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What is THC?

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What is THC?

Both the marijuana and hemp plants have what are known as cannabinoids. In fact, marijuana has close to 400 of these chemicals in its makeup. The two most known cannabinoids are THC and CBD. The human brain also has naturally-occurring cannabinoids in it. When a person ingests marijuana, the chemicals in it attach to the cannabinoid receptors in your brain, and take over the processes that the naturally-occurring chemicals would generally utilize. When the cannabinoids in marijuana connect to the receptors in your mind, they affect such processes as pain, mood, sleep, and memory. However, many people ask, what is THC? If you need addiction treatment, Red Oak Recovery® can help you. At our substance use treatment center, we offer a range of treatment options,


In order to know what is THC, you must also understand what CBD is and how both work in the human brain. These two chemicals have very similar composites on the molecular level, yet their effects can be opposites. THC is the chemical in marijuana that is responsible for the high that those who ingest it feel. On the other hand, CBD does not produce that same high feeling, but it provides many of the benefits found within the marijuana plant.

THC can be dangerous for some psychiatric patients, as it can increase the chances of delusions and hallucinations. This side effect is often more pronounced in people who have experienced the high through edibles than in those who smoke marijuana. When THC enters your bloodstream through the digestive tract, the body increases the effects and it takes longer to exit your system. In most cases of a marijuana overdose, it is because someone got too much THC through eating an edible.

Your Brain and THC

Your brain produces chemicals called neurotransmitters that are responsible for sending messages from your brain to other parts of your body. Dopamine is one of these chemicals. To transfer signals from the brain, the neurotransmitter needs to attach itself to something, which is called a receptor. What is THC doing when it enters your mind? THC attaches to the cannabinoid receptors in the brain that control messages regarding things like thinking, memory, pleasure, coordination, and time perception. This reaction causes your brain to release dopamine, which or “the feel-good chemical.” It is this that produces the “high” from THC. Unlike THC, CBD targets different receptors and does not trigger the Serotonin release because it attaches to a different type of receptor.

Both Positive and Negative Effects

So what is THC: helpful or harmful? The answer is both. Studies have shown that CBD is more widely used in medical marijuana because it offers many health benefits without producing the feeling of euphoria that THC produces. THC, because it targets the areas of the brain that deal with pleasure, has a more significant role at our addiction treatment center. THC has been approved to be part of medicine that doctors use to treat recurring seizures. In many cases, the results have been life-saving for the individuals.

In other instances, however, THC can be harmful. It makes it difficult for a person to operate a motor vehicle safely. It also has been known to trigger symptoms in individuals who are prone to schizophrenia. For now, CBD seems to be more beneficial as a whole.

We Understand

At Red Oak Recovery® is used to our clients asking what is THC, and how does it compare to CBD? Marijuana use is prevalent in many drug addictions and may be the first drug of choice for younger individuals. You don’t have to deal with addiction alone. Contact us 866.457.7590 to start on the road to recovery. Don’t let addiction have control of your life any longer. You are strong enough to beat addiction and travel a path to sobriety.