The cannabis industry has exploded in recent years with more and more states approving medical marijuana programs, and a growing list of places where it is legal or decimalized on the state level. As the industry expands more and more is being learned about cannabis. New information comes to light every day that gives us a deeper understanding of the many ways cannabis can be used to benefit humans.
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Cannabinoids – What are they?
Cannabinoids are naturally occurring chemical compounds found in cannabis plants, including both hemp and marijuana. Cannabinoids bind with our own endocannabinoid systems, creating the different effects one feels after consuming cannabis. Most people in the cannabis community have heard of cannabinoids, there are over 113 known cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. The most well-known is THC, tetrahydrocannabinol. THC is the chemical compound in cannabis responsible for the mental high people feel. Another well-known cannabinoid is CBD, cannabidiol, which does not cause a mental high. Hemp is higher in CBD, marijuana is higher in THC, both plants contain THC and CBD.
Along with these two more commonly known cannabinoids, there are a plethora of newly identified cannabinoids that cannabis consumers may hear being used. Some refer to naturally occurring cannabinoids, others refer to synthetic cannabinoids developed in a lab setting, THCh is one term people may hear, and it refers to a naturally occurring cannabinoid that was just recently identified and is starting to be studied.
What is THCh?
THCh or tetrahydrocannabihexol was first discovered in Italian cannabis research in 2020. Researchers studying other cannabinoids in plants isolated the compound. A synthetic variant known as parahexyl had been created in a lab setting in earlier research, however, in 2020 THCh was identified in the cannabis plant. THCh is also naturally present in hemp.
THCh has a slightly different structure than THC, making it easier to bind with the endocannabinoid system. THCh has a 6-carbon alkyl chain as opposed to THC’s 5. This means that THCh is far more potent than THC, and likely works with it to create the feelings of euphoria and “high” associated with cannabis. THCh is believed to be at least 10 times more potent than THC. THCh works alongside THC and other cannabinoids to create a strong, euphoric experience.
Where does THCh come from?
Currently, there is a lot to learn about THCh. Manufacturers have been able to extract THCh from hemp plants, and then use that in products like vape cartridges. Currently, all products containing THCh are mixed with other cannabinoids to create a synergistic effect.
THCh is found in cannabis plants, specifically in the resin that coats the buds and leaves. The resin contains high levels of THCh and other cannabinoids, as well as terpenes and flavonoids. THCh is extracted from cannabis resin using various solvents, such as ethanol or butane.
How does THCh make you feel?
THCh is a psychoactive compound, meaning that it affects the brain and central nervous system. It binds to receptors in the brain called CB1 receptors. When THCh binds to these receptors, it stimulates the release of dopamine, which creates the “high” that users feel. THCh can also produce anxiety and paranoia in some users. THCh is also thought to be responsible for the medicinal benefits of cannabis, such as pain relief and reduced inflammation. THCh is a psychoactive compound, meaning that it affects the brain and central nervous system.
THCh binds to receptors in the brain called CB1 receptors. When it binds to these receptors, it stimulates the release of dopamine, which creates a sense of euphoria. THCh can also produce anxiety and paranoia in some users. It has shown some benefit when tested in mice as it aids in blocking pain and in pain relief.
Researchers have yet to be able to extract enough THCh to appropriately test it on humans in a lab setting, so there is much work to be done before we fully understand THCh and what it does. We do know that when used along with other cannabinoids, it is a very potent, powerful chemical compound.
Cannabis and cannabinoids have been used for many generations to manage different medical conditions in humans. Learning more about these plants, and the chemicals they contain can help us understand how to better use them.
As with any cannabis product make sure to read all the labels for recommended dosage. Do not be afraid to ask questions about products, what they contain, their potency, and where they came from.
A good rule of thumb when consuming any cannabis products is to start small. Cannabis and cannabinoids affect each person differently. Factors like body chemistry, weight, experience, and more all come into play. Start small and increase slowly as you learn what a product will feel like.
Medical Cannabis and THCh
Medical cannabis programs are growing across the United States and the world. THCh may have medical implications especially in the areas of managing pain. Until more research is done, we will not truly understand the full potential of THCh, and other similar compounds found in cannabis. Keep in mind that this is a new area for both research and consumers and that things may change as we learn more.
Medical cannabis is being used to manage and alleviate symptoms from a range of medical conditions. It is not something that a casual consumer should try to do alone, if you are looking to learn more about medical cannabis try connecting with Leafy Doc, a resource that is here to support the cannabis consumer as well as guide patients through the medical marijuana card process. Leafy Mate can also help with the process of connecting with medical marijuana doctors.
THCh is a relatively rare compound to find alone, so do not feel like you are missing out on a super cannabinoid if you cannot find any. As we learn more it is likely more products will be developed. There are plenty of well-tested and reliable cannabis products on the market to try and enjoy. Again, remember to use caution and go very slow when it comes to products with THCh, it can be far more potent than traditional THC-based products.
THC is the primary psychoactive ingredient in cannabis with a few exceptions, such as Durban Poison. THC may fall under the legal definition of marijuana according to most state laws.
In order to have access to medical cannabis you must have a qualifying condition and meet certain requirements including being over the age of 18. There are some states that allow minors or those younger than 18 to qualify for a medical card if they meet certain conditions or requirements. If you live in a place where that is allowed seek out resources from Leafy Mate on how best to go about it.
THCh has been linked to pain relief and reduced inflammation in both mice and humans when used along with cannabinoids like CBD and THC. This means that it may be able to help manage symptoms of conditions like arthritis, lupus, and other autoimmune disorders.
Despite not being fully understood in humans, THCh has been shown to have positive health implications in mice. For this reason, it may still hold promise for the future when it comes to managing symptoms of certain medical conditions.
Natural occurring cannabinoid levels can vary greatly based on how it is grown. This means that cannabis products can also contain high levels of THCh if they are grown under different conditions than what is considered ideal for most cannabinoids. Not all cannabis plants will produce THCh and most seeds that do not contain any THC at all must be cultivated with care in order to produce this cannabinoid.
Many people who are new to cannabis think that the most potent products are also the best. This is not always true. Not all THC, THCv, THCa, etc are created equal and you should never assume that just because a product has high levels of these compounds that it will produce the desired effects or even have any positive effects at all. The molecular formula can vary greatly based on the plant it comes from as well as how it was grown and cured.
There are many potential medical benefits but so far there isn’t enough research to know exactly what those benefits may be or whether they exist in humans at all. While some studies show pain relief in mice, THCh is yet to be proven as a reliable treatment for pain in humans.
THCh has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and can help with arthritis and other autoimmune disorders according to some studies done on this and THCv which are two of the most common cannabinoids found together. Once more research is completed we will know more about the benefits. THC, THCa, THCv, THCb all interact with the ECS differently and may produce different effects depending on your specific makeup or needs.
If you are looking for medical cannabis products there are plenty of well-tested and reliable cannabis products on the market that don’t contain large amounts of THCh. While these products may not present the same benefits they also don’t carry THC risks and can deliver reliable relief of symptoms. As we learn more it is likely that cannabis products containing THCh will become available in states where medical cannabis is legal.
As we learn more about the compounds produced by the cannabis plant, there is a good chance that new things will be discovered or created like a synthetic cannabinoid. It remains to be seen how effective these drugs will be when compared to, non-THCh based THC, THCa, THCv and THCb. It also remains to be seen how effective it is in humans who do not have conditions or diseases that cause inflammation or autoimmune disorders.
If you are interested in trying a this or other cannabinoids make sure you know what it is first and what the potential effects may be for you as an individual before diving wholeheartedly into cannabis use without knowing what you’re getting yourself into.