What Is THC: Inside the Most Controversial Cannabinoid

At a time when cannabis cultivators and consumers are so heavily focused on terpene profiles, it’s easy to forget that not so long ago the overwhelmingly preoccupation of cannabis enthusiasts could be encapsulated in three letters: THC.

Tetrahydrocannabinol is just one of the more than 110 cannabinoids found in cannabis, but for decades it was assumed to be the primary psychoactive component of the plant. It was synthesized in 1964 by Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, which ultimately led to the creation of dronabinol, a synthetic version of THC best known by the trade name Marinol. Patients who were already using cannabis medicine said the synthetic, THC-only option was less effective and had side effects not associated with natural cannabis.

Raw THC vs. Activated THC

“THC” is a common colloquial catchall, but there are several states of the cannabinoid

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