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Understanding What THC Is and the Role it Plays in Addiction

We’ve watched in recent years as most states have made changes allowing for the legalization of marijuana use. Some limit it to medicinal purposes, while others also allow for recreational use. What is it that causes marijuana to have the hallucinogenic effect that it does on the brain? To answer that, you’d have to ask another question, “What is THC?” Tetrahydrocannabinol is the ingredient in marijuana that influences the parts of the brain controlling memory, thought, perception of time, coordination, and feelings of pleasure.

What Is THC’s Chemical Effect?

It’s important to have a clear answer to the question, “What is THC” because of how it affects individuals. THC causes the brain to produce dopamine, a neurotransmitter that plays a significant role in the way we experience pleasure. It produces feelings of euphoria and interferes with the way the hippocampus processes information, the part of the brain in charge of helping us form new memories.

Using products containing THC does cause some side effects that last up to two hours, including:

  • Feelings of happiness
  • Anxiety
  • Hallucinations
  • Issues with short-term memory
  • Lethargy
  • Pain relief

Most THC effects can be felt within 10 to 30 minutes of ingestion. It’s possible to still experience problems with motor control for some time after taking THC.

What Is THC’s Risk To The User?

Marijuana use is commonplace among many segments of the population. There’s been debate over the years about the safety of consuming the plant and whether it’s truly safe for general use. You’ll get different responses when asking the question, “What is THC, and how does it affect people?”

Scientists have expressed concern about people who may take the drug who have underlying mental disorders like schizophrenia. They’ve stated that THC could trigger a relapse of related symptoms in patients.

There’s also concern about the effect that THC has on an individual’s motor skills. People under the influence of THC could feel the effects for up to three hours after consumption. That could impact them while driving or performing other potentially dangerous tasks. Most doctors recommend that medical marijuana patients refrain from driving for this reason until the effects on them can be accurately gauged.

Is it Possible to Overdose on THC?

The potential of overdosing on THC depends on its potency. Certain baked products, called edibles, typically contain higher concentrations of THC than most marijuana. Once it gets into the gastrointestinal tract, the effects are more intense and last for more extended periods, sometimes six to eight hours. Some people have been rushed to the ER after experiencing an overdose from consuming too much THC.

Certain products like hemp have a very low amount of THC, around .5 percent. Other products like hashish oil have concentrations of up to 20 percent. If a person is unaware of the THC levels of a product they’re using, they could potentially experience an overdose. Because everyone has different experiences with THC products, you could get mixed responses when asking, “What is THC?”

Can You Become Addicted to THC?

Some people do develop a disorder, where they find themselves unable to stop consuming products like marijuana that contain some level of THC. Some believe that the rising levels of THC found in cannabis and other products play a role. There still needs to be more research done to determine the severity of the problem and to accurately assess the effects of THC on the brain.

Many people turn to THC products for the same reason others may indulge in drugs or alcohol. It’s a way of relieving stress or self-medicating an underlying mental health disorder. The ongoing debate around the potential of forming an addiction adds to the complexity surrounding the use of marijuana and other THC products.

Get Help With THC Dependency at Atlantic Recovery Center

If you feel that you’ve developed too much of a reliance on THC products, it never hurts to talk to a professional.

Atlantic Recovery Center offers programs geared towards helping you with your addiction issues.

Make a choice to get help by calling us at 1-866-824-5193.