There is a pretty good chance that you’ve heard of THC at some point or another. What exactly is this chemical compound?
Where does it come from and what does it do? Within this in-depth guide, you will learn everything there is to know about THC.
What Is THC?
First and foremost, you should familiarize yourself with the basics. What does THC stand for and what is it? THC refers to tetrahydrocannabinol. The word is definitely impressive, but THC doesn’t have to be overly complex. In basic terms, THC is a compound found in the marijuana or cannabis plant.
It is the chemical, which is responsible for inducing the psychological effects most commonly attributed to marijuana. THC behaves very similarly to the cannabinoid chemicals that are naturally produced by the body.
How THC Affects The Mind
The reason most people utilize the illicit drug, marijuana, is to achieve a “high” or euphoria.
The THC content found in marijuana produces this affect, which occurs within minutes of the first initial inhalation. THC is a stimulant capable of producing certain psychological responses in the brain, which in turn produces the much-desired euphoria.
THC is also classified as a depressant and hallucinogen, as it induces a depressant or transcending state and causes hallucinogenic affects or minor visual anomalies.
A 1988 study conducted by Dr. Allyn Howlett revealed that THC attaches to the brain. This link between the endocannabinoid system or ECS and tetrahydrocannabinol provides scientists will a clearer view of how THC impacts the brain.
The ECS is a system comprised of chemical receptors and chemicals. Some researchers refer to these as locks and keys, which work in a very unique manner. The human body has the capability of producing its own “endogenous cannabinoids” – keys – to open multiple locks.
Upon consumption, the cannabis is metabolized before it enters the bloodstream, where it binds to both receptors CB1 and CB2. These receptors are eventually concentrated in the central nervous system (CNS) and brain.
The CB1 receptors outnumber the μ-opioid peptide or opioid receptors by 10 to one. The primary responsibility of the μ-opioid receptors is the effects of morphine and other similar drugs.
CB2 receptors, on the other hand attach themselves to immune cells, making cannabis a suitable treatment for specific diseases. When THC binds to CB1 and CB2 receptors, it causes the ECS to produce dopamine, which in turn produces a relaxed and euphoric state.
What Does THC Do To The Body?
THC is much more versatile and powerful than you could ever imagine. Most people understand that THC impacts the brain, but few realize that it also has an impact on the body. When smoking marijuana, most of the side effects that you experience actually take place in the brain.
Nevertheless, ECS receptors are found all throughout the body. Therefore, THC can impact your body to some degree.
The immune system actually contains its own ECS receptors. This is why THC can often behave like an anti-inflammatory agent. However, the drug can also reduce the performance of the immune system and make you more likely to become sick.
THC can also have an impact on the digestive tract. It can help encourage the release of the hunger hormone, while also alleviating nausea. This is why a lot of people get munchies after smoking marijuana.
At one point, the Food and Drug Administration actually approved a synthetic form of THC to be used as an appetite stimulant. Finally, you should know that the skin also contains CB2 receptors.
It is actually possible to absorb THC directly through the skin. This is why topical creams containing cannabis are coming increasingly popular. These products can be used as skincare products and even pain relievers.
The Most Notable Benefits Of THC
Since THC is so commonly linked to marijuana, most people ignore the benefits and immediately believe that THC is bad. The truth of the matter is that THC has a wealth of health benefits and researchers continue discovering new ways to use THC to their benefit.
Below, you will find a breakdown of some of the most notable benefits of THC.
A Part Of Cancer Treatment
During the past few years, more and more doctors have decided to use THC as a part of their patients’ cancer treatments. THC has proven to offer major benefits to patients that are undergoing radiation and chemotherapy.
Some studies have even shown that tetrahydrocannabinol may possess some cancer-killing properties.
Researchers investigating the impacts of cannabis in animals discovered that THC may actually cause cancer cells to consume themselves. As a result, this can cause tumors to shrink, while also reducing the prevalence of cancer cells.
As mentioned above, THC can impact the mind and the body. It has been proven time and time again that THC can be very effective as an anti-inflammatory agent. It is also important to realize that inflammation causes various diseases and THC can virtually treat all of them.
Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, it is now believed that THC may be effective for the treatment of multiple sclerosis, depression and a range of other illnesses.
Over the past few years, mood disorders have become very common. Soldiers returning from war will be forced to deal with PTSD. Meanwhile, millions of children across the country are being diagnosed with ADHD.
There are some prescription medications that may be able to help with these problems, but they’re also dangerous. Prescription drugs tend to have serious side effects and they also pose the risk of addiction.
The short-term effects of THC can most definitely improve mood disorders, including anxiety and depression. Some even argue that THC may be helpful for people suffering from ADHD.
However, there are some risks involved. Some studies have concluded that long-term cannabis use may speed up the onset of a few specific psychological disorders. Those prone to psychosis or schizophrenia should avoid using regular cannabis, since it could make them even more vulnerable to these conditions.
A lot of people across the planet suffer from sleeping disorders. THC may be a good solution for these problems. It is well known that THC is capable of inducing relaxation and euphoria.
It is also a good way to treat sleeping disorders. Prescription sleeping aids can be effective in the short term, but they pose serious risks with long-term use.
Their effectiveness may also diminish with repeated use. Cannabis is able to relax the body and the mind. Therefore, it can be a great solution for people suffering from sleeping disorders.
THC is commonly used as a pain reliever. In comparison to prescription opioids, it is safe to say that cannabis is a much safer alternative. THC can be used to treat a variety of pain related problems.
It is effective for combating muscle soreness and even neuropathic pain. THC treats pain by reducing inflammation and encouraging the release of dopamine. Therefore, it can be just as effective as dangerous opioids (kratom is also excellent for pain relief!).
Finally, it has been proven time and again that THC can be effective for alleviating certain gastrointestinal problems. It can soothe stomach pain, while also reducing nausea. Since the digestive tract contains endocannabinoid receptors, THC can help patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease.
About THC Concentrates
As cannabis has grown in popularity, the technology around it has evolved significantly as well. During the past few years, researchers have discovered new ways to extract cannabinoids from the dried flowers.
The goal is to extra as much cannabinoids and terpenes as humanly possible from the cannabis plant. CO2, butane and alcohol extractions are all possible. Once extracted, you’re left with a rich substance that is amber in cool. It will be very sticky.
The cannabinoids extracts can be consumed in their pure form or mixed with oils.
Dabbing has also become very popular. Dabbing involves heating a metallic or glass element and then placing a small bit of the concentrate on it. Then, the user will inhale the vapors. Dabbing is popular, because it provides the user with a maximum dosage of THC.
In order to benefit the most from dabbing, it is important to find the right strains of marijuana.
Super Glue, Strawberry Banana, and Godfather OG tend to be good choices for dabbers.
Heat Is A Must
Regardless of how THC is consumed, it is often true that heat is necessary. Heat is always needed in to make the tetrahydrocannabinol work as intend. The cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant are actually THCA.
In order to convert the THCA in to the desired psychoactive delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, you need heat. The easiest way to achieve that goal is by taking a flame to the dried cannabis. This isn’t needed to just produce smoke. It is also needed to activate the THC.
The process is referred to as decarboxylation.
It is also known as decarb or decarbing. This process is vital even when making edibles with THC. Unfortunately, achieving the perfect state of decarboxylation can be very difficult. Too much heat can cause problems.
The Future Is Bright
There is no doubt that THC is going to be studied more and more thoroughly in the future. This ensures that researchers will discover new ways to use THC and they’ll likely find even more benefits of THC.
The new methods of using THC will likely be far more effective than the older methods and it may even be possible to eliminate the bad and keep the good. This could help make THC a very popular medication across the world.