THC is the famous cannabinoid known for its ability to produce mind altering effects. In addition to the high, THC provides many health benefits. Read on to find out if this cannabinoid can be effective in improving your quality of life.
THC has been around since the dawn of time and has become more popular in recent years. But no matter how accepted it’s become, it always seems to be steeped in controversy.
Some use it for recreational purposes and enjoy its mind-altering effects while others have an unpleasant reaction. However, the drug has also been used to provide health benefits and for medicinal purposes since the 1800’s.
Read on to find out more about THC and how it can improve your quality of life.
What is THC?
THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is a crystalline compound that is the main active ingredient of cannabis. It produces feelings of being high and provides health benefits to the human body.
In addition to THC, there are other cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant such as CBD, CBG and CBN. All these cannabinoids provide a number of health benefits that are similar to those THC provides, but they do not have any mind altering effects.
Scientists have wondered for years how THC works in the body. They finally found out that the body contains something called the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
The Endocannabinoid System was named after the Cannabis plant. Its a unique communications system in the brain that controls many important functions including how a person feels, moves and reacts. The body produces natural chemicals called cannabinoids that interact with receptors to regulate these functions.
Cannabinoids can also be brought in through external sources and THC is one of these sources. When it is introduced to the body, it attaches to cannabinoid receptors in the brain and can produce a number of effects. It can make a person feel good and provide health benefits, but is can also disrupt memory, affect judgment, cause anxiety and slow down reaction times.
Now that we understand how THC works in the body and have a better understanding of why it is so controversial, let’s look at some of the benefits it can provide.
12 Amazing Benefits of THC
1) Pain Relief:
Many people suffer with chronic pain. This pain is often nerve related.
Studies show that THC activates pathways in the nervous system that block the pain signals that are sent to the brain.
An FDA trial was also conducted that further proved THC’s effectiveness as a painkiller. Results showed that low doses of the cannabinoid in the form of vaporized cannabis can reduce pain by up to 30%.
2) Nausea and Vomiting Relief
Nausea and vomiting are symptoms commonly associated with chemotherapy. One study revealed oral doses of THC were effective in relieving chemotherapy induced nausea.
Many think that THC kills brain cells but, actually, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, THC works as a brain protectant preventing damage in the brain. One study conducted in 2014 showed that those with THC in their systems are less likely to die from a traumatic head injury than those without.
4) Promotes Brain Growth:
Not only does THC work to protect the brain, it also promotes brain growth.THC works to activate the CB1 receptor in the brain. This stimulation can promote our ability to learn.
There is also evidence that THC helps the brain cells in the hippocampus to grow. This is a part of the brain that is thought to be the center of emotion, memory and the autonomic nervous system.
THC may also protect spatial memories which are associated with one’s environment and spatial orientation.
Because of all the ways THC works to protect the brain and help brain cells to grow, it is being looked at as a promising treatment that my work to slow down and inhibit Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.
5) Increases Appetite:
Most THC consumers have experienced the munchies. This is due to THC’s ability to stimulate the hormone ghrelin which simulates hunger in the body and can even make food taste better.
The fact that THC can increase appetite makes it effective in helping those experiencing a loss of appetite due to cancer and cancer treatments, as well as other diseases and medications.
Studies have shown that THC and other forms of cannabis can be effective in treating cancer patients to increases appetite while providing other benefits such as pain relief.
Another study showed that the THC can increase appetite in men infected with HIV.
6) Helps Treat PTSD:
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a condition that is debilitating for many people. Symptoms include severe depression and anxiety, agitation, insomnia, nightmares and social isolation.
There is evidence that THC may treat the symptoms of PTSD and many psychiatrists believe it is the only effective treatment of the condition. This is based on THC’s ability to boost serotonin levels which gives it the ability to minimize depression and agitation and promote improved sleep patterns.
7) Antibacterial properties:
Research shows that THC protect the cannabis plant itself from pathogens. There is evidence that THC can have a similar effect in the human body.
One study showed that THC can change gut microbes over time. In this study, mice lost body fat as a result. However, microbes also play a vital role in immune homeostasis and autoimmunity meaning the changes the compound promotes could be beneficial in these areas as well.
In another study, researchers at MIT discovered that THC could be effective in treating MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), an antibiotic resistant pathogen.
These studies serve as evidence that THC can be part of a medical solution for the many antibiotic resistant infections that result in over a million deaths each year.
Chronic inflammation is a major risk factor in many diseases. It lies behind diseases and conditions like arthritis, cancers, periodontitis, hay fever and more.
Research suggests that THC may upregulate T-regulatory cells in the body causing reduction in inflammation. Other studies show that the compound may decrease inflammation by suppressing genes related to the inflammatory response.
9) Promotes Lung Health:
Because marijuana smoke and tobacco smoke share many of the same compounds, there have been warnings that ingesting or inhaling THC. As it was assumed to cause health damages, and increase chances of lung cancer. Therefore, it may come as a surprise that THC is showing in studies to have potential to improve and promote lungs health.
The first study conducted to investigate the benefits THC could provide where lung health was concerned took place back in 1975. Back then, it was found that the THC was effective in easing asthma symptoms.
Since then, more research was done to explore THC’s lung health benefits. Findings were that short term exposure to marijuana is associated with bronchodilation. Further studies are currently reviewing potential benefits and dangers of THC on the lungs when used long term.
10) Potential in Fighting Cancer:
THC has been studied in the fight against cancer and evidence has emerged that it has the potential to shrink tumors, kill cancer cells and prevent cancer cells from metastasizing.
Research shown that THC has potential as an anti-tumor drug due its ability to inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells. It works through a process called apoptosis which is an immune function that triggers damaged or diseased cells to self destruct.
Laboratory models have also show that THC can stop tumors from forming blood vessels. As a result, the compound cuts off their food and oxygen supply and stops them from metastasizing.
11) Muscle Relaxant:
It is no secret that THC has properties that help many to feel more relaxed. Some may even feel sleepy or heavy bodied after smoking or ingesting THC. These same effects can be beneficial to individuals who suffer with multiple sclerosis and experience symptoms like muscle spasticity, pain and cramping.
One study conducted in 2012 showed affected participants to experience a significant reduction in pain and spasticity. Another study showed the cannabinoid could be even more effective when combined with a terpene called myrcene to produce an entourage effect.
12) Enhances Senses:
It can be argued if THC’s ability to enhance senses should be perceived as a benefit since it goes hand in hand with the mind altering effects that comes with THC. However, it has been used by years in religious ceremonies to induce a heightened sense of awareness. It has also been known to aid creativity.
On a more physical level, it can enhance taste and sense of smell and make colors appear brighter. Although these effects can vary from person to person, some may want to experiment to see if THC works to bring them to new levels of consciousness.
If you feel THC may be useful in helping treat your health issues, you have a lot to think about. Although many states are passing bills making it legal, there are still a lot of gray areas surrounding its use. Be sure to check with your local laws before trying to obtain THC.
You should also be aware that THC causes mind altering effects that can be pleasant for some and unpleasant for others. But whether you enjoy its effects for not, you should know that it can affect your judgement and perception to a point where you should avoid engaging in certain activities.
If you have thought these things over and still feel THC is a good choice in helping you improve your quality of life. And if you have the means to obtain it legally, there are several dispensaries that sell THC in both edible and inhalable form.