Contributor: John Mason
Ah, cannabis. What a wonderful, relaxing, thought-provoking plant you are. We all can’t help but admire you for all of your tremendous benefits. But what really makes you tick, cannabis? What is it that helps fuel these creative, calming effects that we all know and love?
Well, that, my friends, is none other than the soon-to-be-household-name of: THC.
I’m sure that most of you, fellow smokers, have heard of THC before at one point or another. You would be hard-pressed to find someone who hasn’t heard this all-too-familiar trio of amazing letters at least once in their lives.
For starters, THC stands for Tetrahydrocannabinol, and it is the main psychoactive ingredient that makes cannabis such a end-all, be-all form of medicine.
Now, I’m confident that a handful of you newer smokers out there may have squinted and cringed while reading “Tetrahydrocannabinol.” That name is to help specify THC from other known cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are compounds of various chemicals that are found in marijuana. These specific cannabinoids latch onto and activate certain receptors in the brain and central nervous system known as, CB1 and CB2. It is these receptors that, ultimately, serve as the driving force behind your “high.”
An In-Depth Look At THC & How It Affects Your Body
While there are a couple theories on why marijuana plants create cannabinoids, the most popular thinking is that the plant, itself, creates THC as a way to help its immune system metabolize, as it stands guard against any and all that may cause it harm (i.e. pests and whatnot). But, as human beings, we get to enjoy its maximum benefits because our brains come equipped with receptors that are, literally, tailor-made to take it in, and release THC’s countless benefits onto the mind and body.
Chances are, if you are reading this, you are new to the whole realm of cannabis, altogether. First, allow me to say, welcome. A whole world of alleviation and relaxation awaits you. But, before you start firing up that bud, you should be aware of what’s to come with a THC series of effects. Especially when compared to its non-psychoactive counterpart, CBD.
With THC highs, there’s a wide array of ways it can affect you. Remember, cannabis hits everyone’s body differently. So, while it’s nowhere near harmful, it is fairly unpredictable when it comes to effects. But, rest assured, the majority of cultivators these days have gotten growing down to a science, and their end products usually create a similar series of effects in all who are fortunate enough to partake in its greatness.
But I digress.
THC runs the entire spectrum of results when utilized. For some who find themselves creatively stricken and without inspiration, they can often find solace with a strong toke of some THC. With other strains of marijuana, the brain can start to find itself in a more analytical stage. One in which it finds comfort and calm in the mundane.
Others offer the consumer a more energized, up-and-at-em type of hype that helps them socialize and take on tasks. Some strains can even help those with insomnia issues get a solid night’s rest after a long day. I mean, to be fair, without any hyperbole, there’s really nothing THC can’t do.
What I, personally, love the most about THC is its safety. Sure, scientists have tried to test for negative effects of THC use, but the most they could collectively agree on is that THC tolerance is a real thing.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with such a term, THC tolerance basically means that, with continued usage of marijuana – over a long period of time, the consumer develops a tolerance, or resistance, to THC. The brain works overtime to lessen the effects of THC receptors in the body, and in turn, it forces the consumer to partake in more than usual in order to obtain that desired “high.”
However, there is a way to counteract it, should that ever become an issue. All one would have to do is take a break on THC for a couple weeks. During that period of time, your brain will be able to relax and recover itself. Those CB1 and CB2 receptors will return to normal, and before you know it, you can go back to cannabis again. At that point, you will be able to feel more with less – just like when you started out. Who doesn’t like a little “restart” every now and then? We certainly do – especially if it will help us get higher in the future.
Not only is THC great for a good time or quiet night in, its elements can be utilized in a medicinal fashion, that has helped millions with pain relief of all kinds. While there is an extensive list of aches and pains that cannabis and THC can help with, here is just a quick smattering of the most popular ailments that don’t stand a chance when THC is involved: Migraines, Crohn’s Disease, Fibromyalgia, ADHD, Sleep Apnea, Nausea, PTSD, Chronic Pain, and (of course) Appetite Loss. That is just the tip of the medicinal iceberg, so to speak.
While THC is a tremendous route for pain relief of all kinds (far superior than opioids, and alike), its non-psychoactive counterpart seems to be even better. That’s right, folks, THC’s “more focused brother,” CBD, is famous for delivering a number of therapeutic and medicinal benefits, and it does so with the utmost reliability, and without any “high” whatsoever. It simply doesn’t have that same psychoactive element of THC. However, with a little THC to help power it, the CBD cannabinoids can work even better on patients looking for some marijuana-related relief.
Which is even more proof that THC is the backbone of cannabis, and it’s the reason why marijuana is so beloved, in the first place. You can smoke, eat, vape, or dab THC – it is all a matter of personal preference. Some, who are dealing with breathing or lung issues, may want to opt for the more edible varieties of cannabis. Wherein some who need a bit of motivation to tackle some lingering chores may want to hit up the smokeable medium of marijuana. However you choose, just know there are no wrong answers.
THC (and cannabis, in general) is one of the greatest assets society has ever been lucky enough to enjoy. It seems almost laughable that, just a few short years ago, this miracle plant was deemed illegal from state-to-state. Which is a shame. Too many people have gone without this truly harmless, incredibly beneficial herb for far too long.
However, as we can all plainly see, those tides are slowly starting to sway in our favor. Though this may be a delayed victory for some, I still consider the gradual rolling out of legalization to be a step in the right direction of progress.
The next thing we need to work on is Congress. Currently, they have cannabis deemed a Schedule One substance. In doing so, they are, essentially, saying that they don’t believe marijuana (or any of its mediums) hold any positive or medicinal qualities to them, in addition to considering them a “potentially lethal” drug. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Not only is marijuana one of the safest medicines available today, but nobody, in the history of the world has ever “overdosed” on marijuana. It simply is a scientific impossibility.
Given that so many states are turning up their noses at the federal government and legalizing it anyway, I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before cannabis is legalized nationwide.