THCP: The New Cannabinoid That’s Stronger Than THC
You’ve probably heard of delta 8, delta 9, and delta 10 THC—all popular cannabinoid “siblings” with varying strengths and benefits. Delta 8 is the mellow molecule, delta 9 is the crazy partier, and delta 10 is the most focused and creative of the THC trio. But lately, there’s a newer, stronger cannabinoid in the cannabis family that’s stealing all the attention—THCP.
What is THCP?
Tetrahydrocannabiphoral (THCP) is a naturally occurring cannabinoid in cannabis plants with over 30 times the potency of delta 9 THC from marijuana. Whoa.
It’s stronger than THC!
THCP is the newest addition to the list of 150 identified phytocannabinoids produced in the resin of the marijuana plant’s trichomes. These phytocannabinoids interact and combine with other cannabis compounds such as terpenes and flavonoids, which boost the medicinal benefits.
THCP was recently discovered in 2019, so there’s not extensive research on its safety and potency yet. However, scientists are conducting studies on animal cells to learn more about the effects of this highly potent cannabinoid.
Here’s what we know about THCP so far...
- It exists in very low concentrations in cannabis plants.
- It’s one of 150 phytocannabinoids found in the cannabis plant.
- It binds with CB1 endocannabinoid receptors 33 times more than delta 9 THC.
- It can be extracted and isolated from marijuana and hemp.
What’s the Difference Between THC and THCP?
Both have almost identical chemical structures except for the length of their alkyl side chain.
THC has a five-carbon atom chain and THCP has seven carbon atoms.
THCP’s longer side chain makes it more biologically active than THC, resulting in 30 times greater bonding activity with cannabinoid type one (CB1) receptors. Simply put, THCP is potentially 30 times more potent than THC, which is already crazy partier potent!
What Are the Effects of THCP?
Users of THCP have described the effects as similar to THC but stronger—almost psychedelic. So, you need a lot less to feel the same results as THC.
Use caution with your THCP dosage if you’ve ever experienced adverse effects from THC such as paranoia, anxiety, and memory loss.
How Do Cannabinoids from the Same Cannabis Plant Differ?
For starters, here are some of the more familiar cannabinoids produced by the cannabis plant:
- cannabidiol (CBD)
- delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
- cannabigerol (CBG)
- cannabichromene (CBC)
- cannabinol (CBN)
And the newest discovery...
- delta 9 tetrahydrocannabiphoral (THCP)
These cannabinoids start off with similar cell structure and acidic composition before decarboxylation (heating) takes place.
Decarboxylation, or “decarbing,” then activates the raw cannabis into a more enhanced, potent form. The heat completely alters the chemical structure, which results in varying cannabinoids with differing effects and benefits.
The process is a little trickier for THCP since there’s so much less of it to decarboxylate. Fortunately, scientists have devised a way to create greater quantities of THCP by using hemp CBD as the starting material.
What Are the THC, CBD, and THCP Levels in Cannabis?
All three cannabinoids occur naturally in cannabis plants. However, unlike its “weaker” cannabis cousins, THCP has a much lower concentration. Let’s compare them...
THC: Concentration of 25-35% in marijuana and 0.3% in hemp.
CBD: Concentration of about 15% in marijuana and 20-30% in hemp.
THCP: Concentration of less than 0.1%.
There’s so much less of the most potent cannabinoid!
Now, the big question is...
Is THCP Legal?
THCP is federally legal in the United States if it’s derived from hemp and not marijuana. However, depending on where you live, THCP might not be legal locally due to independent state laws.
Always be sure to check your state’s cannabis laws...
THCP is an exciting discovery!
Remember: It’s more potent than THC, so if you want to try it (if you can find it), be sure to go easy on the dosage.