CBD has had its time in the limelight, but THC is set to take center stage!
The times are changing (as the song goes), and so are the ways in which THC and its derivatives such as HHC, Delta-8 THC, THCO, and company are being used.
In this guide, we explore how THC has regained its spot atop the cannabinoid throne as it were, and why the future looks so bright for the one, the only, THC. When you are ready to explore the benefits of THC and its derivatives, check out the high-quality products available at Hemponix.
What is THC? A quick overview
THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant. It is the compound responsible for the feeling of being “high” that is associated with the use of marijuana. In other words, THC is very psychoactive.
THC can interact with cannabinoid receptors in the brain, leading to a range of effects on the central nervous system. These effects can include altered senses, mood changes, and changes in cognitive function. THC is just one of the many compounds found in the cannabis plant, and its effects can vary depending on the strain and method of use.
What Are the Effects of THC?
The effects of THC can vary quite a bit. Factors that influence how THC may affect you include your age, weight, and overall health, as well as the strain of cannabis being used and your preferred mode of consumption, be it smoking, edibles, and so on.
That said, common effects of THC include:
- Altered senses (e.g., seeing brighter colors)
- Positive changes in mood
- Increased appetite (also known as “the munchies”)
- Dry mouth
- Bloodshot eyes
In some people, THC can also cause a bit of anxiety or paranoia, especially in high doses. It is important to note that THC can affect people differently; some may experience different effects than others.
It is also important to use caution when using THC, as it can impair judgment and coordination and can be dangerous when combined with certain activities, such as driving.
In other words, because THC is psychoactive, use good judgment and be safe when enjoying it, please.
Potential Health and Wellness Benefits of THC
THC holds much promise for the community at large, offering a wealth of potential health benefits that could improve your life for the better.
We aren’t doctors, and we are NOT making, and cannot make, any specific health claims regarding THC or any cannabinoids, but what we can do is give you some insight based on clinical studies and the findings that indicate various potential benefits regarding THC use.
Let’s take a look at a very small sampling of 100s of studies demonstrating health benefits associated with THC.
In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in the Journal of Pain, researchers examined the effect of THC on pain in people with cancer. The study included 177 participants who were experiencing cancer-related pain that was not relieved by other pain medications. The participants were randomly assigned to receive either a THC-containing medication or a placebo for a period of 5 weeks. The researchers found that the THC-containing medication significantly reduced pain more effectively than the placebo. The study concluded that THC might be a useful treatment for cancer-related pain that is not relieved by other pain medications.
In a study published in the journal Future Medicinal Chemistry, researchers examined the anti-inflammatory effects of THC in animal models. The study found that THC was able to reduce inflammation in animals by inhibiting the production of certain inflammatory molecules and activating specific immune cells that have anti-inflammatory effects. The study concluded that THC may have the potential as a treatment for inflammation-related diseases.
Reducing Muscle Spasms
In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in the Journal of Neurology, researchers examined the effect of THC on muscle spasms in people with multiple sclerosis (MS). The study included 660 participants with MS who were experiencing muscle spasms that were not relieved by other medications. The participants were randomly assigned to receive either a THC-containing medication or a placebo for 15 weeks. The researchers found that the THC-containing medication was significantly more effective at reducing muscle spasms than the placebo. The study concluded that THC might be a valuable treatment for muscle spasms in people with MS.
Reducing Nausea and Vomiting
In a review published in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics, researchers examined the use of THC as a treatment for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV). The review included data from several clinical trials that examined the use of THC-containing medications in people undergoing chemotherapy. The researchers found that THC was effective at reducing both acute and delayed CINV and that it was generally well tolerated by the study participants. The review concluded that THC may be a useful treatment for CINV.
In a study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, researchers examined the effect of THC on sleep in people with insomnia. The study included 22 participants with insomnia who were given a THC-containing medication to take before bedtime for a period of 3 weeks. The researchers found that the THC-containing medication was effective at improving sleep in the study participants, as measured by subjective ratings of sleep quality and sleep diary data. The study concluded that THC may be a useful treatment for insomnia.
One study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders found that cannabis significantly reduced ratings of depression, anxiety, and stress. Of note was that low THC/high CBD cannabis was determined to be best suited for lowering perceived symptoms of depression, while high THC/high CBD cannabis was found ideal for reducing perceived symptoms of stress.
But Isn’t THC Still Federally Illegal? – enter the 2018 Farm Bill to the Rescue
The Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, also known as the 2018 Farm Bill, legalized the production and sale of hemp, which is defined as cannabis that contains no more than 0.3% THC by weight.
This means that cannabis plants and products made from them that contain less than 0.3% THC by dry weight are now legal under federal law, as long as they are produced in a manner consistent with the Act and other applicable laws.
For example, this means that the sale of, say, weed brownies and other goodies like THC-infused candies, taffy, and gummies, with doses up to 300mg on up is still legal so long as they are less than 0.3% THC by dry weight.
Pretty neat huh? We think so too.
However, it is important to note that the 2018 Farm Bill did not legalize marijuana, which is cannabis that contains higher levels of THC. In the United States, the legal status of marijuana varies by state, with some states having fully legalized it for medicinal and recreational use and others maintaining strict prohibitions.
The Long Arm of the Law is a Lot Shorter Now: States legalizing recreational THC
As of January 2023, dozens of states and the District of Columbia have legalized the recreational use of marijuana.
*Given the rapid evolution of laws in various jurisdictions, always double-check with your local laws to ensure you are within compliance.
States Where Laws Legalizing Recreational Use of Cannabis Have Been Passed:
- District of Columbia
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- Rhode Island
- South Dakota
It is important to note that the legal status of marijuana varies by state, and it is illegal under federal law. In states where marijuana is legal, it is regulated and taxed differently than in states where it is illegal. Some states have also legalized marijuana for medicinal use only, and in these states, it is typically available only to patients with certain medical conditions who have received a recommendation from a licensed healthcare provider.
THC Derivatives – the new kids on the block
There are also natural cannabinoids that are similar in chemical structure to THC but dissimilar enough to make them whole different compounds (chemically speaking).
Due to the similar molecular structure, these versions of THC bind to the same receptors as THC but with varying degrees of affinity to CB1 and CB2 receptors alike.
This results in psychoactive effects that vary in potency and feel, opening up a whole treasure trove of possibilities for consumers.
Delta-8 THC (D8) is a less prevalent and less psychoactive form of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). It is found in smaller amounts in the cannabis plant and is commonly produced through the chemical conversion of hemp-derived CBD.
Although research is ongoing, Delta-8 THC is thought to have a lower potential for abuse and a lower psychoactive potency than delta-9 THC, and several studies have investigated its potential therapeutic benefits. However, the research on delta-8 THC is still in the early stages, and more studies are needed to fully understand its effects and potential uses.
That said, consumers have adopted D8 in droves, citing its purported ability to elicit a welcoming body high and mild head high without the anxiety often associated with THC.
Some call it ‘diet weed’ due to its lesser psychoactive activity and more significant affinity to CB2 receptors (similar to CBD).
Another cannabinoid that’s gained much attention this last year or two is HHC. HHC, or hexahydrocannabinol, is a form of THC created by hydrogenation.
Hydrogenation is the process of adding one or more hydrogen atoms to a molecule. In this case, the hydrogenation of THC creates HHC. In lay terms, HHC is just THC with an extra hydrogen bond.
Discovered in 1944, it wasn’t until recently that this cannabinoid became a major contender in the ‘alt cannabinoid’ scene.
Anecdotally, HHC is less psychoactive than THC but more psychoactive than D8, making it a fantastic all-around performer that customers herald for its heady euphoria, light body high, and less anxious clear-headedness.
THC Gone Mainstream
Once a taboo ‘drug’ associated with ‘stoners,’ today THC has all but shaken the stigma of the past, gaining widespread adoption and use among the general population…and for good reason.
THC offers a host of potential health and wellness benefits that are helping consumers across the world live their best lives. And with the advent of newly emerging variations of THC, such as D8 and HHC, and increased legalization across the nation, the future looks exceptionally bright for this cannabinoid.