Table of Contents
- What Is THC?
- What Are the Benefits of THC?
- Providing Pain Relief
- Easing Stomach Symptoms
- Helping You Sleep
- Protecting Your Brain Cells
- Promoting Further Brain Growth
- Helping to Treat PTSD Symptoms
- Enhancing the Senses
- Increasing Appetite
- Fighting Off Bacteria
- THC Is a Powerful Antioxidant
- THC Products Reduce Inflammation
- Dilating the Lungs to Improve Breathing
- Helping the Body Fight Tumors
- THC Relaxes the Muscles
- Preventing Convulsions
- THC Can Help Treat Diabetes
- Assisting With Weight Loss
- Alleviating Anxiety and Depression Symptoms
- Can Curb Other Addictions
- With This Many Benefits of Cannabis, Why Is It Still Illegal?
- Reviewing What THC Has to Offer
Marijuana legalization is one of the most important ongoing legal issues in the United States. Advocates for racial justice and better drug policies both fight with everything they have to undo the systemic inequalities created by punishments for marijuana use.
In addition, doctors and other medical professionals are coming around to the many benefits of THC and other marijuana byproducts. What is THC, and what are these benefits? Here’s everything that you need to know.
What Is THC?
Tetrahydrocannabinol, more commonly known as THC, is one of the major chemical components of marijuana. THC is the chemical that gives marijuana its psychoactive and other health benefits.
New strains and variants of THC are being discovered all the time, including Delta-8. If you’re curious about Delta-8, you can study the experience from 3chi.com.
How Does THC Work?
THC is able to work within the human body by mimicking the effects of hormones the body produces naturally. THC binds with receptors for neurotransmitters of cannabinoids. This allows the body to experience its many physical and psychoactive benefits.
What Are the Benefits of THC?
As we’ve mentioned above, THC has many benefits for your physical and mental health. These benefits include, but are by no means limited to the following.
Providing Pain Relief
Pain relief is one of THC’s most well-known and documented benefits. It offers an alternative to opiate-based painkillers for those who suffer from chronic pain.
Clinical research backing this may be limited due to THC’s continued status as a scheduled drug. Still, countless anecdotal accounts back its positive correlation with pain relief.
Easing Stomach Symptoms
There’s been an FDA-approved, THC-based pill used for treating nausea on the market since the 1980s. However, while this synthetic pill offers some of the benefits of cannabis, they pale to those offered by the whole plant.
Most anti-emetics and anti-nausea drugs on the market have a host of negative side effects. These side effects can include constipation, drowsiness, and headache. So, it’s clear to see why THC would be the better option.
Helping You Sleep
Anyone who’s ever smoked marijuana can speak to its relaxing effects, which can allow for better sleep. Medical trials conducted in the 1970s proved that cannabinoids can help those suffering from insomnia fall and stay asleep.
THC also helps improve your breathing and open your airways (more on that below). This can reduce sleep interruptions from conditions like sleep apnea.
Protecting Your Brain Cells
The medical industry has spared no expense in villainizing marijuana and all chemicals associated with it. Many anti-marijuana propagandists have spoken at length about marijuana killing brain cells.
However, this is not the reality. Rather than being neurotoxic, like most drugs, THC has neuroprotectant effects. This means it can keep your brain cells safe.
Promoting Further Brain Growth
Not only can THC protect your brain cells, but it can promote the growth of new ones.
How does THC accomplish this? It activates the CB1 receptor existent in our brains. This stimulates long-term potentiation, a process that improves our ability to learn.
CBD and THC both promote cell growth in the hippocampus, the center of the brain dedicated to memory. This is part of the reason why CBD and THC can help slow down the progression of diseases like Alzheimer’s.
Helping to Treat PTSD Symptoms
One in eleven Americans will, at some point in their lifetime, be diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD. Whether through combat, sexual/physical assault, an abusive home, or any other trauma, PTSD afflicts enough people to match the population of Texas.
THC, with its numerous psychoactive effects, has proven effective in treating PTSD. THC reduces agitation, depression, insomnia, nightmares, and flashbacks. This will allow those suffering from PTSD the chance to get the sleep they need to start the healing process.
Enhancing the Senses
One of the very things that make consuming THC before operating machinery dangerous is one of its best benefits. People have enjoyed THC for its psychoactive effects for millennia.
Cannabis has been used to enhance spiritual experiences and rituals by many cultures throughout the ages. The effects of THC may not agree with everyone, but that’s no reason to avoid it altogether.
Especially when you consider that, unlike other drugs, THC can’t give you a fatal overdose.
Do you know what causes the munchies so often associated with marijuana products? If you guessed THC, you’d be right.
Many drugs on the market and the conditions these drugs treat have a loss of appetite as a symptom or side effect. THC and THC products bind with the same receptors as ghrelin, which is known to stimulate hunger.
THC’s hunger-increasing effects can improve longevity and quality of life in those with decreased appetite.
Fighting Off Bacteria
Marijuana plants generate THC to protect themselves from bacteria and other pathogens in the wild. So, it stands to reason that THC can offer similar antibacterial effects in humans.
In 2008, scientists even found that a severe, antibiotic-resistant strain of MRSA responded to treatment with THC. MRSA, or Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, can cause gaping wounds when not treated.
THC Is a Powerful Antioxidant
Anecdotes linked cannabis to anti-aging and anti-stress routines for years. The main reason for that? THC has powerful antioxidant effects.
THC gets produced in the marijuana plant as a response to UVB rays. UVB rays contribute to visible human aging and other skin conditions. This makes protecting your skin against them a priority.
UVB rays trigger oxidative stress, which can cause your cells to become damaged down to their DNA. This can later increase your risk for cancer. That is yet another reason why broad-spectrum UV protection is crucial to your health.
Incorporating THC into your UV protection regimen may boost its efficacy.
THC Products Reduce Inflammation
Inflammation has become a hot-button topic in the medical community in recent years. Those suffering from chronic inflammation caused by auto-immune disorders have struggled for decades to get their conditions recognized. They’ve fought even harder to get treated by the medical community.
This is part of the reason why those who suffer from inflammatory diseases turned to cannabis before the medical community recognized its benefits. Cannabis can decrease production and reduce the effects of cytokines and chemokines. Those substances are known to cause inflammation.
Dilating the Lungs to Improve Breathing
Look, we know how this sounds. When most people consume THC products, they do so via smoking. This decidedly does not improve breathing or open airways. However, THC by itself can open the lungs and ease the symptoms of asthma attacks.
Even those who smoked cannabis saw a reduction in their asthma symptoms. Though, understandably, proving this in a scientific study today would be difficult.
New pharmaceutical companies are experimenting with THC in order to treat COPD. If THC can become nebulized in other inhalers, it could be consumed without smoking, offering its inhaled benefits without drawbacks.
Helping the Body Fight Tumors
Marijuana and cancer research have become intrinsically linked in recent years. Early research results that THC, marijuana’s key component, can help the body fight cancerous growth in three key ways.
THC can help trigger apoptosis in cancerous cells. Apoptosis is a function of the immune system where damaged or diseased cells trigger a self-destruct sequence. Naturally, this would cause the cancerous cells to kill themselves before they cause further issues.
Starving the Blood Supply
In many lab studies, THC has also shown that it can block tumors from creating blood vessels. Tumors require blood vessels to bring them oxygen to survive. This, in effect, starves the tumor to death.
Cannabis compounds, including THC, seem to halt metastasis. Metastasis is the process of a cancerous growth breaking off from its original location and setting down roots elsewhere in the body.
A metastasizing cancer is a key factor in cancer-related deaths. Therefore, having the ability to prevent metastasis can help improve cancer outcomes.
THC Relaxes the Muscles
If you’ve ever smoked marijuana before and felt heavy or sleepy after the fact, you’re familiar with THC’s relaxing effects. THC serves as a powerful muscle relaxant. This makes it an ideal treatment method for those who suffer from constant muscle spasms and cramps.
Whether THC itself or an aromatic compound in the cannabis plant combined with it offers the relaxant properties is a matter of debate. Some experts believe that myrcene, which contributes to the musky smell of marijuana, may also make the body feel heavier and relax the muscles.
CBD gets far more credit than THC as an anticonvulsant, but both compounds have those properties. Due to the existence of CBD, a legal compound, research on THC’s anticonvulsant properties has all but ceased.
However, we still have early research into THC’s anticonvulsant effects to turn to for further insight. Studies conducted as early as the 1940s have linked THC to beneficial outcomes in epileptic children resistant to most traditional methods of treatment.
While that early research did not show one hundred percent effectiveness, it can still bear further study.
THC Can Help Treat Diabetes
Cannabis, and by extension, THC can help your body regulate insulin production. Due to this, it serves as an effective means for treating diabetes. Research has also shown that THC can improve circulation, lower blood pressure, and stabilize your blood sugar.
More research needs to be conducted into THC’s therapeutic effects for diabetes. Especially as more Americans become afflicted with the disease.
Nearly ten percent of the nation suffers from diabetes as is. This number is projected to increase, as almost a third has conditions favorable to developing the disease later in life.
Assisting With Weight Loss
Despite the appetite-increasing effects of THC, the average user of THC products is not overweight. Part of this is due to cannabis’s ability to regulate insulin production. The other part is due to its ability to manage your body’s caloric intake by boosting your metabolism.
Alleviating Anxiety and Depression Symptoms
Due to THC’s ability to treat PTSD symptoms, the chemical compounds in marijuana can help alleviate a variety of mental health conditions.
THC and CBD both have been shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety. However, the levels of THC must be well-monitored, as in excess, it can cause the anxiety it’s trying to prevent.
Depression, one of the most common mental health conditions, often requires the aid of mood stabilizers.
Many common antidepressants have horrible side-effects. Worse still, they may not even help the condition they’re prescribed to treat. This makes THC an appealing alternative.
Can Curb Other Addictions
In most cases of addiction and substance abuse, the addict turned to that substance to treat a mental or physical health condition that traditional methods left untouched. Alcohol and cigarettes are two of the most common means of self-medication.
THC provides the psychoactive and physical benefits of these other drugs without the negative side-effects. This can make it an excellent alternative for someone in recovery.
With This Many Benefits of Cannabis, Why Is It Still Illegal?
You may find yourself wondering, “If THC benefits this many conditions and could help this many people, why is it still illegal in most states?”
The answer, as alluded to above, is years of propaganda from the pharmaceutical industry. Cannabis is far cheaper to mass-produce, thus THC easier to extract, than most pharmaceutical compounds. There’s less money to be made in prescribing one drug to treat many conditions instead of prescribing many to treat the symptoms of one.
Reviewing What THC Has to Offer
The physical and psychological benefits of THC far outnumber the risks that fearmongers have exaggerated for years. THC can treat thousands of conditions that don’t respond at all or well to traditional medical treatments. Despite years of effort from propagandists, people are awakening to its benefits and pushing for societal reform to create greater acceptance.
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