The world of THCP
With THCP (tetrahydrocannabiphorol) - also spelled THC-P - the world of cannabinoids we know is enriched by another representative. And this one has it all: THCP is said to be 33 times stronger than THC. And so THC-P is already referred to by some authors as the “super cannabinoid” or “king of the cannabinoids”.
So it's no wonder that some users want to buy THCP.
What is THCP?
THCP, also known as tetrahydrocannabiphorol, is one of around 150 known phytocannabinoids. These substances occur naturally in the cannabis plant and their effects are similar to the body's own endocannabinoids. In 2019, THCP was first discovered and isolated, and it is the only known phytocannabinoid with a carbon chain of 7 atoms in the side chain.
The meaning of THCP stands for “tetrahydrocannabiphorol”, and it also has other names such as Δ9-THCP, (C7)-Δ9-THC or THC-heptyl. It has a CAS number of 54763-99-4 and chemical formula C23H34O2. The IUPAC name (6aR,10aR)-3-heptyl-6,6,9-trimethyl-6a,7,8,10a-tetrahydrobenzo[c]chromen-1-ol is often used for precise identification.
Does THCP cannabis come from the hemp plant?
Although THCP is found in small amounts in some cannabis strains, the THCP available in stores is believed to be semi-synthetically produced. This is done by chemically converting CBD or THC in the laboratory, as the natural occurrences in the hemp plant are too low.
Cannabinoid receptors and binding affinity
The effects of THC and THCP are primarily mediated via cannabinoid receptors, particularly the CB1 receptors. By lengthening the hydrocarbon chain (alkyl chain), the binding affinity of THC to CB1 receptors increases. This knowledge has been used to synthesize highly potent substances that can mimic and surpass the effects of THC. Naturally, no cannabinoid has a side chain longer than 5 carbon atoms until THCP was discovered with a full 7 carbon atoms. You can find out more about the differences between the two cannabinoids here: THC vs. THC-P.
THC-P binding affinity – the incredible THCP effect
Studies have found that THCP has a significantly higher binding affinity to CB1 receptors than other cannabinoids. It is up to 63 times more active than THCV, 33 times more active than THC and 13 times more active than THCB. Such high levels have so far only been achieved with synthetic cannabinoids, which can often have serious side effects.
THC-P – its possible side effects and dangers
There have been only limited studies on the side effects and dangers of THCP. Because it binds to the same receptors as THC, it is believed that similar side effects may occur, but more potent and long-lasting. There is also evidence from studies of synthetic cannabinoids that consuming THCP may pose risks.
Is THCP also a full agonist?
Full agonists are extremely powerful and can cause serious side effects. One study found that the binding activity of Δ9-THCP to the human CB1 receptor in vitro is similar to that of CP55940, a potent full agonist. This suggests that THCP could also be a full agonist.
THC-P – Does it really have potential?
The discovery of THCP raises questions as to whether THC is really responsible for the psychoactive effects of cannabis. This could have implications for medical cannabis and its use. The ability to use THCP at low doses could also prove useful in medical applications.
Overall, research on THCP shows that it is a fascinating cannabinoid that still raises many questions and requires further research, particularly in relation to its effects and potential applications in the medical field. If you want to know about the legality of the super cannabinoid, check out this article. THCP legal?
Due to the extremely strong effects, the few studies and the legal situation, tetrahydrocannabiphorol is not suitable for recreational use and should be approached with caution.
Despite these and other possible dangers, we share the enthusiasm of the scientists who discovered THC-P and look forward to further surprises that the cannabis plant has in store for us.
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