Discovered in 2019, THCP is a naturally occurring phytocannabinoid present in cannabis. Recent studies suggest that THCP, a close relative of THC, may be more responsible for producing the euphoric effects typically thought to come from THC.
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WISCONSIN’s CaNNABINOID EXPERTS
WHAT IS THCP?
THCP is a naturally occurring phytocannabinoid present in cannabis.
Late in 2019, an Italian research team discovered THCP, making it one of at least 120 cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. THCP has the cannabis community in an uproar, as a recent study suggests that THCP, and not THC, is responsible for most of a cannabis strain’s psychoactivity.
Cannabinoid known as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabiphoral, or THCP for short, is closely linked to a cannabinoid known as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and is present in very trace amounts in the cannabis plant.
According to the scientists responsible for its discovery, the endocannabinoid system responds to THCP like that of THC but with a far stronger affinity for cannabinoid receptors.
According to the study, THCP can bind to CB1 receptors up to 33 times more often than conventional THC. This indicates that THCP may be up to 33 times as powerful as THC.
THCP is distinct due to the larger alkyl side chains that it has; the chain of carbon atoms that it possesses is much longer than that of conventional THC (seven carbons vs. five carbons). Because of this, cannabis forms a stronger attachment to receptors located throughout the body.
Therefore, less THCP is required to affect diverse processes mediated by the endocannabinoid system (ECS) compared to the amount of THC needed to have the same effect.
Cannabis plants naturally produce THCP in very trace amounts and at low concentrations.
It is possible to extract and isolate it from hemp and marijuana by subjecting CBD that has been taken from legal hemp plants to chemical processing using a technique called Chromatography.
It would indicate that this cannabinoid binds 33 times more often than delta-9 THC to CB1 receptors.
Because THCP is still relatively new to the cannabis industry, no studies have been conducted on the cannabinoid other than the findings made by the first research team that found it. Despite this, there is data and the possibility of medicinal applications that are encouraging.
Patients who need high quantities of THC for their treatment, such as those presently using Rick Simpson Oil (RSO) to combat cancer, may find that THCP provides more significant pain relief.
Higher concentrations of THCP have been shown to induce sedative effects comparable to those of high doses of THC. These effects have the potential to alleviate intractable pain and ease sleeplessness.
There is, however, a lack of concrete research about how precisely THCP affects people or which strains could have more significant quantities of the cannabinoid.
Additionally, even though THCP has been reported by many as having an impact that is “more intense” or “pronounced” than that of THC, there is no concrete data to suggest that the cannabinoid is more active when it is eaten.
Patients and consumers should exercise an appropriate level of care while looking at THCP as a possible therapy until further information is available. Since there is no research currently accessible, this recommendation is warranted.