What is THC? (Tetrahydrocannabinol)
October 8, 2020
by Ma Raim
When you work in a dispensary, customers always ask: “what is THC?” Cannabis users are curious by nature. Some are science nerds, others want to know about the medicinal benefits of cannabis, others are concerned about safety.
THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the primary psychoactive chemical in weed, one of over 100 cannabinoids present in the plant. THC is the fun part that makes you feel high, secreted in the resin of the marijuana plant. While it’s easy to focus on the recreational effects of THC, it’s also beneficial to your health in a number of ways. This fascinating, alternative route to health is why many of us got involved in Vancouver dispensaries to begin with.
Tetrahydrocannabinol interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). That’s a major part of our body’s make-up which regulates mood, stress recovery, appetite, memory and pain receptors. It also creates natural cannabinoids within our bodies to help us function. When we use cannabis, cannabinoids transmit through this system to the brain and produce therapeutic effects, helping our bodies to heal. The main chemicals which produce these effects are THC and CBD.
THC’s Relationship to CBD
The vague understanding of these chemicals is that CBD (Cannabidiol) is for health while THC is for getting stoned. While this is true in a broad sense, there’s more of a nuanced relationship at play between the two than many people think. THC affects you in one way and CBD in another, but when ingested together they affect each other too. While THC is the headliner for recreational users, it helps medicinal users with:
Recent studies even suggest THC could help treat colon cancer.
The science of the relationship between the two chemicals is complicated, featuring such tongue-twisters as Anandamide and Allosteric Inhibition. Try saying those five times in a row. Anandamide is a natural cannabinoid found in the body which THC mimics when you use cannabis. It does this by attaching itself to cannabinoid receptors within the brain. This stimulates the brain to release dopamine and gives you a pleasant euphoria.
Canadian dispensaries are staffed by weed nerds, but for those of us without a degree in green, here’s the cliff notes:
The potency of cannabis is expressed as mg/g or as a percentage of THC content. So, if a product is labelled 12% THC and 120 mg/g, it has 120 milligrams of THC per gram of bud.
Each human brain is unique, so it’s tough to tell how THC will affect you. Balancing your THC and CBD intake is key to using medicinal marijuana. If you’re prone to the negative psychological effects of cannabis, want to lessen your anxiety or have a low tolerance then choosing high CBD cannabis with low THC may be a smart choice.
If you’re unsure what level is suitable for you, reach out and we’ll be happy to advise you. If you’re looking for a top tier Canadian online pot store, you’re in the right place. We offer some of the cheapest ounces in Canada. That doesn’t mean the quality’s lacking either: the climate here in Vancouver has been perfect for growing cannabis this summer. If you have any questions, hit us up and if you want to read more on weed science, take a look here. Blaze responsibly.