THC: Sprays, Pills and Drops – What’s the Difference?

What’s the difference between a THC pill, a THC spray and THC drops? There are benefits and drawbacks to this alternative to marijuana smoking.

THC – you hear that acronym thrown around a lot in the medical marijuana industry. But what exactly is THC, and what’s the difference between the pills, sprays and drops?

THC, a.k.a. tetrahydrocannabinol, is the chemical agent in the cannabis plant that’s responsible for its psychological effects. THC attaches to the brain’s cannabinoid receptors (the ones associated with pleasure, coordination, thinking and memory) and activates them. What this does is stimulate brain cells to release dopamine and create a euphoric effect.

Today, you’ll find THC in many forms from sprays to drops (or tinctures) and pills. What’s the difference between the three?

THC Spray

THC mouth sprays are still relatively new, but a few drugs, including Marinol and Cesamet were approved by the FDA in the 1980s. These drugs are based on synthetic cannabinoids, but a new drug called Sativex is actually derived from the cannabis plant. It’s the first drug of its kind to extract the compounds from the actual plant.

The spray is administered orally, but because it’s ingested, it takes much longer for the drug to take effect – at least an hour.

The beneficial aspect of using a spray rather than smoking marijuana is that it’s easy to adjust the dosage and the psychological effects are not quite as potent.

THC Pill

Like sprays, pills help you reap the benefits of cannabis, but without the harmful effects of smoking it. Marijuana pills are often prescribed to help alleviate pain, nausea and improve appetite. They’re particularly helpful to patients undergoing cancer treatments or suffering with chronic pain.

Pills with THC are highly concentrated, which can be beneficial at the right dosage, but detrimental when the dosage is too high. When too much THC is taken too quickly, it can lead to shortness of breath, anxiety, paranoia and disorientation. While the side effects may not necessarily be life threatening, they are something to consider.

The key to success with marijuana pills is to find the correct dosage that caters to the patient’s needs.

THC Drops

Also known as THC tinctures, drops are a concentrated form of THC. Tinctures are made by soaking the cannabis plant in alcohol. After soaking, the mixture is strained and the remaining liquid is ingested either orally or under the tongue. Like pills and sprays, drops deliver the beneficial effects of marijuana without the harmful effects of smoking.

While dosages may vary according to the manufacturer, the average normal dosage is 2-3 drops. The drops are often mixed with food or another liquid for easy ingestion.

In many cases, you can purchase pills, sprays and drops from local dispensaries. Many people use websites like Weedy and other similar sites to find nearby dispensaries that sell these THC alternatives.