The nation has experienced a significant shift in how it views the use of marijuana. Some states now make it possible to use marijuana and other related products for medical and recreational use. THC is the reason why the drug produces its hallucinogenic effects. You may now be wondering, “What is THC?” it’s the ingredient found in marijuana plants that influences sections of the brain in charge of controlling memory.
What is THC?
THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, induces the brain to start producing more of a neurotransmitter called dopamine. It affects the way our body experiences pleasure. The excess of dopamine causes people to experience heightened feelings of euphoria. It also causes disruptions in the way the brain processes incoming information.
Some products affect people for more extended periods than others. Most people experience some effects for two hours after ingesting or inhaling a product containing THC, which include:
- Experiencing a lot of happiness
- Relief from feelings of pain
- Having issues with their short-term memory
- Heightened feelings of anxiety
- Feeling lethargic, like you’re moving underwater
THC can also influence a person’s mother skills. That could cause issues with them performing basic functions like walking or even reaching for the TV remote. A study from the University of Montreal showed that some teens perform worse than their peers on cognitive tests after using these products.
Are There Risks Associated With Using THC?
The widespread use of marijuana and other THC can make it seem there are no risks involved. However, answering the question, “What is THC” means gaining an understanding of the side effects. Some governing bodies like the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) have highlighted the potential for THC products to exacerbates or trigger symptoms of mental illness.
It’s a big concern because people often use THC products to self-medicate from mental disorders. The way a person takes it influences how long they experience the after-effects. THC products called edibles often contain higher levels than smoking marijuana.
Because the products end up staying in the gastrointestinal tract longer, the effects of THC can last anywhere from six to eight hours. Because of that, people can experience an overdose from taking in too much.
Whether someone experiences an overdose depends on the concentration of THC in a product. For example, the concentration in hashish oil can be as high as 20 percent. If someone is unaware of how much THC a product contains, that could lead to a situation where they need to be taken to a hospital for treatment.
Can You Become Addicted?
When you’re asking the question, “What is THC?”, you may wonder if it’s possible to become addicted. The answer that becomes complicated depending on who you ask. It is known that heavy long-term abuse of THC products can cause some individuals to develop a use disorder. That may be exacerbated if a person is self-medicating a mental health disorder or also consuming alcohol at the same time.
One reason for the rise in people having issues with is that today’s products contain higher concentrations of THC than those from the past. People may not realize they have a problem until they attempt to stop using their favorite products. They may experience withdrawal symptoms, including anxiety, irritation, and feelings of restlessness.
Find Help at Oceanfront Recovery
Once you’ve answered the question, “What is THC” and realized you or a loved one who may have a problem, turn to Oceanfront Recovery for help. We have programs and treatments to help people struggling to break free of a dependency on THC products.
To learn more about our various therapies or programs, call Oceanfront Recovery at 877.296.7477.