THCP: The Strongest Cannabinoid Discovered To Date
THC isn’t the only way to get high with cannabinoids.
Tetrahydrocannabipherol (THCP) is significantly more potent than THC according to research published at the end of 2019.
Scientists have identified over 150 cannabinoids. THCP is one of the most recent discoveries.
Even though most cannabis strains do not contain THCP in large amounts, the isolation and use of this phytocannabinoid may change the way we look at medical cannabis.
How does THCP impact the body?
The endocannabinoid, or ECS (Endocannabinoid System), produces THCP’s effect. The ECS has three components.
- Cannabinoid receptors 1, and 2, (CB1 and CB2)
- and enzymes
Endocannabinoids (chemicals produced by the brain) can be considered as trucks that transmit messages throughout your body. These receptors, CB1 or CB2, are where the trucks stop for their deliveries. These messages are decoded by enzymes, and you start to feel the effects.
Cannabis works as phytocannabinoids interact with the ECS in the same way that endocannabinoids, which is to say they send messages which can be broken down by enzymes.
THC is one of the most important phytocannabinoids in cannabis. It also has the greatest affinity for CB1 (and CB2)
These receptors are concentrated in the Central Nervous System, the area responsible for integrating sensory information with coordinating body function.
This could explain how THC consumption can affect sensory perception. You feel brighter colors and more vibrancy when you are high. As the sensation of overall joy increases, the pain diminishes.
THC is the reason. Or is that true?
Italian researchers report that you may also experience the effects THCP according to a 2019 Scientific Reports research.
According to the research, THCP is more effective at binding CB1 and CB2 than THC. The study revealed that THCP had a binding ability for CB1 & CB2 that was 33 times higher than THC.
The researchers found that THC and THCP effects are linked to side-chain lengths. That is, the longer the side chains, the more potent.
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THC has 5 carbons in its side chain. THCP is 7 carbons long.
Synthetic THC contains a sidechain of up to 8-carbons. THCP is the first THC analog that has a sidechain length greater than 8 carbons.
To determine the phytocannabinoid’s effects on biological functions, researchers treated mice with THCP. The mice saw a decrease in pain, locomotor activities, and rectal temp. After consuming THCP the mice went cataleptic. These are normal biological effects of THC.
To induce these effects, however, it only required 5 mg of THCP. It usually takes 10mg THC for the same response.
How was THCP discovered?
The discovery of THCP has credited a group of Italian researchers affiliated with the National Council of Research. Vanvitelli” as well as the Sapienza University in Rome.
The results of this study were published by the researchers in a 2019 Scientific Reports study. It was entitled, “A novel cannabinoid isolated Cannabis. with an in vivo cannabimimetic activity higher than D9-tetrahydrocannabinol: D9-Tetrahydrocannabipherol.”
The researchers removed some of the plant materials from their plants and decarboxylated them before extracting the cannabinoids. The extracts were analyzed using high-performance liquid chromatography, and high-resolution Orbitrap-mass spectrometry.
This research team did not discover THCP.
In 2018, the research group discovered and HHCB. The 4-term side link chain is characteristic of the butyl phytocannabinoid series.
Their latest research identified THCP & CBDP as novel phytocannabinoids containing sideline chains of 7 Carbons.
The biological effects of CBDP weren’t examined in this study. However, the researchers plan to focus their future studies on CBDP’s potential anti-inflammatory as well as antioxidant and anti-epileptic benefits.
Researchers are unable to isolate cannabinoids as THCP.
Researchers can isolate cannabinoids in order to better understand how they function in tandem, individually, and in the response to each other.
Research on THCP has revealed that some users may have a stronger reaction than others to cannabis.
Researchers wrote that THC has a “surprisingly wide range” of reactions, even at similar doses. They believe that marijuana’s psychotropic effects may be due to highly active phytocannabinoids including delta-9THCP.
“We believe that our discovery of a THClike phytocannabinoid can shed light upon many pharmacological effects not only attributed to delta-9 THC,” said the THCP researchers.
Researchers have made a significant breakthrough in their understanding of the effects medical marijuana has on patients by isolating THCP.
Technological innovations make it possible for isolated cannabinoids to be extracted and reproduced. Researchers may discover that isolated THCP works better than THC for pain relief, and can make more effective medicine available to patients.
Pharmaceutical industry researchers may not be as charitable.
Some claim the industry doesn’t want the cannabis industry to be run by small businesses. Since 1980, pharmaceutical companies have sought to own cannabinoid rights.
Whatever the industry uses it, research into cannabinoids is helping researchers and consumers to understand how best to administer medical pot.