What Is THC?
What is THC? Its the abbreviation of the word tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the chemical compound responsible for many of the psychological effects caused by inhaling or consuming Cannabis, and cause and effect similar to the cannabinoid chemicals produced naturally in the body.
Certain parts of the brain have a higher concentration of Cannabinoid receptors, these areas are associated with co-ordination, memory,some types of thinking,time and pleasure.
THC molecules attach themselves to the receptors, which in turn, activates them. For some users this will affect their short-term memory, movement (which may improve), thinking, concentration, coordination, and sensory perception, including time.
The flowers and swollen false seed bracts have the highest concentration of resin. THC, as well as other chemical compounds are contained within this resin.
Marijuana resin also contains other, unique compounds, known as cannabinoids, one of which, CBD has proven to have medicinal attributes, as well as being non-psychoactive, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, and works to negate many of the effects of the high associated with THC.
What Are The Effects Of THC On The Body?
The active compound THC has been proven to stimulates cells in the brain which secrete dopamine.
This produces a feeling of happiness and euphoria, but it may alter the way information is processed in the part of the brain known as the Hippocampus, whose main responsible is the forming of new memories and the storage of short-term memories.
A.J. Fabrizio, a Marijuana chemistry expert at Terra Tech Corp said recently, “In some cases, reported side effects of THC include elation, anxiety, tachycardia, short-term memory recall issues, sedation, relaxation, pain-relief and many more,”
However, he also added that a study in the British Journal of Pharmacology discovered other forms of cannabinoids can modulate and reduce negative effects.
For some users, THC can induce hallucinations, change their thinking and cause them to suffer paranoia or delusions, but for most users the effects last approximately two hours, and begin immediately if smoked, or approximately 30-45 minutes after ingestion.
What Are The Risks From THC?
Marijuana or Cannabis as it is otherwise known, is possibly the most commonly used, and socially acceptable of all banned drugs.
However, some of the effects of the stronger “Skunk Cannabis” concern mental health advocates who point to the suggestion that THC can trigger a relapse in schizophrenic symptoms.
Consuming Marijuana or Cannabis has been shown to impair mental judgement, including perception of space, speed and time.
Marijuana use may impair the driving skills of some users for up to three hours after consumption, and, reports show, apart from alcohol, Marijuana and Cannabis is the second-most common psychoactive substance found in drivers, reports the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Dr. Damon Raskin, medical director at Cliffside Malibu Treatment Center recently said “The jury is still out on long-term effects, as not enough research has been done on it yet. There is some speculation that it could impair fertility in men and women and also compromise a person’s airways, but the studies are still not clear.”
Reports suggest that laboratory rats given THC before birth, soon after birth or before maturity developed problems with specific learning and memory tasks when adult.
The Medicinal Uses Of Cannabis
According to the National Cancer Institute, marijuana and cannabis has been used for medicinal purposes for more than 3,000 years.
In many areas of the United States, the use of medicinal marijuana is legal. In several states the recreational use is now also legal for those of adult age.
The body extracts THC when inhaled or ingested. Alternatively, it can be synthesized and made, as is the case for the FDA-approved drug dronabinol. Dronabinol is used to treat or prevent the nausea and vomiting associated with cancer medicines and to increase the appetites of people with AIDS, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
It is a light yellow resinous oil. However, the drug is extremely expensive, especially when the real, natural product can be grown relatively cheaply.
Can I Overdose On THC?
Edibles, foods containing THC, have become a large problem in states that have legalized pot because of overdosing.
Although it is extremely unlikely that you will will overdose from smoking Marijuana or Cannabis, the effects can build up slowly to the point when the user will feel, or be, sick and stop smoking for a while, allowing a more normal state to return.
However, the latest craze in edibles have led to slight overdosing because people often eat a full cookie instead of a diagnosed smaller amount,
It is easier to swallow a cookie and it’s very attractive to younger people or those who don’t want to smoke it, but edibles are extremely high in potency, and when eaten, THC can last longer and have a greater intensity.
The effect from inhaling THC will last 45-minutes to a few hours, but edibles can last for six to eight hours and are more likely to lead to a trip to the ER feeling like you are suffering an overdose.
In truth, its almost impossible to overdose and die from either eating or smoking marijuana.
Concentrations Of THC In Marijuana
When THC comes into contact with the air, it begins to break down and degrades into cannabinol.
This is a cannabinoid with its own psychological effects. THC concentration is most heavily concentrated on the buds, appearing as stalk-like resin pockets on the surface of the plant matter.
Hemp, a wild form of Marijuana has the lowest concentration of THC, as low as 0.5 percent, but Hemp is used mainly for industrial and agricultural purposes, rather than medicinal.
As an average, crudely grown outdoor marijuana possesses approximately 1% – 5% THC.
Hashish or solid blocks of Cannabis contain between 5% -15% THC concentration, while oils may contain up to 20% THC concentration.