THC is a recently discovered cannabinoid and is fast becoming popular because of its potency. The first study published about it was out in 2019, and it showed that its bonds make it bind to the CB1 receptors 30 times more than delta- 9 THC, rendering it about 33 times more potent than its delta- 9 variant.
Cannabinoids are active chemical compounds in cannabis plants, including hemp and marijuana. There are more than 140 cannabinoids, with THCP being among the most recently discovered. It shakes the cannabis world for how potent it is and how strongly it binds with the CB1 receptors. THC fans are also happy that it takes smaller THCP dosages to achieve the same results as THC. However, because of its tremendous potency (about 33 times as much as delta- 9 THC), THC users must take it slow since the effects increase with the increased intake and dosages of the cannabinoid. Here is all you need to know about the relatively new THC variant that’s fast gaining popularity.
What Is THCP?
THCP is the initial for tetrahydrocannabiphorol, a THC variant. According to Schlienz et al. (2018), THC is the psychoactive cannabinoid or chemical compound in cannabis plants responsible for the ‘high’ effect. THC is a cannabinoid with many variants that can be treated as independent cannabinoids, and THCP is one of them. It is the strongest or most potent THC variant and was only recently discovered. THCP is unique from other THC variants for being the strongest in effects and the most potent.
Studies on THCP
THCP was only recently discovered, and there are limited studies about it. The first study about THCP was published in 2019 (Citti et al., 2019). So far, it is clear that THCP is more potent than other variants, including delta- 8, 9, and 10. The study showed that this compound is about 33 times as potent as THC and bonds 30 times as strongly as THC, seeing great potential in the cannabinoid and negative results when misused.
Is THCP Natural?
Being new in the cannabis space, there is much that people would like to know about THCP. For instance, many ask if the compound is natural. THCP is natural since it is among the 140 cannabinoids in cannabis plants. Massi et al. 2006 noted that like CBG, CBN, CBT, and the non-psychoactive CBD, THCP is also a natural product. However, THCP occurs in small percentages in its natural forms. In typical cannabis plants, its concentration is less than 0.1%. In contrast, hemp and marijuana (two examples of cannabis plants) have 20%- 30% CBD & less than 0.3% THC and 15% CBD & 25%- 30% THC, respectively. This clearly shows how little 0.1%THCP concentration in cannabis plants is.
THCP Can Be Artificially Prepared
Being of higher potency and stronger than other THC variants, its demand is increasing, especially among THC users who want alternatives that would offer the desired effects with smaller dosages. THC manufacturers are coming up with ways to produce more THCP and meet the demand. Artificial THCP is available on the market, and while it is manufactured, it is worth noting that it’s not artificial per se because its base source, CBG, is natural. CBGA, the inert form of CBG, another cannabinoid, plays a critical role in synthesizing other cannabinoids. This is because cannabinoids, including the potent THCP, start with it before converting it into the different chemicals.
How Does THCP Work?
THCP is new in the cannabis space. However, it functions similar to other cannabinoids, with subtle differences. According to Fine & Rosenfield (2013), cannabinoids, THCP included, interact with a network of endogenic cannabinoids, receptors, and enzymes, also called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), to exert the effects linked to it. Still, Citti et al. (2019) commented that THCP binds differently with the CB1 receptors. Because of its slightly different chemical bonding, it binds more strongly with the receptors, resulting in its tremendous potency and effects. Still, further studies are needed to reveal more details about the new THCP.
How Is THCP Different from Delta- 9 THC?
Although delta- 9 THC and THCP are THC variants with almost similar chemical structures, the two have subtle differences. The major difference is in the alkyl chain, where THC has a 5-carbon alkyl chain while THCP’s chain comprises 7 carbon atoms. While this may seem like a negligible difference, it means a lot since the two extra carbon atoms mean THCP can bind more strongly to CB1 receptors, 30 times more than THC and 33 times more potent than the mother compound (THC).
What Is the Legal Status of THCP?
Although THCP was only discovered recently, it is already shaking the cannabis world because of its pronounced potency. Consequently, it is good to be up-to-date with the legality status of THCP. So far, delta- 9 is the only THC variant conventionally classified and scheduled as a psychotropic substance. Therefore, THCP is technically legal. However, states’ cannabis laws vary widely, so you need to know how your state holds THCP. In the states where cannabis is legal, THCP is likely legal. However, states like Arizona, Alaska, and Colorado that have some of the most stringent cannabis laws consider THCP mostly illegal.
How Do You Consume THCP?
Do you want to experiment with this new cannabinoid to know if it’s as potent as claimed? Like any other cannabinoid, there are many options for exploring it. Most cannabis companies that offer THC products may have THCP as part of their inventory, mostly in the form of replaceable vape cartridges. You may want to take THCP tinctures, edibles such as gummies and desserts, and even smoke the cannabinoid.
We look forward to a THCP future where the cannabinoid will be available in all forms. Meanwhile, you can take advantage of the THCP vapes if your state allows the hemp-derived options.
THCP, like delta- 9, is a THC variant. Its first study was published in 2019 since it is relatively new, and much is yet to be revealed. So far, the existing research shows that it is more potent and stronger than other THC variants. It has more or less the same effects as THC, only that you need smaller dosages of THC to attain similar results.
Citti, C., Linciano, P., Russo, F., Luongo, L., Iannotta, M., Maione, S., … & Cannazza, G. (2019). A novel phytocannabinoid isolated from Cannabis sativa L. with an in vivo cannabimimetic activity higher than Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol: Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabiphorol. Scientific reports, 9(1), 1-13.
Fine, P. G., & Rosenfeld, M. J. (2013). The endocannabinoid system, cannabinoids, and pain. Rambam Maimonides medical journal, 4(4).
Schlienz, N. J., Lee, D. C., Stitzer, M. L., & Vandrey, R. (2018). The effect of high-dose dronabinol (oral THC) maintenance on cannabis self-administration. Drug and alcohol dependence, 187, 254- 260.
Massi, P., Vaccani, A., Bianchessi, S., Costa, B., Macchi, P., & Parolaro, D. (2006). The non-psychoactive cannabidiol triggers caspase activation and oxidative stress in human glioma cells. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences CMLS, 63(17), 2057-2066.