Lexicon: THC

THC is one of the most known cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. It is a psychoactive substance that acts on the receptors of the Endocannabinoid System. THC has a wide range of medical applications from relieving chronic neuropathic pain and treating nausea caused by chemotherapy, to relieving muscle spasms caused by multiple sclerosis.

Medicinal cannabis is defined as the varieties of the Cannabis Sativa L plant, with a THC content of more than 0.2%.  

Under law 4801/2021 (Government Gazette 83/Α’/24-05-2021) the production, export, and distribution of finished medical cannabis products of the Cannabis Sativa L plant species with a tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content of more than 0.2% is allowed.

In Greece, the in so far approved cannabis indications are the following:

  • Prevention and management of nausea and/or vomiting induced from chemotherapy
  • Neuropathic pain, cancer pain, sustaining for more than 3 months and non-responsive to other treatments, or other treatments are non-tolerated or contraindicated
  • Spasticity and pain in patients suffering from Multiple Sclerosis

In Industrial hemp plant, THC content is below 0.2%. Cultivation of industrial cannabis (hemp) is legal in Europe and Greece (ΚΥΑ 1750/39224/31-3-2016. There is a wide range of cannabis products in various forms, such as edible products derived from cannabis seed (tea, protein, butter, chewing gum, pasta, nuts), body and face care products (creams, shampoos, toothpastes and massage oil), even hemp fiber clothes. High-CBD oils can be obtained through extraction processes of the industrial hemp.

The natural synergy of the cannabis plant’s complementary compounds, ie the phenomenon in which the cannabinoids (CBD, THC and other cannabinoids) and other compounds of the cannabis plant (terpenes, polyphenols, etc). interact, enhancing each other’s properties. They function by balancing each other and maximizing the benefits.

The endocannabinoid system is a complex network of receptors, signaling molecules (endocannabinoids) and enzymes.
Research shows that the system plays an important role in the human health and well-being.
It serves the essential function of restoring homeostasis through physiological and regulatory mechanisms. Its effectiveness is enhanced by cannabinoids’ intake and their interacting to the ECS receptors.

Cannabis is genus of flowering plants that includes three distinct species: Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica and Cannabis ruderalis. Cannabis contains more than 400 phytochemicals and at least 60 known cannabinoids. THC and CBD are two of the most known cannabinoids.

Phyotocannabinoids are compounds of the cannabis plant and consist a group molecules that interact with the receptors of the endocannabinoid syetem. To date, at least 60 phytocannabinoids have been isolated. To date, at least 60 phytocannabinoids have been isolated. The major phytocannabinoids are Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), cannabigerol (CBG) and cannabinol (CBN).
Another type of cannabinoid is endocannabinoids, which are made in the body and include anandamide and 2-AG.
Finally, there are cannabinoids
that are synthesized in laboratories and are called synthetic cannabinoids.