Is Delta 9 also THC?
THC stands for delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol or Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ-9-THC). It is a cannabinoid molecule that’s long been recognized as the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis—this is the chemical that causes people to feel what they reference as a “high” or being “stoned.”
THC is merely one of sixty different cannabinoid molecules found in the cannabis plant. THC is considered the most recognized and discussed molecule in the media, but it is just one of more than 400 different active substances found naturally found in cannabis.
THC’s main function when entering the human body is to attach directly to the cannabinoid receptors found throughout the brain and nervous system. THC can be detected days, weeks, and up to months in the body depending on the amount ingested and the period of time it was consumed. THC naturally stores itself in body fat, organs, and even hair follicles which can test positive for trace amounts up to three months following consumption. The psychoactive effects however, may only last for a few hours or less depending on its potency.
Urine analysis is most often the most convenient and accurate method of testing. Blood tests have proven more accurate and more costly.
Forms of THC
THC is often smoked as marijuana (dried leaves of the Cannabis plant), but there are actually a number of different ways that THC can be used. It can be consumed by:
- Inhalation: This is the fastest method of delivery and produces the quickest psychoactive effects, typically within minutes. There are many different ways that THC can be inhaled. Most popularly is smoking or vaping it.
- Oral Ingestion: THC can be eaten as well and can usually be found in the form of capsules, edibles, tinctures, or oils. This method of delivery takes longer to have an effect and for most people the high will last a lot longer.
- Topical application: Included in lotions, balms, salves, oils, and bath salts THC can be infused into just about any beauty product. Topicals can be very helpful for reducing pain and inflammation in a targeted region of the body, without the mind altering effects
THC in CBD Products
With rapidly expanding CBD industry cannabis products are being produced, distributed and used globally. In the U.S. you can find CBD products in convenience stores as long as they contain less than 0.3% THC. Products exceeding this amount must be sold in designated stores, such as dispensaries or recreational cannabis outlets, carrying the correct permits.
A small concentration of 0.3% THC is highly unlikely to result in a feeling of “highness”, while some experts argue that the effectiveness of CBD is potentiated by small amounts of THC. Be careful, if you’re looking for a CBD product without THC it is wise to seek a source that uses third-party testing to certify the purity of the product.
Medical & Recreational Uses
Cannabis has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years, but research on its use to alleviate and treat illness is still relatively recent. Recreational use has been growing exponentially in recent years. It was in California in the mid 90s their legislature recognized cannabis for its medical use and reduced and eliminated criminal charges for possession and use.
Here are just a few of the ailments THC has been proven to alleviate:
- Poor appetite
- Multiple sclerosis
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Symptoms associated with HIV/AIDS
THC stimulates the release of a neurotransmitter called dopamine in the brain, which is what causes euphoria sensations. The effects of THC can vary from one person to the next.
People may also experience:
- Altered perception of time
- Feelings of relaxation
- Heightened sensory perception
- Increased appetite
While it can cause pleasant effects, TCH can also lead to adverse reactions as well. People can experience anxiety, memory problems, hallucinations, or delusions in some cases.
Negative Side Effects
Through years of research evidence has shown that THC is associated with an increased risk of developing psychosis. It is has also been linked to increased anxiety, learning impairment, and decreased short term memory formation.
On the other hand, CBD has been found to counter those effects, improving learning ability, reducing anxiety, and working as an antipsychotic. When THC and CBD are taken together the CBD seems to reduce the negative effects of THC.
Amount of THC in Cannabis
Weed over the years has definitely increased in potency with the progressively improving farm and garden technologies.
The strength of modern “high-potency” strains are testing the the high 20% to low 30% range, while some other products enhanced with cannabis concentrates can test as high as 90% potency.
History of Cannabis & THC
First documented use dates back thousands of years in China where they were using cannabis for different types of foods, textiles, and medicine. Eventually its popularity grew and hemp cultivation was introduced to Europe and the Americas where it became widely used for both recreational and ritual purposes. It was in the 1600s when cannabis was introduced to the U.S. in the form of hemp to produce textiles and was even used as legal tender. For hundreds of years it had been used mainly for its medical benefits. Come the 1930s through 1940s and cannabis popularity grew as a means of recreation.
Anti-drug campaigns began to surge around this time thus influencing the prohibition of marijuana. There is a well known 1936 film “Reefer Madness” which portrays marijuana users as a dangerous drug fiends in a constant state of psychosis, violence, and suicide. In 1970, the Controlled Substances Act classified marijuana as a Schedule I drug, identifying it as having a high potential for abuse and making the drug illegal at the federal level.
It was also during this time the “war on drugs” launched a large-scale incarceration of many people for marijuana possession and use. This led to a rise in crime as police were now targeting individuals for exhibiting public cannabis use.
Many states have approved the use of cannabis and THC for medical and, in some states, recreational purposes. You should always check state laws where you live before participating or purchasing any products or substances that may contain THC.