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What is THC?

Region: Ontario Answer # 2306

THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is one of many active chemicals found in the cannabis plant, specifically in the resin secreted by glands of the plant. THC and CBD (cannabidiol) are the most common compounds found in cannabis products.

How does THC work in the body?

THC is a psychoactive chemical, meaning it is responsible for the way a person’s brain and body respond to cannabis and the changes it causes in someone’s behaviour. THC is known for producing the more “mind-altering” effects, including the ‘high’ or intoxicated feeling most users experience.

THC has the ability to change a person’s behavior by binding to cannabinoid receptors concentrated in certain parts of a person’s brain and central nervous system, particularly those connected with:

  • thinking
  • concentration
  • memory
  • coordination
  • pleasure
  • sense of smell, eyesight and hearing
  • sensory and time perception

THC potency

The amount of THC in cannabis products (expressed as a percentage of milligrams per gram of cannabis) determines its potency. It is the law that THC content must be indicated on the packaging of every cannabis product sold in Ontario. For example, if a product is labelled 10% THC, it has 100 milligrams of THC per gram of cannabis. Generally, THC amounts over 17% are considered to be “strong” and over 20% “very strong”. The highest potency currently available is 33%. Also, it is it is impossible to have dried flower cannabis with 100% THC.

What are the effects of ingesting THC?

The amount of THC in a cannabis product can determine the type of effects it will have on the body, although this can also be determined by other factors, including a person’s age, gender, and medical history; along with how it is consumed, and how much of the product is consumed.

The effects of ingesting THC can vary greatly and include:

  • elation or euphoria
  • feeling of intoxication
  • relaxation
  • pain relief
  • memory impairment
  • increased energy
  • increase in appetite
  • drowsiness
  • increased heart rate
  • dry mouth
  • red eyes
  • slowed perception of time
  • dizziness
  • anxiety
  • paranoia

As well, THC’s specific effects on a person’s mental impairment can affect their:

  • ability to perform certain tasks, such as driving
  • cognitive functions (ability to learn and retain new information)

Medicinal effects

THC in cannabis can also provide therapeutic and medicinal benefits such as:

  • preventing nausea and vomiting in patients
  • increasing appetite
  • treatment for PTSD
  • help with chronic pain
  • help with insomnia
  • help reduce epileptic seizures

And some believe it can benefit other specific conditions, including:

  • Azheimer’s disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Arthritis
  • Migraines
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Glaucoma
  • ADHD
  • Crohn’s Disease

How long do the effects last?

On average, the effects of consuming cannabis containing THC can take up-to 30 minutes after digestion to be felt, and can last about two hours, however, this really depends on a number of factors, including:

  • how much THC was ingested
  • the potency of the THC
  • how it was consumed (smoked, vaped, ingested as an edible)
  • how frequently cannabis is used
  • an individual’s age, gender and biology

For more information, view How long does cannabis stay in your system after consumption?

For legal advice and assistance with a cannabis related matter, contact our preferred cannabis law expert, Harrison Jordan Law .


Harrison Jordan Cannabis ONHarrison Jordan Cannabis ON



								

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