Understanding the Science and Potential of THC

The effects of THC are well-known. Its psychoactive properties are sought-after and the primary reason for its popularity. Its health benefits, on the other hand, have led to it being medically legalized in 38 states

While many people are familiar with how THC makes them feel, they still don’t understand the science behind the world’s most popular cannabinoid. We’ll explore the science and potential of THC in this all-encompassing guide.

What is THC? 

Cannabis is a genus of flowering plants, part of the Cannabaceae family. There are two forms of cannabis: marijuana and hemp. The only difference between the two is that marijuana has more than 0.3% Delta-9 THC. 

Cannabis has wide-ranging uses, but most popularly is utilized for its psychotropic effects which can be leveraged for therapeutic and recreational purposes. The primary chemical compound in cannabis is called THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), which causes its psychoactive effects. 

THC is concentrated in the resin of the flowering tops of female cannabis plants. The compound is found in the trichomes, microscopic, mushroom-shaped, hair-like compounds surrounding budding cannabis flower. 

How THC Works

To understand the science of THC, you must understand how THC works in the human body. THC interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a complex cell-signaling system identified in the early 90s by researchers studying cannabis. 

The ECS comprises cannabinoid receptors, endogenous cannabinoids (endocannabinoids), and enzymes responsible for their synthesis and degradation. The ECS plays important roles in central nervous system development, synaptic plasticity, and an individual’s response to endogenous and environmental stress.

The endocannabinoid receptors THC binds to can impact its effect on the body. By binding to CB1 receptors in the brain, THC causes intoxicating and psychoactive effects. When it binds to CB2 receptors in the body, it impacts bodily issues like pain and inflammation. 

How Different THC Products Work

How you consume THC affects the speed at which it will bind with your ECS, and produce your desired effects. Smoking THC products, like flowers or vape carts, results in it almost immediately entering the bloodstream, so you will quickly feel effects. 

Consuming THC edibles, such as gummies, will result in delayed effects since the THC will have to go through your digestive system before it enters your bloodstream and binds to receptors. You won’t feel the effects of THC edibles normally for around 30 minutes to 2 hours. 

The Future Potential of THC

Because THC has demonstrated numerous wellness benefits, it’s become popular among individuals seeking relief from ailments. Research suggests that THC may support symptom relief for problems like pain, nausea, stress, and muscle spasms. 

THC continues to be a subject of interest for individuals seeking natural wellness solutions. Even the pharmaceutical industry has become interested in THC. Some companies are developing synthetic THC-based medications that target specific conditions, aiming to separate the therapeutic benefits from the psychoactive effects. These developments may lead to new treatment options with improved efficacy and fewer side effects.