Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a chemical found in marijuana. In fact, this chemical is responsible for most of the psychological effects that weed causes. However, what is THC, and what kind of impact does it have on the body?
What Is THC?
THC is a cannabinoid that occurs naturally in cannabis plants. In people, it causes psychological effects. In plants, it and other cannabinoids are secondary metabolites. They have no primary role in the development of the plants.
If THC doesn’t help the plant develop, why does the plant produce it? Researchers believe that secondary metabolites act as an immune system for the plant. They defend it from parasites, pests, and other predators.
Unfortunately for cannabis plants, cannabinoids don’t keep people away like they do other creatures. In fact, people seek out these plants for their THC.
THC Effects on the Body
Why does THC cause psychological effects in the body? The reason is that it binds to cannabinoid receptors in the brain. In fact, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) says that THC acts similar to the cannabinoid chemicals. The brain naturally produces those chemicals.
Cannabinoid receptors are in the area of the brain that regulates pleasure, memory, thinking, and perception. When THC attaches to them, it activates them, which affects people’s perceptions and senses.
THC also stimulates the cells in the brain that release dopamine. The increase in dopamine creates a euphoric effect. It also interacts with the hippocampus, which is the area of the brain that makes new memories.
What Risks Does THC Pose?
Aside from the basics of what is THC, it’s important to learn that there are risks of using it. According to the NIDA, it can cause many health problems.
For example, THC can trigger schizophrenia symptoms. It also impairs motor skills and interferes with making decisions. THC can lead people to make poor choices that put themselves and those around them in trouble too.
Like most drugs, people can develop an addiction to marijuana. It develops as a result of the increase in dopamine that THC causes in the body. Any activity that increases dopamine levels can cause addiction. For this reason, people can develop the disease to shopping, having sex, gambling, and other pleasures.
When people develop an addiction to marijuana, they have to go through THC detox. Like drug alcohol detox, it’s best to seek professional help for THX detox. With that said, the effects of THC withdrawal are less intense than those of alcohol withdrawal.
Let Us Help You Overcome Marijuana Addiction
Now you know more about what is THC and the problems that it can cause. Steps to Recovery offers Pennsylvania addiction recovery services that help you overcome marijuana addiction. Of course, we provide more than that, and some of our other programs include:
- Individual and group therapies
- Intensive outpatient rehab
- Dual diagnosis treatment
- Long-term sobriety goals
- Life skills training
- Family therapy
Don’t wait to start THC addiction recovery. Learn more about what is THC. Reach out to our friendly staff today at 267.719.8528.