What is THCp: Is It Really 30x More Effective Than THC?
Since the discovery of the first cannabinoid in the 1940s, researchers have come up with new ways to discover more with the advent of technology. As of this writing, there are 150 known cannabinoids found in several varieties of cannabis plants. The most notable ones are THC and CBD, but have you heard of THCp, the new cannabinoid on the block? In case you haven’t yet, we’re about to tell you everything about this cannabinoid, known to be 30 times stronger than THC. But is this really true? Keep reading to find out.
What is THCp?
THCp is short for Δ9-tetrahydrocannabiphorol, a newly-discovered cannabis compound that is said to be more intoxicating than THC, but closely related in molecular structure. This is just discovered at the end 2019 and researchers are still on the way of discovering more.
Upon its discovery, THCp has gotten the cannabis world in excited and giddy due to its more intoxicating properties, even stronger than delta 9 THC. Publications all across the internet have jumped on THCP, some believing it's the next best thing in the cannabis industry.
How and when was THCp discovered?
THCP was first coined and shown to the world in an article from the Scientific Reports Journal published on December 30, 2019, with an intriguing title, “A novel phytocannabinoid isolated from Cannabis sativa L. with an in vivo cannabimimetic activity higher than Δ9-THC.”
The title itself sparked the interest of many people, from cannabis companies to even the most novice of cannabis users.
THCp was discovered by isolating Cannabis sativa by a process called decarboxylation. Decarboxylation is the process that activates compounds in cannabis, such as THCp. All cannabinoids contained within the trichomes of raw cannabis flowers have an extra carboxyl ring or group (COOH) attached to their chain.
Is THCp Really Thirty Times Stronger and More Effective Than THC?
The body processes cannabinoids through the endocannabinoid system which plays an important role in multiple aspects of neural functions, including the control of movement and motor coordination, learning and memory, emotion and motivation, addictive-like behavior and pain modulation.
There are two main cannabinoid receptors discovered so far, CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are located in the brain and throughout the body, while CB2 receptors are found mostly in the immune and gastrointestinal system.
Naturally-occurring cannabinoid molecules have alkyl side chains. Alkyl side chains are strings of carbon atoms. These alkyl side chains indicate how the cannabinoid will interact with your endocannabinoid system (ECS) specifically the cannabinoid receptors.
THC is known to bind more closely to the CB1 receptor than the CB2 receptor, and this is the reason why consumers feel “high” or its psychoactive effects. There must be at least three carbon atoms in an alkyl side chain present for the cannabinoid to have some efficacy on the CB1 receptors. THC contains five alkyl side chains.
THCp contains seven carbon atoms in its alkyl side chain. A previous synthetic seven carbon chain derivative of THC called JWH 091 proved to be two times more effective at binding with CB1 receptors in comparison to THC.
The Italian team of researchers tested its naturally-sourced THCP on human receptors, and it was thirty times more effective at binding with CB1 receptors.
THCp Effects: What can THCP do to the body?
As THCp is tested to be thirty times more effective in binding with the CB1 receptors, its effects and benefits sparked people’s curiosity. Upon its discovery, more studies still need to be conducted before we can say with certainty what THCP can do to the body.
So far, here’s what researchers found out about the effects of THCP on human cannabinoid receptors:
- Induced hypomotility
- Analgesia or pain relief
- Decreased temperature in the rectum
While these effects are essentially identical to THC, there’s an added kick and power to it. Without any other substantial evidence to support its therapeutic use, we can only guess what it might be useful for in the future.
For recreational users will have fun with the added potency of THCp. The resulting “high” from a THCP-rich cannabis strain or product could produce some powerful effects.
Is THCP a Synthetic Cannabinoid?
Synthetic cannabinoids can be subjective, and it will depend on how you define it. THCP occurs naturally in marijuana plants in very low concentrations and to many people, this makes THCP not a synthetic cannabinoid because it can be extracted from cannabis plants directly.
Cannabis manufacturers would need to process massive quantities of marijuana to get just one bottle of THCP isolate. Instead, most of the THCP currently available is either synthesized from scratch or converted from other cannabinoids. To some, this makes THCP a synthetic product because it's made in a lab from other molecules.
Are There Any Cannabis Strains High in THCP?
As of this writing, there are no cannabis varieties rich in tetrahydrocannabiphorol, but let’s hope that farmers and cultivators would start producing cannabis strains rich in this “new” cannabinoid. Cultivating cannabis strains rich in this cannabinoid will facilitate the extraction of THCP in the form of isolates or cannabis oils.
At tetrahydrocannabiphorol is relatively new, it is still difficult to lay your hands on it as of the moment. THCP isolates can be very expensive, and you may find one gram of THCP isolate for an average of 400 USD. As THCp was first isolated in 2019, there are still very little cannabis extraction companies offering it.
TCHP: The Potential Gamechanger In the Cannabis Industry
Due to its potential, there's growing interest in THCP. Many cannabis brands and cultivators would want to capitalize on its current hype. However, only a few select cannabis brands have released THCP labeled products, but there's a catch to it. With a lack of more scientific studies and research on what this cannabinoid can do, it's always up to you to try it out.