New Analog of THC: THCP
The legalized hemp industry has evolved rapidly over the last 3 years since its inception and continues to evolve still; it’s been incredible to observe! The famed Delta 9 THC, a beloved psychoactive compound by canna enthusiasts, still remains a class I, scheduled substance and is federally illegal in the United States. With the passing of the Farm Bill in 2018, it created a rift within the canna-matrix and allowed a loophole – what is this loophole, you might ask? Well, hemp containing no greater than 0.3% THC (in dry weight) is permissible to be grown, manufactured, and distributed! Analogs of THC have grown in popularity as there are many that fall within the <0.3% spectrum.
THCP, or more formally known as Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol, was discovered in 2019 by a group of Italian researchers that were studying chemical profiles of various cannabis strains. Although users of THCP range its potency to be somewhere between 5-10 times that of traditional THC, its effects are highly debated as it’s fairly new to our marketplace. There are researchers who speculate that THCP has always been present and is currently playing a more proactive role in these psychoactive cannabinoids.
The Discovery of THCP
In 2019, Dr. Giuseppe Cannazza and Reggio Emilia were conducting research into cannabis strain FM2 for a bio-engineering company called UNIHEMP (Use of Industrial Hemp Biomass For Energy and New Biochemical Production) During their research, they discovered THCP and CBDP; two new cannabinoids which presented more sustainable binding properties to our endocannabinoid receptors than traditional THC. In reference to THCP, their findings concluded that THCP was 33 times more active than THC, more likely to bind to our CB1 receptors than previously discovered analogs, and was lipophilic; meaning it dissolves easier in lipids/fats! The discovery of THCP might lend explanation as to why there are analogs of THC that are more potent, despite containing little or no THC at all. Both THCP and CBDP have cannabimimetic properties; this references their ability to form stronger bonds with our CB1 and CB2 endocannabinoid receptors. In an experiment utilizing mice, Dr. Guiseppe’s team found THCP to produce similar psychoactivity and behavioral alterations as THC, but at half the dose.
Quick Buyer’s Guide: It’s a Wild Ride
What makes THCP so intoxicating? Well, we’ve got that down to a science! And it’s all in the atoms. Research has taught us that for psychoactivity to occur in THC, its molecule must contain 3 carbon atoms along its alkyl chain. THCP’s coming in at a whopping 7 carbon atoms, which is likely accounting for its peak in potency! With that in mind, you’ll want to be sure you’re in a safe and comfortable environment while experimenting with this high! Seasoned folks, you’ll want to heed caution, too.
THCP’s fairly new in today’s marketplace and can be a little challenging to navigate – that’s why we’re here to help! Some things to be mindful of:
Method of consumption.
- How are you consuming THCP? There are two options for this! 1) as an edible and 2) as a smokable, such as a vape or pre-roll. Edibles can produce pretty potent highs so you’ll want to be cognizant of time – they can take up to an hour before feeling any effects, and last up to 6 hours total. Smokable products are generally felt within the first 15 minutes.
Possibility impaired cognition.
- THC is known for its psychoactive properties, as are its analogs, like THCP. Psychoactivity refers to alternations in our perceptions and cognition. Considering THCP is known for being more potent than THC, cognition impairment is a high possibility! Make sure you’re in a safe and comfortable environment while consuming.
Invest in the best!
- There aren’t as many THCP products on the market because it’s so new and there’s little demand from the public; this often results in higher costs and limited availability. THCP isn’t easy to produce, so it’s going to be more costly than other analogs of THC. Given its higher potency, the pay-off is in the longevity of the product; you won’t need to consume as much to get high.
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- Citti C;Linciano P;Russo F;Luongo L;Iannotta M;Maione S;Laganà A;Capriotti AL;Forni F;Vandelli MA;Gigli G;Cannazza G; (n.d.). A novel phytocannabinoid isolated from Cannabis Sativa L. with an in vivo cannabimimetic activity higher than Δ 9-tetrahydrocannabinol: Δ 9-Tetrahydrocannabiphorol. Scientific reports. Retrieved May 6, 2022, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31889124/
- Husami, N. (2021, December 17). Δ9-THCP: The novel phytocannabinoid with higher CANNABIMIMETIC activity than THC: Cannabis Sciences. Labroots. Retrieved May 6, 2022, from https://www.labroots.com/trending/cannabis-sciences/21904/9-thcp-novel-phytocannabinoid-cannabimimetic-activity-thc