Most people are familiar with the word THC and how it can affect the mind of its users. It is known for bringing an instant euphoria to anyone who has consumed it. For those people who have experience using cannabis or what is commonly known as Marijuana, it is not strange if they have heard about it. However, not everyone truly knows about the real meaning of it. So, this drives us to this question: “What is THC?”
The discovery of THC marked a significant development on the usage of Marijuana for recreational and health purposes. The THC, known as tetrahydrocannabinol, is one of the primary chemical compounds found in weeds- particularly the cannabis flower. The scientific study on THC was started in 1964 by Israeli scientists led by Dr. Raphael Mechoulam that changed its perspective across the globe.
As widely known, THC is the reason behind the psychological effects coming from Marijuana. This influence happens once the THC attaches to the cannabinoid receptors located in the brain. In return, a user’s memory, movement, concentration, thinking, and coordination is widely affected. As users consume this, they are going to experience particular altered cognitive and behavioral ability. However, the consumer will still be able to complete their daily tasks like they usually do. The only difference is that they are going to see things differently but in the right way.
How Long Does THC Stay in Your System?
At first, people only one way of consuming Marijuana, and this is by rolling it on a joint and smoking it. However, as time passes, people found innovative ways of using Marijuana anytime they want it. Some people still like dragging it, but some prefer using it via vaporizers because it is easier and more efficient. Meanwhile, other users collect their old recipes of sweets and drinks and adding the twist of THC. However, the effect of THC varies depending on the means the consumer is taking it.
Smoking is the traditional way of consuming THC and also the best idea if you want the THC to affect your body in just a short period. When the user inhales Marijuana, the THC will directly travel to the lungs until it enters the bloodstream. As it successfully reaches the blood, it will then be efficiently delivered to the brain as it crosses the blood-brain barrier. Plus, smoking will quickly affect the psychological and physical set up of the body. In just seconds of smoking Marijuana, the process of consuming it will be complete. Most of the time, depending on the amount of THC consumed, it lasts for 45 minutes to a few hours in the system.
Vaporizers are making a noise in the industry of smoking nowadays. Most of the younger generation prefers using this innovation rather than the traditional way. In general, they will not need to roll joint or find any source of fire to intake the THC. With vaporizers, they need marijuana juice and the device that they can take any time, and just anywhere they want. The active chemicals of Marijuana are released into vapor results from the application of fluid or liquid to the vaporizer. Once the compound gets diffused into gases, the THC is going to enter the bloodstream and will quickly reach the brain after seconds. When compared to smoking, vaporizers induce the same amount of THC in your system and could stay for about 45 minutes to a few hours.
If you have ever been on a college or high school party, then most probably, you have already seen this kind of goodies. They come in different menus such as brownies, cookies, cakes, or even gummies. Moreover, THC can also be added teas, alcoholic drinks, or other fruit juices that anyone can quickly drink. These are just some of the innovative ways of consuming Marijuana.
For this reason, users who cannot tolerate smoke and vapors can enjoy this delicious way. However, the effect of these edibles is quite different than the previous forms. Most of these goodies are high in THC potency and strength, but because it still needs to be processed by the digestive system, it is slower to be absorbed. It can usually last for about 6 to 8 hours in the body, depending on the amount consumed.
THC Side Effects
We are all aware of the euphoria and other positive feelings that THC can give to its users. However, it is still undeniable how it can cause some adverse effects on its users. Because it changes the behavior and mood of the users, it is not common to always have a positive impact on the system. THC can cause some physical and psychological issues, some minor and some severe ones. Here are some of the adverse THC side effects that usually occur:
To affect the whole body system of the users, the THC must first travel to the brain. The quick distribution of the compound is why it is only reasonable that it will significantly affect the psychological factor of the consumer. Two of the most common side effects of this are anxiety and panic reactions. With this, the user may experience fast heart rate, agitation, and paranoia. There are even some instances where they can have delusions and hallucinations.
Respiratory issues are common for those who prefer smoking marijuana. They usually suffer from constant cough and cold from phlegm and bronchitis. It can affect the immune system of lungs, which can increase its risk of further infections. There are 50-70% more carcinogenic hydrocarbons on Marijuana than what you can find in tobacco. This harmful chemical causes numerous lung diseases, although as of now, there are still no definitive links proving that marijuana use can cause lung cancer.
Marijuana also exclaims further notice when it comes to heart risks. In regards to inhaling Marijuana, the bloodstream carries these compounds and circulating it throughout the system. The quick distribution process of THC is the reason why, aside from the brain, the heart can also be severely damaged by Marijuana if it not used wisely. Upon consuming the chemical, the heart rate of the user increases by 20 to 100% dramatically and remains elevated for hours. Moreover, consumers who are already suffering from high blood pressure can result in arrhythmia and other cardiac diseases.
It is already a basic knowledge to everyone, even for those who are non-users, how Marijuana can affect the cognitive ability of the users. Most often, this can cause impairments regarding the memory, attention, social behavior, and even the decision making of its consumer. In the accord of several types of research made by doctors and scientists, the effects of THC are dependent on the dosage and duration of ingesting the chemical. Following this, massive exposure to this may contribute to poor relationship choices and lower expectations. Moreover, misuse of Marijuana is why most of the people who are addicted and have been long using THC tends to be anti-social or are associated with toxic relationships.
Addiction and Withdrawal
THC can be highly addictive, and that is already a fact. The essence of being addicted is due to the uplifting effects of Marijuana and how it makes users feel more positive and instant euphoria. Even when there are negative social consequences when people use it, the user may still rely on their cravings for a good time. Just like when you intake any drugs and alcoholic beverages, more usage leads to more tolerance and immunity of the body to the effects of Marijuana. When this happens, the user will crave for a higher dosage and more prolonged consumption of THC. However, when the user tries to detach himself it, his body is going to refuse the method. It will experience withdrawal symptoms such as sleeplessness, decreased appetite, drug cravings, irritability, and even anxiety.
THC Health Benefits
Despite the side effects mentioned above, there are still some reasons why Marijuana is being legalized and tolerated by more than 26 countries in the world. THC is now also having its synthetic versions and is being legally prescribed even in countries where Marijuana, itself, is not legal. Furthermore, Marijuana has chemical components that can be a treatment for many illnesses such as brain injury, dementia, glaucoma, and even the side effects of chemotherapies. Here are some of the diseases that can be treated using THC synthetic versions.
THC is an effective treatment for those people who are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. It affects the cognitive and behavioral state of the patient as it enters the nervous system minutes after consumption. With this, it is proved to improve the appetite loss and behavioral disturbances of the patient. Plus, THC has sedative-like compounds that can calm the patient and make them feel more positive.
THC has anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects to its users.
Some scientists found out that the presence of THC in the system of seriously ill patients suffering from a traumatic brain injury has positive effects.
When movies are depicting characters that are using Marijuana, most of them are associated with dark eye circles which can lead people to think that it causes insomnia. However, the truth is that THC is useful for sleep. It helps those people who are suffering from Sleep Apnea as it improves the breathing quality of the patients. It relaxes the nerves of the patient and makes them feel at ease while sleeping.
THC vs. CBD
Tetrahydrocannabinol and Cannabidiol are both compounds present in Marijuana. However, the only difference between the two is the stain that they come from – Indica and Sativa. Indica strains pack more CBD than THC, while Sativa strains have higher THC levels than CBD. The THC is highly psychoactive, which is why most countries are not approving its legality and highly prohibits its usage. However, for the CBD, they are non-psychoactive and mostly have positive effects rather than a negative side effect. The induced positive essence of Marijuana is the reason why more and more countries are legalizing the consumption of these cannabis-based extracts. It also comes from different forms such as CBD Oils which can serve as a treatment against insomnia, depression, and diabetes.
Proper use comes with a big responsibility
Now, there are several positive and negative effects of THC when its users are ingesting it. The choice will be in the hand of the consumer whether they are going to use it properly, or they are just going to abuse it carelessly. Of all the facts and insights mentioned above, a person must first consider if he is ready to use this and how he can handle all its effects in the body system.