Science

THC: its effects, the difference with CBD

Posted on November 19, 2021

in collaboration with Sophie Captier Valette (addicted)

THC is the molecule in cannabis that gets you high, but that’s not all. Dr. Sophie Captier Valette, addicted to the Parc de Castenau-le-Lez clinic, defines all aspects for us.

What exactly is THC?

THC (Delt-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol) is a cannabinoid contained in the cannabis plant also called hemp that contains more than 400. Among those identified and that we know best, today we find THC, CBD (Cannabidiol), CBG (Cannabigerol) and CBN (Cannabinol). “Cannabis is a plant that dates back to 8,000 years before Christ, explains Dr. Sophie Captier Valette, addicted to medicine. It was used very early in medicine to relieve pain in various pathologies such as endometriosis, digestive pain, rheumatism, gout, malaria, constipation … It was not until 1964 that the scientist Raphaël Méchoulam highlighted that there were several types of cannabinoids. Hemp is a very delicate plant. It is grown, because of the humidity, because of the heat, because of the quality of the soil, it will produce THC or CBD or any other cannabinoid. “

What is the difference between THC and CBD?

THC is the molecule of cannabis that is recherched by consumers for psychoactive effects, so that CBD is suitable for treatment vertus (aide à l’endormissement, procuration d’un extreme détente du corps et de l’esprit, diminution the pain).

THC modifies the state of consciousness of the consumer, so its consumption is not legal in France while that of CBD will be authorized. “Unlike other European countries, France is beginning to be interested in the therapeutic and beneficial effects of cannabis containing CBD,” says the expert. We are in the minitel stage on the consumption of CBD, he regrets An experiment has been carried out in France since March 2021 in which CBD has been tested in the treatment of 5 pathologies: multiple sclerosis, neuropathic pain, cancer pain, palliative care and refractory epilepsies ”.

CBD comes in three forms: the floral top, the oil, and the e-liquid. “As caregivers, we recommend inhaling the flower head with a vaporizer (other than a vaporizer or e-cigarette) in order to smoke clean somehow and not have the toxic effect of burning carbon monoxide when rolling a CBD joint associated with tobacco “. .

THC, on the other hand, mainly comes in three forms. Herb or floral cup (dried female flowers that form buds), resin (extraction of resin from female cannabis flowers mixed with materials such as rubber, inexpensive henna to increase their mass and therefore profitability) and oil extracted with solvents.

A fast and stimulating effect

The THC user experiences muscle relaxation, a state of euphoria, and a state of intoxication. “She seeks to anesthetize herself to forget, not to think anymore, describes Dr. Sophie Captier Valette. She also seeks all the analgesic and hypnotic effects that the molecule provides.”

The effect occurs quickly within the first 15 minutes and lasts for a few hours. “It all depends on how it is dosed,” says the specialist. But the truth is that the effect is faster when smoking THC because the smoke passes through the gaseous pathways. “

There is no risk of overdose.

But also harmful side effects for health.

THC tends to make you hungry. Beware of the paradoxical effect because when consumed in too large a quantity or too frequently it would tend to excite and suppress the appetite. “In high doses, it also increases the risk of stroke, lung problems …”, indicates the specialist.

There are the risks of a “bad trip”. “It is not simply about having a bad experience when using cannabis, stresses the addict. It is also the risk of seeing underlying psychiatric pathologies such as psychosis, depressive states, acute delusional puffs… ”.

THC: memory in jeopardy

Consuming THC affects memory. There are acquisition problems, learning problems, but also memory loss. “A study shows a decrease in IQ and growth in young people who started smoking around the age of 15 and regularly,” says the specialist.

Therefore, the deleterious impact is felt in the acquisition of knowledge among high school and university students, but also in the professional performance of adults.

A fairly long withdrawal from THC

THC induces psychological dependence, not physical. Weaning lasts 6 weeks. “THC remains in the body for 6 weeks, most precisely stored in fat,” says Dr. Sophie Captier Valette.

First there is a physical phase of approximately 2 weeks where the pro-consumer will have negative ideas, the level of THC drops in the body which can cause sweating and muscle pain.

The next 2 weeks mark a psychological phase during which the consumer is faced with their emotions and reality.

Then finally comes a more social phase where he rediscovers everything that happens around him. “Hospitalization is not always systematic, it depends on the willingness of the patient to wean autonomously”, explains the specialist. If you feel capable of this, you will see your doctor periodically during the weaning stages (weekly or every 15 days). days). If it is too difficult, you can be hospitalized. Then he is isolated from his environment and especially from the ritual he has established (taking his dose, accommodating himself, driving …) without having to resort to substitute medications ”. .

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