Yet another cannabinoid that is growing in popularity is THCP, which stands for Tetrahydrocannabiphorol. It is derived from Hemp and acts very similar to regular THC because it is psychoactive; However, it’s known to be 33 times stronger! Here is what you need to know about THCP.
The Difference Between Regular THC and THCP
Although both THC and THCP are cannabinoids present in the Hemp plant, there are significant differences between these 2 cannabinoids. You’ll discover how CBGA plays an important role in the creation of THCP.
How THCP Is Made
THCP first begins as a substance initially formed as cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), known as the “mother cannabinoid” from which cannabinoids derive. Carboxyl groups—molecules comprising one carbon, two oxygen, and one hydrogen atom—form the molecule. This happens when the plant part is heated.
Otherwise, it has no biological effect. Depending on the various enzymes with which it interacts, CBGA can become tetrahydrocannabinol acid (THCA) or cannabidiol acid (CBDA), among others. Again, these have little effect when consumed. It’s only when the carboxyl group falls off that they do.
By the same token, TCHPA (Tetrahydrocannabiphorol Acid) and CBDPA (Cannabidiphorol Acid) become THCP and CBDP when heated. They compose only a small percentage of a plant’s overall cannabinoid makeup — and they’re quite potent. In fact, THCP is 33 times stronger than regular THC, which means its effects on the body are amplified.
What Makes THCP Psychoactive?
The THC molecule contains a short chain of alkyls (a group of carbon and hydrogen atoms). These alkyls promote lipophilic activity, in which they dissolve among fatty tissues. In THC’s case, the alkyls bind to cannabinoid receptors (specifically CB1 and CB2) throughout the central nervous system and immune system. Because it can bind to fatty tissue, it can prevent other molecules from interfering with cells.
This is why THC has an antioxidant effect: it prevents molecules from losing electrons and thereby changing their structure. While the THC molecule contains an alkyl group comprising five carbon atoms, THCP’s has seven. This may not seem like a huge difference, but it actually allows more of the compound to bind to cannabinoid receptors — thereby increasing the psychoactive and pain-relieving effects.
To produce a high, the THC compound must have a minimum of three links to bind to the Endocannabinoid Receptors. In THCP, the elongated chain is what causes the high potency.
The Discovery of THCP
Scientists have been studying cannabis for years, but due to various legal restrictions as well as the molecular complexity of the plant, it has been difficult to isolate all the various cannabinoids. The percentage and potency of each compound also vary by strain. THCP was discovered by accident by a team of Italian researchers.
While conducting a mass spectrometry and liquid chromatography analysis of a natural Sativa strain, they encountered the substance and realized it was chemically unique from regular THC. Its longer alkyl chain allowed it to bind to more CB1 receptors, increasing its impact.
If you are at least a semi-regular cannabis user, you have likely already consumed THCP. It is present in trace amounts in many Sativa strains. As not all strains have been analyzed at the molecular level, it’s quite possible that some strains have a higher percentage of THCP. An unexpected high even with a small dose may be due to the presence of THCP.
As with any cannabis use, observe your body’s reactions and limit your dosage if you are experiencing side effects. THC may cause paranoia, anxiety, fatigue, dry mouth and eyes, memory loss, and gastrointestinal distress in some users. It’s reasonable to assume that as THCP binds to more CB1 receptors, its side effects may be more intense.
When using our Platinum Collection, start with small doses first to establish a tolerance. In any case, THCP is ripe for further study and could be an excellent option for users looking for something stronger. You’ll love the flavors that our THCP products come in, along with the unique experience it provides.