We can argue about the advantages and disadvantages of different cannabis varieties ad infinitum, and when we get bored, the bickering ends with the three magic letters – THC. The level of “pickiness” of the weed is determined by the content of tetrahydrocannabinol in the buds: the higher the more “miraculous”. But Jah’s paths are mysterious: you don’t always have to chase after a high THC level to get an incendiary high.
What is THC in weed?
THC is not the only cannabinoid with psychedelic tendencies. There are more than 30 compounds in cannabis that are responsible for the high and “positive vibe” of rastamen, and the list is far from complete and growing. In 2020, the journal Nature published an article by Italian researchers on the isolation of a previously unknown psychoactive substance from the medical cannabis variety FM2, which turned out to be 33 times more active than THC. Now it is clearer why some weed varieties are much more “potent” than the THC content would suggest – other psychoactive components are not innocent either.
The compound is called tetrahydrocannabinol (THCP). At the same time, scientists came across another new cannabinoid – cannabidiphophorol (CBDP), nicknamed the “cousin of CBD. And how many other interesting substances are hiding in cannabis blossoms, waiting to be discovered, is anyone’s guess.
According to botanists, the biological significance of THC and other cannabinoids is to ward off insect pests and herbivores and to act as a sex hormone in females. Through the efforts of plant breeders, the THC level of cannabis tends to be higher. For example, the weed smoked by Woodstock hippies contained only 1% THC at most; in the late 1990s, the tetrahydrocannabinol content of the buds was close to 5.1%, and in 2008 it doubled.
Today, the strength of recreational cannabis reaches 20-22%; the record THC content of Jar’s Gifts today is 32%. The highest levels of THC are in the Sativa strains; they are usually the dominant variety in recreational cannabis. There are also indica strains that are loaded with tetrahydrocannabinol, but the effects of the psychoactive component are counterbalanced by an equally high concentration of CBD.
Blue Dream (17-24%), Sour Diesel (15-25%), and Yoga OG (up to 28%) are considered the most “fruity” commercial grades. The approximate THC content of the dried florets of a cannabis strain can be found in the description of the seeds in the Sid-banks, but it also depends on the growers’ own efforts: even the best strains, if left unchecked, cannot reach their genetic potential. Cultivation conditions are important for the intensive production of THC:
- optimum humidity levels;
- the right temperature regime;
- active ventilation;
- degree of irrigation;
- root health;
- proper fertilization.
The difference between THC and CBD
As the number of legal marijuana and cannabis users grows, the active ingredients in these plants are becoming increasingly interesting. They include cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). These are two natural constituents that have been found in plants from the genus Cannabis.
CBD is primarily found in hemp extract. It is sold as gels, oils, extracts, supplements, and more.
THC is the main physical active ingredient in marijuana. It is usually ingested by smoking marijuana. It is also available in oils, capsules, tinctures, and even food. In simple terms, it’s exactly what sticks.
The two components interact with your body, but they have different effects.
CBD and THC have many similar medical properties. They can help with many diseases. But CBD does not have the euphoric effect that THC edibles have. Many people prefer to use CBD because it doesn’t have that side effect.
In June 2018, the Food and Drug Organization in the United States approved the first prescription drug Epidiolex as containing CBD. It should be used to control rare cases of epilepsy.
CBD is used to relieve a variety of conditions, such as:
- acute pain;
- psychosis and mental illness;
- intestinal inflammation;
THC is used in cases such as:
- muscle spasms;
- decreased appetite;