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Acetylated Cannabinoid Safety FAQ and Study Critique

Updated: Mar 3, 2023


Thank you so much for writing this / giving me permission to post it, and thank you to HighAsDuck for some corrections.

Recently, some scientists at the University of Portland relesed a study that says that THCo, CBNo, and CBDo make a toxic gas when heated. I really think this study seems to completely ignore how people actually vape, as well as being extremely poorly controlled and showing several areas of ignorance. I wrote a 9 page report with 20 sources, similar to the length of the actual paper, debunking it in formal scientific language. However it's very dense and formal, so let me break it down:

The biggest flaw in my book, one that makes me doubt it's legitimacy, is that they ran 700-1000F Vapors through tubing only rated for a maximum of 600F. This tubing probably would have been damaged and made a huge mess at that temperature, and Its hard for me to believe that they didn't notice. Due to unclear wording(and no photos), I can only assume they stuck a nail directly into the tubing, and stuck the other end into their smoking machine.

Secondly, their lowest temperature was 700F, and their highest was 1000F. PLEASE, if you vape at that high of a temperature, without any water, tell me. I have never come across that in my life. They used a laboratory temperature controller which has a much higher max temp as a substitute for an enail.

Finally, their toxic gas detecting compound reacts with a lot more than just toxic gases. Like acetic anhydride, WHICH IS USED TO SYNTHESIZE THCO!! And they never tested the samples before experimentation, only AFTER.

Other mishaps include:

  • Using the COTTON coil that came with their mod to vape noids

  • Buying carts from Hydro-Hemp (no COA)

  • Not distilling the sample they made

  • Not providing synthesis details

  • Involving a private cannabinoid manufacturer (floraworks) that doesn't sell acetates

  • Using a cart at 10 watts and only 10 watts

  • Not using (At least I think, poor wording strikes again) a bong with their nail

And many more errors that are difficult to explain without using words like Mass Spectrometry and Qualitative Analysis. I am open to all questions and good-faith feedback.

I see a lot of people make these arguments when talking about THCo. They can seem credible at first but lack scientific merit. I don’t think people are stupid if they believe these, by the way. They make sense to the average person and don’t seem to be grossly illogical like some beliefs about weed are (weed makes you angry/violent, fentanyl laced weed, gateway drug argument)

1. THCO is an acetate, and Vitamin E acetate (VEA) is an acetate, VEA is poisonous, therefore, THCo is poisonous.

This is a false syllogism with very little basis in chemistry.

Acetate is an extremely common group in chemistry, and is found in many things, including the human body and food. This doesn’t make it safe to consume obviously, but acetate is not some exotic novel toxin.

The reason Viaman E is bad for you according to the CDCs research is because of it's abnormally long fat chain that your lungs can't absorb properly - it builds up and pools and then eventually caused physical irritation to the cells of the lungs causing inflammation.

2. It isn’t found in cannabis, which means it’s a synthetic cannabinoid, which make you go crazy.

A substance that is synthetic is not automatically bad. Second of all, most if nor all the noids you buy are from synthetic origins. This doesn’t matter because a molecule doesn’t have different properties if it is natural or synthetic.

This is a mott-and-bailey argument. The argument “THCo is a synthetic cannabinoid” is subtlety swapped out for “THCo is a synthetic cannabinoid and dangerous because there are many other dangerous synthetic cannabinoids”. Synthetic cannabinoid just means cannabinoid created by humans. Unlike THCo, most cannabinoids found in K2 or Spice (JWH-x, RCS-x, AM-694 etc) don’t look like THC at all. They are thousands of times stronger than THC, and most were designed for labs to perform complicated biology experiments, NEVER to be smoked.

3. THCo doesn’t work or is “deactivated THC”.

Everyone’s body is different. Just because you can’t feel it doesn’t mean nobody else can. Try switching up how you consume it and make sure to try more than 1 safe, high quality product. If you buy some crazy shit like this, no wonder it didn’t work.

4. THCo is “harsh”.

If you believe this, one of three things is true. You're either heating your device way too much, you bought aforementioned shitty products, or you have literally never tried it in your life. It is not objective but the vast majority of people say THCo is much less harsh than d9 or d8. So if you can handle those well, but can’t take THCo, I would troubleshoot before denouncing it as poison.

In conclusion, nobody knows if THCo is safe, and you are taking risks by consuming it. However with our current information it is the same risk as d8. If you are going to argue against THCo, stop using these 4 arguments, as they don’t make sense.

And if your plug told you d8 is poison, they’re just trying to sell weed.

EDIT FROM HIGHASDUCK: The simple reason VEA is toxic is that it’s just a regular oil that lacks the special properties of things like PG or VG that allow it to safely enter your lungs. You shouldn’t inhale VEA for the same reason you should NEVER inhale cooking oil. The molecule is a long chain and if a lipid has too many links your lungs can't absorb and process it out properly.

------- The below edits are from Turkey, not the original author.

EDIT 2: Here are some sources.

EDIT 3: Please note that just like any other noid, the long-term effects aren't known. This study being shitty does not mean the acetates are safe, it just means these results are invalid. Use your own judgment when deciding to vape any of these noids. Personally, I vape acetates, but almost always through water and at temps under 700. That would be my recommendation to you.



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