The debate over marijuana use continues to grow as many states start legalizing it for recreational use. The federal government still bans this substance, though rarely enforces this law in states that allow recreational marijuana use. Much of this argument settles around THC, an element common in marijuana. As a result, a large number of people may wonder, “What is THC?” and whether or not it is dangerous to users.
What is THC?
THC is an oil found in marijuana and other plants related to it. Although there are many different oils in cannabinoid plants, this oil and CBD are the most prominent. THC is the one that most marijuana users want when they smoke pot or eat edibles. That’s because the oil produces the mind-altering “high” common with the drug. Other cannabinoid plants, such as hemp, do not have THC and cannot provide that feeling.
When you ingest THC, it alters your mind in several ways. As it is a depressant, your mental process will slow down, as will your breathing and heart rate. Your perception of time may alter, causing you to either feel like time is rushing or has slowed to a halt. Understanding what others are saying may become very hard, and focusing is nearly impossible.
That said, some types of medicines use either CBD or synthetic THC to manage health problems like certain types of epilepsy and the pain from chemotherapy. Additionally, some marijuana users claim that THC can help with anxiety, glaucoma, high levels of pain, and even irritable bowel syndrome. That said when answering, “What is THC?” it is essential to know that it is by no means 100 percent safe.
Are There Dangers to Marijuana Use?
Marijuana legalization advocates often state that the THC dangers claimed by the federal government are greatly exaggerated. There is some truth to this claim, but some advocates go too far and claim that marijuana is harmless or 100 percent safe. No substance, even prescribed medications, that changes your body and mind is without dangers. Just a few issues THC may cause include:
- Troubles with memory and learning
- Difficulties with making decisions or reacting to things
- Worsened coordination, even when not smoking
- Decreased brain development and even brain shrinkage
- Lung agitation and heavy coughs
- Some mental health troubles, such as paranoia or anxiety
These concerns may occur in some people sporadically and not at all in others. The unpredictable nature of THC’s effects can make each experience slightly different. Thankfully, research has shown that many of these issues may be temporary if a person quits smoking. However, quitting THC use may not be as easy as it seems. For those doing research into the question, “What is THC?” may find that it has more of a risk for addiction than pro-marijuana advocates lead them to believe.
Can THC Be Addictive?
When researching, “What is THC?” you may have read marijuana advocates stating that THC is in no way addictive to heavy users. Unfortunately, that claim isn’t entirely accurate. While it is true that THC doesn’t produce the physical dependency common with opiates, it can be mentally addictive. Studies show that around 1 in 10 marijuana users become addicted in this way – a number that rises to 1 in 6 if they start before the age of 18.
So, how does THC trigger mental addiction? Often, people become dependent on the calming effect that THC produces in their minds. In a sense, they use it to self-medicate emotional and physical health problems. Unfortunately, they are treating only the symptoms and not the disease itself. As a result, they become dependent on THC and may even worsen their mental and physical health problems by not getting proper medical treatment.
Get Help for Addiction
If your research into the question, “What is THC?” has led you to believe that you are addicted to marijuana, please contact us at Crestview Recovery right away. Call 866.262.0531 to get access to our outpatient or inpatient care in our acclaimed 90-day program. And since we treat all substance abuse, you shouldn’t have a hard time quitting marijuana. So, verify your insurance to get started today.