Whether you’re a seasoned cannabis lover or are new to the game, there’s a seemingly endless wealth of information out there about THC that can be a little overwhelming to digest. What exactly is THC? How is it different from CBD? Well, we broke it all down so you don’t have to!
THC, or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, is a naturally occurring chemical compound in the cannabis plant. It’s one of over 100 different cannabinoids in cannabis, each with its unique properties and effects. THC is most well-known for its psychoactive properties, making it the primary compound responsible for the "high" associated with it.
THC use dates back thousands of years, with cannabis being one of the oldest cultivated plants in human history! Throughout history, cannabis has been used for many purposes, including medicinal, recreational, and industrial.
Ancient and Traditional Use:
Cannabis has a long history of traditional use in different cultures. In ancient China, cannabis was used for medicinal purposes as far back as 5000 BCE. It was considered a remedy for various ailments, including pain and digestive issues. Similarly, in ancient India, cannabis was revered for its potential medicinal and spiritual qualities. The Vedas, ancient Hindu texts, reference cannabis as one of the five sacred plants.
The Ancient Egyptian Ebers Papyrus The Ebers Papyrus circa 1550 BC contains a prescription for medical marijuana used to treat inflammation. Photo: Photohound, Wikimedia Commons
Cannabis use spread to the Middle East, where it became an integral part of traditional medicine and culture. By the 9th century CE, the Persian physician Al-Razi documented the medicinal properties of cannabis in his writings, highlighting its potential in treating various conditions, including pain and epilepsy.
Cannabis eventually made its way to Europe, where it was primarily used for its industrial properties, such as with the production of textiles and ropes. Its psychoactive effects were less emphasized in European culture at this time.
Modern Exploration and Isolation of THC:
In the mid-20th century, Israeli chemist Raphael Mechoulam and his colleagues isolated and identified THC as the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis. This groundbreaking discovery paved the way for a deeper understanding of the plant's chemical composition and its effects on the human body.
Deriving THC From Hemp
The 2018 Farm Bill has cast a spotlight on hemp, a variety of the cannabis plant. While hemp is the same plant as marijuana, it must contain less than .3% THC. The distinction between hemp and marijuana is crucial. Federal law previously treated all cannabis plants the same, but this bill legalizes hemp with some restrictions.
The Farm Bill permits widespread hemp cultivation, interstate transfer of hemp-derived products, and their sale and possession, provided they comply with the law. State-federal regulations jointly oversee hemp cultivation, requiring USDA approval for state plans or implementing a federal program if states opt out. Violations come with penalties and potential felonies for repeat offenses.
Fun Facts About THC:
The Entourage Effect: THC doesn't work alone. It interacts synergistically with other cannabinoids and compounds found in cannabis, a phenomenon known as the "entourage effect." This means that the presence of other compounds can enhance or modify the effects of THC.
Dosing Matters: The effects of THC can vary greatly depending on the dosage. Low doses may lead to mild relaxation and euphoria, while higher doses can produce more pronounced psychoactive effects.
Edibles: THC can be consumed in various forms, including edibles (like in our gummies). Cannabis-infused foods such as brownies, gummies, and beverages offer a different way to experience its effects, with a delayed onset compared to smoking or vaping.
Unique Strains: Different cannabis strains can have varying levels of THC and other cannabinoids, leading to distinct effects. Some strains are bred for their high THC content, while others emphasize other compounds for specific therapeutic purposes. Learn more about Hemp-Derived Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC, which can be found in many of Kind Oasis' products, here.
Ancient Rituals: Cannabis has been used in religious and spiritual rituals for centuries. Some cultures believe it can facilitate communication with the divine or enhance meditation.
An ancient brazier likely used to burn cannabis during funerals or other ceremonies. Photo: Xinhua Wu, science.org
Usage of THC:
THC has a wide range of uses, both recreational and medicinal. Its effects on the human body and mind make it a versatile compound with several applications:
Recreational Use: THC is often used recreationally for its psychoactive effects, which can induce feelings of euphoria, relaxation, and altered perception. Many people use it for social and leisure purposes.
Stress Relief: THC is known for its stress-relieving properties, which may help users unwind and relax.
Pain Management: THC has analgesic effects and is used to alleviate chronic pain conditions, such as arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and cancer-related pain.
Nausea and Vomiting Control: It can reduce nausea and vomiting, especially in patients undergoing chemotherapy or those with conditions causing severe nausea.
Appetite Stimulation: THC is famous for stimulating appetite, often called the "munchies." This effect can be valuable for individuals with conditions that suppress the appetite.
Glaucoma Treatment: THC can lower intraocular pressure, making it beneficial in treating glaucoma, a condition characterized by increased eye pressure.
Neurological Disorders: Some neurological conditions, including epilepsy and Tourette's syndrome, have shown improvement with THC-based treatments. It can help reduce the frequency and severity of seizures and tics.
Mental Health: In some cases, THC has been used to alleviate symptoms of anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, individual responses vary, and it may not be suitable for everyone with these conditions.
Creativity and Inspiration: Some artists and creatives have reported that THC can enhance their creativity and inspire their work.
Spiritual and Ritual Use: In various cultures and spiritual practices, THC is used to facilitate introspection, meditation, and spiritual experiences.
Kind Oasis' Delta 9 30 MG THC Gummies in assorted flavors.
THC VS. CBD
CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) are two prominent compounds found in the cannabis plant, each with distinct properties and effects on the human body.
THC is the psychoactive component of cannabis, responsible for the euphoric "high" experienced when using a product with THC. It achieves this by binding to cannabinoid receptors in the brain, primarily the CB1 receptors. This interaction alters neurotransmitter release, affecting mood, perception, and cognition.
In contrast, CBD is non-psychoactive and does not produce a high. It interacts with cannabinoid receptors differently, exerting its effects primarily through modulation of the endocannabinoid system, which regulates various bodily functions like pain, inflammation, and mood. CBD's potential therapeutic benefits include anxiety reduction, anti-inflammatory properties, and seizure control. When taken together, it may even mitigate some of THC's adverse side effects, like anxiety and paranoia.
THC is a fascinating and highly versatile compound. Its rich history spans thousands of years. While THC is often associated with its recreational use and psychoactive effects, it offers several positive aspects with applications ranging from traditional medicine to spiritual rituals. While it’s not legal in all of its forms everywhere, many people around the world enjoy its benefits as well as the other important components of the cannabis plant.