THC EFFECTS: Side Effects, Risks and Overdose
Marijuana is an herb. It contains chemicals called cannabinoids that affect the central nervous system. Cannabinoids are found in the highest concentration in the leaves and flowers, the parts that are used to make medicine.
Some people use marijuana recreationally to create a sense of well being or to alter the senses. It is either taken by mouth or smoked (inhaled).
What is CBD Or Cannabidiol?, THC vs. CBD
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the most common but very important chemical compounds in the cannabis plant. Unlike the THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) which get people high, CBD is completely non-psychoactive, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, and Surprisingly, it can also reduce the psychoactive effects of THC..
THC is well known and most powerful chemical found in marijuana.
Marijuana consist of two two active ingredients or chemicals: THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). THC is the psychoactive chemical that affects how you feel by creating the “high.” while CBD does not.
THC strength depends on a number of factors, which includes the strain of cannabis and the conditions in which the plant grows.
The immediate effects of taking THC may be sensory or mood-changing, though there are other side effects that you should be aware of.
How Does THC Work?
THC quickly crosses the blood-brain barrier and enters the brain.
Edibles will last longer and feel more intense than smoking or vaporizing. But the effects of inhaling THC will last from 45 minutes to some few hours, edibles can last for 6 to 8 hours or more in the body.
THC and Your Brain
These receptors are mainly group into two major categories known as CB1 and CB2 and are made to interact with the natural Endocannabinoids which the brain naturally produced inside our body.
The effects of THC include among other things an initial relaxed and mellow feeling, eyes may dilate and other senses may be enhanced. Other known effects include a mix of feelings such as elation or happiness, anxiety or unease, relaxation and, when used medicinally, pain relief for your body.
THC interferes with how information is processed in the hippocampus thereby changes thinking, memory, perception of time, and cause hallucinations or delusions. The more immediate effects of THC are typically felt 10 to 30 minutes after consumption, please note that psychomotor impairment may continue after the perceived high has stopped.
These initial effects on the brain may wear off in an hour or two, but the chemicals themselves stay in the body much longer.
Note that the half-life of marijuana or the length of time it stays in the body ranges from 24 hours to 10 days, depending on the amount of THC consumed, amount of time that THC stays in the body varies from person to person.
What are the Psychoactive Effects of THC?
- Feelings of euphoria and relaxation
- Time distortion
- Intensification of sensory experiences (e.g. while watching TV or listening to music)
- Increased socialization (laughter and being talkative)
- Increased appetite (the “munchies”)
The overall effect that THC has when consumed is a form of intoxication with generally positive feelings.
Medicinal value of THC – Medicinal uses
Despite the psychoactive THC effects, research has also bring it’s medical value to light. The most remarkable are the findings on THC as a potential ability to combat cancer. Researchers at the Complutense University of Madrid have found that THC actually causes tumor cells to auto-digest themselves in animal models, meaning that THC may play a vital role in drastically reducing the tumor size and prevalence and THC is a potent anti-inflammatory.
Below are a brief list of conditions helped by THC.
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Cancer: Including brain, breast, pediatric cancers, skin cancers, and more.
- Crohn’s, IBS, IBD
- Chronic and neuropathic pain
- Multiple sclerosis and other muscular disorders
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Sleep apnea
- Tourette syndrome
General benefits of THC include:
- Stress relief
- Improved mood
- General pain relief
- Social bonding
What are the Side Effects of THC?
Common side THC effects:
- Anxiety or panic attacks
- Increased heart rate
- Red/bloodshot eyes
- Dry mouth
- Sedation or drowsiness
- Cognitive impairment (memory and attention)
- Motor impairment (coordination, reaction time, driving)
In severe cases/overdose:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Psychosis (paranoia, delusions or hallucinations)
Marijuana use can also have a negative impact on short-term memory, attention span, motor skills, reaction time and skilled activities like driving.
Generally speaking, recreational doses of THC can affect driving performance similar to that of alcohol use. Studies show that driving while under the influence of marijuana will negatively impacts attentiveness, perception of time and speed. More worrisome is that, your ability to draw from past driving experiences is compromised when you smoke weed.
Please note that in extreme cases (such as overdose), consuming THC can lead to severe effects such as nausea, paranoia, agitation or hallucinations. Users can also develop a tolerance and may experience less THC EFFECTS.
What are the Long-Term THC EFFECTS?
Those who are chronic or regular cannabis users may have have possible long-term THC effects such as:-
- Lung problems (such as bronchitis)
- Heart problems
- Cognitive impairments
Also, some changes or decline in cognitive skills may not reverse themselves even after stopping cannabis usage.
Marijuana smokers are liable to suffer from daily cough, phlegm, more constant cold and/or bronchitis. Smoking marijuana can also compromise the lung’s immune defenses and increase the risk of infection in their body.
The smoke from marijuana itself contains 50 to 70% more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than tobacco smoke. Though, no definitive links have been made between marijuana use and lung cancer.
When marijuana is ingested into your system, the heart rate can increase dramatically and remain elevated for up to 3 hours.
Note that cannabis smoking will increase heart rate by 20 to 100%, increase blood pressure while sitting and decrease blood pressure when standing.
Also, anyone with high blood pressure, heart arrhythmia or other cardiac disease, the risk of altered heart rhythms or heart attack may be increase in your body.
What Happens If You Ingest Too Much?
THC can trigger a relapse in schizophrenic symptoms, according to NIDA.
THC may impair driving or similar tasks for approximately three hours after consumption and it is the second-most common psychoactive substance found in drivers, after alcohol, reports the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Those taking medical marijuana are instructed not to drive until it has been established that they can tolerate it and conduct motor tasks.
Marijuana may cause problems for younger people, and long-term problems. “Some of the side effects of THC include a decrease in IQ, memory and cognition, especially in younger people,” said Dr. Damon Raskin, medical director at Cliffside Malibu Treatment Center. “However, the jury is still out on long-term effects, as not enough research has been done on it yet. There is some speculation that it could impair fertility in men and women and also compromise a person’s airways, but the studies are still not clear.”
A study by the University of Montreal published in the journal Development and Psychopathology in 2016 found that early use of marijuana can affect teens. Smokers that start around age 14 do worse on some cognitive tests than non-smokers. The study on almost 300 students found that pot smokers also have a higher school dropout rate. Those that waited to start around age 17 did not seem to have the same impairments.
NIDA reports that rats exposed to THC before birth, soon after birth or during adolescence have shown problems with specific learning and memory tasks later in life.
THC EFFECTS Of Overdose
Edibles, foods that contains THC, have become a tremendous problem in states that have legalized pot due to overdosing. Also the average THC content of cannabis has increased as well as the potency or strength of the cannabis because of the advanced system of technology.
Stronger strains of marijuana may increase your exposure to THC and the risk of adverse side effects.
However, according to the National Cancer Institute, you cannot die because of a marijuana overdose. Here’s why:
“Because cannabinoid receptors, unlike opioid receptors, are not located in the brainstem areas controlling respiration, lethal overdoses from Cannabis and cannabinoids do not occur.”
Severe Side Thc Effects
We have side effects like shaking, unease and, in rare cases, an extreme psychotic reaction may result from ingesting THC and may lead some to seek treatment at a medical hospital.
Paranoia, delusions or hallucinations are Psychotic symptoms that result from an overdose of THC generally last for a short duration, but some last for several days mostly caused by smoking,dabbing which can lead to psychosis,ingestion of an edible such as a couple of cookies.
How To Prevent Overdose
One of the best ways to avoid an THC overdose, is to take small amount, especially when unsure about the cannabis product you are using.
Drink lots of water to reduce some of the uncomfortable effects such as dry mouth. Also make sure you avoid combining cannabis with other drugs or alcohol.
Always consult your doctor before consuming THC.
Because of the psychoactive THC effects, We always recommend CBD to people having health challenges.
What is CBD Or Cannabidiol?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the most common but very important chemical compounds in the cannabis plant. Unlike the THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) which get people high, CBD is completely non-psychoactive. CBD has been proven to help as a Digestive Aid, combats tumor and cancer cells, psychosis disorders, inflammatory disorders, analgesic, neurodegenerative disorders, Depression disorders, anxiety reliever and even prevents many types of seizures!
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- Combats tumor and cancer cells
- Combats Depression disorders
- Combats inflammatory disorders
- Combats analgesic and neurodegenerative disorders
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- Reduces risk of artery blockage
- Suppressing appetite
- Reduces blood sugar levels
- Reducing vomiting & nausea
- Kills or slows bacterial growth
- Reducing contractions in small intestine
- Treats fungal infection
- Inhibits cell growth in tumors/cancer cells
- Relieves anxiety
- Tranquilizing, used to manage psychoses
- Reduce seizures and convulsions
- Suppresses muscle spasms
- Promotes brain tissue growth in alcoholism
- Promotes bone growth
- Promotes brain tissue growth in alcoholism
- Increases efficacy of the immune system
- Treats psoriasis
- Reduces nervous system degeneration
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