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Peter Attia: What to Know About THC

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the psychoactive component of marijuana that is responsible for the "high" associated with its use. When consumed, THC binds to cannabinoid receptors in the brain and alters neurotransmitter release, leading to its effects on mood, perception, and cognition. THC has both potential therapeutic benefits and negative side effects, and its use should be approached with caution.

  1. Therapeutic benefits: THC has been shown to be effective in treating certain medical conditions, such as chronic pain and nausea. In some cases, it may be a safer alternative to opioids for pain management.

  2. Negative side effects: THC can impair cognitive function and increase the risk of anxiety and psychosis, particularly in individuals with a history of mental health issues. It can also impair driving ability, and users should not drive under the influence of THC.

  3. Addiction and withdrawal: Long-term THC use can lead to the development of tolerance, where higher doses are needed to achieve the same effects. It can also lead to addiction and withdrawal symptoms when use is discontinued.

  4. Developing brain: THC can affect brain development, particularly in adolescents and young adults, and should be avoided by pregnant women.

  5. Potency: The strength of THC in marijuana products has increased significantly in recent years, and users should be aware of the strength of the products they are consuming.

  6. Immune system: There is some evidence to suggest that THC can affect the immune system, potentially increasing the risk of infections and certain types of cancer.

  7. Medication interactions: THC can interact with other medications, and users should consult with a healthcare provider before using THC products.

  8. Legal status: The legal status of THC and marijuana varies by jurisdiction, and users should be aware of the laws in their area.


  1. "Cannabis and Cannabinoids (PDQ®) – Health Professional Version" by the National Cancer Institute. This article provides an overview of the potential therapeutic benefits and risks of THC and other cannabinoids.

  2. "The Peter Attia Drive Podcast: #94 - Roger Bingham" by Peter Attia. In this podcast episode, Dr. Attia and guest Roger Bingham discuss the science behind cannabis and THC, including its effects on the brain and body.

  3. "Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) for the Management of Chronic Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials" by Hannah J. Buettner et al. This research article provides an overview of the evidence for the use of THC for chronic pain management, including potential risks and side effects.

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