THC (tetrahydrocannabinolis) is the principal psychoactive component found in marijuana. It is incredibly powerful, requiring as little as 10 mg (less than one-thousandth of an ounce) to produce intoxication.

It a type of drug called a cannabinoid, one of more than 100 cannabinoids found in marijuana. THC was identified in 1964 as the compound behind the intoxicating effect of pot and since then has been the subject of a tremendous amount of attention.

One result of this attention has been the development of agriculture techniques that artificially and greatly increase the pot plant’s production of THC. These forcing methods have resulted in the skyrocketing increase in THC content in common pot over the last several decades. See the article “When Did Marijuana Become Addictive” which covers one of the tragic effects of these dramatic changes in THC concentrations.

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Explosions and fires have been caused by using butane to extract THC

Another result of the obsession with THC has been the development of techniques to extract it from plants into highly concentrated oils and waxes. One of the most common extraction methods uses butane, the same flammable gas found in cigarette lighters. These butane hash oil processes have resulted in explosions and fires, not unlike those common in meth labs.

Concentrated THC is not only smoked but is often baked into so-called “edibles” which are packaged and marketed to appeal to youth and children. See the article “How Can You Tell if a Gummy Bear is Laced with Drugs?” for addiction side of consuming concentrated THC.

THC extracts are also used in electronic cigarettes and vaping devices which, even according to marijuana apologists, is largely undetectable because it doesn’t give off the telltale smell common when smoking marijuana. This means users and addicts can intake powerful hits of THC in schools, meetings or bedrooms without detection. To addicts and many pot-promoters this is, of course, an advantage. To parents, employers and people around THC addicts this means it is harder to tell when someone has a drug problem or when a person’s ability to function is impaired. These forms of THC can be upwards of 80% – 98% pure.

So, what is THC?

It is a powerful, psychoactive, addictive drug that causes serious intoxication even when taken in incredibly small quantities. It has long-term adverse mental and social effects, particularly when use begins in youth. And thanks to the pro-marijuana forces, THC levels and availability have continually risen over the years.