Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the most well-known and abundant chemical component of cannabis. It is the component that has psychoactive effects and makes you feel “high.” THC is not found in fresh cannabis; by burning or heating the cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) is converted into THC. The flowers of the cannabis plant typically contain the largest amounts of THC.
THC attaches to cannabinoid receptors in certain areas of the brain that affect thinking, memory, pleasure, coordination, and sensory and time perception. When THC stimulates the brain, dopamine is released and creates euphoria and relaxing effects. In addition, it changes how new information is processed in the hippocampus portion of the brain. This explains why many people experience short-term memories differently when consuming THC.
Learn more about THC here.
Cannabis science is one of the fastest moving frontiers medicinal sciences in the world. The pharmacology behind it has been accelerated by the realization that we’re all already marinated in cannabis-like molecules (endocannabinoids) and their receptors.
Endocannabinoids help regulate many physiological processes such as your mood, memory, appetite, pain, immune function, metabolism, and bone growth to name a few. Consuming cannabis also modulates this endocannabinoid system in many ways. The effects can be benevolent, although sometimes problematic.
Understanding the science behind cannabis is a key factor in being able to fully enjoy its medicinal value.
People have been using cannabis as medicine for thousands of years. The plant has also been widely used clothing, fuel, food, fiber, and medicine.
Cannabis contains more than 120 different cannabinoid molecules. But, as far as we know, only one gets you high: THC. The plant itself contains a huge amount of cerebral, non-intoxicating THC cousins with emerging medicinal potential. Their abbreviated names are often: CBD, CBG, THC-V, CBC, and CBN to mention a few.
Data Last Updated 05/22/2023
for their medical cannabis cards