What is THCP? Understanding the "New" Cannabinoid
In the ever-evolving landscape of medical cannabis, new compounds are constantly being discovered and researched.
One such compound that has gained attention in recent years is THCP (Tetrahydrocannabiphorol), with some companies exploiting this newly-discovered cannabinoid as the “strongest cannabinoid”. What is THCP? Is THCP safe? Are there therapeutic benefits to THCP?
As medical cannabis patients of Compassionate Clinics of America, it’s important to stay informed about the latest developments. In this article, we will explore what THCP is, its potential benefits, possible risks, and what patients should be aware of when considering its use.
What is THCP, Exactly?
THCP is a phytocannabinoid, which means it is a naturally occurring compound found in the cannabis plant.
It belongs to the same class of cannabinoids as Delta 9 THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which are known for their interaction with the body’s endocannabinoid system.
THCP shares a similar chemical structure to THC; however, THCP has an elongated carbon side chain, allowing it to potentially interact with the body’s receptors in a unique way.
THCP is a relatively new cannabinoid; it wasn’t discovered until 2019 by Italian researchers.
THCP and the Cannabinoid Receptors in the Body
THCP has been discovered to have a much stronger affinity for CB1 receptors than THC, which means it binds more effectively to the endocannabinoid receptors within the Endocannabinoid System than its counterpart.
It is believed that THCP binds 33x stronger to the CB1 receptors, suggesting that THCP may have a more potent effect on the body. However, to say that THCP will get you “33x higher” than THC would be an inaccurate statement, since there are many factors including weight, age, method of consumption, and dosing that can affect how THCP is experienced.
However, it’s important to note that we still don’t fully understand how THCP exactly affects the body, and more research is needed to gain a clearer understanding.
THCP in the Cannabis Plant
Before patients get too excited about the super-potent cannabinoid that is THCP, it is important to know that THCP occurs naturally only in very low concentrations in some marijuana strains.
There are no strains per se in which THCP is the most abundant cannabinoid, nor are there any cannabis strains that contain THCP naturally in high concentrations.
In fact, to get THCP of any commercial value, it can be done in a lab by chemically manipulating CBD extracted from the hemp plant. This alone has risks due to the processes and chemicals used to make hemp derived THCP.
Potential Benefits of THCP
While research on THCP is still in its early stages, preliminary studies have shown potential benefits and therapeutic effects that are worth exploring.
Since THCP may possess a higher affinity for cannabinoid receptors in the body compared to THC, meaning it may have a more potent effect, researchers have speculated that THCP could potentially offer increased analgesic (pain relief) properties, provide increased anti-inflammatory effects, even increase appetite stimulation, and assist with insomnia or sleep disorders.
However, more studies are needed to fully understand the therapeutic potential of THCP. At Compassionate Clinics of America, we do not claim that certain components of the cannabis plant have benefits unless there is a strong research base that proves that claim to have truth.
Considerations and Possible Risks: Is THCP Safe?
As with any medical treatment, it’s essential to consider the potential risks and side effects that may happen when you consume THCP. Due to its structural similarity to THC, it is possible that THCP may have psychoactive effects similar to or even more potent than THC. In fact, too much THCP may potentially result in negative effects such as anxiety, paranoia, or discomfort. (Be sure to read our article on Greening Out and how you can feel better if you’ve consumed too much cannabis.)
Additionally, because THCP is a relatively new discovery, its long-term effects and safety profile are not yet well-established.
It is vital for patients to consult with their healthcare provider and obtain professional medical advice before considering the use of THCP.
Legal and Regulatory Considerations
It is crucial to note that the legal status of THCP may vary depending on your jurisdiction.
While some regions may have legalized the medical use of cannabis and its derivatives, others may have specific regulations or restrictions in place.
Navigating Product Options
With the emergence of THCP, patients may encounter products marketed as containing this compound. It is important to exercise caution and conduct thorough research before purchasing or using such products.
Remember, no cannabis strains are naturally high in THCP, therefore, any packaging claiming a cannabis product is high in THCP is false advertising, as it is usually only present in trace amounts or has been sprayed by a lab-derived distillate that has been made by changing the chemical composition of CBD. These methods are not guaranteed to be safe.
Ensure that you obtain medical cannabis products from reputable sources that adhere to stringent quality standards. Look for products that have undergone third-party testing for potency, purity, and contaminants. This will help ensure that you are receiving safe and reliable products that meet your medical needs.
Conclusion: We Don’t Know What We Don’t Know About THCP
THCP is an intriguing compound that holds promise for potential therapeutic benefits. As medical cannabis patients, it is essential to stay informed about new developments in the field.
While THCP’s potential benefits are still being studied and we cannot provide definitive information on its potential therapeutic benefits, it is vital to approach its use with caution, considering possible risks and consulting with healthcare professionals.
We recommend when visiting your medical cannabis dispensary after getting your medical cannabis card that you learn about some of the cannabis products that they have in store and pay more attention to percentages of cannabinoids like THC, CBD, and CBN, which we know a lot about as well as the terpene profiles when trying to determine potential therapeutic effects.
Compassionate Clinics of America is committed to providing you with the most up-to-date information and support on your medical cannabis journey. If you are looking to get a medical cannabis card or your current card is up for renewal in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, & West Virginia,, reach out to us. We guide you through each part of the journey beyond providing your certification. Book an appointment with us today!