Delta 9 THC: The Cannabinoid You Need to Know About
There are over 100 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, and each one has its own unique properties. Today, we’re going to focus on Delta 9 THC, or delta 9 tetrahidrocannabinol. This cannabinoid is responsible for the psychoactive effects of marijuana, and it’s one you need to know about if you’re interested in using cannabis therapeutically. To get a better understanding of this cannabinoid, we will look at the history of THC, the endocannabinoid system, and how THC affects us.
The History of THC
First, a little background on Delta 9 THC. Delta 9 THC was first isolated in 1964 by Israeli scientist Raphael Mechoulam, an organic chemist and one of the most distinguished Cannabis researchers. Mechoulam is credited as the first person to isolate and totally synthesize Delta 9 THC (Delta 9 THC is found in highest concentrations in marijuana, but it can also be produced synthetically for medical use). He also discovered the endocannabinoid system and its role in regulating various bodily functions.
The Endocannabinoid System
The endocannabinoid system is a network of receptors in the brain that are activated by cannabis. The system is responsible for a variety of functions, including pain relief, mood regulation, and memory formation. The endocannabinoid system consists of three main parts: cannabinoid receptors, endocannabinoids, and enzymes that break down cannabinoids.
Cannabinoid receptors are found throughout the body, but are most abundant in the brain. There are two main types of cannabinoid receptors: CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are mainly found in the brain and spinal cord, while CB2 receptors are found mostly in the immune system.
Endocannabinoids are molecules that activate cannabinoid receptors. The best-known endocannabinoid is anandamide (also discovered by Raphael Mechoulam), which is produced naturally in the body. Anandamide binds to CB1 and CB2 receptors, causing them to activate.
Enzymes that break down cannabinoids are also important in the endocannabinoid system. These enzymes degrade anandamide and other endocannabinoids after they have served their purpose. This allows your body to process the cannabinoids, after which you will stop feeling their effects.
The Effects of Delta 9 THC
Delta 9 THC is the cannabinoid responsible for marijuana’s psychoactive effects, or the “high” feeling users experience. It binds to cannabinoid receptors in the brain, affecting areas such as coordination, pleasure, memory, and thinking. Delta 9 THC can also affect mood and behavior, leading to euphoria and relaxation.
Delta 9 THC can also have physical effects, including increased heart rate and reduced pressure in the eyes. It can also lead to temporary problems with coordination and decision-making. These effects can vary from person to person, depending on their tolerance and how much Delta 9 THC they consume.
In addition to its psychoactive effects, Delta 9 THC has been found to have medical benefits when used in conjunction with other cannabinoids (commonly referred to as the entourage effect). It can be used to alleviate pain, reduce nausea and vomiting, increase appetite, and even treat certain mental health conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression.
THC’s Role in the Body
Delta 9 THC binds with cannabinoid receptors in the brain, producing its well-known psychoactive effects. But it also binds with cannabinoid receptors throughout the entire body and can have various therapeutic and medical benefits. These include pain relief, reduced inflammation, and even potential anti-cancer properties. Delta 9 THC has been found to be effective in treating a variety of medical conditions, including chronic pain, muscle spasms, nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy, and even as an appetite stimulant.
Marijuana containing THC has been legalized for medical and recreational uses in the majority of states in the US. This has led to increased interest and research on the therapeutic potential of Delta 9 THC and other cannabinoids. This research has led to more synthetic creation of THC, available as a prescription medication called Marinol. Marinol’s active ingredient is Dronabinol, a synthetic version of delta 9 tetrahidrocannabinol. It’s commonly used to treat symptoms of HIV/AIDS, cancer, multiple sclerosis, and other conditions. It can be ingested orally as a pill or liquid.
In order to really understand the effects of cannabis, it’s important to have a basic understanding of cannabinoids like Delta 9 THC. By looking at the history of this cannabinoid, its relationship with the endocannabinoid system and how it affects us, we can start to see why delta 9 THC is so important in terms of medical marijuana. Delta 9 Tetrahidrocannabinol is the primary cannabinoid that has been consumed, researched, studied, and put to use for both medicinal and recreation purposes. We hope you learned about the benefits of Delta 9 THC. For more information on how THC is extracted, the types of extracts that can be made from Delta 9 and other cannabinoids, check out our blog.