For most people, their introduction to cannabinoids was in the form of Delta 9 Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC); to be more specific, millions of people were introduced to cannabinoids by consuming (usually by smoking) the flowery buds of the cannabis plant.

Before we discuss the incredible benefits of THC, let’s take a peek at its long history, which almost ended with intentional manmade bumps in the road in the early 1900s. Fortunately, this is a hardy plant that handles rejection with aplomb and keeps on doing its thing; more fortunately for most of human history around most of the globe, cannabis has been revered for its awesome and various properties.

The Rocky History of THC

Cannabis has a long and generally honored history in relation to humankind. Records of humans benefiting from the consumption of cannabis can be found as far back as 8000 BC, where an archeological site uncovered cannabis achenes (fruit of the seeds of cannabis) in the Oki Islands by Japan. Because of its versatility, cultures found multiple uses for hemp, a cultivated version of cannabis. It has even been hypothesized that cannabis may be the first plant placed under human cultivation; if not, there is every reason to believe it was one of the first plants to be cultivated.

For centuries, hemp has served human communities around the world and was used to make products for human use, including:

  • Clothes
  • Medicine
  • Paper
  • Rope
  • Shoes

There have been only a few restrictions over the past thousand years or so before America went on its rampage, but most of those prohibitions were localized and minor. Attribute our advancement into the modern age of global communications and travel, coupled with the economic and military might of the United States of America as the main reason America’s negative influence towards cannabis spread around the world so rapidly and thoroughly.

The US Propaganda Campaign Against Cannabis

According to the US Government from the early 1900s on, cannabis (renamed “marijuana” to paint images of dark-skinned immigrants from our southern borders turning from kindly Dr. Jekylls into dusky murderous Mr. Hydes) was a poisonous substance determined to eradicate or weaken the population of white Americans. (Oddly enough, no one ever questioned the apparent weakness and stupidity of this superior white race who could be so easily duped into consuming poisonous substances and consequently turning violent and rapacious towards their own family and neighbors.)

By 1930, the government decided that more drastic measures were required since their propaganda campaign against cannabis was simply not holding up. The result was the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 (which is now usually referred to as the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act); this law did not technically make the possession or consumption of cannabis illegal but anyone selling or in possession of cannabis was required to pay a tax. Just months after this act went into effect, the first arrests were made in Denver, Colorado, when the local police force, accompanied by the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, arrested Moses Baca (who possessed cannabis) and Samuel Caldwell (who sold the cannabis) for failing to pay the marijuana tax. Baca spent 18 months and Caldwell four years in Leavenworth Penitentiary for violating that act.

And it wasn’t as if time would soften this governmental stance. The 1937 Marijuana Tax Act, flimsy and vague as it was, held its own sway over the public but lawmakers were still antsy about cannabis, particularly after the 1960s, when “hippies” proclaimed cannabis to be liberating instead of poisonous. 

This new trend away from the fear of cannabis instilled a greater fear in politicians who decided to apply an even heavier hand to eliminate cannabis from society: the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 made it crystal-clear that cannabis was evil by classifying it as a Schedule I Controlled Substance. (To illustrate their overly-paranoid knee-jerk reaction to the rising popularity of cannabis, a Schedule I Controlled Substance is deemed by the government to have a high potential for abuse and is considered an unsafe drug for usage, even under medical supervision!)

The problem of establishing laws based upon paranoid fantasies is they are not that easy to overturn. Add to this the brainwashing that the American public endured for over a century, and it looked as if cannabis was down for the big count. Unfortunately for American lawmakers, falsehoods do not change facts about cannabis. It has remained in demand through decades of prohibition, obviously delivering significant benefits to millions of humans around the world. As a result, many thousands of Americans knowingly and willingly accepted their status as a criminal for the ridiculous reason that they enjoyed and benefited from cannabis consumption.

States Take Their Own Stands

Finally, individual states decided it was time for them to flex their own rights; many have implemented their own policies and laws which stand in direct conflict with federal rulings. Beginning first in California in 1996, the Compassionate Use Act gave the plant the status of medical cannabis, even though the Feds were screaming foul. That act was the first tear in the already worn fabric of the federal government’s blind and ignorant fear of a simple plant. 

Now, in 2021, there are four different statuses that a state may have in regard to cannabis:

  • Illegal – the harshest and most regressive of all laws mirrors the federal government’s perception of cannabis as bad and harmful
  • Decriminalized – lightens up a bit, since no arrest, prison time, or criminal record is applied to a first-time offender
  • Legal for Medical Use – requiring medical proof of its need, consumers can apply for a medical cannabis card and purchase cannabis from state-authorized vendors
  • Legal for Recreational Use – these are the states that get it… if you are an adult, you can buy and consume cannabis for health reasons or just because it’s fun

The following lists the legal status for each individual state in America:

  • Alabama – medical
  • Alaska – recreational
  • Arizona – recreational
  • Arkansas – medical
  • California – recreational
  • Colorado – recreational
  • Connecticut – recreational
  • Delaware – decriminalized
  • Florida – medical
  • Georgia – illegal
  • Hawaii – decriminalized
  • Idaho – illegal
  • Illinois – recreational
  • Indiana – illegal
  • Iowa – illegal
  • Kansas – illegal
  • Kentucky – illegal
  • Louisiana – decriminalized
  • Maine – recreational
  • Maryland – decriminalized
  • Massachusetts – recreational
  • Michigan – recreational
  • Minnesota – decriminalized
  • Mississippi – decriminalized
  • Missouri – decriminalized
  • Montana – recreational
  • Nebraska – decriminalized
  • Nevada – recreational
  • New Hampshire – decriminalized
  • New Jersey – recreational
  • New Mexico – recreational
  • New York – recreational
  • North Carolina – decriminalized
  • North Dakota – decriminalized
  • Ohio – decriminalized
  • Oklahoma – medical
  • Oregon – recreational
  • Pennsylvania – illegal
  • Rhode Island – decriminalized
  • South Carolina – illegal
  • South Dakota – illegal
  • Tennessee – illegal
  • Texas – illegal
  • Utah – illegal
  • Vermont – recreational
  • Virginia – recreational
  • Washington – recreational
  • West Virginia – illegal
  • Wisconsin – illegal
  • Wyoming – illegal

Do note that, for the above states listed as illegal, the laws can and do vary greatly, ranging from misdemeanors on first offenses to felonies. Also, within some states that have declared cannabis possession or use illegal, certain cities have established their own laws decriminalizing its possession and consumption.

These legal statuses are provided as of June 2021 and will likely change over time; individuals curious about the laws concerning cannabis possession and consumption within their own states are encouraged to perform their own research to determine the current legal status for their state.

There is little doubt as to the direction that attitude and laws concerning cannabis ownership and usage are trending: no states are toughening existing cannabis laws while most states are becoming mature enough to avoid hysterics and accept the reality that cannabis is here to stay. Those folks still rattled over the shifting tide of attitudes concerning cannabis may want to consider this casual, nonmedical advice: roll one up and smoke it before complaining too loud; you may learn you were fooled by Uncle Sam all your life!

How THC Works

Every cannabinoid contains within itself a set of potential therapeutic properties that can benefit the human body (and other mammals, like cats and dogs), thanks to our endocannabinoid system. So named after tetrahydrocannabinol found in the cannabis plant, our endocannabinoid system is key to managing and modulating bodily functions such as our appetite, memory, mood, and sleep. 

The endocannabinoid system can be broken down into three major interacting components: 

  • Endocannabinoids – acting as transmitters, they help manage internal functions by binding to receptors
  • Enzymes – help to break down endocannabinoids for more efficient distribution; two different kinds of enzymes are used for this task
  • Receptors – these bind to endocannabinoids and are located in both central and peripheral nervous systems 

There are two kinds of receptors that usually depend upon their physical location within the body:

  • CB1 – mainly located in the central nervous system, it monitors and influences essential functions such as:
    • Appetite
    • Coordination
    • Memory
    • Mood
    • Movement
    • Pain
  • CB2 – more often found in the peripheral nervous system, these receptors sense and respond to inflammation and pain

People who smoke (or vaporize) cannabis (i.e., most cannabis consumers) are using the most immediate and effective method of delivering large amounts of THC to the body. After smoke (or vapor) reaches the lungs, there are two ways out: through the bloodstream or by exhaling. The longer one holds the smoke (or vapor) in the lungs, in combination with the amount of smoke (or vapor) that was inhaled, will dictate how much THC will reach the endocannabinoid system via the bloodstream (common sense dictates that larger amounts of smoke (or vapor) held for longer times incrementally increases the amount of THC entering the bloodstream).

When using this delivery method, a good portion of that THC goes right to the brain. And because of the psychotropic properties that are part and parcel of THC, the brain feels different, usually more relaxed in the initial stages, with a possible sense of lightheadedness. The eyes may dilate, making colors more intense. Sometimes, if the consumer is overwhelmed by these new sensations, paranoid feelings could arise causing a panicky feeling. 

These reactions are due to the THC cannabinoid affecting the CB1 receptors that are located in the central nervous system. While each person has a unique experience, most would agree that the effects describe in the previous paragraph are accurate but in varying degrees for different people.

Because THC is influencing CB1 receptors, the following mental activities are likely to be affected:

  • Coordination
  • Learning
  • Problem Solving
  • Short-Term Memory

The truth is that smoking or otherwise consuming THC will not turn you into a clumsy, forgetful idiot; lots of veteran cannabis consumers claim that a good dose of THC can help them solve problems and learn things from new perspectives and that they can be equally uncoordinated when not affected by a THC product. Please note that it is never claimed that THC will adversely affect these mental activities, just that those functions will operate differently when influenced by THC.

And as you will soon learn, THC doesn’t just affect the brain; it has offered valued benefits to the human body as well.

Potential Health Benefits of THC

Even with the ingrained prejudice against cannabis (thanks, US government!), there has been enough research to uncover an excellent array of health benefits that THC can deliver to the consumer.

Here are some of the better-known properties that THC offers which can aid individuals facing different health concerns:

  • Addiction – our national opioid crisis has caused too many individuals to become addicted to pills but cannabis can help those people get off opioids
  • Anxiety – some consumers claim that cannabis helps them “step away” from themselves, an important step to calming down
  • Appetite Booster – anyone who has ever experienced a good case of the munchies needs no further explanation as to how THC can encourage appetites
  • Cancer Fighter – both CBD and THC appear to have properties to slow or stop the spread of cancer; when working together, results are even more impressive
  • Cancer Therapy – patients struggling with the nauseous side effects of chemotherapy have found a reliable friend in cannabis and its THC
  • Chronic Pain – multiple studies have shown that regular consumption of THC through cannabis products reduces the incidences and intensity of chronic pain 
  • Depression – another valuable “gift” offered by cannabis is the ability to lighten dark moods and gain a better perspective on life
  • Expectorant – for those who smoke or vape cannabis, there is the added benefit that this method helps to loosen and release phlegm and foreign matter from the lungs
  • Glaucoma – one of the first “miracle” treatments touted for cannabis was successfully reducing eye pressure caused by glaucoma
  • Inflamed Tissues – like all other cannabinoids, THC also carries beneficial anti-inflammatory properties
  • PTSD – thousands of war veterans will readily and enthusiastically attest to the fact that cannabis takes the edge of their PTSD, especially during flare-ups
  • Sedative – for decades, even when it was not legal, millions of Americans have used cannabis to get fuller nights of sleep
  • Seizures – epileptics have looked to the THC in cannabis to gain much-appreciated relief from seizures
  • Weight Loss – despite its ability to pique your appetite, THC appears to help your metabolism burn off fat; in general, cannabis consumers are skinnier than average

If the above list seems to cover a broad variety of fronts, it must be noted that not all of the possible wellness benefits attributable to THC are included. And it is our suspicion that, over time, plenty more positive benefits connected to THC will make it on this always-growing list.

Now in Two Strengths: Delta 8 and Delta 9

This Cannabinoid Chat has focused on THC but we cannot close this chat without addressing the latest addition to the cannabinoid family: Delta 8 THC. Because they are similar in structure (the main difference is the location of their double bonds: Delta 8 THC has a double bond between carbon atoms labeled 8 and 9, which the double bond for Delta 9 THC is found between carbon atoms labeled 9 and 10), effects between Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC are similar. Consequently, the above wellness list offered for Delta 9 THC likely mirrors the wellness benefits obtainable by consuming Delta 8 THC.

The largest difference between the two is the strength of the effects. Sometimes Delta 8 THC is called “weed lite” because the effects after consuming it are considerably milder than its Delta 9 THC counterpart (as much as ⅓ to ½ as intense). This decrease in intensity is a big draw for many consumers, even veteran cannabis consumers used to stronger effects.

Even more attractive are the legal ramifications: because Federal law was highly specific when defining and outlawing Delta 9 THC, Delta 8 THC appears to have slipped between the legal crack. And since most Delta 8 THC is most easily prepared by converting CBD and CBG (both of which are completely legal under US law) through isomerization (a chemical process whereby a molecule is transformed into an isomer with a new chemical structure), it seems as if the Federal government is currently in a stalemate as to how to proceed. (Add to this the proposal already floated by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to FINALLY decriminalize cannabis at the federal level and the chance of Delta 8 THC becoming illegal grows even dimmer.)

Delta 8 THC Products at Fern Valley Farms

Needless to say, there has been a flood of demand for Delta 8 THC products and the response has been incredibly positive. At Fern Valley Farms, we have not been asleep at the switch; check out our already growing line of quality Delta 8 THC products available for your consideration and consumption:

Our enhanced CBD flowers are prepared by spraying them with a Delta 8 THC distillate. This is accomplished by carefully heating the distillate to the perfect point that allows an effective and consistent spray to evenly cover our selected strains. To maintain our high standards of purity, no solvents are used when preparing our CBD flower strains for a coating of Delta 8 THC.

As with any new cannabinoid, but especially with Delta 8 THC (due to its mild psychoactive properties), we always urge caution and care when first trying new products. Even when trying different types of Delta 8 THC products (for instance, edibles versus smokable), going slow by using smaller amounts and allowing longer times between sessions is always recommended. By taking such a careful approach, you are likely to become better acquainted with Delta 8 THC and its effects in a shorter time; this also gives you a better grasp of how you can best consume them for optimal results.

Want to learn more about Delta 8 THC? We recommend our in-depth article “Investigating Delta 8 THC” for even more details on this new and popular cannabinoid.