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What is THC
Tetrahydrocannabinol. Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol. Delta-9 THC. There are a few different scientific names for it, but most people simply know it as THC. The main active ingredient in marijuana, THC is most famous for getting people high.
How THC Works
To fully understand how THC works, it helps to know about cannabinoids. These are the active ingredients found in marijuana. THC is one of over 480 compounds produced by marijuana plants. Dozens of these compounds (including THC) are classified as cannabinoids.
Different cannabinoids work in different ways. They do this by mimicking natural brain chemicals and plugging themselves into cannabinoid receptors in the brain. THC, for example, mimics the effects of a neurotransmitter called anandamide that creates pleasure, kills pain, and eliminates depression.
While THC plugs into the CB1 receptor to create these effects, CBD plugs into the CB2 receptor, where it reduces anxiety, promotes relaxation, and also acts as a painkiller. CBG actually inhibits the CB1 receptor (and can lessen the high caused by THC). THCV, another cannabinoid, helps control neurological issues such as seizures. CBN is useful to encourage bone growth and to prevent the muscle convulsions caused by conditions like multiple sclerosis.