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What Is THC Half-Life & How is THC Metabolized?

Curious about the half-life of THC and wondering how is THC processed out of the body? Find out from this comprehensive article.

Tetrahydrocannabinol(THC) is the component of cannabis that causes the psychoactive effects, it is responsible for the "high" feeling you get after taking cannabis.

THC is a cannabinoid, a type of molecule that interacts with the endocannabinoid system in the body. THC activates neurons in the brain that influence pleasure, memory, thinking, coordination, and time perception by attaching to cannabinoid receptors.

THC may be used to treat a variety of medical conditions, and from a recreational aspect, it can feel fantastic, giving some people a sense of exhilaration and relaxation.

What Is the Difference Between Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics?

The passage of medications through the body is referred to as pharmacokinetics, whereas the biological response to pharmaceuticals is referred to as pharmacodynamics.

Pharmacodynamics considers the intricate interactions between the drug, the human body, and the pathogen that may infect the patient.

The Half-Life of THC

Half-life is a scientific term that refers to the time required for half of an entity or substance to go through a specific process. For example, the half-life of a drug is the amount of time required for the elimination or breakdown of half of that drug's active elements.

THC half-life is important for marijuana users because it determines how long the substance remains in their bodies. Drug tests typically look for THC or its metabolites in the material being tested.

Although THC derived from marijuana is still illegal in Minnesota, THC derived from hemp is chemically identical. Marijuana and hemp are derived from the cannabis plant, but the plants are bred differently, with marijuana plants being high in THC and hemp plants being very low in THC.THC, or delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, is the chemical that gives marijuana its high.

THC Chemical Structure

The two key processes in metabolism are hydroxylation and oxidation. Certain enzymes hydroxylate a portion of the cannabis, giving it an oxygen and hydrogen molecule.

This produces 11-OH-THC, a highly pharmacologically active THC metabolite with sedative and psychoactive properties.

The amount of 11-OH-THC in blood plasma is lower in cannabis smokers than in cannabis eaters. This happens because when THC is consumed, it first travels through the digestive system, which implies it travels to the liver. As a result, more THC from edible cannabis is metabolized by the liver and changed into 11-OH-THC before entering the bloodstream.

How Is THC Metabolized?

THC enters the bloodstream and travels to the liver. THC is broken down into metabolites by these enzymes, which are then eliminated from the body via urine and feces.

One of THC's primary metabolites is 11-hydroxy-THC, formed when this metabolite is more efficient than THC and is thought to be responsible for some of the more intense and long-lasting effects of edibles.

When THC is inhaled, enzymes in the lungs metabolize it, and it enters the bloodstream via the lungs and travels to the brain, producing its psychoactive effects. The byproducts of THC are eliminated from the body through urine and feces.

CB1 receptors are activated by delta-9-THC and 11-OH-THC and are found primarily in the brain and central nervous system, whereas CB2 receptors are activated by cannabinol and are found primarily in the tonsils, spleen, and white blood cells.

What Organ Processes THC and Where Is THC Metabolized?

THC is broken down in the liver. THC has a terminal half-life of about 20 hours to 10 days, depending on the amount and dosage of marijuana used. Blood naturally passes through the liver, which regulates blood sugar levels, promotes clotting, and detoxifies the blood. It accomplishes this by converting toxins and other compounds into forms that the body can process or excrete, known as metabolism.

How Is Edible THC Metabolized?

THC, the chemical that makes you high, is delivered into your lungs by cannabis smoke or eaten, where it enters your bloodstream and then your brain.

Edible cannabis passes through your stomach and liver before entering your bloodstream and brain. The liver converts THC into a stronger form, which increases the intensity of the high when combined with THC from the original product.

Smoking launches cannabinoids directly into the circulation, but THC in edibles must first travel through the liver for digestion, which means the liver produces more 11-hydroxy-THC from the THC in edibles.

How Is THC Processed Out of the Body

The entire procedure focuses on getting the medication ready to leave the body. The glucuronide molecule is joined to THC-COOH by UGT enzymes. This transforms the material into a THC-COOH-glucuronide molecule, which the body may easily eliminate through feces and urine. The drug is ready to be excreted from the body once it has been changed into this metabolite.

Final Thought

The elements that will significantly impact the half-life of THC in your body are dosage and frequency of cannabis usage. THC undergoes a protracted process of metabolization and excretion when you consume marijuana. It is transformed into a range of metabolites that are then long-term retained in the fatty tissues of your body.

How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Minnesota

Reserve an appointment with one of our doctors today. As soon as we're cleared, we'll book an appointment for you with one of our qualified, compassionate marijuana physicians.

You'll meet with your doctor via a telemedicine appointment from the safety of your home using a smartphone or computer. You'll also save $25 off the cost of your appointment!

If you and your doctor decide medical marijuana is right for you, they will provide you with the state-required certification, putting you on the road to the relief that only medical marijuana can provide!


Doctors Who Care.

Relief You Can Trust.

Minnesota Marijuana Card aims to help everyone achieve wellness, safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.

If you have any questions, call us at (833) 781-6671 or reserve a medical marijuana evaluation to get the relief you can trust today!

And don't forget to check out Minnesota Marijuana Card's Blog to keep up to date on the latest medical marijuana news, tips, and information.

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