The cannabis plant contains more than 100 cannabinoids, i.e., active substances. One of these plant compounds is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, known as THC for short. In the plant, THC is present in the form of two THC acids.
Levels are exceptionally high around the plant’s reproductive organs, in the flowers of the female plant, and the resin glands of the bud. The cannabis plant uses this substance to fight off natural enemies such as bacteria, viruses, and parasites.
On the other hand, people take advantage of the intoxicating effect of the psychoactive substance for themselves – consumption in the form of, for example, inhalatively rolled cigarettes (joints) or oral intake in the form of biscuits (so-called space cookies) is possible. There are various THC strains you will find in the market. You can try the lemon haze strain from Kurvana, which has 80.61% THC and 0.44% CBD from around 85.15% cannabinoids. Prescribing THC medication for seriously ill patients is also conceivable.
THC: How is it broken down in the body?
THC is mainly consumed in the form of hashish or marijuana. Hashish (dope) is the pressed resin of the cannabis plant, marijuana (weed) is the dried flowers and leaves of the hemp plant. The substances are either smoked or processed into food and drinks. THC itself is metabolized relatively quickly. As a result, the active substance enters the bloodstream and binds to receptors in the central nervous system and brain that are receptive to the cannabinoid. This leads to an intoxicating effect.
But how exactly does the mechanism of action work when consuming cannabis and its main active ingredients, THC and cannabidiol? By binding to the specific cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2, the GABAergic interneurons are inhibited, which inhibits the inhibitory (inhibiting) effect on the dopaminergic neuron. The result: an increase in dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens of the mesolimbic reward system in the cerebrum.
The following initial effects can occur:
- Euphoria, including “laughing flashes”
- hallucinogenic effects
In the further course, passivity, inhibition of drive, and increased appetite/cravings can occur.
As a lipophilic, i.e., fat-loving substance, THC forms depots in fatty tissue. When THC is metabolized, THC carboxylic acid is also produced. This breakdown product has a much longer half-life than THC and can be detected in body fluids for weeks after consumption. This results in relatively long THC detectability.
What is the right way to take THC?
THC enters the bloodstream remarkably quickly and in high concentrations via the lungs – the effect is rapid and strong. THC is associated by most with smoking marijuana. The classic way to consume THC is by smoking joints and bongs. However, due to the carcinogenic effects of smoke and tobacco, this form of intake is not recommended from a medical point of view.
You can achieve an equally fast but gentler effect by vaporizing or vaporizing flowers, hash, or dab. The main advantages here are the good dosing and the exact setting of the temperature.
Since THC is very lipophilic, i.e., fat-soluble, it can also be extracted relatively easily in oils and fats. The result is hash oil, honey oil, or red oil with a THC content of up to 90%. THC oil can also be taken sublingually or processed in food. However, when THC is taken orally, the effects are delayed and less potent than inhaling or smoking.
Good to know: THC is known as dronabinol in the medical field. The active ingredient is individually processed in the pharmacy according to the prescription into oily dronabinol drops, capsules, or an inhalation solution.
THC is the best-known and relatively well-researched cannabinoid. However, that does not mean that science has already finished with its findings. Since the cannabinoid can dock to both known types of receptors within our endocannabinoid system, the spectrum of effects is also very diverse.