Hemp-Derived THC and Its Impact on the Endocannabinoid System: Implications for Health


Hemp-derived products such as oils, gummies, and skincare items are becoming quite popular. Some of these products contain THC, the compound infamous for its psychoactive effects. That’s right, the same THC is infamous for getting people “high” when they consume marijuana.

But here’s the fun fact: not all THC is created equal, and when it’s derived from hemp, it’s a whole different story. In fact, hemp-derived THC has various implications for our health and provides many benefits.

In this article, we’ll see how hemp-derived THC interacts with our endocannabinoid system and discuss whether it has a positive impact on our health.

What is the Endocannabinoid System?

First of all, there is a wide variety of hemp-derived THC products available on the market. Companies such as Earthyselect are launching different types of products made of THC cannabis. But before we talk more about these hemp-derived products, let’s take a step back and understand what the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is all about. The ECS is a complex cell-signaling system that plays a crucial role in controlling various physiological processes, including mood, pain perception, immune function, and more. The ECS consists of three main components:

Endocannabinoids: These chemicals are endogenously synthesized in human bodies. Anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) are widely recognized as the most prominent endocannabinoids. They function as mediators, facilitating the transmission of signals throughout the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in order to uphold equilibrium, sometimes referred to as ‘homeostasis.’

Receptors: The endocannabinoid system (ECS) encompasses two principal categories of receptors, namely CB1 and CB2 receptors. The distribution of CB1 receptors is mostly concentrated in the brain and central nervous system, whereas CB2 receptors are more prevalent in the immune system and peripheral organs.

Enzymes: Enzymatic processes are accountable for the degradation of endocannabinoids subsequent to the completion of their physiological function. The enzymatic activity of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) is responsible for the degradation of anandamide, whereas monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) is involved in the breakdown of 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG).

Together, these components work in harmony to regulate various bodily functions, ensuring everything runs smoothly.

The Role of Phytocannabinoids

Phytocannabinoids are found in plants like cannabis and hemp and interact with our ECS. Among the hundreds of cannabinoids found in these plants, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) are the most well-known. THC is the psychoactive cannabinoid responsible for the euphoria or “high” associated with marijuana use. However, when we’re talking about hemp-derived THC, it’s much more than that.

Hemp-Derived THC vs. Marijuana-Derived THC

Hemp and marijuana both belong to the cannabis plant family, but they have significant differences, primarily related to their THC content.

THC Content: Hemp legally contains no more than 0.3% THC by dry weight, per the United States regulations. On the other hand, marijuana can have THC concentrations ranging from 5% to 30% or even higher. This stark contrast in THC levels is what sets the two apart.

Psychoactive Effects: Hemp-derived THC is not intended to get you “high.” The minimal THC content in hemp means that you won’t experience the mind-altering effects typically associated with marijuana. Instead, it’s used for various therapeutic purposes.

Legality: Due to its low THC content, hemp-derived THC is federally legal in the United States, as per the 2018 Farm Bill. However, marijuana-derived THC remains illegal in many states, though this is changing rapidly as more states legalize its use.

Implications for Health

Let’s take a look at the potential health implications of hemp-derived THC on the endocannabinoid system and overall health.

Pain Management  One of the most well-known applications of hemp-derived THC is pain management. Pain is a universal experience, and chronic pain conditions affect millions worldwide. Hemp-derived THC is often found to be effective in relieving various types of pain. It interacts with the endocannabinoid system by binding to CB1 receptors in the brain and spinal cord, effectively modulating pain perception.

Research indicates that THC can be effective in reducing different types of pain, including:

Neuropathic Pain: This type of pain results from damage to the nervous system and can be challenging to treat. Studies suggest that THC changes how pain signals are transmitted in the brain, thus mitigating neuropathic pain.


Muscle Pain: Individuals suffering from muscle pain, such as pain caused by fibromyalgia or muscle injuries, have reported relief after using THC-containing products. THC’s relaxation and pain-relieving effects can make daily life more manageable for those dealing with persistent muscle discomfort.

Arthritis Pain: Arthritis is characterized by joint inflammation and can be excruciating. Some studies have explored the potential of THC to reduce inflammation and pain associated with arthritis, providing hope for those seeking alternative therapies.

1. Neuroprotection

Emerging evidence indicates that THC may have a role in neuroprotection, particularly in the context of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. These conditions are characterized by brain inflammation and oxidative stress, both of which can contribute to the progression of the disease.

THC is believed to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in the brain, potentially slowing the degenerative processes associated with these diseases. While this area of research holds promise, it’s essential to proceed with caution and conduct further studies to better understand the precise mechanisms involved.

2. Sleep Aid

Insomnia and sleep disturbances are common problems that can significantly impact a person’s physical and mental health. Hemp-derived THC can also improve sleep quality through its calming and pain-relieving effects.

The interaction between THC and ECS can make it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep by promoting relaxation and reducing discomfort. Some individuals report experiencing better sleep when using THC-containing products. But then again, it’s essential to acknowledge that the effects on sleep can vary based on individual physiology and the specific product used.

3. Appetite Stimulation

At first glance, the well-known “munchies” associated with THC might not seem like a health benefit, but it can be incredibly valuable for certain individuals. Conditions like cancer, HIV/AIDS, or eating disorders can suppress appetite to the point of malnutrition.

Hemp-derived THC’s ability to stimulate appetite can help these individuals maintain proper nutrition, supporting their overall health and recovery. Nausea and loss of appetite are common symptoms for patients undergoing chemotherapy. THC can alleviate these symptoms, making it easier for patients to eat and nourish their bodies during treatment.

4. Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Inflammation is the root of many chronic diseases, from arthritis to inflammatory bowel disease. Some research suggests that hemp-derived THC has the ability to possess anti-inflammatory properties, although further studies are required to confirm these findings.

THC’s potential as an anti-inflammatory agent is thought to be related to its interaction with the ECS and its impact on immune responses. By reducing inflammation in the body, THC can offer relief to individuals with chronic inflammatory conditions.

5. Anxiety and Stress Relief

Anxiety and stress are prevalent in our fast-paced, modern world. THC has complex interactions with the ECS and neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine. Low doses of hemp-derived THC can reduce anxiety in some individuals, particularly those with anxiety disorders.

The mechanism behind this involves THC’s ability to alter the release of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, leading to a sense of calm and well-being. However, it’s important to know that the effects can vary widely from person to person. Some individuals may find THC is an effective tool for managing anxiety, while others may experience heightened anxiety in response to THC.

6. Addiction Treatment

Surprisingly, THC might play a role in addiction treatment. Some studies have shown that it can help individuals struggling with substance abuse disorders by reducing withdrawal symptoms and cravings. This is particularly relevant in the context of opioid addiction, where the opioid crisis has reached alarming proportions.


THC’s interaction with the ECS reduces the severe discomfort and cravings associated with opioid withdrawal, making the recovery process more manageable. However, it’s important to note that addiction treatment is a highly complex field, and THC as a treatment tool requires careful consideration and monitoring.

7. Skin Health and Dermatological Conditions

Cannabinoid receptors are also present in the skin, and the endocannabinoid system plays an important role in maintaining skin health. When applied topically, hemp-derived THC may help various skin conditions, including eczema, psoriasis, and acne.

THC’s anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties can soothe irritated skin and reduce itching in individuals with skin disorders. Additionally, its interaction with sebaceous glands may regulate oil production, potentially helping to manage acne. Topical THC products like creams and balms offer localized relief without the psychoactive effects associated with oral consumption.


The potential health implications of hemp-derived THC on the endocannabinoid system and overall health are multifaceted and intriguing. As research in this field continues to evolve, we may gain insight into its impact on the endocannabinoid system and its potential to improve our health and well-being. Ultimately, the decision to incorporate hemp-derived THC into your routine should be an informed one, guided by your unique needs and circumstances.

Amanda is the proud owner and head cook of her very own restaurant. She loves nothing more than experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen, and her food is always a big hit with customers. Amanda takes great pride in her work, and she always puts her heart into everything she does. She's a hard-working woman who has made it on her own, and she's an inspiration to all who know her.