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What is THC?
Tetrahydrocannabinol, better known as THC is the main ingredient in cannabis or marijuana. Though there are a wide variety of compounds in cannabis, it is the most critical for the psychoactive effects it induces in users. In other words, it’s what makes you high.
So what is THC? It and many other ingredients in cannabis are known as “cannabinoids.” These are chemical compounds that exist within cannabis plants. The THC molecule was first isolated in 1964 by Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, an Israeli professor. Upon studying cannabis seized by Israeli police, Dr. Mechoulam found the chemical compound that we know today as THC.
What Are The Effects of THC?
Isolating the THC molecule allowed for further insight into this chemical compound and just how it affects users. This was not done in an instant, however. Over two decades later in 1988, Dr. Allyn Howlett, professor at the Wake Forest School of Medicine, found that the compound affected users by tapping into different areas of the brain responsible for various functions. For instance, the THC in cannabis would affect memory by tapping into the hippocampus, affect thinking by tapping into the frontal cortex and affect movement by tapping into the cerebellum. These areas are known as “cannabinoid receptors.”
So how are these areas, and the human body as a whole, so susceptible to the effects of this compound? It’s mainly a matter of it having the right structure to properly penetrate the body and induce the psychoactive effects like a bodily high and euphoria.
How To Consume THC
Do you ever wonder why you only hear about marijuana being consumed through means such as smoking, edibles such as cookies and vaporizing? It’s because simply ingesting raw marijuana leaves isn’t going to make you high, even though all the necessary chemical compounds are within it. It needs to be heated in some manner in order to have the intended effects. What happens to cannabis leaves when they’re heated is known as “decarboxylation.” Heating the plant removes an acid known as tetrahydrocannabinolic acid or THCa. This acid keeps the compound from properly responding with our bodies and thus needs to be removed. The chemical reaction of burning allows for the ever-important chemical reaction that takes place when you ingest it.
Much of the scientific interest in tetrahydrocannabinol has to do with its medical benefits. Marijuana has been shown to help alleviate a wide variety of medical conditions and this specific compound is considered to be the primary reason why. It has been shown to help PTSD through reducing the stress and trauma of painful memories. It has been shown to help pain relief, as one’s brain does not register pain as severely. It also serves as an effective sleep aid, among other benefits.
Pharmaceutical companies have an understanding of the benefits of THC and cannabis. As cannabis’ legal status (medicinal and recreational) is inconsistent in the United States and around the world, not everyone who would benefit from its positive effects has access to it. As further research is done into the effects of THC on the body and various conditions, we can become even closer to harnessing the full medical potential of cannabis.
Since October 17, 2018, it is possible for anyone above the age of 18 or 19 to buy 30 grams of cannabis products depending on the location. The campaign to legalize recreational marijuana has been going for years, and so now they have passed laws to decriminalize it. Legalized pot can be broken down in recreational and medical cannabis. Each cannabis store should be able to supply both. They will have slightly different controls on them, so it is important to know the difference.
While certain states in the USA have legalized marijuana, Canada will be the first entire country to make it legal (apart from Uruguay). Products like edibles will still be illegal, but as Canadians become used to the system, and they better understand the health and side effects, it is believed that all products will eventually become legal. While it needed the passing of the federal government, it is thought most controls will be left up to the individual provinces.
Each province has different rules on the age of the buyer, and they also control exactly what type of products they can sell.
Canada has legalized cannabis seeds, plants, fresh and dried flowers, and oils that can be eaten or applied to the skin. The 30-gram limit would normally be enough for around 60 joints.
As it might take a while to open enough stores with licensed producers to meet demand, it will be possible to order it online, and private retailers will send it through the mail. Each cannabis company will have to meet requirements, and people will have to have a Canadian credit card, but it will be possible to order online. It will be illegal to be driving while under the influence, and you cannot take it to the United States. Some Canadian companies have set up special services that take people to stores and guide them through the purchases process. Canadian citizenship will be required with a 43390 form.
Health Canada will provide information about how marijuana works and the possible side effects.
Legal cannabis will be sold in cannabis plant form, but it is also possible to buy cannabis oil. The amounts of THC content in various cannabis forms varies greatly, and while experts in the stores will be able to help you, it is important to have some facts about the THC level before you buy. Each product is required to have the levels of THC and CBD on them, but for people new to legalized marijuana, it is often difficult to understand. There are different effects of THC depending on the percentage.
High THC amounts will have strong psychoactive effects. Plants that have more cannabidiol CBD will have fewer psychoactive effects. cannabidiol cbd attaches to the cannabinoid receptor, and it works in a different way to THC. If a plant has a combination of the two, then it will have effects somewhere in the middle. All strains will fall somewhere in the spectrum. High THC and low CBD, high CBD and low THC, and then any combination of the two. The thc content of each is very important to know.
The percentage sign that you can read on the product is the amount per dry weight of the flower. To make it slightly easier to read, some plants will now label the product using colored symbols rather than small print that is difficult to read. Online sites will often have drop down menus that better explain the exact contents in each product.
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