6 Things You Didn’t Know About THC
All About THC
The primary ingredient in marijuana is THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol. It’s the compound responsible for making you feel high. It also offers a variety of medical benefits, and is commonly used by patients with depression, nausea, and more. In this post, we’re going to show you 6 things that you (most likely) didn’t know about THC.
- THC Has Been Used in Various Pharmaceuticals
There are a few FDA-approved pharmaceutical drugs that have THC in them. The first one created was called Marinol. In 1985, it was approved by the FDA to be used as a treatment for nausea and vomiting in patients undergoing chemotherapy. As you may know, a major side effect of chemotherapy is nausea. THC helps counteract this, which can increase morale in cancer patients. Others include Sativex and Cesamet, both of which contain THC.
- THC Was Discovered in 1964
While marijuana plants have been around for millions of years, it was only recently that humans discovered THC. THC was discovered in 1964 by a scientist named Dr. Raphael Mechoulam. Back in the 60s, he noticed that many scientists were isolating compounds in cocaine and morphine, yet, ignoring marijuana. He took it upon himself to isolate the compounds in marijuana, which led him to discover THC. Because of his discovery, Dr. Mechoulam was awarded the NIDA Discovery Award in 2011.
- THC Protects Brain Cells
Playing smoking games with friends is fun no doubt, but did you know that THC offers cognitive benefits as well? Specifically, the THC in marijuana is known to protect brain cells as well as stimulate their growth. The THC protects the brain cells from oxidative stress and inflammation. It was in 2005 that researchers at the University of Saskatchewan discovered that THC was able to stimulate the growth of new brain cells. Known as “Neurogenesis,” this process can help preserve brain function.
- THC is Only One of 50+ Compounds in Marijuana
Many people think that THC is the only compound in marijuana. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. There are over 50 compounds in marijuana (that we know of), each of which affect the body in a slightly different way. It’s safe to say that, in the future, we may discover more compounds in marijuana that we didn’t know about before. We’ll also learn about how each one of these compounds affects the body. Marijuana research is still in its infancy, but we’re moving closer to the truth every day.
- THC-Like Molecules Exist Naturally in The Body
After the discovery of THC, researchers began searching for THC-like molecules that existed naturally in the body. And, after some searching, they discovered a few. One in particular was called “Anandamide.” Anandamide is a naturally-occurring cannabinoid that’s produced by certain parts of the body (including the brain). You might be surprised to hear that Anandamide and THC act on similar biochemical pathways. Specifically, they both act on cannabinoid receptors, which is quite cool!
- “Inactivated” THC Won’t Make You High
Many people associate THC with feeling high and euphoria. However, THC doesn’t always have to make you feel high. Why is this? It’s because the THC found in marijuana plants is THCA, which is a precursor to THC. THCA doesn’t cause any of the euphoric or feelings of high that you normally experience when smoking weed. This is why ingesting weed raw won’t cause you to feel anything (other than sick). It’s only when THCH is exposed to heat that it’s able to provide the psychoactive benefits normally associated with cannabis.
THC is an interesting molecule to say the least. Overtime, scientists will learn more about how this molecule acts on the body. As they learn more about it, they may be able to develop therapies around this drug designed to target various diseases and ailments.