THC. The psychoactive cannabinoid
As we know, THC (Delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol) is the chemical compound (cannabinoid) responsible for the psychoactive effect of cannabis.
Cannabinoid receptors are located in some areas of the brain which are related with thinking, memory, pleasure, coordination and more. THC gets attached to these receptors and the result is an activation of them. This way, it affects the memory, pleasure, concentration, coordination and time perception, among other effects.
THC is produced in the resin produced by the glands of cannabis. These glands are mostly found around the reproductive organs. THC is a cannabinoid. But there are quite a few others, although without psychoactive effect.
Effects of THC
THC stimulates cells in the brain in order to produce dopamine. It produces a pleasant feeling of euphoria. THC interferes in the way information is processed in the hippotalamus, the organ responsible to form new memories.
Depending on the quantity and the person, THC can produce hallucinations and delusions. Normally, these effects don’t last more than two hours. The high begins after ten minutes after the consumption (if we smoke it) and between 30 and 45 minutes if we eat it. Anyway, psychomotor impairment could continue after we feel the “trip” is over.
In a interview with A.J. Fabrizio, a cannabis chemistry expert at Terra Tech Corp, said: “In some cases, reported side effects of THC include anxiety, thachycardia, short-term memory recall issues, sedation, pain relief, and many more. However, a study in the British Journal of Pharmacology found that other types of cannabinoids, as well as terpenes (compounds that produce flavors and fragrance in plants), can modulate and reduce negative effects”
Marijuana is the most popular drug. It has almost no risks and many positive medical properties. However, it is not for everybody. In some cases, the use of cannabis has produced a relapse in schizophrenic symptoms, according to what NIDA (National Institute in Drugs Abuse) says.
One of the risks THC can produce is a bit of lost of motor skills. For this reason is illegal driving after consumption. It is considered that THC continues affecting your motor skills after 3 hours after its consumption. For this reason, people who use medical marijuana are instructed to avoid driving until it has been established they can tolerate it and drive without problems.
In 2016 the University of Montreal published an article warning about the risks of marijuana in too young people. Those smokers who begin at 14 or less lose some cognition attitudes and seem to have a higher tendency to drop out school. However, those who began at 17 did not have the same problem.
The National Cancer Institute declared that marijuana is useful for medical purposes. And it has been like this since the” hey days” of humankind. After 2017, cannabis was legalized in the USA for medical purposes and many states declared it legal for recreational use too.
THC is being used to treat some problems related with cancer (nausea and vomiting prevention). Moreover, some studies have shown that THC has many other medical benefits. It even can improve the memory if is taken in small doses. And of course, it helps to gain appetite.
Are there limits on THC levels?
For many years, growers have trying to obtain strains with the highest levels of THC. Is there any limit on the amount of THC that a cannabis plant can produce?
Yes indeed; there are limits and growers have already reached the natural limits with the strongest THC-dominant strains. Because THC comes from CBGA (as the rest of cannabinoids), and strains genetics limit the way it happens. There are biological constraints on the THC:CBD ratios that any strain can have.
The amount of THC is the weight of this cannabinoid in the flower once this is dried. When we say this strain has 20% of THC, we mean its total weight once is dried, contains a 20% of THC.
So far, the most potent strains have around 30% THC by dry weight. Eventually is possible to find a strain with higher levels; but it is very rare.
On average, a high THC strain has between 18-20% total THC. The most potent have between 25-30%. If you are offered a strain with more than 35% total dry weight, don’t pay attention.