Of the more than 100 cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the one principally responsible for the psychoactive and intoxicating effects of cannabis consumption.
Live cannabis plants contain tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), the non-active version of this compound. When cannabis is decarboxylated (heated to a high temperature), dried or cured, the acid molecule (the “A” in THCA) drops off, and the THC is activated. This results in the effects we associate with consuming THC. It also means that cannabis in its fresh form is not yet active with THC.
THC interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). Studies suggest this system plays a role in regulating stress recovery, protecting our nervous system, activating our immune system response and regulating our homeostatic balance (our overall state of optimal health, function and stability).
Put simply, your ECS is made up of two things:
Your natural endocannabinoids fit into your ECS receptors like a key in a lock and help carry messages from cell to cell. THC works the same way, temporarily replacing your own endocannabinoids, but with different effects.
These may include:
Potency refers to the amount of THC in a cannabis product. THC content is sometimes expressed as a percentage of milligrams per gram of cannabis (product). For example, if a product is labelled 15% THC, it has 150 milligrams of THC per gram of cannabis (product).
The effects of THC will be different for everyone. When choosing a product, consider not only the THC potency potential, but also the method and amount of consumption along with personal factors such as your age, your gender, your health history and previous experience with cannabis.
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