THC stands for Tetrahydrocannabinol and is a cannabinoid commonly found in cannabis. It is psychoactive, which means that it is able to influence its user psychologically. You will normally find THC in the resin gland of a cannabis plant.
According to the NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse), THC is broadly the same as the cannabinoids that each of us naturally produces. The cannabinoid receptors are able to communicate with certain areas of the brain which are in charge of producing pleasure, thinking and retaining information, whilst also having an effect on perceiving time and body coordination. THC binds itself to these receptors in the brain and this is how it offers its effect.
How does THC effect your body?
THC, when binded to the receptors, produces dopamine, which is able to offer a calming effect on your body. THC also has a part to play in altering the hippocampus, which is a part of your brain responsible for memories.
Other effects of THC include feelings of elation, anxiety and tachycardia. It is particularly effective if you are looking for a sedative effect, and also helps with inducing feelings of relaxation, pain-relief and many more. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence which points to the therapeutic benefits of using THC for reducing and even eliminating the frequency of seizures for young people who suffer from epilepsy.
Depending upon the health of a person, and the dose and strain you take, it takes around ten to thirty minutes for the THC to make a psychological impact on your actions and behaviors. The effect of THC is thought to last for around two hours.
Some experts say that consuming THC can cause side effects in some individuals such as short-term memory loss. For those who are prone to anxiety, it can cause a slight increase in anxiousness too. But, there are benefits to counteract these side effects such as sudden bursts of happiness, an increase in feelings of relaxation, sedation and pain relief. If you want to minimize the side effects, some people believe adding terpenes can reduce the adverse side effects of THC consumption.
Cannabis, where THC is extracted from, has been used in medicine for thousands of years. It is possible to use THC for medicinal purposes if it is first synthesized to Dronabinol, which is an FDA approved drug. When you use THC as part of Dronabinol, THC has been said to help treat cancer and lessen the side effects of chemotherapy.
Are There Any Risks of THC?
While there is arguably a lot of benefits for using THC, this cannabinoid can trigger a relapse in schizophrenic symptoms, if the user has suffered from these in the past. This occurs if a particularly large dose of THC has been administered.
Another area to look out for is with impaired motor skills. THC use can therefore adversely affect the ability of a driver to drive a car or any other motor vehicle. If caught, the driver will then be charged by the police for driving in an unfit state.
Recent research has found that THC is the second-most common psychoactive substance found in drivers who have been charged by the police, after alcohol. This is according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and this rate is actually increasing year on year. Therefore, we would advise users of THC not to drive after consuming THC for a number of hours, or you could be in trouble.
A study completed by Montreal University published in the respected journal Development and Psychopathology a couple of years ago identified that regular usage of THC can affect teens and other young people. The study found that those who started consuming THC as young as 14 did worse at some cognitive tests than non-users.
Other research has found that some of the side effects of THC include reduced IQ, memory and cognition when THC is consumed over a number of years. This trend is especially prevalent in younger people,” said Dr Rankin, from the Trafford Treatment Center in Colorado. Another study has found that high doses of THC could in fact also adversely affect the fertility of men and women. Although this research needs to be verified by other independent studies.
Of course, if you use other medication, it is important to check whether using THC will affect the performance of these drugs. If you are unsure, make sure you consult with a medical professional before using THC, otherwise, you could put your own health at risk. Many people ask if it is possible to die from an overdose of THC.
There have been no cases whereby someone has died due to over usage of THC, but it can cause bad side effects if you do take a large dose. This is why dose management is ever so important, so make sure you do your research to ensure you take the right dosage. This will also increase the chances of THC offering a therapeutic effect for the condition that you are looking to treat.
The Future of THC
It is hard to see why THC usage will not increase unless lawmakers find conclusive proof that it does more harm than good, which at this stage is very unlikely. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence which seems to suggest that THC can have a transformative effect on many health conditions, but this anecdotal evidence needs to be backed up my more verified research and studies to ensure it is safe for everyone to use.
This is the only way that THC will become more mainstream. The more evidence there is, the more THC will be taken seriously. The frequency of studies into THC has increased by 200% in the last 2 years, so researchers and university establishments are taking an interest in this subject area, and this is a great positive.
The take-home message is this. THC can have potential benefits, but make sure you only use it in moderation. For more information on THC, we would recommend you visit this link here.