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You might already be acquainted with Delta 9 THC, the most well-known psychoactive substance in cannabis. However, there’s a diverse world of THC variants out there.  Recent research has unveiled a myriad of THC types, including delta 8 and delta 10 THC, which are part of more than 120 identified cannabinoids. The cannabinoid currently sparking interest is THCP, noted for its significantly stronger effects compared to THC. The rising trend of THCP products, like THCP carts, highlights the need to understand this newly identified component of marijuana.  Our objective is to provide you with essential insights into this unique cannabinoid, evaluate its strength, and explore the contrasts between THC-O and THC-P, along with other THC variants. Read on!

What is THCP?

Tetrahydrocannabiphorol (THC-P) occurs in cannabis plants, albeit in minimal amounts. Commonly, a cannabis plant has less than 0.1% THCP, in stark contrast to the approximate 30% presence of THC. However, this scarcity doesn’t diminish THCP’s effectiveness. In fact, emerging studies suggest it may be significantly more potent. THC-P was first identified by Italian scientists in 2019, meaning there’s still a relatively limited understanding of its potential therapeutic benefits.

What Makes THCP Unique?

What makes THCP unique is its longer alkyl side chains. When compared to THC, the string of carbon atoms in THCP is much longer. Because of that, the cannabinoid can attach more easily to receptors throughout the user’s body.   It is plausible that THC-P offers similar medicinal properties to THC, such as providing pain relief, alleviating nausea, reducing seizure frequency, and assisting in the management of various other disorders and discomforts.

Does THCP Get You High?

Is it possible for THC-P to induce a high? While further research is required to understand THC-P’s impact fully, initial indications suggest that it does.  THC-P interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which consists of two types of receptors: CB1 and CB2. Notably, THC-P is found to bind 33 times more effectively to CB1 receptors than delta-9 THC. The psychoactive effects in the body are triggered when THC compounds attach to CB1 endocannabinoid receptors.  This implies that THC-P could potentially lead to a significantly more potent high, potentially over 30 times stronger than that of THC. Both scientists and users observe that THC-P’s effects are largely similar to THC’s, but with a considerably higher potency. 

What Are The Effects of THCP?

it’s important to exercise caution due to the lack of research available. THCP is 33 times more capable of binding to CB1 receptors compared to THC, which means it can produce stronger psychoactive effects even at smaller doses. Excessive intake of THC-P might result in undesirable side effects such as anxiety, paranoia, and dry mouth. It’s also important to note that THCP is typically found in small concentrations in cannabis. Therefore, its overall impact on the effects of cannabis is still unclear. Some theories suggest that THCP could explain why certain cannabis strains are more potent than others, even if they have similar or lower levels of THC. However, there is no definitive proof of this yet. As more research becomes available, we will better understand the role and potential benefits of THCP. Users claim consuming too much THCP may lead to the following symptoms:
  • psychological distress
  • anxiety
  • paranoia ( for those who take higher doses )
  • altered perception
  • potential impairment of decision-making capabilities
  • potential poor motor coordination
This can increase the risk of accidents or injuries, particularly if one attempts to drive or operate heavy machinery under the influence of THCP.

THCP Products

As of now, there’s a limited range of THCP products on the market, but it’s expected that availability will expand in the future. THCP can be consumed in similar methods as delta 9 THC, including options like flower, tinctures, edibles, beverages, and concentrates. Presently, THCP carts are the most sought-after form of this cannabinoid.
What is THCP
Experts are capable of extracting and isolating minute quantities of THCP from cannabis through techniques like mass spectrometry and liquid chromatography. Following this, they synthetically reproduce THCP, though it remains a natural compound. Due to legal constraints, producers of THCP products derive them from hemp, ensuring that the THC content remains below the 0.3% threshold.

What Is THCP and Is it Legal?

The legal status of THCP remains somewhat uncertain, especially since it’s a relatively recent discovery. In the USA, cannabinoids and products derived from hemp are lawful under federal law as long as their THC content does not exceed 0.3% by weight. Therefore, under the 2018 Farm Bill, THCP and THCP-infused products are generally legal at the federal level in the United States.  Yet, the precise legal definition of “THC” in this context remains a bit murky. If THCP is categorized as a type of THC, its legal status could vary. Some states have started differentiating between what they classify as “THC” and other cannabinoids like THCP.  For the time being, it’s advisable to stay updated and review your local state laws before purchasing any THCP products.

What’s the Difference Between THC-P and Other THC Compounds?

The key to understanding different cannabinoids lies in their chemical structures, specifically the alkyl side chains – sequences of carbon atoms. These chains determine how each cannabinoid interacts with the receptors in the endocannabinoid system. (For a cannabinoid to bind with the CB1 receptor, it requires an alkyl side chain with at least three carbon atoms.)

Delta-9 THC vs THCP

Delta-9 THC features a chain of five carbon atoms, whereas THCP has a longer chain with seven carbon atoms. This extended chain in THCP results in significantly stronger cannabimimetic properties than THC, enhancing its potency and effects.

Delta-8 THC vs THCP

In comparison to delta-8 THC, THCP is substantially more potent. While delta-8 THC tends to induce calming effects, providing relaxation and pain relief with a lower risk of intense psychoactive experiences, THCP is known for its highly stimulating properties.

THC-O vs THCP

Regarding THC-O and THCP, THCP stands out as the stronger of the two. Although THC-O is a potent THC variant with delayed effects due to its synthetic nature, THCP, which occurs naturally in cannabis and has immediate effects, exhibits greater potency.  So, while THCP is stronger than THC-O, THC-O still remains more potent than THC.

Summary

Comparison Delta-9 THC THCP Delta-8 THC THC-O
Carbon Atoms 5-carbon atom chain 7-carbon atom chain
Potency Less potent More potent than Delta-9 THC and Delta-8 THC Less potent than THCP Less potent than THCP, but stronger than Delta-9 THC
Effects Standard cannabimimetic properties Heightened cannabimimetic properties; more stimulating More calming; relaxation, pain relief with less psychoactive effects Potent variant; delayed effects, synthetic
Natural Occurrence Naturally Occurring Naturally Occurring in the cannabis plant Synthetic Cannabinoid
Onset of Effects Immediate Immediate Delayed
LEARN MORE: What is THC-O? | What is H4CBD? 

Benefits of THCP

As THCP was recently discovered, there haven’t been many studies about its potential usage and benefits. That said, everyone agrees on one thing: potential medical applications of THCP are promising.  THCP could provide more substantial pain relief for medical marijuana users who require a higher dosage of THC, such as cancer patients who utilize Rick Simpson Oil (RSO).  At the moment, there is no valid evidence of how THCP will affect humans, as it will take time to research all its potential usage and benefits. 

Should I Try THCP?

Having clarified what THCP is, the next question you might consider is whether you’re interested in trying THCP products.  Deciding to experiment with items containing this cannabinoid is a personal choice.  Nonetheless, we strongly advise sourcing THCP products, like THC-P carts, from reputable vendors who provide third-party testing and certificates of analysis. Given that THCP is legal under federal law, similar to THC, there’s a likelihood of encountering less credible sellers in the market.  If you’ve had experiences of anxiety with THC, it might be prudent either to avoid THCP altogether or to approach its usage with caution, particularly regarding dosage.  It’s worth noting that CBD can mitigate some of THC’s psychoactive effects. Thus, consuming CBD prior to or alongside any THC variant can help alleviate potential anxiety or paranoia.

Elevate Holistics: Keeping You Informed and Medicated

Elevate Holistics aims to keep you in the know in order to receive the best cannabis advice. Our blog answers questions like: How long does marijuana stay in your system? Who accepts out-of-state MMJ cards? Subscribe to our newsletter to stay in the loop in the world of marijuana. Do you want access to a variety of medical cannabis products to feel better naturally? We offer a secure, 100% online way to get your medical marijuana card. We’ll connect you with a cannabis physician over video chat for MMJ card approval and help you the rest of the way. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is THCP legal?

THCP is not listed as a controlled substance in the United States. However, THCP regulations can vary depending on the state or new changes in the cannabis law that can consequently impact THCP.

How do THCP and THCB compare?

Both of these cannabinoids have been recently discovered. Their main similarities are in their strong affinity toward the CB1 receptor and their potential strong effects. That said, there are certain differences between THCP and THCB, especially in their chemical structure. As time goes on, we will have a better understanding of these cannabinoids.  

Does THCP show up on a drug test?

Most drug tests you can find on the market aim to detect THC, but not THCP, because of its recent discovery. However, THCP has a very similar structure to THC, so it could result in a false positive on your drug test. If a THCP product contains THC, the person could test positive on a drug test.

Is THCP psychoactive?

THCP is a cannabinoid which can be found in some cannabis plants. Compared to THC, THCP has a stronger affinity for the CB1 receptor, meaning it has stronger psychoactive effects. 

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About the author

Michael Lawal is a seasoned content writer with specialized expertise in the medical cannabis industry. With a background that blends journalism and health sciences, Michael has a knack for translating complex medical cannabis research into accessible and engaging content. His writing portfolio showcases a range of work from informative articles and research summaries to patient education materials. Committed to raising awareness about the benefits and responsible use of medical cannabis, Michael's work is a valuable resource for both consumers and professionals in the field.
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