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Late in the year 2019, Delta 9-THCP (9-Tetrahydrocannabiphorol) and CBDP (Cannabidiphorol), two novel cannabinoids, were found by Italian researchers. While both of them are intriguing, 9-THCP has gained attention because research estimates that it is 33 times stronger psychoactively than Delta 9-THC. It was also observed to be a psychoactive roughly 63 times stronger than THCV.
We’ll get into Tetrahydrocannabiphorol’s finding and why it’s such a significant milestone in cannabis-derived science below.
THCP: What Is It?
Tetrahydrocannabiphorol or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabiphorol is referred to as THCP. THCP is a phytocannabinoid that has been produced and isolated from plants in the Cannabis Sativa genus for research purposes. Popular phytocannabinoids like THC and CBD are already known to us. Additional cannabinoids to be aware of include:
- Cannabigerol (CBG)
- Cannabichromene (CBC)
- Cannabidivarin (CBDV)
- Cannabinol (CBN)
- Tetrahydrocannabavarin (THCV)
- Additional Delta THCs (-8-THC and -10-THC)
We already know that the endocannabinoid system is the mechanism through which each cannabinoid acts on the human body (aka ECS). What, therefore, sets THCP apart?
First and foremost, a 2019 study found that THCP has effects that are significantly stronger than Delta-9 THC. 33 times more potent, in fact.
The THCP Discovery
How can we maximise the cannabis plant’s potential therapeutic effects? Well, in order to understand cannabinoids, we must first analyse the chemical makeup of the active substances. Researchers can go much farther now because to sophisticated equipment like mass spectrometry. The objective is to gain more knowledge about cannabinoids that are less well-known and only present in trace amounts. That is essentially how THCP was found.
Based on ground-breaking Italian research, the newly found cannabinoid was revealed to the public on December 30 in a 2019 issue of Scientific Reports.
THC concentrations in the Italian strain study were 39 mg/g, compared to just 29 mcg/g of THCP. Pay attention to the difference between milligrams and micrograms!
The research team, made up of Italian scientists, also reported the discovery of CBDP, another brand-new cannabinoid. (Spoiler alert: we discuss THCP and CBDP in more detail below.) Let’s now concentrate on what makes THCP special.
The THCP Secrets: Why Size Matters!
The discovery of THCP is nothing less than revolutionary. This is the only cannabinoid that has ever been discovered that naturally contains more than 5 carbon atoms in its alkyl side chains. So why is the cannabis molecule’s size so important?
The effects of cannabis are influenced by the molecule’s size and shape. The majority of cannabis compounds share a characteristic. They contain a substance known as alkyl side chains, which are made up of a string of carbon atoms. Consider the carbon atoms as pearls strung together. More carbon pearls on each strand, according to research, will increase psychoactivity. THC and CBD molecules both have five carbon atoms in them. These atoms are joined to the molecules’ alkyl side chains. A crucial role is played by the alkyl side chain. Cannabinoids bind to CB1 and CB2 receptors in your body.
Think of this like a locker key. The locks are CB receptors, and the cannabinoids are the keys. Through the endocannabinoid system, cannabis molecules can affect cellular and brain activity by attaching to a receptor. There are cannabinoid receptors throughout the body, in the brain, and in the nerves. Because of this, the effects of cannabis on our physical systems are so varied and interconnected.
Differences Between the 5 and 7-Chain Carbon Atom Tails
Because cannabinoids have different binding affinities for different receptors, the effects differ.
The results do, of course, differ more based on very personal aspects. Consider your metabolism and your tolerance to cannabis, to name a few.
Let’s use THCa as an example (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid). When heated, THCa transforms into THC (the process of decarboxylation). According to a 2017 study, THCa’s binding affinity is very different from that of THC. THCa, in contrast to THC, has no psychotropic effects.
You can now see why the THCP’s seven-term side alkyl chain represents a significant advance. Different from other cannabinoids, this unique structure has an impact on the cannabinoid receptors. The original THC has a shorter alkyl chain than the synthetic cannabinoids that scientists have so far been able to produce. But THCP is the first substance that has been derived organically and matches this particular chemical structure. The specific biological action of THCP is influenced by the tail of the 7-chain carbon atom. The side chain of cannabinoids like THC is only two chains longer, right? But that changes everything.
Can You Get High From THCP?
Since the substance is more psychoactive than D9, it will probably produce a considerably more potent set of effects. The main concern is: How and Why does the high from THCP vary from what we’ve previously experienced?
THCP vs. THC: Potency Comparison
THCP was found to be more potent than THC even at lower doses. The study conducted by the Italian experts indicates that THCP has higher cannabimimetic action.
It is particularly more effective in turning on the CB1 receptor. That is comparable to how certain synthetic THC analogues function.
Consider receptors as pawn shops and alkyl side chains as pearl necklaces to understand why some substances are more psychoactive.
Typically, only pearl necklaces with a length of 3 to 8 pearls, or carbon atoms, will be purchased by pawn shop receptors. If there are less, the shop won’t be interested. The shop cannot afford to spend any more than that.
One of the study’s authors, Giuseppe Cannazza, provides the following information:
In tests on CB1 and CB2 receptors revealed that THCP had a 33-fold higher affinity for CB1 than the data on THC reported in the literature.
Effects And Timeframe
Cannazza asserts that THCP exhibits greater psychoactive qualities than THC. But all of that is based on the earlier animal research.
There is currently no conclusive evidence about the precise effects of THCP on people. It is also unknown whether various cannabis strains produce various amounts of the recently found cannabinoid. Ten milligrammes per kilogramme of THC had the same effects on mice in three out of four experiments as five milligrammes per kilogramme of THCP.
At greater doses, THCP also had stronger sedative effects. Mice would exhibit a trance-like state as a result of this, and their bodies would become immobile. Couchlock, perhaps? However, in the same study, these very sedative doses also seemed to be associated with greater analgesic effects.
How long does THCP’s impact last?
How much medication or recreational activity do you need to function safely? These are all questions that science will eventually have to address. Important Information Because the CB1 receptor does not restrict respiration like opioid receptors do in the brainstem, THC is viewed as being rather safe to use. However, increased effectiveness could still come with risks, such as psychiatric, neurodevelopmental, and cardiovascular. The goal of developing new cannabis strains is to boost the concentration of minor cannabinoids like CBGV. Numerous high-CBD strains also exhibit this characteristic. This is a significant advance into the genetic riches that cannabis chemicals hold for us. To fully comprehend the potential risks, it is imperative to continue evaluating the effects of cannabis extracts. We are still very early in this process, so we should all be willing to change our minds in light of fresh information about these new cannabinoids.
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