THC is known scientifically as tetrahydrocannabinol and it is the active chemical found in marijuana. THC is the most widely abused drug in the United States and continues to be controversial in both cases of personal consumption and in cases of being appropriate for certain medical uses.
Where Does THC Come From?
THC comes from the marijuana plant also known as cannabis sativa. Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC is the active ingredient in the marijuana plant and the primary ingredient responsible for producing the euphoric effects of the drug.
THC resembles a crystaline that forms on the outside of the buds of the marijuana plant. Some people believe that THC can be used for medical purposes while others believe that there are no known medical uses that are considered safe. Regardless, THC is found in all variations of marijuana though medical marijuana often contains lower or higher levels of THC depending on the preference of the user and why it is being used.
The effects of THC vary from one user to the next but generally include sedation and relaxation. As the THC enters the bloodstream the user will feel the effects of the drug which can last up to 3 hours following the initial onset of effects. If marijuana is not smoked but is rather ingested, the user will feel the effects of THC about thirty minutes after it is consumed and the effects will generally last about 4 hours.
THC causes the dopamine release that takes place in the body to occur more quickly which can lead to heightened euphoria. Many users experience heightened awareness and sensitivity to sound, light and color. Perception of time is normally reduced and the user will feel as if time is taking longer to pass.
Smoking THC will lead to increased thirst and feelings of dehydration. The user will have dry mouth and may experience intense hunger while under the influence of THC. Many people experience heightened anxiety and even panic when under the influence of THC.
Dangers of THC Use
Using THC or marijuana can lead to an array of complications for the user. If the drug is regularly smoked, complications include damage to the lungs, susceptibility to infection, lung cancer and other serious side effects. Ingesting THC will not lead to respiratory problems but can still have implications in terms of increasing fear and anxiety, increasing risk of depression and altering appetite.
Sustained marijuana use, even in low doses, will cause the user to feel a lack of coordination and a lack of concentration. Over time, people who abuse marijuana are more likely to experience memory loss, coordination loss and additional problems related to impaired short term memory. Studies have proven that marijuana causes difficulty and impairment for students that can last for up to a full month after the drug is used, in some cases the aftermath will continue for many months after the last use of the drug.
Increased risk of psychosis and schizophrenia has been reported with chronic marijuana use. THC use can cause adverse problems in work, home and school. Social effects include isolation and may lead to depression. Heavy marijuana users suffer great damage to their social status and may require long term counseling in order to fully turn their lives around post marijuana addiction.
Is THC addictive? Yes!
Marijuana is an addictive substance that will lead to erratic drug-seeking behavior and a series of withdrawal symptoms when the user tries to quit. Although the symptoms of marijuana withdrawal are not dangerous or potentially deadly for the user, there are a number of risks associated with marijuana addiction.
Becoming addicted to THC will likely cause problems in the user’s relationship and may lead to financial implications that make quitting even more difficult. People who regularly smoke pot are likely to suffer an array of consequences including health problems, emotional problems, family and relationship problems, legal trouble, social isolation and individual isolation as a result of their addiction to THC.
The best way to prevent addiction to THC is to not smoke pot. With all of the controversy that is taking place about marijuana and the intended medical uses of the drug, it’s easy to fall into a mindset in which it would seem like smoking pot is ok to some degree but this can lead to physical and psychological dependence which will result in an array of consequences for the user.
Treatment is often required when a user becomes addicted to THC. Counseling and therapy are the most effective means of treatment but medication may be necessary if dopamine levels have been depleted to a point in which they cannot be restored–this is yet another reason to avoid smoking pot.