Cannabis plants have over 100 chemical compounds, known as cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are known to have various effects on the body, and you’ll often find medical products containing CBD, CBG, CBN, and other such compounds. However, perhaps the most prominent cannabinoid is THC.
Many have heard the term THC before but not everyone understands exactly what it is. THC is the cannabinoid in marijuana which gives you its psychoactive effects, such as intense mental and physical relaxation. In basic terms, THC is the thing that gets you high. It goes to work on the endocannabinoid system in the body causing all kinds of reactions. Not only do the intoxicating effects make it a popular recreational drug, but it’s also a powerful medical treatment for various problems.
Marijuana plants are packed with THC, hence why people smoke weed for its effects. However, you can also extract THC and use it in other forms. For instance, some people turn to THC edibles, oils, topicals, and all kinds of other recreational and medical products. The effects of THC can be very enjoyable, providing you’re prepared for them. Here’s a guide on everything you need to know about THC.
What is THC?
According to research, cannabis plants contain around 113 cannabinoids. These are chemical compounds which humans often use for various bodily effects. However, there is one in particular known for giving you psychoactive effects. This is THC.
THC, also known as tetrahydrocannabinol, is the cannabinoid which makes you feel happy, euphoric, and intensely relaxed. People often use THC for its recreational effects. It gives you a powerful body and head high that makes you feel happy and stress-free. It also works well with other cannabinoids, such as CBD.
THC isn’t just for getting high, either. It’s also great for medical use. People often use medical marijuana to treat arthritis, cancer, MS, chronic pain, anxiety, depression, and a whole host of other medical ailments. Its powerful soothing effects can be useful for both your mental and physical health.
As such, you can find THC in various products. While flower cannabis contains high levels of THC, the chemical can also be used elsewhere. This is why you’ll also find THC Oils, topicals, edibles, and other high-THC products for recreational and medical use. The research on the uses of THC is growing, and many people find it both safe and effective for various therapeutic purposes.
How Does THC Work?
THC interacts with neurotransmitters in the body and brain to give you a range of effects. Your body has various cannabinoid receptors. THC and other cannabinoids can bind to these to cause various reactions. This is why you’ll feel all kinds of effects when you smoke or use THC, as well as get a range of medical benefits in the long run.
Cannabinoid receptors have an effect on various functions in your body. For instance, THC can affect the central nervous system to reduce pain. It also affects parts of the brain, hence why it can affect your memory and focus. It also stimulates the release of certain brain chemicals such as dopamine, hence why you’ll feel happy and euphoric.
When you smoke or vape weed, THC reaches the bloodstream which carries it throughout the body and brain. This is why you’ll feel the effects of THC almost instantly. Some methods work a little differently. For instance, when you use edibles, the THC is digested and converted to the stronger 11-hydroxy-THC by the liver before taking effect on your body. THC Topicals don’t reach the bloodstream but do absorb into the skin and attach to cannabinoid receptors there.
Effects of THC
When you use THC, you’ll feel the effects fast. Its psychoactive properties will make you feel high, having an impact on both your body and mind. While the effects can vary depending on the type of cannabis strain or product you use, most people will experience the same range of effects.
THC will give your body an intense, soothing relaxation. High THC products will make it difficult for you to even move, often known as couch lock. This powerful body high is also useful for tackling pain and physical tension, as well as releasing stress.
It also has potent effects on the mind. Users often feel happier, more euphoric, and mentally relaxed. Effects can vary from strain to strain. For instance, sativa strains will make you feel more creative, productive and mentally stimulated. Indica strains are more likely to make you lose focus and space out.
It also has numerous other side effects, although these are mostly positive. THC often makes you drowsy, which will help you sleep better. It can also boost your appetite, known as giving you the munchies. You should also expect to get dry mouth and dry eyes. In high dosages, you may experience nausea, dizziness, and vomiting, although this can be easily avoided.
Medical Benefits of THC
While many people use weed or THC for recreational purposes, it’s also a very powerful medical product. Scientific research shows that THC can help with a massive range of medical symptoms and conditions. This is why medical marijuana is now legal in many parts of the world.
THC has powerful, pain-relieving effects. People often use marijuana to relieve painful conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, and injury pain. It helps to reduce the sensation of pain as well as reducing inflammation.
It can also treat stress, anxiety, and depression. One study found that just a couple of puffs of marijuana could reduce stress and anxiety almost instantly. Many people who suffer from mental health problems use THC to relax their mind and relieve symptoms.
THC can also help with glaucoma. It reduces intraocular pressure, which helps significantly to relieve symptoms of glaucoma and help relieve patients of the problem.
It also has various other benefits. For instance, its sedating effects help many people with insomnia and sleep problems. It can also help with muscle spasticity. Cannabis also has anticancer, antibacterial, and antiemetic properties, which come in useful for various conditions.
Drawbacks of THC
THC has all kinds of positive effects, both for recreational and medical use. However, it isn’t completely free of negative side effects. Providing you use THC in moderation, it can be a very positive and safe experience. However, when taken in high dosages, you may experience some complications.
Taking too much THC can result in dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. It can also cause users to become more anxious and paranoid. Those with pre-existing mental health problems may feel THC exacerbates their issues. However, this can vary between users and not everyone will have a bad experience.
For the most part, the side effects of THC aren’t too bad if you use it in moderation. While everyone is likely to experience dry eyes, dry mouth, and the munchies, you can avoid worse issues if you use a moderate dosage. It’s always best to start off low and only increase your dosage if you need to. Those who commonly experience side effects of anxiety and paranoia should avoid THC, as it can trigger problems such as schizophrenia in users who are prone to it.
THC and CBD Differences
Of course, THC isn’t the only cannabinoid which has major effects on the body. CBD is also a very popular and widely-used cannabinoid. Products often contain both THC and CBD for extra effects. However, while they come from the same plant and have some similarities, there are also some key differences.
While THC is known for its psychoactive effects, CBD does not get you high. While CBD can make you feel more mellow and relaxed, it has no psychoactive properties. This is why those who want to use cannabis for recreational purposes need to stick with THC.
Both have medical benefits, and many of these are the same. For instance, both THC and CBD help with pain, stress, sleep, and various other symptoms. However, you may find one or the other advantageous depending on what you’re trying to treat.
CBD can help more with problems such as anxiety, whereas THC can sometimes have bad side effects. It also helps significantly with problems such as seizures and skin problems. Both can help with pain, but some might find the intense body high of THC more useful.
You can use both THC and CBD safely, although CBD is much more risk-free and has no harmful side effects. However, they also work extremely well together. Cannabis strains often contain both, and many products are also made using both THC and CBD for a joint beneficial effect.
How to Use THC
Most people associate THC with smoking weed. However, there are also many other ways to use THC. All of these can be effective, although some work in different ways and may have different effects.
Cannabis strains are generally the most popular way to get the effects of THC. You can either smoke strains in a joint bong or pipe or vape them. Vaping involves using a vaporizer or vape pen to heat the product up and inhale it. Both of these methods work in the same way, giving you almost instant effects and lasting for a few hours.
The effects you’ll get can also depend on the cannabis strain you choose. Indica strains are much more relaxing, known for helping users to sleep and relieve stress. Sativa strains are more stimulating, often giving you more physical and mental energy and boosting creativity. Hybrid strains give you both indica and sativa effects, leading to a balanced and well-rounded high.
Cannabis concentrates can also be used via smoking or vaping. These are more concentrated forms of cannabis with high levels of THC. They come in many different forms, such as hash, shatter, and budder. You can add these to a joint with other herbs, use them in a bong/pipe or vape them. You can also dab concentrates- a process involving using a dab rig and torch to get more powerful effects.
Edibles are perhaps the most potent method of using THC. Unlike other methods, which absorb THC into the bloodstream, edibles are digested and converted to 11-hydroxy-THC by the liver. This is a much stronger form of THC that gives you a much more intense high. Effects can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours to kick in. They can also last around 8 hours. Edibles aren’t recommended for beginners. But those who want a seriously strong high will love them.
THC Oils are a product which you can apply under the tongue to absorb instantly. These carry THC into your bloodstream, giving you both physical and mental effects. They work fast and have strong effects.
THC Topicals are a unique kind of THC product. They come in the form of creams, balms, sprays, and other such topical products. You apply these directly to the skin, where the THC is absorbed and binds to cannabinoid receptors. This is especially effective for pain relief and healing skin problems. However, as they don’t reach the bloodstream or brain, you won’t get the mental benefits of THC.
Is THC Legal?
To understand whether or not THC is legal where you are, check local cannabis laws. Recent legalization in Canada means that it’s legal to use cannabis and THC across the country. This is, of course, subject to provincial restrictions.
Adults in Canada ages 19 years old or above can buy and use cannabis. Alberta and Quebec residents can buy from the age of 18. You can also grow up to four cannabis plants and buy other THC products.
Cannabis and other THC products can be found in dispensaries and stores. Many currently won’t have access to a local store, but you can also buy cannabis online. This is a safe and convenient way to get the high THC products you need.
THC is a powerful cannabinoid with various uses. Many people now use it legally for both recreational and medical purposes. While it’s known for getting you high, it can also be used to treat all kinds of conditions and even prevent future health problems. There are many ways to use THC, however, you should ensure you use it in moderation and keep to a moderate dose.