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What Is THC?

Ever since medicinal marijuana has become a norm in the medical industry and people prefer it over conventional drugs; science has gone extra lengths to figure out what’s in this plant that makes it so healthy yet unhealthy at the same time.

Thanks to years of research into cannabis, we now know the answer. And the answer lies into what we call cannabinoids.

There are multiple cannabinoids, found in marijuana. Every cannabinoid has different attributes to it and once taken separately, they can have different effects on human beings as well.

After a thorough analysis, it was concluded that THC aka tetrahydrocannabinol is the main ingredient that causes people (who smoke weed) to get high. This is why you don’t see THC in many CBD products. Even if it is there, the amount in negligible (approx. 0.3%).

But is there more to THC than meets the eye? As far as we know, THC has been a primary psychoactive component that’s synonymous with cannabis, marijuana and weed.

However, digging a little deeper, we realised, there is certainly more to it than meets the eye.

And we know that experienced consumers like you would love to read about it.

So, without further ado; let’s get started:

What is THC?

To understand THC properly, you have to first understand what cannabinoids are. To put it simply: cannabinoids are chemical compounds, found rich in cannabis plants.

They are what cause our body to experience various effects (by interacting with receptors in brain) including health benefits and the euphoric high. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of cannabinoids in cannabis. However, THC is one of the most widely known one due to its abundance and psychoactive properties. But why is it that cannabinoids are formed in weed?

A leading hypothesis is that cannabinoids, known as secondary metabolites, acts as an immune system for the plant. They allow the plant to thrive by fending off predators, pests and parasites.

When you think for a second, this hypothesis kind of makes sense. You see, we humans also have an immune system in our bodies and when we consume cannabinoids like CBD and THC, they bind with the receptors found in the brain and the central nervous system.

These receptors are called CB1 and CB2 receptors and they’re found in our endocannabinoid system (ECS) that act as a bridge and allow our brain to control body’s vital systems optimally.

Now that you understand a bit about the cannabinoids, let’s move on to the real thing:

How Does THC Get Us High?

In a nutshell, THC causes you to get high by binding to cannabinoid receptors that are packed within the brain and the central nervous system. Confused? You ought to be.

Well, to understand how THC gets you high, you have to understand the endogenous cannabinoids like anandamide that are found naturally within our bodies. You see, we have our own naturally producing cannabinoids that can make us feel euphoric “high” when we do intensive workout like running, heavyweight lifting and even advanced yoga. This is because intensive workouts can release and bind anandamide with our brain and central nervous system (and related cannabinoids found in our body), which provides an effect similar to getting high.

Since natural cannabinoids are the reason our bodies evolved to react and give you the high effect, THC, which is a symbiotic cannabinoid similar to anandamide, gives the same effect.

This is because our ECS reacts with THC just like it does with our natural cannabinoids.

Now that you know how THC gets you high, let’s move on to:

The ‘Short Term’ Effects of THC

Many people, new to medicinal marijuana, expect the same health benefits of it that any other person has gotten from it. But, experienced individuals know that the experience varies from person to person. For example, some people might feel calm and relaxed while others might experience an increase in their anxiety levels. There are two reasons why this happens:

  • Your body chemistry plays a large role in determining THC’s effect.
  • THC strains and concentrations can also create a different outcome.

This is why, it’s recommended that you start with a lower dosage and consume it in a moderate quantity. It normally takes a few hours for the cannabis high to wear off so you might want to wait before you dose yourself with another smoking session ‒ until the effect vanishes off.

This will ensure that you’re not overdosing yourself, which can create complications.

Some of the most common short term effects of THC that we’ve found are as follows:

  • Relaxation
  • Elation
  • Pain Relief
  • Sedation
  • Energy
  • Laughter
  • Dizziness
  • Memory loss
  • Hunger
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Red eyes
  • Slowed perception of time
  • Feeling heavy/hard to move
  • Increased heart rate
  • Anxiety/paranoia

Now that you know what the short term effects of THC are, you might be curious about its long term effects as well. Let’s continue, shall we?

The ‘Long Term’ Effects of THC

Although there is very little research done on THC’s long-term effects, we know a little bit about the potential effects of THC ‒ both good and bad that remain for a long time.

Some of them are as follows:


One of the most common symptoms of smoking weed is inflammation of the bronchial tubes, the airways that carry air to your lungs ‒ aka bronchitis. You can however, get away with it by choosing an alternative method of consuming THC like vapors designed for THC consumption.


This is the most concerning long-term effect of THC, especially if you have schizophrenia and similar disorders. This study claims that consuming cannabis can fast-forward the symptoms of psychosis three years earlier to its destined time. This is something you need to worry about.


Another thing that worries a lot of cannabis users is that overtime, you have to increase your dosage to fully experience the euphoric high (and even its health benefits). This is because our body is designed to tolerate excess use of a symbiotic element. However, if you do overdose yourself with cannabis, you don’t have to worry too much about it as it’s not fatal to your health.

Apart from what we’ve discussed above, there is not enough information on other long-term effects of THC. We’ve also looked if THC is packed with any cancer risk, and we found no evidence to prove it, however; it is advisable to refrain from smoking cannabis directly as there are countless studies and research that prove the harmful effects of ‘smoking’ weed.

Are There Any Health Benefits of THC?

THC, while spot lighted for its euphoric effect, is still something that medical industry is interested in. This is because THC comes with a variety of health benefits, specially if it is combined with CBD ‒ another cannabinoid found in cannabis and popular for its medicinal use.

Here are some of the conditions that THC may be able to treat:

  • PTSD
  • ADHD
  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • Arthritis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Migraines
  • Nausea
  • Insomnia
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Inflammation
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Appetite Loss
  • Chronic Pain

That’s a lot of problems that THC may be able to solve. However, we need sufficient evidence based on actual data from research and studies to prove how effective THC can be as an alternative treatment to these conditions. Fortunately, new research is emerging consistently.

Our Verdict

To be honest, we believe that we need more research on THC before we conclude our verdict on this cannabinoid. While we know that it’s a psychoactive compound and may be able to help a lot of people suffering from ailments we mentioned above, it’s still quite risky.

However, it’s up to you to decide what’s right or wrong. But, we do recommend that you talk to a professional doctor before you start experimenting with THC or cannabis.

Whether you want to experience the high from THC or get its health benefits for your ailment, we hope this article was a great find for you. If we missed something, be sure to let us know in the comments section down below. And don’t forget to subscribe!

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