What Is THC And How Does It Get You High?

You may know of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) because the element in weed that, well, gets you high. But the compound THC, one among over 400 found in marijuana, is more complex than that. So, what’s THC, and the way does THC cause you to “high”? Here is evidence from the Experts on THC’s applications.

What is THC?

THC stands for delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol or Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ-9-THC). It’s a cannabinoid particle in cannabis that has been recognized as the main psychoactive component—that is, the substance that causes people to use marijuana to get high.

THC, also called tetrahydrocannabinol, is the compound in cannabis that’s psychoactive and provides you the sensation of being high. However, THC’s chemical make-up, C₂₁H₃₀O₂, is extremely almost like its correlative, CBD, which combats the consequences of THC.

THC is simply one among 400 different active substances and 60 other cannabinoid molecules in marijuana, although THC is the most recognized. 

How is THC produced?

THC is one among many blends found within the resin secreted by glands of the marijuana plant. More of those glands are located around the plant’s reproductive organs than on the other area of the plant. In addition, other compounds unique to marijuana, called cannabinoids, are present during this resin.

It’s hard to pinpoint which marijuana strain is highest in THC because strains aren’t a precise science. In addition, they will vary across sources, and new ones are shooting up constantly.

THC is the psychoactive compound liable for the high marijuana produced. So when people say that a specific weed strain is extremely strong, it’s likely a high-THC strain.

The highest THC strains will produce strong psychoactive effects and should be beneficial for:

  • reducing nausea
  • increasing appetite
  • reducing pain
  • decreasing inflammation
  • improving muscle control problems

How THC Works

THC works by attaching to the body’s cannabinoid receptors throughout the brain and nervous system. As a result, THC is often detected within the body for much longer than most other drug compounds (up to twenty hours after ingestion), although the psychoactive effects only last for a couple of hours.

THC is additionally stored in body fat and organs for 3 to four weeks. Therefore, follicle testing may identify THC after even longer periods of your time, around 90 days. Urine testing is usually used but is an unreliable method of detection.

How Does It Get You High?

THC and other cannabinoid chemicals in marijuana are almost like chemicals that naturally occur within the body. These natural cannabinoids, like “anandamide,” role as neurotransmitters because they send chemical messages between brain cells throughout the nervous system. It affects brain areas that lead to happiness, memory, sensible thinking, concentration, movement, coordination, and sensory and time perception.

Because of this similarity, THC is in a position to connect to molecules called cannabinoid receptors on neurons in these brain areas and activate them, changing various mental and physical functions.

The neuronic communication network that uses these cannabinoid neurotransmitters, referred to as the endocannabinoid system, plays a critical role within the nervous system’s normal functioning.

THC can change the functioning of the hippocampus and orbitofrontal cortex, brain areas that enable an individual to make new memories and shift the main target of their attention.

It also stimulates neurons within the reward system to release the signaling chemical dopamine at levels above typically observed in response to natural stimuli. This flood of dopamine contributes to the enjoyable “high” that occasional marijuana users seek.


The effects of a high from cannabis that’s smoked or inhaled typically last for a couple of hours, though it can take edibles almost that long to start out affecting users. And while cannabis is not the dangerous substance it had been made to be within the 20th century, using it comes with some risk. Lastly, while it’s legal for recreational and medical use in some states, it’s still illegal in many parts of the country.

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About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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