What is THC?
Tetrahydrocannabinol or simply, THC is one of many cannabinoids found in cannabis. It is well-known for its “high” effects and is one of the most popular cannabinoids. Cannabis refers to a group of three plants known as Cannabis sativa (including Hemp, a botanical class of Cannabis sativa), Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis. And THC is well known as the compound responsible for most of cannabis’ psychological effects.
THC is chemically similar to the body’s naturally produced endocannabinoids.
ECS and THC
When THC enters the body, it interacts with the endocannabinoid system or ECS. It is a complex cell-signaling system present nearly everywhere in the human body. It is made up of three components: endocannabinoids, receptors, and enzymes. These elements work together to help regulate a range of processes and functions in our body such as mood, memory, sleep, appetite, and more.
So, what causes the “high”?
First, we need to know what are cannabinoid receptors. Also known as the CB1 and CB2 receptors, they are also found throughout the body. CB1 is mainly present in the central nervous system while CB2 is densely packed in the peripheral nervous system. THC attaches and activates both of these receptors. As a result, it affects memory, pleasure, movements, thinking, concentration, coordination, and sensory and time perception.
THC vs CBD
Scientists have identified at least 113 different chemicals in the cannabis plant. Aside from THC, CBD is also one of the most popular cannabinoids. And while THC is known to cause a person to experience a high, CBD won’t.
This is because when consumed, THC binds itself and almost mimics the body’s endocannabinoids while CBD is known to support ECS in regulating key bodily functions.
Is THC legal?
Currently, federal and state marijuana laws may conflict with each other. It is because, under federal law, it is illegal to grow, buy, sell, or carry cannabis with more than 0.3% of THC. However, a handful of states have passed laws allowing its use as a treatment for certain medical conditions. In addition, several states and the District of Columbia have also legalized cannabis for adult recreational use.
So before you try to buy products containing THC, it’s important to research your state’s laws.