What is THCP?
Tetrahydrocannabiphorol(THCP)takes the #1 spot for the strongest natural cannabinoid ever discovered. It was originally isolated from the Italian strain FM2 at <0.1% concentrations, but new research has shown that THCP may be present in a majority of cannabis strains. The average content of THCP in certain cannabis flowers was a mere 0.01%-0.08%. This means that if you wanted to extract just 1 gram of THCP, you would have to process over 4000 grams(4kilos) of cannabis buds. For comparison, processing that much cannabis/hemp would yield around 700+ grams of THC oil. It appears as a light purple to clear color, and is a semi-crystalline distillate at room temperature.
***A delta-8 form called D8-THCP also exists, appearing as a deep-yellow distillate. This form has not been found naturally in the cannabis or hemp plant, but likely is due to how THC degrades into D8-THC over time.
What is the Potency/Strength of THCP Compared to THC?
The potency of THCP is far stronger than THC itself, with a binding affinity of 1.2nM at the CB1 receptor versus THC’s 40nM. This translates to a mg:mg potency roughly 20x greater than THC! However, potency can be a misleading term. While THCP may be exponentially more potent, the “efficacy” is only slightly higher than THC. Efficacy is described as the maximum effect that a substance can elicit. Potency is a measure of how quickly a substance reaches its maximum activity.
Another factor to consider is THCP also has an extremely long duration of effect. Some users have reported the effects to last as long as 12 hours when smoked, and potentially longer when consumed. This is because THCP, in a similar fashion to THCH, resists carboxylic deactivation in the body when processed. Metabolism of THCP by the body results in the preservation and selective creation of 11-hydroxy, 3-hydroxy, and similar active metabolites, which leads to an extended duration of action.
***D8-THCP is about 2x the potency of THC with a binding affinity of 22nM. However, the effects are more similar to Delta-8-THC, with a boost in strength.
What Are the Effects of THCP In Relation to THC?
THCP has the same general effects as THC, but with a few unique properties. THCP tends to be very sedating, and is likely more sedating than most cannabinoids available. There is a strong muscle relaxing effect that occurs in tandem with the sedative properties. The psychological effects are nearly identical to THC, but there is a notable “psychedelic” quality to the effect. This usually manifests as changes in perception, appearance of novelty, and feelings of disinhibition. Perception of emotions is usually enhanced as well.
What Are the Potential Therapeutic Applications of THCP?
There may be some use for THCP in the treatment of pain. The analgesic and muscle relaxing properties are greater in effect than THC, and the duration of the compound would yield a pain medication that has a benefit of not needing to be taken multiple times throughout the day. It will be interesting to see what research reveals about this newly discovered cannabinoid, as well as the applications that are revealed by the pharmaceutical industry.
Because of the potency, properties, and potential dangers, THCP in its pure form is likely not safe to market or distribute, and should only be displayed for educational and research purposes.
Concentrations of THCP in flower:
Pharmacological Components of THC Homologues:
CB1 Binding Affinity Values:
Chemical/Molecular Data for THCP and D8-THCP: