As the public debate and awareness of the beneficial properties of cannabis continues to grow around the world, more people are becoming interested in the different components that are present in the hemp plant. CBD and THC are certainly the most well-known; the former being commonly found in vape liquids and therapeutic lotions and the latter present mostly in medical products and recreational drugs.
While some countries have imposed strict limits on the THC levels that can be legally present on cannabis products, others do not have any restrictions. But how does this natural extract interact with your brain and body? Here is the answer:
Tetrahydrocannabidiol: The Main Psychoactive Component of Cannabis
Out of the more than 100 cannabinoids which have been found in the cannabis plant, THC is one of the most widely available and certainly the most popular psychoactive component. The THC effects on brain activity are a result of its ability to interact with several different cannabinoid receptors.
Tetrahydrocannabidiol is able to modify the mood and cognition activities happening in the brain, typically providing a sense of calm and relaxation as well as a significant reduction in the symptoms of stress and anxiety. Consumers of THC commonly feel an increased confidence, as the substance is able to block some of the natural defense mechanisms which are triggered when we are exposed to new situations or unknown environments.
THC’s effects on the CB1 receptors also affect the natural gastrointestinal activity. Regular cannabis consumers commonly report feeling less craves for sweets THC, and the substance can be used in moderated doses as part of weight-loss regimes.
However, THC effects on brain activity are also a result of its interactions with the CB2 receptors present in the brain. Unlike CB1 receptors, these are directly connected to the immune systems and therefore can be stimulated to help fight infections and diseases in a more effective way.
THC’s ability to interact with CB2 receptors is a critical part of some therapies to treat epileptic and degenerative disorders including epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease. Apart from being a powerful stimulant of the nervous system and being widely used in recreational drugs, tetrahydrocannabidiol is quickly entering the medical field with new applications being discovered every year.
Legality of THC Products: A Controversial Topic
While cannabidiol and other components of the hemp plant are becoming legal in most countries of Europe and North America, THC is still strictly regulated around the world. In the United States it is considered a Schedule II product, while in the United Kingdom it is included in the list of Class B substances and an S8 Controlled drug in Australia. Canada is perhaps the most liberal country when it comes to tetrahydrocannabidiol, as it allows its consumption without legal restrictions.