In this installment of the Canna Chemist we're going to talk about Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC for short. THC is derived from CBGA, the Mother Cannabinoid that becomes CBG when heated, making THC a part of the Cannabinoid family. I refer to it as "the Black Sheep of The Family" because it is a little bit different, and sometimes a little bit troubled in comparison to the rest of its chemical family. At the same time it can be a really great guy, fun to be around, and with properties that make it very popular and important.
Most people have heard of THC and know that it is the main psychoactive compound from the cannabis plant. I wrote in an earlier post about the Endocannabinoid System. THC attaches to CB1 receptors in the areas of the brain in control of memory, thoughts, movement and coordination, and pleasure. It can lead to intoxicating, psychotropic effects that include euphoria, enhancement of the senses, and temporary memory impairment. In short, THC is what gets people "high."
That intoxicating action of THC has gotten cannabis in a lot of trouble for the last 90 years or so. THC of more than 0.3% by weight in a product or plant material is still federally illegal, although more states are making it legal as medical marijuana or adult-use marijuana ever since California voted in favor of it in 1996 as a medical alternative. Currently there are only 11 states in the U.S. where THC above 0.3% is illegal. It looks like the U.S. is wising up about the actual benefits associated with THC.
What most people don't know about THC is all of the positive effects it can produce. None of us know as much as we could know about this cannabinoid, which has been effectively illegal federally since the 1930s. Research is coming along now with state legalizations, and there is a lot of good to know about THC. We don't have time to talk about all of the good things here in this post, but I do want to give you all something to think about when you're thinking about THC, Medical Marijuana, and Adult-use Marijuana. I don't like to use the term "recreational" because many adults purchasing cannabis at a legal dispensary are not into "getting high." They're buying it for their own needs, legally, in much the same way we go to a drug store to buy Ibuprofen for pain or Tylenol PM for sleep, without a prescription from a healthcare provider. But I digress.
Here's an incomplete list of good things that THC can do:
Reduce breast cancer tumors
Alleviate symptoms of autism
Reduce endometriosis lesions
Promote a healthy gut microbiome that suppresses inflammation in the body
Promote healthy sleep
Assist with opioid withdrawal
Reduce pain - Migraines, Nerve Pain, Spinal Pain, Gynecological Pain, Fibromyalgia Pain, Multiple Sclerosis Pain, Arthritis Pain, Post-Surgical Pain
Our company is based in South Carolina, one of the hold-out states yet to legalize Medical or Adult-use Marijuana due to the political framework of the legislature. Our Full Spectrum Tinctures are very popular with our customers, with good reason. They contain the legal Federal limit for hemp products - less than 0.3% THC - so besides the benefits of CBD they get the added benefit of THC, which can do so much good.
I hope this post had given you some new information to consider. It's hard to change the minds of people who have lived most of their lives believing that cannabis is bad, all because it interfered with other industries that saw the benefits of it over their own business interests. The wealth of information will surely continue to grow as more research is done in the years to come, now that access is legal in so many places.
Until next time, stay cool.
The Canna Chemist