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THC Health Benefits: Moving Beyond This Cannabinoid’s Psychoactivity

THC health benefits

Apart from getting you high, THC can also heal. Surprised?

As we learn more about the health benefits of cannabis, there’s new light being shed on its most psychoactive compound, tetrahydrocannabinol.

THC is usually mentioned in the context of its psychoactivity, but many of you will be surprised to learn how much THC actually contributes to marijuana’s healing potential.

Though cannabis research has been very limited in the past decades, a lot of new studies about THC health benefits have emerged in recent years.

For example: Did you know that THC does not “burn” your brain cells, as was once believed?

Au contraire, some studies (though on mice) suggest it in fact restores our cognitive functions that deteriorate with age.

Glad we got your attention, so let’s move on.

What is THC exactly?

THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is that element in cannabis that has psychoactive properties.

Also, THC imitates the brain’s natural chemical anandamide in its structure. Anandamide is a neurotransmitter that binds to cannabinoid receptors and serves to maintain homeostasis in our organism.

So, instead of the brain’s normal interaction via neurons, when THC is present in the organism, it sends different signals to the neurons, and completely changes the process of how your brain works.

THC has an effect on how you think, feel, it can benefit (or play with) your memory, affect your movement, coordination, as well as your concentracion.

For these reasons, it is not recommended to drive or operate heavy machinery while under the influence of THC.

Although it can benefit your whole neurological and the immune system, be careful when you use it, especially if you are a beginner.

Take your time to do some research about THC before you start.

In the beginning, choose less potent strains.

That may be easier said than done, because weed has gotten much stronger in the past few decades than it used to be, with over 25% of THC in some strains.

How to use THC

Whether you want to smoke THC or use it as an edible, you have to decarboxylate it first.

This process is a necessary step in making THC active, and it is the first step in your consummation of it.

In short, decarbing your weed means heating it up, because a THC-A molecule that exists in raw cannabis has to “lose” one CO2 atom via heat, in order to turn into the psychoactive THC – which is definitely something you want.

THC in medicine, now

Although CBD is currently a more popular cannabis compound when it comes to medical usage, THC can potentially win the battle if the research of its many benefits continues. That is why cannabis activists are fighting so hard to legalize the plant and enable more serious research.

One example of the possibilities of THC are its synthetic forms such as Dronabinol that was approved by the FDA a long time ago for the treatment of nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite. Alleviating these symptoms can help patients fighting cancer or AIDS.

Cardiovascular diseases

The mechanistic studies have shown that THC may have an impact on reducing cardiovascular disease risks.

People who suffer from atherosclerosis or any sort of hardening of arteries have experienced improvement using THC.

The problem with such patients is that they have increased levels of foam cells in the main artery, which can lead to decreased cholesterol levels in one’s blood system.

Users who used even small doses of THC showed improvement in their condition.

THC actually reduces the accumulation of foam cells and boosts the immune function in the heart, which then leads to the prevention of atherosclerosis.

Prevention of cancer

Probably the most important medical benefit of THC is its potential in fighting cancer.

There is a decent amount of evidence that shows THC can help fight cancer or at least certain types of it.

For example, glioblastoma is deadly and very difficult to treat. It’s a form of brain cancer with not many treatment options.

But some pilot studies on rats have shown that directly injecting THC into the glioblastoma tumors may decrease the size of the tumor, increase the life expectancy and, in some cases, even cure the tumor.

One cellular study has shown that THC also helps with dealing with pain related to tumor, especially with terrible headaches.

Some studies provide interesting preclinical results that support the assumption that THC may stop the progression of breast cancer cells.

Also, THC may help decrease the chances of getting lung cancer, and some studies show that smoking cannabis can improve lung function.

THC may also be very helpful when dealing with prostate cancer and decrease cancer cells growth.

Overall, THC can be very helpful with different forms of cancer, but we need further research to better understand the extent of this powerful compound’s healing potential.

THC can help with appetite, nausea, and pain

THC and other cannabis compounds have proven to be very effective in treating nausea, which is a side effect of chemotherapy.

If you are a patient suffering from HIV, THC can stimulate your appetite and help with the pain in general.

THC is not the only cannabinoid that helps with pain. CBD is increasingly used to treat chronic pain. That is why cannabis products, such as CBD and THC oils and edibles, are commonly used for chronic pain relief.

Just have in mind that, when it comes to THC oil, quality is always worth paying for. If you live in Canada, there are many reputable THC oil manufacturers but it’s always best to go to a regulated, well-tested producer (such as Redecan with their Reign Drops).

THC can help with many more conditions – MS, insomnia, etc.

Consumption of THC in patients suffering from multiple sclerosis can lead to reducing the symptoms.

If you are using THC products regularly, it can reduce pain and muscle stiffness, which will greatly improve your quality of life.

Cannabis and THC administration can also help decrease the amount of time a person needs to fall asleep, and increase stage 4 of sleep as well.

For epileptic patients who use THC, it can help prevent seizures.

One epidemiological study has found that regular cannabis use is associated with 16% lower insulin levels in comparison to former cannabis users, and 26% in comparison to people who never used any THC products.

This study showed similar results for other insulin resistance levels, suggesting that THC increases insulin sensitivity in all of its forms.

Cannabis is known for calming its users down and controlling their mood, as well.

With that being said, it can help children with autism deal with their often violent mood swings, and help them control it.

This calming effect is also beneficial for patients who are treated for depression.

Next on our list is glaucoma. People suffering from this condition feel an extra pressure on the eyeball which is very painful. THC can help reduce the pressure, providing temporary relief to patients.

People who have ADHD have trouble focusing on one task at a time. They tend to have problems with their performance and concentration.

THC has shown a lot of potential in helping people with ADHD/ADD.

It is also considered a much better alternative to Adderall and Ritalin, which are really heavy drugs.

PTSD, in simplest terms, is a condition where one feels fear caused by some sort of trauma in the past, and this is where THC also can help a lot.

Cannabis helps control the fear, preventing one’s mind from going into overdrive.

If all this is not enough, new studies and independent, personal alternative treatments are showing that THC can potentially help with many more conditions and diseases.


THC has already proven to be a lifesaver for many people across the globe, despite its continuous illegal status.

Many HIV/AIDS or cancer patients are able to eat and sleep once again, and to live the rest of their days in peace.

Even if you’re totally healthy, THC, along with other cannabinoids, can improve your wellbeing.

Follow how the research progresses, talk to people who have experienced the “miracles” of THC, and don’t hesitate to explore its medical possibilities, if your situation requires it.

Just make sure you do it cautiously, learn to microdose, and you should be all set.

About the author
Helena Miles

Experienced journalist with a decade-long experience of researching cannabis. She has been featured in many prominent outlets, such as The Growth Op, National Post and The Province.

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