All about exploring new minor cannabinoids? If so, you’re bound to be curious about one of the latest minor cannabinoids to surface: THCP.
As one of the most recently discovered cannabinoids, THCP has not been extensively studied but is generating all kinds of buzz among scientific communities and cannabinoid aficionados alike. That’s because THCP is thought to be as much as 33 times more potent than delta-9 THC.
So, what is THCP, exactly? How does it work? Take a look at all the information we know so far.
What is THCP?
THCP is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabiphoral, which is one of more than 100 unique phytocannabinoids that occurs naturally in cannabis plants and others belonging to the cannabis family. THCP is also synthesized from hemp-derived cannabinoids like CBD (cannabidiol), which grants legal access to THCP in products like Berry Melon Lifter D8, D9, and THCP Gummies from Galaxy Treats.
Even though THCP has an almost identical structure to delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, researchers have pointed out that the compound is potentially far more potent. While the cannabinoid is not well-researched just yet, this higher potency attribute could make THCP even more valuable for therapeutic purposes than THC.
THCP vs THC
THCP and THC may have similarities in terms of action and molecular structure, but the two do have profound differences. These differences are bound to be better understood as researchers conduct more in-depth studies to compare the two naturally occurring cannabinoid samples head-to-head. Take a look at the three biggest differences between THCP and THC.
By looking at the two under a microscope, you would see that THCP has what is referred to as a “seven-term alkyl side chain.” In terms of molecular structure and cannabinoid activity, the greater number of these alkyl side chains usually equates to greater biological activity. In other words, THCP shows a greater affinity for the CB1 receptors that make up the cannabinoid system than standard delta-9 THC.
Due to the change in molecular makeup, THCP is said to be as much as 33 times more binding to cannabinoid receptors compared to THC. While how exactly this binding affinity translates to potency comparisons is not well established, most researchers support the idea that THCP could offer a higher level of biological activity than THC. During the initial study conducted after THCP was discovered, THCP was found to be more active than THC in much smaller amounts. This could mean that THCP offers similar effects at smaller doses than THC.
One other big difference between THCP and THC is the concentration of the cannabinoid that occurs naturally in the plant. In cannabis that is classified as marijuana because of high THC content, delta-9 THC can be the most prevalent cannabinoid. However, THCP is only present in really small quantities in most strains. THCP can be synthesized from other potent cannabinoid forms, such as CBD (cannabidiol) from hemp.
Duration of Effects
While this particular difference is not well-established just yet, some people are claiming that the effects of THCP last longer than delta-9 THC. This could be due to the stronger affinity and binding action that the cannabinoid shows for cannabinoid receptors.
How Does THCP Work?
THCP works by binding to cannabinoid receptors in the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Just like other forms of THC, this binding action can produce different effects by altering how the ECS performs. For example, when THCP binds to CB1 receptors in the central nervous system, this could interrupt nerve impulses that carry pain signals from the body to the brain, but also cause psychotropic effects.
How is THCP Made?
THCP is naturally found in small amounts in only specific strains of cannabis. Because the available quantity is so low, most THCP is created by manipulating cannabidiol to cause it to transform into THCP. While the synthesizing process can get pretty scientific, the basic process involves using certain processes for extraction and then dewaxing and heat to create THCP.
Potential Benefits of THCP
As far now, THCP is a bit under-evaluated when it comes to potential therapeutic benefits. The fact that THCP may be more potent than delta-9 THC is definitely one major benefit to consider.
If research establishes that potency levels are indeed as great as they seem to be with the initial assessments, this could bring about a lot of value for people who use cannabinoids for therapeutic reasons. For example, an individual that uses THC for pain may need only a fractional amount of THCP to experience the same level of pain relief.
Anecdotal reports from people who have used THCP offer a bit of insight into another potential benefit: longer-lasting effects. Some people claim to use THCP for things like sleep, pain, and stress, and many say that the effects go on for a long time compared to THC.
Is THCP Legal in the United States?
THCP is currently legal in the United States as long as it comes from hemp that contains less than 0.3 percent delta-9 THC. The Farm Bill in 2018 made it possible for cannabinoids that are taken from hemp to be perfectly legal as long as these guidelines are met. Because the THCP available on the market is directly derived from hemp that meets the legal delta-9 THC threshold, THCP is considered legal for now.
Of course, many of the alternative cannabinoids that come from hemp plant can also have their own state-level legal guidelines to consider. For example, some states have chosen to write specific laws surrounding delta-8 THC products. Therefore, it is always a good idea to check out the most recent laws in your state to make sure you can legally possess products that contain THCP.
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