THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) was first isolated as an aromatic terpenoid in Israel, 1964. As the main psychoactive substance found in the plant Cannabis sativa, a number of studies show that THC provides medical benefits to cancer and AIDS patients by increasing appetite and decreasing nausea. Additionally, it has been shown to assist patients suffering with multiple sclerosis and glaucoma with its ability to reduce pain and spasticity.
The effects of marijuana smoke begin immediately after inhaling, producing a high that can last anywhere from 1 to 3 hours. The intensity of the high depends on several factors including the amount of food consumed within the last 24 hours and the user’s levels of tolerance. THC can be cooked into food or brewed into a tea but inhaling marijuana smoke is the quickest way in which THC enters the blood stream.
Common physiological short term side effects include euphoria (as it stimulates the brain to release the chemical dopamine), increased appetite, lethargy and dizziness. Psychological side effects can include disorientation, relaxed inhibitions, paranoia, short term memory loss and slowed learning.
Studies have shown the existence of several negative side effects associated with constant, long-term use of marijuana. These long-term side effects may include respiratory problems, possible lung infection, cancer of the respiratory tract, learning disabilities, behavioural disorders, short-term memory loss and a possible development of psychosis and/or schizophrenia, particularly amongst those who use cannabis before the age of 15. Studies have shown that critical skills related to attention, memory and learning are significantly impaired amongst heavy users of marijuana as a long-term side effect.
There have never been any fatalities reported from overdosing on THC or cannabis in its natural form. However, the associated side effects of use such as disorientation and relaxed inhibition could result in poor decision-making skills and possibly lead to the self-endangerment or the endangerment of others. Smoking or ingesting large amounts of THC can result in extreme fatigue, paranoia and possible psychosis.
Withdrawal symptoms from THC or cannabis include occasional reports of insomnia, hyperactivity and a decrease in appetite.
The DrugCheck® Drug of Abuse Test yields a positive result when the concentration of THC/Marijuana in urine exceeds 50 ng/mL.