You may know of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) as the element in weed that, well, gets you high. But the compound THC, one of over 400 found in marijuana, is actually more complex than that. So, what is THC and how does it work? […]
THC, also called tetrahydrocannabinol, is the compound in cannabis that is psychoactive and gives you the feeling of being high. However, THC’s chemical make-up, C₂₁H₃₀O₂, is very similar to its counterpart, CBD, which actually combats the effects of THC.
Still, THC mimics the natural chemical anandamide (which is produced in the brain) in structure, altering the function in communication. So, instead of normal brain communication via neurons, the THC compound attaches to the neurons and changes the process.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), THC affects things like thinking, memory, pleasure, movements, concentration, coordination, and sensory and time perception. For these reasons, doing things like operating heavy machinery or driving while under the influence of the drug may be dangerous.
Still, the stigma that THC gets (especially in relation to marijuana use) may not entirely be the whole story. THC actually brags several health benefits that have been shown to help treat depression, PTSD, epilepsy, and even eating disorders.
THC has the chemical formula C₂₁H₃₀O₂, with a molecular mass of 314.464 g/mol. But, it is very similar in structure and molecular mass to its counterpart CBD, which dilutes the effects of THC.
THC brags a variety of uses, both medicinal and recreational.
Among dozens, THC can be used in syrups, edibles, oils used via tinctures, drops, in medicines, and topicals including lotions and balms used for anti-inflammation.
THC and cannabis can also be used on animals like dogs for pain relief and calming anxiety.
THC vs. CBD
Despite the two compounds having almost exact chemical makeups and being part of those that make up cannabis, THC and CBD act rather differently.
THC is the psychoactive component in marijuana that gives you the feeling of being high – however, CBD acts as a counterbalance to the effects of THC. While THC induces drowsiness and gives you that body-high, CBD can actually increase energy.
CBD can often help moderate THC’s effects by reducing anxiety or stress. […]
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