Our own Botany Farms Delta-8 THC Live Resin Tincture!

Final Thoughts

The bottom line is that THC-O, although it is perfectly legal, will show up on a drug test as 11-hydroxy-THC. This means that employers may think that you consumed Delta-9 THC, which is illegal. Therefore, caution needs to be taken if you have any kind of job or circumstance that results in drug testing.

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