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THC: How Does it Work?

July 25, 2023

Dive head-first into delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – AKA, the reason cannabis clicks for so many of us. Explore what it is, how it makes us feel, and the types of products you can buy at a licensed New York dispensary that’ll help you get away without going anywhere.


A list of the types of THC includes delta 8, delta 10, THCV, and THCA.


First things first: What is THC?

THC, or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, is the main reason we feel how we feel when we consume cannabis. It’s a psychoactive cannabinoid that has the potential to alter your mental state. It’s one of more than 100 phytocannabinoids that come from cannabis, but it’s by far the most famous and the most studied. While there are several types of THC, including delta-8 THC and delta-10 THC, this article focuses on the primary form you’ll find in dispensary products — delta-9 THC.

Why does THC content matter in your cannabis product?

The THC content in your chosen cannabis product plays a significant role in shaping your sesh. As the most famous cannabinoid, it’s often the star of the show — so much so, that you may shop for cannabis based on THC percentage alone.

But it’s important to keep in mind that THC is not the sole determining factor in your overall cannabis experience. In fact, ultra-high THC products are not always the ones that’ll help you most enjoy yourself or provide the effects you want. Other cannabinoids like cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabinol (CBN), as well as terpenes like myrcene and beta-caryophyllene, contribute to how we feel when consuming cannabis. When these are present in different proportions and combinations, they can change how we feel after consuming. This is called the entourage effect, where the combination of different compounds influences the overall impact of the plant.

How does THC feel?

Everyone’s experience with cannabis is unique to them, and the amount of cannabis you try, your tolerance, and if other compounds are present all influence the precise journey you’re about to embark on. But there are some common experiences most people can expect when taking THC.

Euphoria and laughter, relaxation, and creativity are among the most common mental states THC evokes. THC may also heighten the sense of pleasure derived from activities such as listening to music or enjoying food. These effects influence both your mind and your physical body — you may have heard it called a “body high” or a “head high.”

How does THC work in your body?

THC works by interacting with your endocannabinoid system, or the ECS for short. Discovered in the late 1980s, this system is composed of a few major parts. One part, chemicals called endocannabinoids, are released, used, and recycled by your body. The other part are receptors – we know of two so far, CB1 and CB2 – with which endocannabinoids interact. This system works together to manage a state of homeostasis, or equilibrium, in your body.

THC interacts with your ECS just like endocannabinoids. In fact, THC behaves nearly identically to an endocannabinoid called anandamide, nicknamed “the bliss molecule,” when it’s introduced to your ECS. THC mimics the behavior of endocannabinoids by activating the receptors and altering the release of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin. It’s no wonder THC comes with a side of the giggles; it’s science.

Are there different types of THC?

Delta-9 THC isn’t alone. Four major types of THC also found in cannabis include:

Delta-8-THC: Chemically similar to delta-9-THC, delta-8-THC is a compound that is less potent but still psychoactive.

Delta-10-THC: Sharing similarities with both delta-8-thc and delta-9-THC, Delta-10-THC is less abundant in cannabis but it’s being studied for its euphoria-inducing properties.

THCA: Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) is the non-psychoactive precursor to THC. This is the form THC takes in cannabis plants. When you take a lighter to your joint or turn on your vaporizer, you convert the THCA to THC in a process called decarboxylation.

THCV: Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) is a unique cannabinoid that may provide a more energetic experience compared to delta-9-THC. Products like Chime & Chill’s Oral Solution are THCV-forward.


What about THC distillate?

THC distillate is a highly pure and potent extract made from cannabis that contains only THC. It’s the polar opposite of a full spectrum extract that contains all cannabinoids and terpenes found in cannabis. Distillate is typically used to make THC edibles or topicals. It can also be vaped or inhaled, or you can top off your joint or bowl with a little bit of this potent product.

THC vs. CBD: What’s the difference?

THC and CBD are the most famous cannabis compounds, but they couldn’t be more different. For starters, THC is responsible for that euphoric or sometimes hazy feeling, while CBD doesn’t alter your mental state.

These two compounds interact with your ECS in quite different ways, too. THC primarily binds to CB1 receptors in your brain and causes those mind-altering effects. We do know that CBD doesn’t bind to CB1 or CB2 receptors in the same way. Instead, CBD interacts indirectly with the CB1 and CB2 receptors, which influences how THC is felt and experienced. As a result, CBD can dampen THC’s effects while influencing your mind and body without the high.

What THC products are available in New York?

New York’s adult-use cannabis program allows for legal, licensed dispensaries to offer a variety of THC products, including:

Check out The Travel Agency’s menu to plan your takeoff.


THC content in flower vs. THC content in edibles or tinctures

The THC content in cannabis flower can vary significantly from edibles or tinctures, but comparing the two is a bit like apples and oranges.

When it comes to cannabis flower, THC content is typically measured as a percentage of the total weight. For example, a cultivar with a THC content of 20% means that one gram of flower will contain 200mg THC. Edibles and tinctures, on the other hand, display the THC content in milligrams per serving.

Carefully read the labels of any cannabis product to determine the proper amount for your session. Always start low and go slow when consuming edibles or tinctures, and wait for the effects to kick in before taking more.

Try THC from a trusted licensed NYC dispensary

Whether you’re looking to explore new dimensions with THC-infused gummies or beverages or a staycation with your current consumption methods, our knowledgeable budtenders at The Travel Agency are here to guide you. Join our Travel Club to be the first to know about new products and information on what’s hot in NYC cannabis. And if you don’t want to (physically) go anywhere, order cannabis for delivery to a private residence in neighborhoods throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens.

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