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December 19, 2023
4 min to read

THCM: What Is It and Where Does It Come From?

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Hayley Heidelbaugh

Tetrahydrocannabinol monomethyl ether, commonly abbreviated to THCM, is a rare cannabinoid and isomer of THC-H. The two compounds have an identical chemical formula (C22H32O2) and molecular weight. Traces of THCM have been found in marijuana smoke and possibly in synthetic CBD e-liquid after degradation.

The THCM cannabinoid shouldn’t be confused with a test also called THCM, which is used to detect cannabis exposure during pregnancy. This test analyzes infant fecal matter for the presence of the THC metabolite THC-COOH. The THCM cannabinoid is unrelated to the test that uses that name.

At this point in time, it’s extremely unclear whether production of THCM cannabis products would even be possible since the cannabinoid hasn’t yet been isolated in hemp or marijuana due to chromatographic issues. In other words, chemists haven’t found a way to separate THCM from other cannabinoids or natural compounds in the cannabis plant using current chromatography techniques. Isolation won’t happen until chemists develop a new methodology. As it stands, they hardly know where THCM comes from.

Unlike THCM, the monomethyl ether forms of CBG and CBD (CBGM and CBDM) have both been isolated successfully.

What are the effects of THCM?

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We don’t know anything about the effects of THCM when consumed. It has no known benefits and may or may not get users high. No side effects have been documented, either.

Products claiming to contain THCM—which is controversial in and of itself—could still get you high, regardless. All that’s required is the inclusion of other psychoactive cannabinoids. Whenever you purchase vape carts, disposables, or edibles containing multiple cannabinoids, be sure to research each compound individually.



Delta 9 THC and THCM are loosely related but have very few attributes in common.

The heat produced by vaping or smoking marijuana converts THC’s precursor, THCA, into delta 9 THC; the smoke produced could then contain minuscule amounts of THCM. It doesn’t currently appear that THCM is a metabolite of THC, though.

THCM is the monomethyl ether of THC. They have some structural similarities and are both composed of hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen. The duo aren’t isomers, so their formulas and weights differ. Delta 9 THC contains one less carbon and two fewer hydrogens than THCM. Both feature two oxygen atoms.

And that is the extent of what we know about THCM. Because it has never been isolated in the cannabis plant or extracted for experiments or consumption, we’re not even certain if it exists in the plant. It could be only identifiable as a byproduct of THC degradation.

THC, on the other hand, is found naturally in cannabis and has been widely researched. Its effects and benefits have been analyzed and discussed for decades.

Is THCM safe?

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Nothing is known about THCM’s safety when consumed.

While it’s unlikely that true THCM products even exist, be sure to check for a certificate of analysis (COA) before purchasing any product claiming to contain THCM. You probably aren’t going to receive the THCM you’re after, but third-party tests can at least confirm that the product is free of contaminants.


Is THCM legal and where is it sold?

Theoretically, THCM products could be legal to produce and sell in the United States. As long as they’re byproducts of direct extraction or conversion from naturally-derived hemp cannabinoids, they’re protected under the 2018 Farm Bill, as long as they contain under 0.3% delta 9 THC by dry weight.

Let’s address the big “however.” The THCM cannabinoid has never been successfully isolated from cannabis, and it’s unclear how much, if any, is found in natural plant materials. As far as we can tell, it also has not been synthesized in a lab.

Third-party laboratories don’t test for THCM. Actually, it doesn’t appear that there’s a way to accurately measure THCM content in the first place. Some products still claim to contain it. Most of these carts and disposables contain blends featuring other cannabinoids.

Because it can’t be tested for and won’t appear on a COA, there’s no way to know how much THCM is in a product. Based on the limited research available, it’s highly unlikely that any commercial products contain genuine THCM.

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Hayley Heidelbaugh

Vaping since: 3 years

Favorite products:

Favorite flavors: White Wedding, Northern Lights, Platinum Valley, OG Kush

Expertise in: Oil carts, cannabis concentrates, cannabis flower

Hayley Heidelbaugh

I'm a Pennsylvania-based cannabis enthusiast and writer. As a part of the Vaping360 team, I'm eager to help cannabis consumers explore vaping and get the most out of their experience. You can also find me @faeberrystudios on Instagram.

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