With the legalization of medicinal and recreational marijuana, many people are asking: what is THC? By definition, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main mind-altering ingredient in the cannabis Sativa or Indica plant. THC is similar to the naturally occurring cannabinoid chemicals in the human body.
In the US, marijuana is the second most used psychotropic drug after alcohol. About 11.8 million young adults use marijuana, and the rise in number is due to the popularity of vaping devices—more than 4% of adults aged 18 to 32 years vape THC daily.
What Is THC’s Effect on Your Body?
THC affects certain areas on the brain, thus altering your thought process, pleasure, memory, coordination, pleasure, and time perception. THC stimulates brain cells to release dopamine, which consequently leads to euphoria. Also, it affects the ability to form new memories by interfering with the hippocampus.
There are many other compounds in the cannabis plant, including a unique group known as cannabinoids. A nonpsychoactive cannabinoid, which is known as cannabidiol (CBD), blocks the high effect of THC.
THC can cause delusions and induce hallucinations. On average, many users start to feel the effects 20 minutes after ingestion. The high lasts for several hours. However, the impairment of cognitive and motor skills may continue for a while after the high stops.
The Risks of THC
The high effect of THC makes marijuana the most popular illicit drug in the world. Many teens start to use cannabis for recreation as soon as they begin to ask – what is THC? Mental health professionals are concerned with these effects. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), marijuana use can trigger a relapse in people who have schizophrenia.
Another risk of ingesting marijuana is that THC impairs motor skills for up to three hours after consumption. This impairment means that you’ll be unable to drive or perform similar tasks. Doctors advise people who use medical marijuana not to drive or conduct motor tasks until they can tolerate the effects.
Marijuana use causes long-term problems for young adults, including a decrease in cognition, memory, and IQ. Some studies reveal that long-term use can cause infertility in both men and women.
THC and Medications
As you’re examining what THC is, you should know how it interacts with certain prescription medications. For instance, it can prevent your medications from breaking down correctly. Therefore, you may have higher levels of medications in your bloodstream, which, in turn, can lead to increased side effects. For instance, if you take marijuana and benzodiazepines together, your breathing and heart rate will slow down, and you may lose consciousness. Furthermore, taking marijuana and blood thinners can lead to you losing significant amounts of blood. Continuously combining marijuana and other medications may even lead to death.
Getting Help for Marijuana Addiction
It’s never too late to overcome an addiction. A marijuana addiction treatment program will help you or your loved one overcome substance use disorders. For a successful recovery, doctors recommend a combination of several types of treatments, such as:
- Spirituality addiction therapy
- Intensive outpatient program (IOP)
- 12 Step program
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Aftercare program
- Family therapy
- EMDR therapy
Now you have a detailed answer to your question – what is THC? Marijuana is now readily available due to the legalization in more than 30 states in the US. Doctors and researchers predict more addictions and mental conditions as a result. If you or your loved one is already suffering from marijuana addiction, seek help from a rehab facility by contacting us today at 866.314.3222. Don’t let addiction control your life; check into a drug rehab facility to get essential tools and resources for a sober life.