THC is the most well known component of cannabis plant, though. It’s the reason we feel euphoric, lifted or high. So what does THC do, aside from feeling really good? A myriad of medicinal usages have been discovered either anecdotally or via studies. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has some potent effects against cancer, heart disease, pain, nausea, and insomnia. It can also help with seizures, insulin sensitivity and improve brain function in certain ways. Read on to learn more about THC and its benefits.
What is Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)?
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), also delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol, is the prominent component of cannabis responsible for its psychoactive properties. THC needs to be heated in order to be efficiently utilized by the body.
Medical use of cannabis dates back as far as 16th century B.C. by the Egyptians, and subsequently by the Greeks and Romans.
THC Helps Relieve Nausea and Vomiting
The most well-known cannabinoid in marijuana: THC, has shown to be extremely useful in relieving chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.
A study done in 2001 found that chemotherapy: “patients who smoked cannabis showed a 70 – 100% relief from nausea and vomiting, while those who used a Δ9-THC capsule experienced 76 – 88% relief.”
THC Helps Prevent Epileptic Seizures
In a rat model, THC completely abolishes epileptic seizures.
THC May Inhibit Tumor Growth and Help Prevent Cancer
Glioblastoma multiforme is a deadly and hard to treat a form of brain cancer with limited treatment options and a low life expectancy. Direct injection of THC into the glioblastoma tumors inhibits tumor cell proliferation and increased the median life expectancy by about 24 weeks. A cellular study found that CBD enhances this effect of THC.
Treatment of breast cancer cells in mice showed that low doses of THC (0.5 mg/day) served significant anti-tumor properties. THC reduced growth, number, and overall blood vessel number in the breast tumors.
In mice, THC also successfully inhibits ErbB2-driven breast cancer through inhibition of Akt and mTOR signaling pathways.
However, THC use may not be beneficial in breast cancer types that do not harbor cannabinoid receptors. In addition, THC may suppress anti-tumor immune responses.
THC inhibits EGF-induced lung cancer cell migration in cell lines and metastasis in mice.
In a survey of people who are habitual THC users but not cigarette smokers, the use of THC did not increase the incidence of lung cancer, although negative outcomes from smoking THC were not ruled out.
The interplay between cannabinoid receptors and prostate cancer prognosis is complex. Some studies found that THC inhibits cell growth, while others found it enhances cell growth.
THC Helps with Pain Management
In mice, THC may have a pain relieving effect by potentiating the glycine receptor, including neuropathic pain.
However, human studies showed mixed results regarding THC’s effectiveness for pain management.
Mice that consumed THC increased the activity CB1 receptor and release of the agmatine. The release of agmatine increased pain tolerance while also increasing overall body temperature.
THC Acts as a Bronchial Dilator in Asthma Patients
It turns out the main cannabinoid in marijuana, THC, significantly improves ventilatory function in asthma patients.
However, smoking is not the best idea for health, especially for an asthma patient because it can irritate and damage the delicate respiratory system.
Instead, if you want to use marijuana in a less harmful way than smoking, what we always advice is to use a dry herb vaporizer.
THC Helps with Alzheimer’s Disease
THC has been shown to reduce amyloid plaque levels, reduce inflammation, and improve mitochondrial function in cellular models.
One of the key processes which lead to loss of brain cells in Alzheimer’s disease is Aβ aggregation.
THC has been shown a very effective inhibitor of Aβ aggregation. In this study, it’s shown to be even more effective than the currently approved prescription drugs for AD.
THC Can Lower Arterial Blood Pressure in Patients With Hypertension
Hypertension or high blood pressure is one of the major risk factors for all kinds of diseases mainly related to the heart and arteries.
We all heard marijuana can calm you down, but did you know it can also calm down your blood pressure?
A study done all the way back in 1979 found that THC caused a decrease of arterial blood pressure in hypertensive subjects.
THC May Prevent Cardiovascular Disease
Marijuana use is typically associated with other unhealthy behaviors such as a high-calorie diet, smoking, and other drug use. However, mechanistic studies found that THC itself (without those unhealthy lifestyle factors) have shown that THC may help reduce cardiovascular disease risk.
THC Could Help with Multiple Sclerosis
Oral ingestion of THC in patients suffering from multiple sclerosis (MS) reduced symptoms. The maximum dosage of 25 mg of THC over the course of 15 weeks reduced pain and muscle stiffness. Also, perceived notions of healing in patients with MS increased after taking THC, improving the quality of life.
THC Increases Insulin Sensitivity
An epidemiological study found that current marijuana use is associated with 16% lower fasting insulin levels in comparison to past marijuana users and 26% in comparison to people who never used marijuana. This trend was also similar for other insulin resistance metrics, suggesting that THC increases insulin sensitivity.
On the other hand, in both mice and humans, blocking the cannabinoid receptor 1 increases insulin sensitivity in an adiponectin-dependent manner
THC Treats Inflammatory Bowel Diseases
Individuals with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis can find some relief with the use of cannabis. THC and cannabidiol are known to help enhance immune response while also interact with cells that play a vital role in the functioning of the gut. Cannabis helps block off bacteria and other compounds that cause inflammation in the intestines.
THC Could Help with Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a bone disease which is characterized by an increased risk of fractures caused by a reduction in bone mineral density.
Cannabinoid receptor CB2 is thought to stimulate bone formation and inhibit bone resorption, and this receptor gets activated by cannabinoids found in marijuana (especially THC). A 2009 study concluded that existing research points towards a potential role for “cannabinoid drugs to combat osteoporosis”.
THC Can Help Insomnia and Increase Deep Sleep
Cannabis and THC administration appears to decrease the time it takes to fall asleep and increase stage 4 sleep, but decrease REM sleep.
THC Helps with Tourette’s Syndrome (TS)
TS is an inherited neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by physical and vocal tics.
Like with many inherited disorders there’s no cure for TS. But a 2014 study found that THC can cause a significant tic reduction in TS patients.
THC Can Be an Effective Anti-Depressant
Depression is a complex mental problem, and should always be treated by looking at the deeper underlying causes.
However if you’re depressed options can run short, and a temporary boost in mood can lead to mental clarity which can, in turn, lead to different perspectives on the causes of your depression.
In 2007 researchers found that at low doses, THC acts as an effective anti-depressant by increasing the feel-good neurotransmitter: serotonin in your brain.
But there’s a catch:
At higher doses, THC had the opposite effect and increased feelings of depression. So don’t just go blindly using marijuana to treat your depression, and always consult with your doctor before going on a apth of self-medication.
THC Can Prevent Brain Damage After Strokes and Trauma
In 2014, researchers found that if you have low amounts of THC in your system, you have 80% less chance to die from head injuries compared to someone without any THC in his/her system.
Yes, those and many more all have to do with THC and several of those reasons are why cannabis activists have worked so hard to legalize this wonderful plant that was so irresponsibly prohibited. THC is a blessing, not only for our personal enjoyment, but for our health. Even if you’re fit as a fiddle, THC goes to work with the other cannabinoids making your body a better place to live in, and that deserves some serious recognition. THC is a true lifesaver and don’t forget…it also gets you high.
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