There’s a lot of information about cannabis, its compounds and properties, so today, we’re going to break down one of the main ones for you: THC.
Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is just one of hundreds of compounds found in the marijuana plant, but it’s one of the most well-known because it causes the “high” due to its psychoactive properties.
The actual experience you’ll have when using THC varies based on a wide variety of factors including the:
- specific variety or strain of marijuana
- concentration of THC
- amount you consume
- form in which it’s ingested (smoke, edible, syrup, topical, tincture)
- other cannabinoids in the product (CBD counterbalances the effects of THC)
- terpenes (limonene, myrcene, beta-caryophyllene), which not only produce the flavor and aroma, but also assist in producing the physical and therapeutic effects
- flavonoids (anthoxanthins, quercetin, catechins), which affect the pigmentation and aroma of the flower, but are also pharmacologically active compounds by themselves
In addition, your body chemistry will have its own unique reaction to each of the variables above. That’s why it may take some trial and error to find the product that provides the benefits you seek.
THC: What is it good for?
THC stimulates the brain’s release of dopamine (learn more about the science here), which can affect a variety of senses and functions, including memory, mood, coordination, movement, pleasure, concentration and pain.
A natural painkiller and muscle relaxant, THC may be helpful in preventing and alleviating inflammation. Clinical studies have shown it effective in reducing some of the side effects of cancer treatment, such as nausea and lack of appetite. It can also help people with certain mood disorders, such as post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), as well as sleep problems.
Newton’s third law can come into play, however: “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” For example, THC can help to improve symptoms of conditions like depression and anxiety. However, without proper dosage, it can also trigger paranoia or hasten the onset of some psychological disorders for those who are predisposed. For those inexperienced in the effects of THC, it’s wise to use the “start low and go slow” approach.