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The world is waking up to the huge potential of cannabis. Unfortunately, a lot of the conversation about cannabis and its constituents is based on the major misconception that CBD gives the plant its medicinal properties while THC is just what gets us high. In this article, I'll show you that THC can do much more than just get you stoned.

Welcome to Zamnesia's Editorials, where our writer, Steven, shares his opinion on all things related to the cannabis, CBD, and smartshop industries. Remember, all the views expressed in these articles are those of the author and don't necessarily reflect the opinions of Zamnesia as a company. To share your opinions with our author and our team, make sure to leave a comment.

Cannabinoids are getting plenty of attention these days. Unfortunately, a lot of the conversation surrounding cannabis and its compounds is fueled by the massive misconception that “CBD is a medicinal compound” while “THC is the stuff that gets you high”.

Yes, THC has obvious intoxicating effects. However, this little compound does much more than just get you high. THC is one of the major constituents of cannabis and, as studies are beginning to show, is one of the main drivers behind the plant’s medicinal potential.


THC: A Powerful, Natural Medicine

When people talk about cannabis and its therapeutic properties, they often focus purely on CBD. However, people often forget that THC was one of the original reasons the cannabis plant became recognised as a potential medicine.

Studies show, for example, that THC is very effective at relieving pain. Studies from major medical journals like the Canadian Medical Association Journal1 , the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs2 , and the Clinical Journal of Pain3 have shown that THC is indeed a powerful painkiller.

In fact, a 2010 paper by the Canadian Medical Association Journal showed that a single inhalation of THC-rich cannabis taken three times a day significantly reduced post-traumatic or postsurgical neuropathic pain in 21 different patients. It also improved sleep and was generally well-tolerated by the patients.

The study was conducted by researchers from the Department of Anesthesia at McGill University in Montréal and followed a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, four-period crossover design.

THC has also been shown to be very effective at relieving nausea and vomiting, as well as stimulating appetite. This makes it an attractive treatment option for patients with a wide variety of ailments, especially those dealing with the harsh side effects of chemo, radiation, and antiretroviral (ART) therapies.

In fact, Dronabinol (a prescription medication containing synthetic THC) has been approved by the US FDA as an appetite stimulant and antiemetic for HIV/AIDS-induced anorexia and chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting for over a decade. It is also available in Australia, Germany, Canada, and New Zealand. Now, whether this synthetic drug is as effective than natural, plant-derived THC is another topic altogether.

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The Many Benefits Of Cannabis

Most remarkably, a number of studies show that THC can help fight the growth and metastasis of tumours. And some of this research dates back to the 1990s. In 1998, for example, Cristina Sanchez from the Complutense University in Madrid discovered that THC induces apoptosis4 (cell death) on brain cancer cells.

From there, a number of other studies began exploring THC’s effects on tumours. Some of the first clinical trials on human cancer patients were conducted by Manuel Guzman, Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Complutense University of Madrid. Guzman injected pure THC directly into glioblastomas of nine different patients who weren’t responding to their standard treatments. He found that THC significantly reduced tumour cell proliferation in every participant.

Since then, researchers from Harvard University, the Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, and other renowned universities and medical institutions around the globe have started exploring the antitumour effects of THC and other cannabinoids. For a solid review of this research, I recommend reading this article on CBD, THC, and Cancer5 by ProjectCBD.

Besides fighting pain, nausea/vomiting, and potentially cancer, THC has also been shown to promote neurogenesis, thereby helping patients with conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Studies also show that THC can effectively relieve PTSD symptoms, sleep issues, and much more.


THC Doesn’t Always Make You High

I think the evidence listed above is more than enough to show that THC does a hell of a lot more than just get us stoned. But, I’m gonna take things one step further in saying that THC doesn’t even have to be intoxicating at all.

The growing trend of microdosing has shown us exactly that. In places where cannabis is legal and regulated, people are growing ever fonder of taking small, controlled doses of THC because they deliver all the health benefits the compound offers, without the intoxicating effects. This can be as little as 1mg of THC at a time—enough to deliver some sub-perceptual benefits, with little-to-no psychotropic side effects.


Cannabis Isn’t All About Getting Stoned

We’re living in a very interesting time in which we’re finally seeing decades of cannabis prohibition come to an end. And with this change comes the rediscovery that cannabis is about much more than just getting stoned. This plant, which has grown alongside humankind for thousands of years, houses hundreds of compounds with incredible therapeutic value. And THC is, without a doubt, one of the most important medicinal compounds in cannabis.

Steven Voser
Steven Voser
Steven Voser is an independent cannabis journalist with over 6 years of experience writing about all things weed; how to grow it, how best to enjoy it, and the booming industry and murky legal landscape surrounding it.
We are not making medical claims. This article has been written for informational purposes only, and is based on research published by other externals sources.

External Resources:
  1. Smoked cannabis for chronic neuropathic pain: a randomized controlled trial -
  2. Cannabis as an adjunct to or substitute for opiates in the treatment of chronic pain. - PubMed - NCBI -
  3. The Effect of Medicinal Cannabis on Pain and Quality-of-Life Outcomes in Chronic Pain: A Prospective Open-label Study. - PubMed - NCBI -
  4. Error - Cookies Turned Off -
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