If you’re interested in the world of cannabis, you’ve probably heard of the cannabinoid THC, the major “active ingredient” in the cannabis plant. But have you ever wondered, “What does THC stand for?” If you’re ready to take your knowledge of this fascinating plant-based powerhouse to the next level, you’re in the right place! In today’s post, we’ll answer some top questions, including:
- What is THC?
- How does THC affect our bodies?
- How long does THC stay in your system?
Ready? Let’s get this class rolling!
What is THC? An Introduction to Cannabis’ Major Player
We humans have relied on the cannabis plant for many thousands of years, using its fibers for clothing and rope and its psychoactive and medicinal properties to treat many of the same symptoms and conditions we lean on it for today. Of course, those ancient physicians didn’t know that it was a group of related compounds called cannabinoids such as THC and CBD—as well as the plant’s aromatic terpenes—that were doing the heavy lifting.
These days, scientists are hard at work unraveling cannabis’ secrets. That’s how we know that THC is a phytocannabinoid, a natural compound produced by the cannabis plant that interfaces with the endocannabinoid system inside our bodies. A network of receptor and signalling cells, the endocannabinoid system is one of our most vital regulatory networks, responsible for helping us regulate such functions as:
- Appetite and metabolism
- Immune response
- Proper sleep function
- Communication between cells
What is THC: What are Some THC Benefits?
Research indicates that THC helps us fight pain in several ways, both by reducing inflammation at injury sites and also modulating pain signals as they travel through the spinal cord to the brain. And while the evidence is somewhat contradictory, some studies—as well as strong anecdotal evidence—suggest that THC may help alleviate insomnia. THC may also diminish the sensation of nausea and stimulate the appetite, both of which are important benefits for those undergoing treatment for cancer and other diseases.
And let’s not forget THC’s most famous effect: The psychoactive “high” that helps so many of us relax, kick back with friends, or just blow off a little steam.
What is THC: How Long Does THC Stay in Your System?
If you’re wondering how long the effects of THC last, a new study suggests the window is from about three hours from a light inhaled dose to as long as ten hours from an edible or dabbing session.
If, on the other hand, you’re curious about how long THC is detectable in a standard drug test—the most commonly accepted answer is: Up to 90 days in hair, anywhere between three days to a month or longer in urine, up to 48 hours in saliva, and up to 36 hours in blood.
Oh, and that reminds us! We almost forgot to answer a very important question: What does “THC” stand for? That’s easy! It’s “delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol.”
So…now you know why we just call it plain old THC.