Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the most prevalent cannabinoid in the cannabis plant and the most recognizable. It has psychoactive and intoxicating effects unlike the other major cannabinoids. It provides a myriad of medicinal benefits. This article lists the benefits of THC, the conditions that it may treat and a few of the most notable high-THC strains.
THC binds with CB1 and CB2 receptors that are found in the central nervous system and in the brain. These cannabinoid receptors influence the memory, our pleasure centers, our ability to think, coordination and perception. The effect that THC has on any individual is dependent on several factors which include:
- Amount of THC ingested
- Your natural cannabinoid levels
- How long you have been using cannabis and other drugs
- Biological makeup
- Delivery method
Here are a few facts you may not know. THC protects the cannabis plant from UV rays and from herbivorous predators. It is not water soluble but it mixes with lipids and alcohol.
Benefits of THC
- Analgesic – some cannabis researchers believe that THC usage may alleviate pain by distracting the user from experiencing it.
- Anti-inflammatory, especially in controlling autoimmune diseases where inflammation is high and causes severe and chronic pain.
- Anti-emetic – may reduce nausea and vomiting
- Anti-cancer – recent research studies suggest that THC may cause cancer cells to literally commit suicide while preserving healthy normal cells.
- Sleep Aid – may induce relaxation and decrease pain awareness which promotes deep and sustained sleep.
- Appetite Stimulant – heightens one’s taste of sense and smell commonly known as “the munchies.” This may be extremely useful for those with eating disorders such as anorexia and cachexia. It also may aid those who suffer with hyperemesis and the side effects of nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy treatments. THC may also activate appetite hormones, ghrelin and leptin, which regulate food intake.
- Anti-toxin and Neuroprotective – may aid in getting rid of amyloid beta proteins known as plaque which interrupt effective brain neuron communication.
- Anxiolytic – may boost anandamide, the neurotransmitter in the brain that regulates anxiety as well as many other body system functions.
- Reduces Muscle Spasticity – may decrease the intensity and frequency of muscle spasms, especially in those with Multiple Sclerosis.
- Addiction Treatment – may reduce the likelihood of consuming other reward-based substances such as opioids, heroin and alcohol by reducing the motivation to ingest them. Cannabis usage may increase the likelihood of the completion of opioid treatment programs.
- Increases Metabolic Output – may lower Body Max Index (BMI), may decrease the incidence of fatty liver disease and rates of diabetes and may prevent diet-related obesity.
- Vasodilator – may reduce the eye pressure and pain associated with glaucoma.
Conditions That THC May Treat
- PTSD, Anxiety and Depression
- Asthma and COPD
- Gastric Disorders such as Crohn’s Disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Ulcerative Colitis
- Chronic Pain and Neuropathy
- Autoimmune Disorders such as MS, Fibromyalgia, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Type 1 Diabetes, Guillain-Barre syndrome, Psoriasis, Graves’ Disease and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
- Neurodegenerative Diseases such as Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, ALS and Huntington’s Disease
- Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders
- Sleep Apnea
- Motor Disorders such as Tourette’s Syndrome, Tardive Dyskinia and Restless Leg Syndrome
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Epstein-Barr, Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, POTS, Tinnitus
- ADD in which THC may suppress sensory overload to the brain which allows for better focus on certain thoughts while ignoring unnecessary sensory input.
- Opioid Addiction
High THC Strains
Chiquita Banana 33%
Pink Stardust 33%
Gorilla Glue 25-30%
Girl Scout Cookie 25-28%
Bruce Banner 24-29%
Irish Cream 27%
Snoop’s Dream 25%
It is important to note that choosing a strain based solely on the content of THC does not guarantee that it is the best strain for your particular condition. I hope your takeaway from this cannabinoid series is the importance of the “Entourage Effect.” The 5 major cannabinoids, CBC, CBG, CBN, CBD and THC, work together to provide a myriad of medicinal benefits. Some trial and error is required to find the right strain and delivery method for you. It is well worth the effort.
marijuanadoctors.com, Tetrahydrocannibinol: What is THC? Dr. Joseph Rosado, updated Dec 28, 2018
weedmaps.com, What is Tetrahydrocannabinol?
weedmaps.com, Delta 9 THC Definition
productiongrower.com, Best Weed Strains: Strongest & Highest THC Weed Strains
medicaldaily.com, Top 5 Strongest Marijuana Strains in Terms of THC Levels, Johnny Vatican, April 1, 2019