Are you new to the world of cannabis? Are you interested in using THC, but are wary of the potential side effects? Read this guide to discover everything you need to know about THC in order to have a safe and enjoyable experience!
- A list of the positive health benefits
- A list of potential side effects
- Guidelines for dosing so you can enjoy the experience
Why You Will Love This Guide
Following the legalization of cannabis in several states, people are becoming more curious to know more about their options.
Members of my Well With Cannabis Community know that cannabis consists of two common compounds: tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).
These compounds have significant benefits as well as potential side effects that are important to be aware of.
In this guide, I will walk you through everything you need to know about THC, its positive benefits, side effects, and how to use it.
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Different Forms of THC
THC is among the 500 distinct substances and 100 different cannabinoid compounds found in the trichomes of the female cannabis plant.
It is a cannabinoid, a type of chemical that reacts with the body's endocannabinoid system.
The compound is responsible for stimulating neurons that regulate thinking, time perception, memory, coordination, and pleasure simply by reacting with cannabinoid receptors in the brain.
THC can come in many different forms based on the physical structure of the compound.
When using cannabis products, you will most commonly find THC being used to describe the most common form Δ or delta-9 THC.
However, there is also delta-8 THC, delta-10 THC, delta-11 THC, THCA, THCV, and more.
Understanding the many forms of THC is critical because they all have different properties and benefits.
THC stands for Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol or Δ9-THC in abbreviated form.
It's a component in marijuana that causes the plant's euphoric effects. When you feel high after using marijuana, it's because of the THC.
Some research has shown that THC is useful in treating various medical conditions in some studies.
This compound can make you feel good while also providing euphoria and relaxation; thus, it's suitable for recreational use.
It is important to know that the way you consume THC will create different effects.
Consuming THC edibles can produce stronger, more intoxicating effects than smoking, vaping, or tinctures.
On the flip side, THC topicals may not produce any intoxicating effects at all.
Delta-8 THC occurs naturally in the cannabis plant in very small amounts.
It can be created in a lab using questionable practices to produce large amounts of D8 for consumption.
Like traditional THC, delta-8 THC has psychoactive effects, however, it is less potent than Delta-9 THC.
Delta 10 THC
The cannabinoid delta-10 THC is found in trace amounts in the marijuana plant.
Although it is less potent, it can get you high in the same way that delta-9 does.
Delta-10 THC is very new to the cannabis scene, but it has become increasingly popular among consumers.
THCA is short for tetrahydrocannabinolic acid.
It is the one form of cannabis that will not get you high, thus making it OK for children to be around growing plants.
When the cannabis plant grows in the ground, it doesn't immediately contain high amounts of THC, it actually contains THCA.
It is the process of decarboxylation that converts THCA into THC.
THCA is non-intoxicating, meaning it won't get you high, but it does have many potential health benefits.
You can choose to make a THCA tincture that won't make you high but still provide many health benefits.
THCV, unlike traditional Δ9THC, is non-intoxicating and does not cause a 'high' feeling, but it does have a reputation for being a weight-loss tool.
Strains high in tetrahydrocannabivarin, also known as THCV, are believed to be best for managing munchies and suppressing appetite.
Unfortunately, THCV is a minor cannabinoid, meaning it is not found in all cultivars and it can be hard to come by.
There are only a handful of strains that have measurable higher amounts of THCV, and at that, it's usually still less than 5% THCV.
Benefits of THC
THC offers numerous benefits. For instance, it can assist in the following:
- Relieving pain
- Low appetite
- Muscle spasticity
Side Effects of THC
While THC is beneficial, it also has some unwanted effects if overused.
The most common unwanted side effects of consuming too much THC include the following:
- Disorientation or dizziness
- Short-term memory issues
- Slow reaction time
- Tachycardia (rapid heartbeat)
- Increased appetite with dry mouth
- Digestive distress like diarrhea
- Red eyes
The best way to avoid experiencing these unwanted symptoms is to limit the amount of THC you consume.
How to Dose THC
Everyone responds to cannabis differently, and so many factors influence that response, including how you use it.
That is why it is essential to stay patient and take your time to discover your ideal dose according to your body's tolerance.
It's important to remember that the ideal milligram serving size can vary from one person to another.
Some people get high with as little as 2mg of THC; others do so at 30mg; others won't feel the effect until the dosing is past 100mg or more, or not at all.
How long the effects will last are unique to each person as well. This is all based on your tolerance.
Your tolerance can be impacted by many factors, including weight, metabolism, what you've eaten, and more.
That is why it is crucial to follow the golden rule: start low and go slow.
This means that you start with a low milligram dose, typically around 5 milligrams, and you wait three or more hours before taking another dose to assess your reaction.
This helps to ensure you do not take too high of a dose on your first try and end up consuming too much THC and having an unwanted reaction.
If you accidentally consume more THC than your body can handle, you may experience the unwanted side effects outlined above.
While there are ways to come down from a bad high, the best option is to prevent this from happening in the first place by not consuming too much.
Remember that other factors such as terpenes, whether the strain is an Indica vs. Sativa, and other cannabinoids like CBD can also impact your experience.
Overall, THC is safe and beneficial to one's health but always check with your doctor before using it to avoid potential harmful effects.
Have any more questions about THC? Leave them in the comments section below! And be sure to watch the web story!
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Hey I see THC helping with glaucoma was mentioned in the article. Could you explain how that works or anything that might help me. I have early stage of glaucoma. Thank you. 61.
Hey Earl - here is a great article to help get you started learning more about how to use cannabis with glaucoma.
Thank you for your great website Emily! I understand what higher levels of THC will do if you ingest it, but what about for making topicals? Would indica strains with higher THC levels give more pain relief than lower THC percentages, and since it's applied topically, does it really matter if you use indica or sativa strains (since you're not ingesting or inhaling it)? I'm sure the amount of FECO I use in my salve will affect the strength of the salve, but I'm not sure about choice of plants. Thank you for any advice!
Hey Jen! Thank you so much for your kind words. Topicals are a totally different experience when it comes to intoxication levels. THC applied directly to the skin will not make you feel high like eating edibles would, but it can help with pain relief, so going for a higher amount of THC is OK if you want to experiment. Its not likely you will notice a big different between Indica vs. Sativa strains with topical products, but not impossible either 🙂