tetrahydrocannabinol thc

THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol)

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.


There are over a hundred compounds found in the cannabis plant that belong to the class of substances called cannabinoids. The two main cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant are Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD). To compare THC vs CBD, we must first understand the concept of cannabinoids.

What are Cannabinoids?

Cannabinoids are 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, while THC and CBD are examples of exogenous cannabinoids.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)

THC typically has an intoxicating effect on users; however, it has also been found to exhibit medicinal benefits for specific conditions.

CBD (Cannabidiol)

Cannabidiol, otherwise known as CBD, is a cannabinoid that has been found to exhibit many medicinal benefits for many varying conditions.

How Do Cannabinoids Work?

The human body contains an endocannabinoid system, which are cannabinoid receptors located throughout the central and peripheral nervous systems and in the brain. Cannabinoids interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system which responds these chemical messengers. The endocannabinoid system is responsible for the psychological and physiological effects of cannabinoids.

Cannabis Oil

Cannabis Oil, otherwise known as Medical Marijuana is made from marijuana, a variety of the cannabis plant thatcontains both THC and CBD. For a more in-depth discussion on Cannabis Oil, view our article on Cannabis Oil.