March 23, 2023 8:24 pm
Is there THC in CBD?
THC is one of the two most widely used cannabinoids that is extracted from cannabis or marijuana. While the other chemical called cannabidiol (CBD) is popular for its non-inducing high profile, THC is much known for its psychoactive effect.
It functions similarly as the human body’s natural cannabinoids, the neurotransmitters which send signals from the brain to the rest of the body parts.This system is essential in regulating a person’s movement, thought, and pleasure.
Although this chemical is helpful in relieving pain and boosting mood, it also has a strong potential in establishing physical dependence which can lead to substance use disorder with prolonged or excessive use.
What Does THC Stand For?
THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol. It comes with several other types along with the hundreds of other unique compounds present in marijuana. These types include delta 8, 9, and 10 THC. Plus, tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), and tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV). Among all these types, the delta-9 THC is the one which mainly causes euphoria.
Strains of marijuana typically vary according to their THC levels. The one which contains 0.3% is particularly referred to as hemp while any levels above it refer to marijuana, although both are actually just the same plant.
At present, THC levels in marijuana are far way higher than the ones during the ancient times, or even those which grow naturally in the wild. This is because the added chemicals currently used during cultivation increases its concentration in the plant.
Nowadays, the highest THC level in a plant has reached 35% while the average one typically ranges from 0.5 to 20%. The higher the level means the stronger is the psychoactive impact of the substance to the person.
What Does THC Do?
THC tends to disrupt the natural process of the endocannabinoid system, the one responsible for the coordination between the mind and the body of a person.
Since it has the same chemical structure as anandamide, one of the body’s natural cannabinoids, it is easy for it to attach to these receptors and take over its role.
When this happens, the chemical changes in the brain can impair its certain functions. For instance, the hippocampus and the orbitofrontal cortex may fail to control focus and attention while the cerebellum and basal ganglia may no longer be able to control body movement.
As a result, students may find it difficult to learn and athletes may struggle coordinating their body movements when they engage in sports. This is also the main reason why marijuana users may be prone to accidents when they drive.
THC also affects the body’s natural reward system. It deregulates the normal amount of dopamine, the hormone responsible for feelings of pleasure.
With an increased level of dopamine in the body, a person will experience euphoria. As soon as the substance wears off, the brain will get used to its presence and start seeking this kind of pleasure most of the time. This marks the cravings to constantly persist.
What Are The Side Effects Of THC?
The side effects of using THC encompasses both the physical and psychological disposition of a person. The following shows what these side effects are.
Physical side effects
THC affects the cardiovascular function of the body. You will likely suffer from rapid heartbeat which can cause high blood pressure and palpitations.
Smoking THC can also cause an infection in your lungs. Mucus may start to accumulate in the area which can make you cough like how cigarette smokers do. This can also cause you to have breathing problems.
Another dangerous side effect is how it strains your brain. You could suffer from a distorted time reaction and uncoordinated body movement. Your senses could also be easily sensitive. A regular light and sound may seem too much for you.
Research even shows how regular THC use among teenagers has changed the structure of their brain. This led to poor thinking and memory, and even decreased levels in their IQ.
Serious THC intoxication can likely develop into Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome (CHS). This is a condition where you can suffer from extreme nausea and vomiting.
Psychological side effects
The main psychological side effect is developing an addiction, a psychological illness that requires treatment. When you become psychologically dependent towards the drug, you may find it difficult to stop using it despite its consequences.
Other mental health concerns may also start to manifest. If you have been taking it to relieve depression or anxiety, you could enjoy a temporary relief but in the long run, it will only make your condition worse.
Most people also express how they suffered from extreme paranoia which pushed them to withdraw themselves from things and people who matter to them. Apart from strong episodes of panic attacks or restlessness, some may also suffer from hallucinations.
Is THC Legal?
THC levels of more than 0.3% are federally illegal. The government remains firm on its stand that marijuana is highly addictive and has no approved medical use, therefore; it is classified as a Schedule I controlled drug.
Under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, the use of marijuana is prohibited in all settings – medical or recreational. However, this is not the case for some areas in the United States.
There are currently 38 states in the country which have legalized THC for medical reasons while 19 states have allowed its use for recreation. Despite this, the country’s Department of Justice strongly enforces that these states must consistently impose a strict regulatory system in their state policies.
What Are The Medical Uses For THC?
THC is used to relieve people from serious illnesses such as AIDS and cancer. Although the reputation of its medical function remains limited, THC is likely prescribed by some doctors to their patients.
Individuals who suffer from nausea and vomiting during their chemotherapy are aided by the substance for relief. There is also an on-going study about its potential in destroying cancer cells in the body.
Its anti-inflammatory function is also highly regarded in the treatment of the infection caused by HIV. It is also known to boost the immune system which is ideal for the patients.
Another notable factor of the substance is its ability to increase a person’s appetite. This is beneficial for people with AIDS and cancer to gain weight and provide enough nourishment for their body.
There are multiple other medical functions that THC can be involved in. Its potential in treating muscle spasms caused by multiple sclerosis and controlling episodes of seizures are significant.
How Is THC Excreted From The Body?
THC excretes the body through the stool and urine. There are several factors which affect how fast your body can eliminate the substance. This includes the degree of your substance use and the speed of your metabolism.
When the substance enters the bloodstream, it is absorbed by several tissues throughout the body and that is when you can experience its effect. After that, it goes its way out through the liver and then proceeds to excretion.
In the liver, the substance is acted upon by numerous natural enzymes that allow it to increase in size and water solubility for smooth defecation and/or urination. This process is called metabolism. The faster your metabolism, the quicker the substance can be flushed out of your system.
The speed of metabolism can be affected by weight, gender, age, and overall health disposition. Oftentimes, women and the older ones have slower metabolism than the men and the young individuals.
Metabolites, broken down pieces of the substance, may hide within the areas of the body fats, causing a delay of elimination. This follows that the higher the body mass index, the slower can the substance be eliminated in the body.
What Are The Chemical Properties Of THC?
THC has a chemical formula of C21H30O2 which contains several isomers. The chemical name for the psychoactive ingredient in the Cannabis sativa plant is (−)-trans-Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol. It is a lipid which is responsible for the plant’s evolution and protection against insects, pests, and other environmental stress.
There are three chemical compounds from the plant which are classified by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as controlled substances. THC, together with its double bond isomers and stereoisomers, is one of these compounds while the rest are known as dimethylheptylpyran and parahexyl.
THC is a product of decarboxylation, the process of removing a carboxyl group through heat. In the plant, it primarily appears as tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCa). Once the THCa is exposed to heat such as smoking or cooking it as edibles, it turns to THC.
THCa is typically non-psychoactive and at the same time, it does not bind with the natural cannabinoid receptors in the body unless it is heated and then becomes THC, the psychoactive substance that can be detected in hair, saliva, blood, and urine through a combination of immunoassay and chromatographic drug tests.
What Are The Benefits Of THC?
THC provides multiple benefits especially with its antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticonvulsant factors. It is also found to promote brain growth and protect brain cells in conjunction with its pain relieving and therapeutic formula.
Although further research is still necessary to fully identify the risks of THC, a few studies have found the following potential benefits of the THC.
- It blocks pain signals to the brain resulting in relieving neuropathic or nerve pain.
- It aids children who are suffering from chemotherapy-induced nausea.
- It protects the brain from head injuries.
- It promotes good quality sleep among those with sleep disorders.
- It eases symptoms caused by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
- It slows down the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
- It prevents malnutrition caused by the loss of appetite from certain illnesses.
- It has treated an antibiotic pathogen (causing gaping wounds) while other drugs failed.
- It decreases immune compounds which cause inflammatory conditions.
- It has once contributed to the ease of asthma.
- It prevents the growth of tumors.
- It helps relax the muscles.
- It reduces episodes of seizures.