Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the most researched and famous cannabinoid known today. Discovered in 1964 by Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, THC is considered the cause of the euphoria sensation that many describe as being "high." Despite the negative stigma associated with THC, research indicates that this mind-altering phytocannabinoid can offer theraputic benefits for many related conditions and symptoms.
As cannabis stigma declines, more researchers are focusing on this chemical compound. But, what exactly is THC, and why are we far from understanding its full potential? Here's everything you need to know about THC and its importance in medicinal applications.
What is THC?
The cannabis plant produces more than four hundred chemical compounds; more than a hundred are known today as cannabinoids. Specifically, those derived from cannabis are known as phytocannabinoids.
The phytocannabinoid Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is responsible for the psychoactive or intoxicating effect of cannabis consumption. Despite negative stigma associated with its psychoactive effects, THC exhibits a wide range of unique and robust therapeutic properties. To understand how THC's psychoactivity works, we must first know how we find it in the cannabis plant.
Cannabis plants contain tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), or the non-active version of THC. When cannabis dries out or is consumed orally, it gets decarboxylated, causing the acid molecule to drop off and convert to THC, the active form. Heating, either through vaporization or smoking, accelerates this conversion.
The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) and THC
We could compare the ECS and THC relationship to a locks system. Some keys will only work with specific locks, and others can fit in multiple ones like universal keys. The human body produces its own keys referred to as "endogenous cannabinoids," for those locks. This means that THC interacts with the endocannabinoid system by mimicking the "endogenous cannabinoids,” as our bodies naturally produce and bind directly to CB1 and CB2 receptors.
THC structure is similar to anandamide, its endogenous equivalent, however THC has a much stronger effect in the body. THC affects (or “modulates”) the chemical messages (neurotransmitters ) produced in the brain and nervous system. Neurotransmitters influence pleasure, memory, thinking, concentration, and sensory, pain and time perception, among others.
The Benefits and Effects of THC
The phytocannabinoid THC is crucial for more than just recreational purposes and can be critical for medicinal cannabis treatments' effectiveness.
Appetite Stimulant: It is not uncommon for people to joke about THC induces "munchies." However, what some consider a side effect, can be a game-changer for patients suffering from cancer, HIV/AIDS, and other terminal illnesses. Stimulating appetite with THC consumption can be vital in fighting disease-related wasting.
As mentioned earlier, THC can be used for more than recreational reasons. Recent studies suggest THC can be used as a muscle relaxant, a neuroprotectant, a bronchodilator, an anti-spasmodic, and an antioxidant.
Anti-inflammatory: As explained by Dr. Ethan Russo in 2011, THC has twenty times more anti-inflammatory properties than aspirin and twice that of hydrocortisone.
Cancer: THC has been proven to reduce levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in glioma (brain cancer) cells (Blázquez, et al. 2004). It is also believed to prevent carcinogens present in cannabis smoke from being activated in the body, whereas nicotine activates carcinogenic processes. (Roth, et al. 2001)
Laboratory derived THC medications (along with illicit cannabis use) have been utilized by cancer
patients for decades due to THC's extraordinary ability to quell nausea and prevent vomiting, both of
which are commonly reported side effects of traditional cancer treatments.
Neuroprotectant: THC has been shown to induce the extinction of fearful memories in humans. This can be an incredible application in treating PTSD where "flashbacks" of traumatic memories intrude into a person's life and cause disruptions in daily functioning.
THC can reduce muscle spasms. When used mindfully, it can be one of the safest, most potent pain relievers available. Studies with THC have shown positive results in acute pain and effectiveness against chemical, mechanical, and thermal pain stimulation. It can also help patients with multiple sclerosis with muscle spasticity. Many studies in multiple states have now shown that when medical cannabis is available, dangerous opioid use and deaths from opioid overdose decrease.
Other Benefits and effects of Cannabis
THC’s controversial side effects of psychoactivity, the ability to shift perception, and cause "euphoria", can be a welcomed side effect in dealing with chronic and debilitating diseases day in and day out.
All these therapeutic properties can be incredibly beneficial for chronic medical conditions. They can increase the quality of life for individuals diagnosed with terminal illnesses, a common goal of hospice and palliative care.
Medical cannabis patients have reported that they can reduce or eliminate more dangerous prescription drugs after a cannabis protocol regimen has been initiated. Eliminating the need for opioids and benzodiazepines, both of which include a laundry list of unpleasant side effects, can translate directly into lives saved.
When CBD and THC are used together, CBD can "tame down" and reduce THC's psychoactive effects, so patients can experience all the benefits cannabis offers without necessarily experiencing as much of the associated "high."
As mentioned above, cannabis plants contain other compunds, some of which are known as “terpenes.” In fact, the classic aroma of cannabis comes from terpenes. Terpines have been shown to have their own advantageuos medical effects. Terpenes may also strengthen the therapeutic effect, and lessen the psychoactive effect, of THC. Together, the combination of THC, CBD, abd terpenes is called “the entourage effect.”
Trulieve and THC
Trulieve is one of 22 medical marijuana dispensaries licensed and approved in Florida to sell cannabis-based products to authorized patients. We strive to bring you the relief you need in a product you can trust; that's why we offer you various CBD, THC, and combined cannabis products.
All our products are of high quality and with great attention to detail. When it comes to THC, Trulieve offers various products with strict compliance with government regulations and CHMP certification requirements.
Trulieve’s THC Products At-A-Glance:
RSO is full extract cannabis oil preserving the plants cannabinoids and terpenes making it a part of our entourage line, providing patients with whole plant benefits. Named after a well-known activist from Canada, Rick Simpson Oil (commonly referred to as RSO) is a potent Full Extract Cannabis Oil (FECO) made to treat very chronic conditions, and related to the need for relief. Our RSO is not hemp-derived, which accounts for its greater purity.
Some of our RSO Products include:
RSO Syringe 1G - Hybrid
RSO Syringe 1G - Indica
RSO Syringe 1G - Sativa
Our TruFlower products range from a variety of pre-rolls of 0.5 grams to 3.5 grams of cannabis approved for smoking. Packages are labeled to show the amount of active THC, which may vary based on each flower’s potency. In order to comply with Florida law, TruFlower must be carried and stored in its original opaque packaging at all times.
Some of our Truflower products include:
.5g Pre-Roll Indica, Hybrid, Sativa
1g Pre-Roll Indica, Hybrid, Sativa
3.5g whole TruFlower® Indica, Hybrid, Sativa
3.5g whole TruFlower® 1:1 Ratio
3.5g TruFlower® minis Indica, Hybrid, Sativa
3.5g TruFlower® Ground (variety of strains combined)
Trulieve's TruTincture Drops® were developed using the same TruNanoTechnology (TruNano) as the TruNano Tinctures®. This product is ideal for patients who may struggle with titration or the flavor of the tinctures; these solid Drops are a viable alternative. Named for its nano-sized particles, the Drops offer the best delivery system for a nano-based product, resulting in an increased absorption, or onset, time.
*TruNano® technology refers to our specialized nanoemulsion technique. Through nanoemulsion, individual particles are made incredibly small yet stable, delivering one of the most effective cannabinoid delivery methods.
Some of our TruTincture® products include:
Tincture Droplet Bottle 500mg 1:1
TruNano Tincture® 250mg Ratio - 1:8 CBD:THC
TruTincture Drops® - Citrus, Menthol Eucalyptus
Capsules are one of the easiest and safest ways to administer medicine. Not only do they come in a wide variety of options, but they also have the benefit of a long-lasting effect, making them an ideal option for a patient needing relief from symptoms lasting throughout the day.
Some of our capsules include:
Capsule Bottle 30ct 50mg - RSO 1:1
Capsule Bottle 30ct 10mg and 50mg – Hybrid, Indica, Sativa
TruPowder is a Nano-encapsulated Cannabinoid powder. Nano TruPowder® is a mostly flavorless powder intended to be added to a liquid before Oral use. TruPowder® will become optically translucent or seem to disappear in the liquid the medicine was added to mostly. Using cutting edge and state of the art technology, our TruNano® process uses sound waves (sonication) to achieve incredibly small nano-sized Cannabinoids which are then encapsulated. Research has shown the great potential that nano-sized medicines have increased bioavailability and quicker onset time than other more traditional Oral medication. Patients are strongly encouraged to start low and go slow - with the increased onset time and bioavailability; this is powerful medicine.
Patients looking to receive the powerful effects of oral medical cannabis with the onset time closer to inhalation may immensely enjoy the TruPowder®. These products are controllable and discreet and have almost no flavor making it an easy addition to any liquid or patient lifestyle. TruPowder® is vegan and gluten-free.
Some of our TruPowder® products include:
TruePowder Vanilla Cream
TruGels® are long lasting, discreet, and flavorful! They are part of our new line of delicious edibles now available at Trulieve, which include Love’s Oven Brownies and Cookies, TruChocolates®, and more. The Department Of Health created a new route of administration for edibles in August of 2020. To purchase edibles, patients will need to contact their doctor to have their recommendations updated in the registry, which can take up to 24 hours to appear after approval. However, each physician’s office operates differently; patients should contact their doctor for more information.
Some of our TruGel® products include:
TruGels 10ct 10mg - Blue Raspberry, Green Apple, Guava Passionfruit, Pineapple, Watermelon, and more!
THC cannabis treatments have the potential to be a safe and effective option for vulnerable patients. The more we learn about cannabis, the more we come to appreciate this gift bestowed upon us by mother nature. We are still learning what this ancestral plant can do for us. If you feel you can benefit from THC, consult with your primary physician on how to incorporate it into your wellness routine.
Produced in partnership MMJ Knowledge
This information is not intended as medical advice, it is for educational purposes only. As always with medical conditions and symptoms, please consult with your doctor for personalized medical advice. The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Merriam Webster Dictionary
Sulak, D., (2020) Chapter 3. CBD and CBDA. Medical Cannabis Core Curriculum. healer.com