What is THC: Benefits & Side Effects

What is THC: Benefits & Side Effects

Learn about how Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) effects your body, how is it different than CBD and the benefits and side effects with medical treatment.

Tetrahydrocannabinol, otherwise known as THC, is one of the main ingredients in medicinal cannabis products available in Australia.

But what do we know about it, and how is it different than cannabidiol (CBD)?

THC is a cannabis medication that requires approval from a doctor and the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). It treats sleep apnea, pain, anxiety, nausea and more. It is well known as the “high” component in weed that is popular with recreational use. Over 15,893 patients in Australia receive THC treatment from cannabis clinics.

In our previous articles, we covered What is Cannabidiol (CBD)?, and The Easy Way To Access Medical Cannabis.

Table of Contents.

In the past years, THC has gained a lot of popularity, and all credit goes to its amazing health benefits. THC is a compound that is found in cannabis. And it is psychoactive and gives a high feeling.

However, THC is very popular nowadays, but still, most people don’t have proper information regarding its medical use.

Patients often confuse tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) with cannabidiol (CBD) and some people don’t know what exactly it is.

In this article, you will get to know everything about THC. Along with this, you will also know how it is different from CBD. So if this sounds compelling, then keep reading this article.

What Exactly Is THC?

As you know that THC is a compound in cannabis and it has some similar traits of CBD. It is one of the 85+ chemical compounds called cannabinoids.

It is found in the cannabis plant and responsible for making your cerebral high. This chemical is secreted by the marijuana plant gland and it is found around the reproductive areas, as well as in the resin glands of the flower.

THC is used by humans to get a high feeling, whereas, the marijuana plants use it to protect itself from bacteria, parasites, and viruses.

THC affects different things like pleasure, memory, thinking, sensory, concentration, movement, and time perception.

Apart from this, THC has received a lot of appreciation in the medical field as it is an excellent cure for treating depression, anxiety, eating disorders, epilepsy, and even eating disorders.

The exciting part is that it has a similar structure and molecular mass as CBD, which is its counterpart and helps in diluting its effects.

How Is THC Different From CBD?

Infographic: Difference between CBD and THC
Infographic: Difference between CBD and THC

This is one of the common questions that most people have in their minds. Due to the similar chemical structure and molecular mass, many people think that both THC and CBD are the same.

However, they exhibit some similar properties, but they also have some differences. CBD (Cannabidiol) and THC (Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) are two of many cannabinoids found in marijuana.

The main difference between THC and CBD is that THC gets you very high while CBD doesn’t.

Why does THC get to have an intoxicating effect, and CBD does not?

Well, the simple answer is that the atoms in both are arranged differently, and THC interacts with those parts of the body that are responsible for making you high while CBD interacts with parts that decrease the inflammation.

To help you understand better, here is the brief differentiation between THC and CBD in terms of:

1 - Getting High

This is one of the significant differences between THC and CBD. As mentioned above that both THC and CBD interact with different receptors, that’s why only THC can make you high.

In other words, medicinal cannabis or marijuana that has more percentage of CBD won’t make you high while taking the medication.

On the other hand, medical marijuana with more percentage of THC will cause the person a high while taking it.

Apart from this, as you know that both THC and CBD are found in marijuana but still there are some scenarios that make them different.

For example- if a person takes medical marijuana with CBD dominance, then it is using CBD from hemp. THC is present in cannabis, and people take it from that source.

2 - Legality

THC is a schedule 8 drug and requires approval from the TGA department for doctors to be able to prescribe it to patients.

CBD, however, does not require this as it is a schedule 4 drug. A schedule 4 drug is considered a prescription medicine that only requires a doctor’s approval.

The reason for this is that THC is more prone to drug abuse due to its “high” effects. CBD does not have any significant, mentally stimulating or intoxicating effects.

The laws are always changing, and you can find out the latest about CBD and THC by discussing this with your regular doctor or cannabis clinic.

Find out how many cannabis plants you can grow for personal use here (state by state guide).

3 - Medical Benefits

Both CBD and THC are known for their amazing medical benefits, and they both have many of the similar benefits.

CBD and THC work in combination to get relief from pain and several of the same conditions.

The main difference between them in terms of benefits is that THC causes the euphoric effects that do not occur with CBD.

THC helps in treating conditions like- glaucoma, muscle spasticity, low appetite, nausea, etc.

CBD helps in treating conditions like- mental disorders, seizures, inflammation, migraines, etc.

4 - Ways To Take THC

Doctors in Australia discourage the smoking of cannabis, so there are multiple different forms of medicinal marijuana with THC available:

  • THC oil
  • dry cannabis
  • patches
  • oral sprays
  • edibles
  • capsules/pills

The most common form of medicinal cannabis with THC sold today is in the form of oil.

The majority of people like to use CBD through vaping, but this is not healthy for those who are dealing with some pre-existing conditions.

Some years ago, only a few methods were available to take them, but with the advancement in time and technology, they are available in different forms.

Staring with CBD, it is available in supplements, gels, gummies, etc. THC can come in smokable products, capsules, brownies, tincture, etc.

5 - Side Effects

The big question around THC is the side effects and how the effects differ from CBD.

The short term side effects of THC (marijuana) include:

THC doesn’t have any known significant side effects, and it is considered safe by many top professionals, but it there may be side effects when taking it in combination with other medicines.

Though teenagers and youth are more likely to experience extreme psychiatric effects because their brains are still developing.

Medical Benefits Of THC

THC has become very popular for medicinal treatment and now people are shifting from the traditional opioid drugs to medicinal cannabis THC medication because of their excellent medical benefits.

They can be used to treat kind of problems, that’s why they are expanding their reach all over the world very rapidly.

Here are some of the foremost medical benefits of THC that made it popular across the globe:


One of the best benefits of THC is that it has incredible anti-inflammatory properties, which is very effective in treating a lot of diseases.

Most diseases such as depression, arthritis are caused due to inflammation. That’s why many professionals recommend the use of medicinal cannabis (THC) to cure these problems as THC will reduce the swelling.

According to different studies, the use of THC can reduce the production of chemokine and cytokine, compounds that are responsible for triggering inflammation.

Rather than traditional medicine blocking the use of these compounds, medicinal cannabis naturally prevents the production of these temporarily, resulting in safer treatment with minimal side effects.

Positive Effects On The Brain

THC is very beneficial for the brain, and proper use of THC can make the brain healthier.

This does not have the same positive effects on young adults or youth.

THC activates our brain’s CB1 receptors. These are responsible for our memory.

Ongoing study shows that THC may be able to treat and prevent Alzheimer’s due to its ability to remove the Toxic Alzheimer’s protein.

Short term and long term effects may differ, as short term effects of THC may affect spatial memory, but studies show long term use may improve poor spatial memory.

Increase In Appetite

THC also helps in increasing the appetite, which is very helpful for people who are dealing with diseases that cause in loss of appetite.

Diseases like HIV, dementia, and hepatitis affect the appetite, which can result in severe malnourishment.

Many studies have found that THC interacts with the same receptors that secrete the ghrelin hormone, which is responsible for increasing hunger.

Apart from this, THC can also make the food taste better, and if used correctly, then these hunger elevating effects of THC can improve the quality of life.

Pain Relief

The most popular and frequent use of THC in medicinal cannabis is its ability to reduce pain.

Opioids and heavy pain killers have been used to treat chronic pain for decades.

A shining light in the pain management area due to THC have little-to-no addictive traits and has the same ability to treat chronic pain.

There are millions of people who experience chronic pain, and most of them suffer from nerve-related pain.

Use of THC results helps in the activation of the pathways of the central nervous system that blocks the pain signals. Even a lower dose of THC can reduce the pain intensity by 30%.


Along with being a fantastic pain-relief medication, THC is also considered as a useful antioxidant tool.

THC is very effective in fighting with UVB light, which causes oxidative stress.

This is the reason why it is used as an anti-stress and anti-stress medication. Not only this, but it is also used as an anti-bacterial remedy to treat various types of infections.

Some studies were done at MIT, and they found THC can even kill the bacteria that most drugs cannot.

Enhanced Senses

However, the higher dosage of THC can weaken your senses and cause memory loss, but if you take it in moderation, then it is very effective in enhancing the senses.

Though many people have opted out for THC because of its psychoactive effects but people who have used this compound also claim that they have seen amazing changes in their body and it has also helped them improve their senses.

Effective Sleeping Aid

For all the people who are dealing with any kind of sleeping problem, THC is one of the best remedies. According to different researches, THC can improve the quality of your sleep and help you sleep better.

There are many who have used THC for treating sleeping problems such as insomnia and got terrific results.

The oral dosages of THC are very useful, and it can help the insomniacs sleep faster. Along with this, it also improves breathing while sleeping, which reduces sleep interruptions.

Proper use of THC can calm your mind and relax your body.

It is also very effective for people who are dealing with depression and anxiety.

Though it is a great compound, but it is better to use it in moderation and consult a doctor before using it.

How THC Affects Your Body

After discussing all the fundamental information regarding THC, it’s time to shed some light on its effects on the body. When you take THC, it goes to your mind through your bloodstream within minutes.

As you know that cannabinoid chemicals already occur in the body, it mimics them and attaches itself to the cannabinoid receptors.

The cerebral cortex, basal ganglia, and cerebellum are parts where these areas are found. All these areas are linked to the processes of motor movements, coordination, memory, thinking, and concentration.

Now some of you might be thinking why these areas are more affected by THC, well this happens because of the molecular structure of THC as it ties together to your neurotransmitters.

It mimics anandamide, which is a cannabinoid found naturally in the body. Once it gets attached, it takes the place of anandamide and starts giving signals to release more dopamine.

This is the hormone that makes you feel good, and once it is planted, it can cause different effects such as calmness, alertness, light-headedness, etc.

In short, each person experiences different effects of THC on their mind and body.


So this was all the information you should about know THC. However, there are many types of Cannabinoids available in the market, but THC and CBD are very popular.

Both have a similar molecular structure and used to treat different problems such as depression, nausea, loss of appetite, etc.

Talking about the differences, the main thing that makes them different from each other is the ability to make you high.

CBD doesn’t give you a high as THC does. Apart from this, THC provides amazing health benefits, and it can be used for different diseases.

It is a great remedy for people who have a low appetite, it won’t only increase the appetite, but it will also help in overcoming eating disorders.

THC is very beneficial for your brain as it can improve your memory and promote brain growth. I hope this article will clear all of your doubts and give you some valuable information.

This article was researched using these and other references:

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