What is Delta 9 THC?
In its decarboxylated form, THC has psychoactive properties.
Delta 9 Tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC, is a scientific name of the major Cannabinoid found in cannabis. This compound is generally found in both male and female cannabis plants, but female plants hold higher concentrations.
In its raw form, THC is non-psychoactive. In its raw form, Delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is commonly referred to THCa, where the “a” references the acid. The acid is removed during curing and drying processes to leave behind Delta 9 THC, or simply THC as we commonly know it. The process of removing one carbon atom is referred to as decarboxylation. In this decarboxylated form, THC has psychoactive properties and can get you “high.”
How Does Delta 9 THC Work?
Basically, THC works through attaching to brain and nervous system’s cannabinoid receptors. It can stay in your body for longer periods than many other drugs, although its psychoactive effects last only for a few hours. THC may be detected in someone’s body for up to 20 hours from the time that it has been ingested. But this again depends on factors such as: frequency of use, dosage, body weight, and cardiac activity level. Delta 9 THC is lipophyllic, meaning that it binds to fat readily. Consequently, it is stored in fat cells from where it can move freely between the fat cells and the blood stream.
Delta 9 THC binds directly to the CB1 receptor which is predominantly found in the central nervous system. This is because its molecular structure is a perfect fit. The human body works well with cannabis and according to research by Dr. Allen Howlett in 1988, it's clear that THC attaches itself to the part of our brains responsible for controlling our movement, thoughts, and memory.
Medical Benefits of Delta 9 THC
As cannabis progressively gains acceptance in today’s world, more and more studies are being carried out to bring the medical value of THC to light. For example, Complutense University of Madrid Researchers have discovered that THC causes tumor cells in animal models to auto-digest themselves. This means that THC can play a crucial role in drastically reducing the size of tumor and its prevalence.
Today, THC synthetics can be found in pharmacy stores and large-scale pharmaceutical companies are continually putting out THC prescription drugs such as Marinol to boost appetite and reduce nausea in cancer patients.
Sativex also contains THC from cannabis plants and is hugely used to relieve patients from Multiple Sclerosis.
Another superpower of THC is that it is anti-inflammatory. Inflammation contributes to a wide range of conditions, and since Delta 9 THC solves this, it is widely used in the manufacture of products that target inflammation. Below is a summary of conditions that Delta 9 THC helps in relieving.
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Neuropathic and chronic pain
- Chron’s disease, IBD, IBS
- Cancer: including pediatric, skin, breast, brain, and more
- Multiple sclerosis and multiple disorders
- Sleep apnea
- Tourette syndrome
- Parkinson’s disease
Additional benefits that Delta 9 THC may add to your life or general health include:
- Stress relief
- Improved mood
- Social bonding
- General pain relief
Delta 9 THC and drug tests
During standard screening, the compound in marijuana that is tested for is Delta 9 THC. This means that in case you have consumed this compound it will show up on a standard drug test, unless it has already been eliminated from your system.
Is Delta 9 THC Harmful?
A lot has been said about the dangers of using Delta 9 THC, especially during teenage years. One of the associated fears is the impact that this compound has on the developing brain. Considerable research evidence shows that THC is prone to increase the risk for psychosis, particularly related to adolescents. Some studies have also linked Delta 9 THC to memory loss and cognitive impairment. However, cannabis enthusiasts have argued that the memory loss is only short term and that in the long run there is no difference between marijuana users and non-users when it come to memory retention.
Research into the harmful effects of THC is complicated by an array of factors, but sufficient evidence shows that it can be harmful to younger persons whose brains are still developing. Nevertheless, many believe that the benefits Delta 9 THC by far outweigh the few side effects.