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How Does THC Work? An Overview of Marijuana’s Controversial Psychoactive Compound

It’s well-known that THC use has been scrutinized across the country even in states where it is now legal for medical and recreational use. However, there are actual benefits of THC use for both reasons.

Understanding the advantages requires knowing more about THC. How does THC work and what is it exactly? Read on to find out.

 

What Is THC?

Before answering how does THC work, we must understand what THC is. THC is short for tetrahydrocannabinol, one of the 150 cannabinoids found in a cannabis plant.

In the cannabis plant, THC is the main psychoactive compound that can turn on CB1 receptors in the brain. It can also turn on CB2 receptors in the immune system which is why it has anti-inflammatory effects.

 

How Does THC Work?

How does THC work and how does weed work are essentially the same questions. As mentioned above, THC can turn on the CB1 receptors in the brain causing a psychoactive effect.

THC can also inhibit the enzyme fatty acid amid hydrolase (FAAH) that increases the amount of anandamide readily available in the body. This leads to the short-term effects one may experience when high such as:

  • Elation
  • Anxiety
  • Tachycardia (fast heart rate)
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Sedation
  • Relaxation
  • Pain relief

The elation component often comes from the brain’s release of dopamine due to THC usage. This hormone pushes motivation and reward-seeking behavior.

 

THC vs. CBD

Another common question surrounding THC is the difference between it and CBD. The main difference is that CBD does not give someone the same psychoactive effects that THC does.

This is because CBD does not bind to the CB1 receptor strongly. In some cases, CBD can block or buffer THC use.

Combining the two is common, but you will get a different effect. In general, taking only THC will provide a person with short-term and intensive psychoactive effects.

If you combine a lot of THC with some CBD, you can experience the psychoactive effects of THC for longer but they aren’t as strong. If you use equal amounts of each, you’ll experience few psychoactive effects.

 

What Is Delta-8?

THC is not the only psychoactive cannabinoid used. In fact, Delta-8 is becoming more common around the nation because of legalization. Click here to see more about marijuana laws.

It can be differentiated from THC by only a few atomic bonds. Because it has a lower affinity to CB1 receptors, it won’t be as psychoactive as the THC compound.

 

Is THC a Good Option for You?

Now that you’ve uncovered the answer to, “how does THC work?”, you can decide if using it is the right option for you. There are medical and recreational uses of THC depending on the state you live in.

Whatever you decide to try, make sure to check your state laws to avoid complications. Stay open-minded about THC use to see if you can benefit from the effects.

For more articles about THC and CBD uses, check out the other posts on our blog.

 

 

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