What Is THC?
Tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as “THC”, is one of hundreds of cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. This cannabinoid is one of the more well-known components of the plant due to its contribution to both the medical and recreational effects of cannabis.
To start at the beginning, a cannabinoid is a receptor in the body that communicates with the endocannabinoid system located throughout the body. Subsequently, these cannabinoids communicate with the body to release neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin and even hormones linked to appetite or reproductive cycles. Cannabinoid receptors are found within all bodies of animals and plants in the natural environment, including marijuana plants. Currently, scientists have narrowed these receptors down to two types: CB1 and CB2.
The CB1 receptor is primarily found in the brain such as throughout the basal ganglia (responsible for motor function, learning and routine behaviours or habits) as well as in the limbic system. To put it simply, these receptors are located in brain areas that influence pleasure, memory, thinking, concentration, movement, coordination, and sensory and time perception. These receptors can also be found in the cerebellum and the reproductive systems. The CB2 receptor is primarily found in the immune system and are linked to inflammatory responses.
What Does THC Do?
THC is one of the primary cannabinoids in marijuana and the one that is responsible for producing the psychoactive effects or “the high” that many users seek. So how does that work?
Cannabinoid receptors are activated by the neurotransmitter “anandamide”, which is made by the human body. THC mimics this neurotransmitter, which allows THC to binds with these cannabinoid receptors throughout the brain and the human endocannabinoid system. Thereby allowing THC to activate neurons throughout the body. This gives THC temporary control over basic mental and physical functions, resulting in various impacts on the body.
High THC Strains
If you are looking to benefit from all that THC has to offer, there are a few strains which will have stronger effects than others. As every strain of cannabis has different genetics, some plants will have a higher percentage of THC thereby producing more potent effects, while others will be more mild. Some are flukes whereby one generation produces very potent THC levels but there are also several strains labelled as being high THC producers.
Girl Scout Cookies is a very potent Indica-dominant hybrid with THC levels that reach up to 28%. This strain has a powerful, long-lasting high resulting in euphoria and couch-lock effects.
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Remember that each user experience can be slightly different depending on various conditions. This is especially true if your endocannabinoid system is not functioning at an optimal level due to an existing medical condition. Fortunately, THC is beneficial at filling in the blanks within the human body and helping to restore proper cognitive and motor functions in many cases. However, keep in mind that if you are a highly anxious person, the psychoactive effects of THC are not ideal as they can often exacerbate anxiety. If this is the case, a higher CBD strain would be a more ideal option. Read all about CBD here.
We hope you have found this article to be enlightening and that it has helped clear up some questions you may have had about cannabis and how it affects the human body.