What is THC Delta 9? – THC Delta 9 Tetrahydrocannabinol Effects & Uses

What is THC Delta 9? Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol, commonly abbreviated to just THC, is the primary psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis. THC Delta 9 Tetrahydrocannabinol effects, therefore, include senses of euphoria and the so-called ‘high’ people experience when smoking marijuana. For this reason, it is currently a controlled substance in the United States.

As THC is illegal in many states, most CBD therapeutics are legally required to contain less than 0.3% THC. It is important to note, though, that THC doesn’t just make people high. As well as this, Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol has several therapeutic qualities distinct from those of other cannabinoids.

What is THC Delta 9?

THC is one of the most abundant cannabinoids in Cannabis. However, THC occurs in only small quantities in male cannabis plants, and in even smaller quantities in hemp.

In cannabis plants, THC accumulates as Delta 9 THC acid (THCA) in leaves surrounding female cannabis flowers. Contrary to popular belief, though, THCA itself is not psychoactive.

THCA only becomes psychoactive when decarboxylation occurs. This is where heat is applied to THCA during processing or smoking cannabis. When this happens, carboxylic acid atoms are eliminated from THCA. Only then can smaller THC molecules bind to receptors in the human endocannabinoid system (ECS).

THC Delta 9 vs THCA

Understanding that THC only becomes psychoactive after decarboxylation is important, as THCA and THC are very different cannabinoids.

As THCA is non-psychoactive, it is possible to consume raw cannabis (where it is possible to obtain legally) as a superfood. Alternatively, THCA can be isolated like CBD, and consumed in tincture form, as edible products, or as a smokable e-liquid.

It should be noted, though, that THCA can be converted by sunlight into THC in raw cannabis. This being the case, people who consume raw cannabis as a super-food, might occasionally experience slight psychoactive effects.    

THC Effects & Uses

As a psychoactive cannabinoid, THC itself is still somewhat controversial in the eyes of the public. The fact that THC is still illegal in many states, also sees most CBD therapeutics manufacturers do everything they can to minimize the presence of THC in their products.

Because psychoactive highs elicited by THC can be unpleasant for many people, it makes sense to minimize the presence of THC in products like CBD tinctures. However, it is also important to note that Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol has legitimate therapeutic uses.

  • THC Delta 9 Tetrahydrocannabinol effects on the human endocannabinoid system, can help reduce nausea, prevent sleep apnea, and stimulate the appetite.
  • FDA approved drugs like Marinol already exist which use synthetic THC to relieve nausea and stimulate the appetite in cancer and AIDs patients.
  • Evidence suggests that THC may help potentiate the effects of CBD.
  • Research suggests that THC may be able to help treat glaucoma, muscle spasticity, and insomnia.

Delta 9 THC and Cancer

Despite being best known for its psychoactive effects, Delta 9 Tetrahydrocannabinol might also help provide relief to cancer patients.

At present, several studies show that THC may be effective at helping fight cancer-related pain. When compared against placebos, both THC and CBD have proven as effective as some opioids when used as analgesics. To date, though, using THC to treat cancer pain isn’t officially authorized by the FDA.

How Can I Start Using THC?

At present, THC-only therapeutics and complementary health products containing both THC and CBD are available in some states. However, whether you can access THC will depend on whether cannabis itself is legal in your area for either medical or recreational use.   

Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin: https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/bpb/34/5/34_5_774/_article
British Journal of Pharmacology: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3570006/
National Library of Medicine: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22571976/
Journal of Pain and Symptom Management: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0885392409007878

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