THCP (tetrahydrocannabiphorol) is shaking up the cannabis industry with potentially 33 times the potency of the Delta 9 THC we know and love.
What is THCP and why should you care? We’re glad you asked!
What is THCP?
THCP is one of over 120 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. As a minor cannabinoid, it’s found in very small quantities. Different cannabis strains may have more or less THCP.
Researchers accidentally discovered THCP in 2019 while conducting studies on a natural cannabis sample provided by the Military Chemical Institute in Florence, Italy. For you super-sciencey cannabis consumers, the processes used to analyze the plant matter were mass-spectrometry and liquid chromatography.
What Makes THCP Special?
The research uncovered a compound nearly identical to Delta 9 THC, but with one important structural change. Cannabinoid molecules contain a string of carbon atoms that make up an alkyl side chain. It’s this component of the molecule that allows it to attach to receptors in the body (primarily the CB1 receptor).
While Delta 9 THC has five alkyl side chains, THCP has seven. When the Italian researchers tested the new cannabinoid on human receptors, they found it was 33 times more effective in engaging CB1 receptors, which impacts how the body responds.
Will THCP Get You High?
The effects of THCP are reportedly very much like a more intense version of Delta 9 THC. This means THCP will get you high.
It may be true that people who experience a more intense high from certain cannabis strains may be inadvertently consuming higher amounts of THCP. Again, this is a naturally-occurring minor cannabinoid, which means it has always existed even though we didn’t know about it.
The effects of THCP are identical to Delta 9 THC, but more pronounced. This could mean better pain relief, sleep, and other benefits that THC is known for. Recreational users may enjoy a deeper high.
Many of those who’ve tried THCP claim it promotes more of a cognitive or “head high” rather than a “body high.” When paired with quality terpenes and other cannabinoids, THCP has the potential to be an important new addition to the cannabis market.
It’s important to note that the THCP identified by the Italian researchers was derived from hemp, rather than cannabis. Hemp is legal for cultivation and sale in the United States, under the 2018 Farm Bill.
How Can You Use THCP?
Cannabis manufacturers are just as excited as consumers about this new cannabinoid. You can consume THCP as a stand-alone product or add it to other products with various terpenes and cannabinoids to enhance the benefits. THCP can be found in vaporizer cartridges, tinctures, capsules, dabs, and edibles.
Like all cannabis products, there’s no specific dose that’s best for everyone. Factors such as your tolerance, metabolic rate, and hydration level can impact how THCP affects you. We recommend that you start with a lower dose your first time and work up from there until you achieve your desired results.