Systematic (IUPAC) name
Clinical data
Legal status
  • Class A (UK)
CAS number
ATC code ?
ChemSpider  YesY
Chemical data
Formula C23H32O3 
Mol. mass 356.498 g/mol

THC acetate ester is a derivative of THC which has been found by the DEA as an apparent controlled substance analogue of THC. It was apparently made by extracting and purifying THC from cannabis plant material using a soxhlet extractor, followed by reaction with acetic anhydride in an analogous manner to how heroin is made from morphine.[1] A similar case was reported in June 1995 in the UK and THC-O-acetate was ruled to be a Class A drug.[2] THC acetate was also reported to have been found by New Zealand police in 1995, again made by acetylation of purified cannabis extracts with acetic anhydride.[3] The acetylation of THC does not change the properties of the compound to the same extent as with other acetate esters (e.g. morphine vs heroin), as the parent compound is already highly lipophilic, but potency is nonetheless increased to some extent. This derivative of THC is interesting as one of the few analogues of THC to have been encountered as a recreational drug sold and used in a highly pure smokable form.

THC acetate ester was also investigated as a possible non-lethal incapacitating agent, as part of the Edgewood Arsenal experiments.[4]


  1. ^ Donald A. Cooper. Future Synthetic Drugs of Abuse. Drug Enforcement Administration, McLean, Virginia
  2. ^ David T. Brown. Cannabis: The Genus Cannabis. p82 ISBN 90-5702-291-5
  3. ^ Valentine MD. Δ9-THC acetate from acetylation of cannabis oil. Science and Justice 1995; 36(3):195–197.
  4. ^ Possible Long-Term Health Effects of Short-Term Exposure To Chemical Agents, Volume 2: Cholinesterase Reactivators, Psychochemicals and Irritants and Vesicants (1984) Commission on Life Sciences. The National Academies Press. pp79-99.