THCP: The Complete Guide
The Complete Guide to THCP
Modern science has reimagined the way we consume cannabis, with an increasing number of resources being channelled into botanical research. A cannabinoid known as THCP is the latest breakthrough, with a UNIHEMP-funded research project recently launching the psychoactive molecule onto the global stage.
Want to know more about THCP and how it’s changing the face of contemporary cannabis? Read on for our complete guide to THCP, covering key topics like how it works, how to calculate dosage and where to buy this
What is THCP?
Short for -Trans-Δ⁹-tetrahydrocannabiphorol, THCP is a phytocannabinoid that occurs naturally in the Cannabis sativa plant. It’s one of more than 100 active compounds produced by resinous trichomes in the Cannabis sativa plant, including well-known phytocannabinoids like cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). If you’re wondering where the “P” comes from it’s derived from the “phorol” suffix, which is a shortened version of “sphaerophorol”.
When it comes to potency, THCP is equipped with incredible binding affinity characteristics that allow it to form strong bonds with CB1 and CB2 receptors. This makes it 33 times more potent that standard Delta 9 THC.
Is THCP a Natural Product?
Yes, THCP is a naturally occurring product found in the cannabis sativa plant. As usual, we have Mother Nature to thank for this 100% natural phytocannabinoid. While it was initially discovered as a synthetic homologue of THC, in 2019 a team of researchers isolated the cannabinoid from a naturally grown Cannabis sativa plant. The findings were published in the journal Nature, with the report drumming up a huge amount of excitement in the cannabis realm. If you’re interested in the scientific side of cannabis and how it interacts with the body’s natural endocannabinoid system (ECS) it’s worth a read.
How THCP Works
What’s behind the incredible potency of THCP? According to science, it’s all about the alkyl side chains. While the chemical structure of THCP is almost identical to its less potent cousin THC, there are big differences in the construction of its alkyl side chains. Present in all naturally-occurring cannabinoid molecules, alkyl side chains are made up of interconnected carbon atoms that determine how the cannabinoid interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system. For an alkyl side chain to react with the body’s naturally-occurring CB1 cannabinoid receptors it must feature a minimum of three carbon atoms.
THC alkyl side chains feature five carbon atoms, which explains the psychoactive effects of the cannabinoid. THCP takes things to a whole new level with alkyl side chains made up of seven carbon atoms. These extra atoms supercharge the cannabinoid’s ability to bind with CB1 receptors and make it more than 30 times stronger than THC.
Enjoying Recreational THCP
Like most cannabis products, THCP has drummed up big interest from recreational users. The headline “30x stronger than THC” won global attention from cannabis enthusiasts but despite all the buzz, THCP isn’t available to purchase on the commercial market. Why? Well for starters, it’s 30 times more potent than Delta 9 THC. This means that while it could translate to an out-of-this-world high, it also has big risks. Users will need to be extremely careful with dosages when enjoying THCP and it won’t be commercially available until it’s considered safe.
THCP as a Therapeutic Product
As well as recreational use, the potency of THCP has sparked excitement for use as a potential pain reliever or sleep-aid drug. The UNIHEMP placed a big focus on the therapeutic potential of THCP, with the team aiming to clean up the reputation of the flowering plant and promote the “pharmacological potential of cannabis and cannabinoids on a wide range of disorders from sleep to anxiety, multiple sclerosis, autism and neuropathic pain.” This is the kind of cannabis research we love to see as it really highlights the therapeutic potential of the plant and helps position it as not just a recreational drug, but a natural medicine with genuine pharmaceutical properties.
Understanding the Potential of THCP
Another key implication of the UNIHEMP study is the potential to explain why cannabis experiences vary so drastically between users. By profiling potent but lesser known cannabinoids like THCP, the team hope to understand more about how different cannabinoids work together to create therapeutic and pharmacological effects.
“The presence of this new phytocannabinoid could account for the pharmacological properties of some cannabis varieties difficult to explain by the presence of the sole Δ9-THC,” reads the abstract.
Is THCP Legal?
While THC is classed as a controlled substance in the USA, THCP is legal if derived from hemp with less than 0.3% THC content.
Bringing THCP to the Masses
Ultimately, this new insight into the mechanics of the Cannabis sativa plant and how different cannabinoids interact could be used to develop strains that aren’t necessarily CBD or THC dominant. Eventually, we could see strains with higher quantities of minor yet powerful cannabinoids like THCP start to infiltrate the market. This is a trend that’s already appearing with cannabinoids like THCV, CBG and CBDV.
For example, our Delta 8 CBG Hemp Flower is rich in cannabigerol, a naturally occurring cannabinoid and one of the newest additions to the hemp space. While it’s classed as a minor constituent of cannabis, CBG is non-psychotropic and contains negligible quantities of THC. It’s not THC-heavy like THCP but it is underpinned by the same concept of isolating minor cannabis compounds and celebrating their unique characteristics.
Of course, new cannabis products need to be underpinned by a huge amount of research and quality control. THCP was only discovered as a naturally occurring cannabinoid in 2019, meaning there’s still bucketloads of research to be done before it becomes a mainstay.
At CannEssentials, we’re passionate about bringing you the latest botanical experiences which is why we’ll definitely be exploring the potential of THCP as a new product. Until then, we have a huge selection of hemp flower, Delta 8 vapes, gummies and moon rocks to meet all your cannabis needs. Whether you want to mellow out with Delta 8 CBG Hemp Flower or get sky high with hand rolled Moon Rocks, we have you covered.