What is THC? Benefits, Uses, and Risks of Using THC

Oct 06, 2022The nama Team

THC is the compound in a cannabis plant that gets you high. If you’re wondering how it works and all the incredible ways it can benefit your health, we’re diving into everything you need to know about this compound.

What is THC? Benefits, Uses, and Risks of Using THC

What is THC?

THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the primary cannabinoid found in a cannabis plant that attributes to the euphoric, psychoactive effects that occur during consumption. But THC is not a one-and-done substance. There are a few types of THC found in the cannabis plant, like Delta 8 and Delta 9. Researchers are still uncovering more about others, like Delta 10, THCA, and THCV. However, Delta 9 THC is the THC variant most commonly referenced.

 

How does THC work?

Let’s introduce you to your endocannabinoid system, a network that sends signals through various parts of your body to regulate different functions like sleep, mood, memory, appetite, pain levels, and more. Endocannabinoids are neurotransmitters that bind to receptors and catalyze chemical processes in the body.

 

THC affects this system because it’s a cannabinoid, a compound that also interacts with the endocannabinoid receptors in our bodies. When the cannabinoid THC binds to the receptors, it triggers an effect on the body in a variety of ways. THC also stimulates cells that release dopamine, helping to promote reward-seeking behaviors.

 

Does THC get you high?

THC, including Delta 9, does get you high when taken at sufficient doses, with psychoactive properties that are known to feel intoxicating. THC binds with the CB1 receptor in our endocannabinoid system that increases blood flow to the prefrontal cortex in our brains. This part of the brain impacts areas of our body that help us make decisions and coordinate with our motor functions. It also produces a sense of euphoria that our brain takes into our reward pathways.

 

You can reap the rewards of THC without getting high by microdosing THC with nama’s Delta 9 edibles. They’re hemp-derived and federally legal in compliance with the 2018 Farm Bill. They’re also legal in 48 states with the exception of Kansas and Idaho. Avoid the buzz and enjoy the benefits with nama’s microdoses of Delta 9.

 

How do you take THC?

When you think of THC, you most likely associate it with smoking marijuana in a joint, pipe or vaping with oil. While these are all popular methods, users are moving toward healthier options to consume. The cannabis industry has responded by opening the doors to better ways to get your high.

 

Now, canna-enthusiasts are taking to products like THC drinks and THC gummies from companies like nama, whose vegan edibles are federally legal in compliance with the 2018 Farm Bill and are made from 100% USA hemp.

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How much THC should you take?

Finding the right dose of THC is a rather personal journey, as there are a few contributing factors that will decide how much THC you should take at one time. Dosing is different depending on the product you’re consuming.

 

If you’re choosing to smoke flower or vape with cannabis oil, know that 10% THC or less is considered a mild dose, whereas 20% THC or higher is considered a strong THC content.

 

If you’re curious about edibles, note that 5mg of THC or less is considered microdosing THC, meaning it will have a subtle effect. It’s also a pretty great place to start if you’re just starting to use cannabis in edible form. 10 to 20 mg of THC is considered stronger and generally recommended for more experienced users or medical patients.

 

You might be considering tinctures and infusions you can use as a drink mix. If you want to try a THC drink mix, start with as low as 2mg of THC on your first try, and increase your dosages gradually as you get accustomed to this type of consumption.

 

The National Library of Medicine strongly suggests that even everyday users should not consume more than 40 mg per day.

 

What is THC-O?

THC-O is a synthetic cannabinoid made by taking Delta 9 THC and treating it with highly flammable, colorless liquid chemicals and producing a THC-O acetate. It’s a laboratory-made substance to which research is still new. Most used through tinctures, gummies, and vaping, THC-O is known to be much more potent than other forms of THC. Many users have reported it causing hallucinatory effects, similar to taking low doses of a psychedelic.

 

However, when THC-O is hemp-derived in low doses, it could be on a grayscale of legality. As long as the THC-O contents are no more than 0.3% of dry weight of hemp, it is considered federally legal under the 2018 Farm Bill. However, many states have other restrictions.

 

What Does THC Do to the Brain?

Our brains have cells that are constantly communicating with each other to send messages that help the body function. These neurotransmitters (the messengers) travel throughout our brain cells activating receptors to trigger an effect. THC affects the brain by attaching to our endocannabinoid receptors, helping them impact the functionality of your endocannabinoid system. Depending on the receptors it attaches to will depend on the effects it causes. For example, when interacting with our brain stem, it can have antinausea effects by sending information between the brain and the spinal column.

How Long Does it Take for THC to Kick in?

The type of product you choose will make the decision for how long it takes to kick in. When smoking cannabis, you can begin to feel effects as early as 5-15 minutes. It goes right from your lungs to your bloodstream.

 

A similar dynamic happens when you’re drinking THC. The THC is being absorbed through the mouth and into the digestive tract, where it’s able to easily enter the blood. However, eating edibles is a bit different. Edibles need to go through a digestion process and take time to break down in the body. So, note that the results of edibles could take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours to feel.

 

What are the benefits of THC?

This has become a hot topic as more research is done to uncover a wide range of ways THC benefits our health. Whether mental or physical ailments, THC can treat chronic, acute, and neuropathic pains and conditions. Particularly, users and researchers are uncovering a number of benefits that come with microdosing THC (consuming it in small quantities).

 

Some common reasons users turn to THC is because it’s helpful with:

 

  • reducing inflammation
  • promoting better sleep
  • subsiding panic attacks
  • increasing pleasure and concentration

 

But that’s not all. Let’s explore some of the health conditions that have been known to be treated with cannabis.

 

THC and Anxiety

Anxiety has many faces, and while medicine has come far to find prescribed ways to treat anxiety, lots of them have severe adverse side effects and may even lead to addiction. That’s why patients are turning to THC, because it, too, has anxiolytic effects. This means its known to treat anxiety disorders like PTSD, social anxieties, and panic disorders. It’s recommended to try low doses for anxiety, like nama’s relax plus gummies, with hemp-derived Delta 8 THC.

 

THC and Insomnia

Since our endocannabinoids help us regulate our sleep-wake cycle, THC can create the balance you need to get a good night’s sleep. Plus, using THC for sleep is common because it’s known as a natural sedative without any addictive properties. Especially when microdosing THC, sleep gummies can be the perfect sleep aid. Many canna-users are turning to melatonin gummies for an added boost, as well.

 

 

THC and Chronic Pain

THC has natural anti-inflammatory compounds and can act as either a muscle relaxer or analgesic to treat medical conditions like, though not limited to:

 

  • Crohn’s disease
  • fibromyalgia
  • endometriosis
  • multiple sclerosis
  • arthritis
  • irritable bowel syndrome

 

THC also interacts with our opioid receptors, which regulates how pain is communicated to the brain. This means that using THC helps the brain perceive pain differently, as well as reducing it through anti-inflammatory effects.

 

THC and Eating Disorders

THC, when bound to our CB1 receptors, helps regulate our appetite. You would think this could mean that we’d have to worry about an increase in obesity levels, but the National Center for Biotechnology Information has research that shows users of cannabis have a lower BMI. That’s because regulation and balance are key, and disruption, or imbalance, of our endocannabinoid system, is a known cause of eating disorders.

 

THC and Cancer

Most people associate THC with alleviating pain associated with cancer treatments. In studies done by the National Library of Medicine, patients undergoing chemotherapy used THC and experienced relief from nausea and vomiting induced by treatment. Since many cancers also cause nerve damage and neuropathic pain, THC has been known to treat those symptoms, as well.

 

What are the side effects of THC?

THC is a low-risk alternative therapy that does not pose a public health risk and is not a substance that can lead to fatal situations. However, overconsumption of THC could lead to minor side effects like:

 

  • rapid heart rate
  • dry mouth
  • paranoia
  • feelings of heaviness in the body

 

But fear not! That’s why using THC with intention is key. Understand what your goals are and be mindful about how much you’re consuming of a substance. Consider THC gummies with microdoses of THC, like nama’s products.

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Is THC legal? 

THC is federally illegal when derived from marijuana plants. However, thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, Delta 9 THC was made federally legal when derived from a hemp plant showing no more than 0.3% THC content by dry weight. All of nama’s Delta 9 edibles are made in compliance with this bill under federal law.

 

What is Delta 9 THC?

Delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol is a primary compound found in cannabis plants and is known for being the most known psychoactive compound causing the “high” feeling you associate with using THC. Delta 9 is just one form of THC, helping users experience euphoric feelings, uplifted perspectives, and general relaxation. When taking low doses of THC, like with nama’s Delta 9 THC gummies, you can have just the right amount of buzz.

 

THC vs CBD—How are They Different?

When talking CBD vs THC, it’s important to know that THC and CBD interact with the body differently despite having overlapping benefits. The simplest way to differentiate the two is that THC is psychoactive, meaning it will make you feel “high,” whereas CBD is a non-intoxicating substance. Plus, while THC binds directly to our endocannabinoid receptors, CBD provokes them but does not bind to them.

 

Many users will say that combining THC and CBD with specified ratios is the best way to experience the benefits of cannabis. You can try formulated blends of THC and CBD like nama’s full spectrum CBD gummies, made in accordance with federal law.

FAQ

When smoking cannabis, anything more than 15% THC is considered to be a high dose. Anything more than 10mg of THC in an edible is considered a high dose. Microdose THC to avoid adverse effects with nama’s THC gummies.

Liquid THC is an extract of the plant matter, made into a tincture by extracting the cannabinoids with another liquid substance that can activate its ingredients. You can use liquid THC for topical use, under the tongue, or even for THC drinks.

Both THC and CBD can help alleviate pain symptoms. Where THC can alter the way our brain perceives pain, CBD is known to alleviate pain right from the source. However, it depends on why you’re taking it. Patients dealing with inflammatory diseases have been known to prefer formulations with higher CBD, whereas people with neuropathic diseases preferred THC. It’s not the same for everyone, or everything.

Delta 8 is a mild form of THC that can provide a light, euphoric effect. Users choose to take Delta 8 CBD in low doses to reduce inflammation and pain relief, and promote relaxation. Remember, there are over 100 cannabinoids in a cannabis plant. So, note there is a difference between Delta 8 vs. Delta 9.

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