The cannabis plant produces thick substances that are full of cannabinoid compounds. There are more than 100 of these chemicals that exist in the plant and one of the most popular cannabinoids is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Numerous products made from THC and other cannabinoids are available on the market today. The said products are not just for recreational use, but they also come with some health benefits, especially for those who are suffering from some medical conditions because THC products are known to help alleviate or control pain, and they can also help in weight loss.
THC: What is It?
THC, as stated earlier, is a cannabinoid and it works with receptors that release neurotransmitters in the brain. As a result, this can affect things like pain, mood, sleep, and memory. In other words, it is the chemical responsible for marijuana's psychoactive effects.
It is one of the many compounds found in marijuana, while CBD and THC are cannabinoids found in the hemp plant. While both may be present, CBD is actually nonpsychoactive and blocks the feeling of high from THC.
THC degrades into cannabinol which has its own psychological effects. its concentration depends a lot on the cultivation of marijuana. Cannabis that has a small amount of THC of around 0.5%, is classified as hemp by the North Industrial Hemp Council (NICH). Products made from it are used for various purposes industrially and medically.
Some strains of hemp or cannabis only have 0.3% THC by weight. In other samples, it can make up 20% of the weight. In marijuana, it is around 1% to 5%. In hashish, it is around 5% to 15%. In hashish oil, it can go up to 20%.
THC in recreational smoking cannabis or other similar cannabis products comes in high doses, compared to other hemp-derived CBD products.
THC: What Are the Effects?
According to National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), THC has the following effects:
- It stimulates the cells in the brain to release dopamine, this is what causes feelings of euphoria.
- It interferes with the processing of information in the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain responsible for the formation of new memories.
- It can induce hallucinations, change thinking, and cause delusions. These effects generally last two hours and sets in within 10 - 30 minutes after ingestion.
- It can provide feelings of elation, relaxation, and pain relief.
THC: What are the Medicinal Uses?
According to the National Cancer Institute, marijuana use has been present in the field of medicine for over 3000 years. As of 2017, more than half of the U.S. have legalized the use of medical cannabis—some have even legalized recreational and medical marijuana.
THC can be extracted and synthesized like the FDA-approved drug dronabinol. The latter is used to treat nausea or vomiting common in cancer medicines or for other health conditions. It is also used to increase the appetite of people with AIDS, according to some medical journals from the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
There is also some scientific research from Live Science suggesting that THC has more additional medical benefits. One of which is a report from a 2016 study, alongside other peer-reviewed ones, that says it can improve memory in small doses.
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