Understanding the Effects and Variations of THC: Differentiating Its Impact

Ron Kilgarlin
3 min readMay 17, 2023

Gaining a comprehensive understanding of THC and its characteristics is of utmost importance. THC, when consumed, induces psychoactive effects that lead to a sense of elation, altered cognitive processes, and even delusional states. However, it can also trigger anxiety, tachycardia, and short-term memory deficiencies.

It’s crucial to note that THC can remain in the system for days or even weeks, depending on the frequency and method of consumption. Moreover, it’s essential to be aware that THC consumption can result in failed drug tests, including those required by most employers.

Revealing the Nature of THC
THC, which stands for delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, is the psychoactive component found in marijuana that elicits the euphoric sensation experienced by users. It serves as the primary compound in medical cannabis, used for managing chronic pain and alleviating nausea.

Within the marijuana plant, THC is one of 113 chemical compounds known as cannabinoids. These compounds interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). By binding to ECS receptors, THC activates neurons associated with pleasure, memory, cognition, coordination, and time perception.

Metabolites containing THC are eliminated from the body through urine. Urine and saliva drug tests commonly used by companies can detect these metabolites for cannabis screening. The concentration of THC in the system is influenced by individual metabolism, which can be affected by factors such as age and diet. The faster the metabolic process of THC, the shorter its duration in the body. In some cases, it can take up to 30 days for THC to be eliminated entirely. Consequently, individuals who frequently consume cannabis may still test positive even after a prolonged period of abstinence.

The Journey of THC Into the System
THC enters the body through inhalation or ingestion of cannabis. Once introduced, the drug travels to the liver, where initial metabolic processes take place. Enzymes combine with THC, leading to oxidation and hydroxylation, which introduce oxygen and hydrogen atoms. Subsequently, these metabolites are eliminated through urine or saliva.

The duration of THC within the system depends on the frequency of marijuana use and the specific consumption method. Edibles, for instance, tend to linger in the body for a more extended period compared to vaping or smoking.

Moreover, the amount of body fat and metabolic rates affect the time required for THC metabolites to leave the body. Individuals with higher body fat levels and slower metabolic speeds metabolize marijuana and its byproducts at a slower pace. While engaging in physical exercise, maintaining a healthy diet, and staying hydrated can accelerate the elimination rate of THC and its metabolites, it should be noted that these measures will not significantly alter the overall duration of THC’s presence.

Unveiling the Intoxicating Effects of THC
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound found in cannabis, is well-known for its euphoric effects. It stimulates neurons in the brain responsible for pleasure, memory, cognition, coordination, and time perception.

When smoking, THC enters the bloodstream and attaches to endocannabinoid receptors in the brain. These receptors imitate the naturally occurring molecule anandamide, which binds to the same receptors, generating feelings of happiness and euphoria.

Smoking also allows THC to be absorbed through the lungs, undergoing hepatic metabolism. This process, known as “first-pass metabolism,” results in the formation of 11-hydroxy-THC, a new form of THC that can produce more intense and longer-lasting effects.

Depending on the frequency of marijuana smoking or vaporization, THC levels in an individual’s system may vary. It may take up to a day for THC to be eliminated entirely from the body. However, even though the consumption of edibles, it is still possible to experience the intoxicating effects associated with THC.

CBD vs. THC: Understanding the Differences
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the component responsible for the psychoactive effects associated with cannabis. It activates brain neurons, influencing pleasure, memory, cognition, coordination, and time perception. Research has shown the therapeutic benefits of THC, including pain management and improving sleep. Additionally, it can stimulate appetite in individuals with HIV/AIDS. Synthetic forms of THC, such as Marinol and Syndros, are available by prescription to combat chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.

On the other hand, Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis. It lacks the ability to induce a high or produce the euphoria often associated with THC. However, CBD offers numerous health benefits. Furthermore, it does not interfere with medication or amplify the side effects of certain drugs, similar to the way grapefruit does. CBD can be derived from hemp or cannabis with minimal THC levels, typically up to 0.3%. It is generally legal in most states; however, it is advisable to review the specific laws in your state before consuming any marijuana-related products.



Ron Kilgarlin

Ron and Shawn Kilgarin, who runs American Screening Corporation, has been at the forefront of offering these services.