Everyone has heard of weed, marijuana, cannabis and more – but do you know exactly what is THC, what is does and is it in CBD?

Marijuana and CBD have become mainstream and popular over the last few years.  And mainstream companies from Constellation to Miracle Grow have become part of the industry. The American Medical Association have back the claims of medical benefits and even the Biden administration seems to easing their resistance.  It can be fun, relaxing or helping, depending on why you are embracing the plant.  But what is THC and why is it important?

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Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a terpenoid found in cannabis. The key psychoactive constituent of the cannabis plant, it is the one which makes you feel high and sends you on a journey.  As one of at least 113 total cannabinoids identified in the plant, it is the most popular, but is not part of CBD.  Its chemical formula C21H30O2  and the term THC usually refers to the delta-9-THC isomer.

The primary psychoactive compound in cannabis, THC works by binding to cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) in the brain and body. CB1 receptors are concentrated in the central nervous system and mediate the psychoactive effects of THC, such as altered perception, mood, and cognition. CB2 receptors are mainly found in the peripheral nervous system and immune cells, and are involved in the anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of THC. When it binds to these receptors, it mimics the action of the body’s own endocannabinoids, like anandamide, disrupting normal brain function and leading to the characteristic effects including relaxing, reduce anxiety, giggling, or, in rare cases, some paranoia.

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THC has been approved for certain medical uses, such as treating nausea, chronic pain management and chemotherapy. Healthcare providers should be consulted so they can consider a patient’s history and current state when prescribing THC-based medications.  Overall, the medical use of THC requires a multidisciplinary approach to ensure safe and effective treatment.

CBD is typically derived from hemp. It has very low THC concentrations, not enough to get you “high” but enough to help with anxiety, relax you and several other benefits.  More research as to be done on both CBD and THC to unlock additional benefits.

If you are new to consuming, 2.5-5 mg THC is typically the lowest dose available in single servings of edible products and is recommended for beginners. For smoking or vaping, take just one puff and wait 15 minutes to see how you feel before taking more. This low dose can help minimize the risk of unwanted side effects like anxiety, paranoia, or discomfort as you embrace THC.

Terry Hacienda

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