Entering the world of medical marijuana can be a bit overwhelming.
Chances are, you have questions about ingredients, strains, and the best types of marijuana for your particular condition.
Some of the most common questions people ask are regarding tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Perhaps you heard that THC is the ingredient in marijuana that “gets you high,” but, scientifically speaking, there’s so much more to it.
What is THC?
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a cannabinoid, a chemical compound, that interacts with receptors in your brain.
THC is found in the cannabis plant and is the most widely known cannabinoid.
Although marijuana plants produce 113 different types of cannabinoids, THC is the essential one because of its psychoactive effects on the receptors in the brain.
Your body naturally produces cannabinoid chemicals in your brain.
These are the same chemicals that produce the wave of euphoria you might feel after exercising when all the endorphins and dopamine kick in.
This feeling, sometimes known as a “runner’s high,” is similar to the feeling your brain produces when it interacts with THC.
See, humans have special brain receptor systems that make it easy for cannabinoids like THC to bind to, which helps us reap the health benefits and positive effects.
These receptors are located in the area of your brain that control memory, thinking, pleasure, coordination, and perception of time.
THC stimulates your brain cells and allows them to release dopamine, creating a feeling of euphoria.
In most cases, the effects of THC are positive and pleasant; but sometimes, finding the strain that works best for your condition is essential to feeling more of the positive effects.
What are the benefits of THC?
Depending on how it’s consumed, the positive effects of THC can kick in as quickly as a few seconds or up to 30 minutes later; generally, the effects can last for about two hours.
Some of these positive effects include:
- Relief from pain
- Uplifting thoughts
- Increased focus and creativity
- Feelings of ease and happiness
- Higher energy levels
When suffering from an illness or chronic condition, getting a few hours of relief from symptoms can drastically improve quality of life — helping patients feel more at ease psychologically and physically.
The medicinal effects of THC can provide significant relief when you’re dealing with conditions like:
- Chronic pain from arthritis, joint problems, or inflammation
- Migraine headaches
- Multiple sclerosis
- Crohn’s disease
Do all medical marijuana strains with THC produce the same effects?
The short answer to that is no.
Tetrahydrocannabinol varies in different strains of marijuana.
Hemp has minimal amounts of THC, as low as .5%, while the average THC concentration in marijuana is 1-5%.
Hashish averages 5-15% of THC levels, with a 20% average amount in hashish oil.
The lower the amount of THC, the more you have to consume to feel the desired effects.
In addition to finding the strain that works best for your condition and symptoms, it’s also important to consider the method of consumption.
THC must be heated in some way (by smoking or cooking into an edible form, for example) in order for there to be effects on the receptors in your brain.
Heat it too much, and you also lose the maximum benefits.
What about negative side effects?
As with any medication, there are some potential side effects to consider when it comes to THC.
For the most part, finding the strain that works best for you minimizes any negative effects and maximizes the healing benefits.
But some potential side effects of THC could include:
- Memory impairment
- Excessive hunger
- Increased heart rate
- Dry mouth
- Red eyes
- Anxiety or paranoia
- Feeling like your body is heavy
- Slower reaction time or difficulty with coordination
However, finding the strain that works best with your body chemistry — the one that maximizes the benefits when it interacts with your brain’s receptors — will deliver health benefits and relief with minimal side effects.
And as we mentioned, the way you consume THC also makes a difference on your body both short-term and long-term — something to speak with a professional about during your first trip to a medical dispensary to find the best treatment option for your needs.
There’s a lot to consider when it comes to medical marijuana and THC levels.
The experts at Desert Rose medical cannabis dispensary work with patients every day to find the best available treatments for their individual needs.
Since 2016, we’ve provided patients with attentive care, detailed information, and the highest-quality products available in Arizona — only the purest, safest forms of medical marijuana — at an affordable price.
Our staff is friendly, compassionate, and knowledgeable, and we offer a wide variety of cannabis treatment options.
Questions? Please, contact us today.
We’re happy to help.