Tetrahydrocannabinol or simply THC is a phytocannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. Scientifically written as ∆-9 THC, it is among the 113 discovered cannabinoids of these plant species.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) explains that THC acts much like the cannabinoids formed by the body.
Most of the cannabinoid receptors that interact with THC are present in the human brain. When Tetrahydrocannabinol binds with these receptors, there are mind-bending effects on how the user thinks, gets pleasured, and coordinates.
How THC got discovered
THC was first discovered in the 1960’s. Raphael Mechoulam, characterized with discovering cannabinoids, wanted to know the properties of pot, which is what pushed him harder to discover Tetrahydrocannabinol.
Raphael is also famous for separating THC from the cannabis compounds. Essentially, his interest in natural medicine prompted him in discovering THC.
From then, THC gets considered as both medicinal and recreational natural compound.
Where THC comes from
As aforementioned, THC comes from cannabis plants. However, that doesn’t mean that it comes from the entire plant.
The cannabis plant has two different varieties – hemp and marijuana. The former has trace amounts of THC, under most circumstances only 0.3%.
Hemp gives more of Cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive chemical compound. When one uses CBD, it can counteract any high caused by THC.
Primarily, THC mimics anandamide (produced by the brain); thus, it alters the functioning of the brain.
Back to our point now…where does THC come from? Well, THC comes from the trichome glands of the marijuana plants.
Legality of THC
Federally, THC isn’t a legal compound.
10 states and Washington DC legalize the consumption of recreational marijuana and THC. For the case of medical marijuana and THC, 33 states and Washington DC legalize the consumption.
However, the FDA approves the usage of Marinol, a THC-rich medication.
Forms of THC
THC can be used in syrups, topicals, edibles, and oils. Full-spectrum CBD also harbors THC, which helps the user benefit from the entourage effect.
THC can also be found on pet supplements to help in addressing pain, anxiety, and cancerous tumors.
Effects of THC on the mammalian bodies
Every mammal has the endocannabinoid system – an array of cannabinoid receptors. The system has both CB1 and CB2 receptors.
THC attaches to brain neurons and interacts with CB1 receptors of the brain to:
- Create a euphoria. What typically happens is that there is cell stimulation in the mammalian brains. It ends up releasing dopamine which in the long run creates euphoric effects.
- Stimulate hippocampus. The hippocampus is the part of the brain responsible for creating new memories. Now, the bond between THC and the hippocampus bends the processing of pieces of information in the brain.
- Induce delusions. Research shows that THC can aid in creating hallucinations in the brain. That is why this chemical compound is known for giving mind-boggling effects.
Risks associated with the consumption of THC
Most countries across the world criminalize the possession of high amounts of THC. Unlike CBD that doesn’t get the user high, THC on the contrast has a plethora of side effects.
- Short term memory conditions
- Mental elation.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse also says that THC affects coordination and concentration.
The consumption of high-THC marijuana can lead to impairment in driving skills. Motor skills require focus which can be on the converse when the driver takes intolerable amounts of Tetrahydrocannabinol.
Benefits of THC
However much there are lots of speculations about how THC can be harmful to the body, there are still pieces of write-ups backing up that it harbors some medicinal benefits.
The National Cancer Institute praises THC for having anti-cancer benefits. THC has been used for over 30 centuries for its medicinal advantages.
The Food and Drug Authority legalizes the usage of Dronabinol. It is a THC-infused drug used for treating cancer medicine side effects like vomiting and nausea.
Are you fully enlightened on what THC is? Feel free to share or comment below on what you think.