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Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)

This guide is written for the layperson and provides relevant information and study references concerning THC in general, with some specific context for those living in South Africa. Its purpose is to assist those looking for the best medicinal cannabis option for themselves or others. For this purpose, we have kept medical and scientific jargon to a minimum and included explanations for the terms that we have used.

What is THC?

Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol, otherwise known as THC, is the cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant that has a psychotropic or intoxicating effect in users, it has also been found to exhibit medicinal benefits for various conditions such as Tourette’s, sleep apnea, appetite loss, asthma and many pain-related disorders.

What are Cannabinoids?

There are over a hundred compounds found in the cannabis plant that belongs to a class of substances called cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are a class of chemical compounds that act on cannabinoid receptors in cells that modulate the release of neurotransmitters in the brain. There are two types of cannabinoids: endocannabinoids which originate inside the body, and exogenous cannabinoids which arise outside of the body. 2-AG and anandamide are the two most significant endocannabinoids, and exogenous cannabinoids include the THC and CBD found in cannabis.

There are over a hundred compounds found in the cannabis plant that belongs to the class of substances called cannabinoids. The two main cannabinoids in cannabis are Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD). CBD typically accounts for over 40% of the total cannabinoid content in the cannabis plant. CBD is well known for its many medicinal benefits. THC is well known because it typically causes a sensation of intoxication in users.