THC is the psychoactive substance contained in the hemp plant, very different from CBD. Let’s find out what are their differences and the effects they have on the human body and mind.

How many times have you heard that marijuana can get you high? Have you ever wondered why this happens?

The high is caused by high concentrations of THC, the psychoactive substance inside the hemp plant. 

You should also know that hemp produces a lot of natural substances. We find minerals, vitamins, proteins, terpenes, flavonoids, and essential fats, and we also find over a hundred cannabinoids

At this point it is necessary to clarify: all cannabinoids are not the same

The two that stand out the most are THC and CBD. The former is psychoactive and the latter is not. 

However, it would be reductive to talk about THC only in these terms. 

THC is indeed the natural compound that has made hemp’s life difficult throughout the world, but it is also true that it is not always present in high concentrations and above all it has underrated beneficial properties

And we’ll provide you with some more information. Initially, scientists were so fascinated by THC that they thought that this was the most suitable component for the treatment of conditions and diseases. In short, a panacea. This means that THC should not only be classified as a psychoactive substance, as it is far more than this and we are here to prove it. 

What is THC?

In the other article, we explained what CBD is. It’s a renowned and distinguished cannabinoid for its beneficial properties. 

Now we want to focus exclusively on THC because, in the CBD products you find in brick-and-mortar shops or online, there are traces of THC. From this, you can gather this psychoactive substance is also perfectly tolerated and legal, within certain limits. 

An abbreviation of tetrahydrocannabinol, THC is one of more than 100 cannabinoids found in the hemp plant. We will analyse the different types of plants later. Right now, all you need to know is that not all have the same concentration of THC. 

Cannabinoids are found especially in the resin of the plant, that greyish fur that covers the inflorescences. It is present throughout the plant material, but the highest concentration is found here. 

THC was the first cannabinoid to arouse the interest of scientists for its powerful properties. Let’s take a look at them, now. 

What is the purpose of THC?

Scientists have discovered that THC has numerous beneficial properties because it interacts with the endocannabinoid system when it enters the body. This is located in the central and peripheral nervous systems and can reach every part of the body. For this reason, it is responsible for multiple physiological and cognitive functions. 

Cannabinoid receptors are located in the brain as well as in many other parts of the body, including the skin. Cannabinoid receptors in the endocannabinoid system are associated with thinking, sleep, memory, appetite, fertility, movement and much more. 

When THC binds to these receptors, it affects all of these functions. This is possible because the endocannabinoid system already produces similar substances to cannabinoids, called endocannabinoids. This is why you can tolerate hemp components naturally. 

The molecule was first isolated by Raphael Mechoulam, Yechiel Gaoni and Habib Edery in the mid-1960s in Israel. Their work was revolutionary because those years were very difficult for drugs and marijuana was considered a drug then, as in some cases even today. 

What is the difference between CBD and THC?

Finally, we address one of the most discussed and interesting topics that revolve around the world of cannabis, namely the difference between CBD and THC

From a chemical point of view, their molecules are almost identical. Both CBD and THC can interact with the endocannabinoid system and provide numerous beneficial and therapeutic effects to the body. 

The main difference, the one that stands out that we mentioned at the beginning, is that THC is psychoactive while CBD is not. This means that large amounts of THC can induce an alteration to the mental state, the classic feeling of being high, while this does not happen with CBD (even if its concentration exceeds 99%). 

But the differences between CBD and THC do not end there because the two compounds also differ in how they affect the body. THC binds primarily to the CB1 receptors of the endocannabinoid system, so it works a lot more on the brain and all the functions we’ve previously listed. 

 CBD, on the other hand, binds far more with CB2 receptors and less with CB1, which means that it affects the immune system more. 

However, both affect the central and peripheral nervous system’s receptors. THC affects the brain the most while CBD is responsible for a feeling of well-being. 

The Medical Benefits of THC

Thanks to its potency, THC was the first cannabinoid to be studied in the medical field. During the experiments, THC-based drugs were used to treat multitudinous conditions

THC has proven very effective in treating even severe ailments such as chronic pain that can result from diseases such as sclerosis or arthritis, as well as symptoms of neuralgia, insomnia or nausea. 

All this is true even today, although in the meantime scientists have also delved into CBD and the other natural substances found in the hemp plant. Even in Italy, there are drugs with a high percentage of THC: we are talking about therapeutic THC

Therapeutic formulas include: 

  • Cannabis FM2: with a THC percentage between 5 and 8% and a CBD percentage between 7 and 12%; 
  • Cannabis FM1: with very high THC content between 13 and 20% and a CBD percentage under 1%.

As you can see, this elevated THC percentage makes it legal to sell only in pharmacies. Consumers who want to buy medical cannabis can do so only with a doctor’s prescription. 

What are the effects of THC on the human body?

Regardless of the psychoactive effect, it is undeniable that THC is a powerful alternative medicine remedy. Numerous people resort to medical cannabis after trying traditional cures and not getting results. 

THC works at different levels in the human body: 

  • Central nervous system and brain: when THC comes into contact with the brain it causes a release of dopamine, for this reason, it gives a feeling of well-being, and always interacting with the central nervous system deals with treating the response to pain, inflammation, insomnia, appetite, mood, movement, anxiety;
  • Heart: concerning blood flow, you should be cautious with THC because it increases blood pressure and heartbeat;
  • Lungs: smoking marijuana in Italy is illegal because when it is sucked into the lungs it can damage lung tissues and cause damage to blood vessels; 
  • Immune system: THC makes it hyperactive and this can be beneficial for those suffering from autoimmune diseases. 

Taking stock of scientific findings, we can conclude that THC has enormous potential, but only if it is used in the right amount and in the right way

Side effects of THC

The problem with THC is that it can cause more serious side effects than CBD in the event of misuse. That is why almost every state in the world has only legalised products containing a low percentage, to safeguard its population’s health. 

If THC is abused, its initial first side effect is getting high. This may not be considered a downside for some people, but it is for those who want to exploit the plant for therapeutic purposes. 

On a mental level, excessive use can cause momentary memory loss and concentration problems

As for the digestive system, THC is a known antiemetic and can help fight the side effects of chemotherapy. However, if taken in excessive concentration it can lead to the opposite effect, thus causing vomiting

Other side effects include dizziness, balance problems and drowsiness. It is important to know that often these negative effects are related to the interaction with other drugs for the treatment of the disease. The doctor’s opinion, in this case, is decisive. 

THC in the Cannabis plant

As promised, let’s study all the different types of plants to understand how they are distinguished, and whether they are legal. 

First of all, we’ll analyse two terms that we have also used and that you will certainly have read up on in the sector’s articles: 

  • Light cannabis: this is how the variety that contains a very low percentage of THC is defined and the products derived from this type can be safely marketed in shops;
  • Marijuana: it is the variety with the highest percentage of THC and is not legal. 

This broad classification lets you understand the meaning of the terms you have already heard or will read on the web. 

On the cannabis front, there are two main widespread species in the world: 

  • Sativa: this is the variety with the lowest concentration of THC and therefore approved by the European Union concerning seeds; 
  • Indica: this is the Indian variety that has a much higher level of THC. 

You may finally hear about hashish but this is not a plant, it is the resin that is found on the inflorescences and that takes this name when it is treated. 

By now, you will understand that every country has its regulations. To know the level of legal THC you must then go to look at the regulations of the individual country you are interested in. 

As for Italy, THC cannot exceed 0.5%. If this limit is exceeded, it is considered illegal and cannot be sold. This limit has been declared safe because it is too low to induce a high. 

On the cultivation front, companies can only work with seeds approved by the European Union that have a percentage of THC within 0.2%

The level of THC is one of the key elements that you need to check when making a purchase and the company should always specify it on the label. You’ll be surprised to find that a large number of manufacturers claim the wrong THC levels, which is why it’s important to always buy from a reputable company. 

So far, however, no restrictions have been placed on the level of CBD, which can exceed 99% in very pure products such as crystals. So remember that during the purchase you must always be careful about the level of THC, while on the CBD you can rest assured. 

In conclusion, CBD and THC are two substances with powerful properties that must be purchased in the right dosages and used according to the methods indicated by the manufacturer. 

In both brick-and-mortar and online shops, you can find products with varying CBD concentrations. This was done to meet all needs, so those people who are approaching the world of cannabis for the first time and those who have more serious conditions to treat. 

Without going on the side of medical cannabis, even normal products with reduced THC are suitable for the treatment of countless conditions. Many experts think that the combination of CBD and THC is more effective than CBD isolate because it realises the entourage effect. It means that components that function synergistically in nature can also work equally well within the body. 

You can buy CBD products both out of curiosity and to treat conditions such as anxiety, stress, depression, insomnia, mood swings, pain, inflammation, nausea, seizures and much more. 

In our shop, you can find numerous different products that will surely satisfy your tastes, all perfectly legal and safe for your health. Try it for yourself! 

Related Post