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Frequently Asked Questions about THCP

1. What is THCP?

THCP (short for tetrahydrocannabiphorol and scientifically known as (-)-Trans-Δ9-tetrahydrocannabiphorol) is a natural phytocannabinoid and analog of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) present in a variety of cannabis plants, more commonly known as marijuana or weed. THCP is found naturally in hemp and the cannabis plant, and it can be smoked or ingested. According to several researchers and cannabis experts, THCP is thought to be 33 times more active at cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptors than THC, which causes a more intense and euphoric high.

When THCP was discovered, researchers also discovered a second phytocannabinoid compound called CBDP. CBDP is more commonly known as CBD-C7. No research has been conducted on CBDP and its effects on the human body.

THCP has not been around for very long. Its discovery was purely by accident, and it is legal in most states in the U.S.

2. What is the chemical structure of THCP?

THCP’s chemical structure, in comparison to THC, is very similar. Evidence shows both THC and THCP have alkyl side chains. THCP has an alkyl side-chain compound made of 7 carbon atoms, while THC has an alkyl side-chain of 5 carbon atoms. THCP can be found in a variety of cannabis plants in concentrations as high as 0.1%. Since it is more potent than THC, a user only needs a small amount to experience the psychotropic results of THCP.

3. How does THCP bind to cannabinoid receptors?

Cannabinoid receptors are part of the endocannabinoid system and mostly consist of CB1 and CB2 receptors. Cannabinoid receptors are activated by a compound called anandamide, a neurotransmitter and natural cannabinoid that the body produces. Cannabinoid receptors help the brain send signals to the body so it functions properly. THCP, like THC, mimics anandamide and binds to the cannabinoid receptors responsible for activating neurons in the brain. THCP binds to CB1 cannabinoid receptors, found in the central nervous system, up to 33 times more than traditional THC. It also binds with CB2 cannabinoid receptors, which are in the peripheral nervous system.

THCP causes psychoactive effects on the body because it interrupts the brain’s current, “normal” functions. However, the magnitude of those effects entirely depends on the person using THCP. For example, a person with a hormone imbalance may feel more cognitive and think more logically while they are using THC, THCP, or other cannabinoids. This is because THC causes dopamine to release in the brain. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter responsible for carrying signals between the nerve cells in the brain. This is why people who have a hormone imbalance may see improvements in their mood and physical health when using THCP.

4. How does THCP compare to other cannabinoids in terms of potency?

THCP is typically created from the hemp plant to ensure its THC levels don’t exceed 0.3%. THCP is much stronger than Delta 8 THC (about 60 times stronger), 30 times more potent than Delta 9 THC, and around 10 times as potent as THC-O, a synthetic form of THC. Only a small amount of THCP is needed to experience the psychoactive effects of THCP.

5. What is the half-life of THCP in the body?

More research needs to be conducted on THCP to determine how long it lingers in the body. However, researchers have found that THC has a half-life of about 20 hours. Generally, THC fully leaves the body after 2 weeks, but some people have reported THC remaining in their system up to 30 days after one toke session. Studies also show that if cannabinoids are used daily or near-daily, THC can be detected in your a hair test up to three months after use. The same may be said for THCP until scientific studies can reveal more information. 

6. How does THCP metabolism occur in the body?

More research is needed to determine how THCP metabolism occurs. However, researchers have discovered that when THC is inhaled, the cannabinoids and terpenes rapidly travel from the lungs to the blood and brain. THC metabolism typically occurs in the liver, but in some experiments, THC has been metabolized in the brain.THC breaks down rapidly and modifies into molecules called metabolites. These metabolites are stored in body fat and other tissues, and slowly leave the body through urine and excretion. 

Frequency of use, biological sex, metabolism, body mass index, hydration, and the way the cannabinoid was consumed all factor into the exact length of time it takes each person to fully metabolize THC. Edibles take longer for the body to metabolize because they must go through the stomach before they enter the bloodstream.

7. Are there any known drug interactions with THCP?

More research is needed to determine which drugs THCP interacts with. As of 2022, there are 391 drugs known to interact with cannabis, categorized as 26 major, 365 moderate, and 0 minor interactions. Some drugs known to interact with cannabis are codeine, fentanyl, hydrocodone, and morphine. A general rule of thumb is to not mix drugs, so be sure to speak with a doctor if you are taking medication and using marijuana.

8. What are the side effects of THCP?

The side effects of THCP are similar to other THC side effects. Some common side effects of cannabis use are rapid heartbeat, bloodshot eyes, dry mouth, hunger, sensitivity to temperature changes, and body spasms. Many of these side effects can be alleviated by changing environment, adding more clothes, eating or drinking, and movement. Some users have reported feeling more extreme side effects, such as anxiety, depression, paranoia, and changes in sleep. Since THCP is said to bind more effectively to CB1 receptors, the side effects may be more pronounced.

9. What is the therapeutic potential of THCP?

When studying the THCP effects on human cannabinoid receptors, researchers have concluded THCP can provide hypomobility, more pronounced pain relief, and act as a more potent sleep aid for insomnia. More research needs to be conducted to determine THCP’s therapeutic potential and pharmacological effects.

10. Is THCP legal in the United States?

Almost all states in the U.S. have legalized THCP. You can find THCP in most CBD retailers or dispensaries, as well as online. The legality of THCP was debated heavily for some time, but it is a legal substance.

11. What is the difference between THCP and THC?

THC and THCP are both found in cannabis plants, but THCP is typically derived from hemp because it is more concentrated. THC can be found in Indica, Sativa, and hybrid cannabis plants in concentrations of 25% to 30%. THCP can be found in Sativa cannabis plants in concentrations up to almost 0.1%. While it is in much smaller amounts, THCP is nearly 33 times more potent than THC. THC has 5 carbons in its alkyl side chain, whereas THCP contains 7 carbons. These extra carbons cause the psychoactive effects of THC to be more potent and last longer. THCP’s effects are more noticeable when taken orally.

12. How does THC work?

THC is a partial agonist of the CB1 receptor in the human body, which causes the user to feel psychoactive effects. THC binds to CB1 and CB2 receptors that tell the brain how to make the body function. THC can affect the brain and the body in different ways for different people. 

13. How does THC affect the brain?

THC causes psychoactive effects on the brain, which can affect other areas of the body. Some people experience anxiety or paranoia when they use THC, while others experience relaxation and calming sensations from THC. Frequency of use and several other factors can affect the longevity of the high. Therefore, each user’s experience with THC and other cannabinoids will be different. 

14. How does THC affect the body?

THC is said to be one of the best pain relievers available on the market. It has been used by cancer patients and people with chronic pain. THC has also helped many people with mental health disorders, such as PTSD and anxiety. Side effects include rapid heartbeat, bloodshot eyes, dry mouth, hunger, sensitivity to temperature changes, and body spasms.

15. How does THC affect behavior?

THC triggers a large dopamine release, which causes feelings of pleasure in the brain and body. It can also provide pain relief for some users. This can help people who suffer from mental illness or chronic pain to feel happier, which can improve physical mobility and emotional functioning. Some people can become addicted to those pleasurable feelings and become dependent on THC, which can result in negative behaviors.

16. How does THC affect mood?

THC can make people feel happier, more relaxed, and less stressed. THC can also have negative effects on mood. If a user experiences anxiety or paranoia, they may feel stressed, depressed, or worried.

17. How does THC affect sleep?

THC can cause some users to feel drowsy, and they may fall asleep even if they don’t intend to. THC can also cause some users to feel alert and awake, which can lead to sleep problems or insomnia.

18. Who discovered THCP?

THCP was discovered by accident. In 2019, a team of Italian researchers conducted a study using advanced mass-spectrometry and liquid chromatography technology on a sample of natural cannabis that was provided by the Military Chemical Institute in Florence, Italy. During this in-depth analysis, the researchers discovered THCP. The researchers published their findings in a 2019 Scientific Reports study entitled, “A novel phytocannabinoid isolated from Cannabis sativa L. with an in vivo cannabimimetic activity higher than Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol: Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabipherol.”

The same team of researchers also discovered CBDP and THCB. Both THCP and CBDP are phtyocannabinoids containing side-link chains of 7 carbon atoms.

19. Who is THCP's target audience?

THCP may be targeted to medical marijuana users who experience chronic pain daily, cancer patients, or insomnia. It can also be marketed to recreational users that want a quicker, more potent, longer-lasting high.

20. What is THCP's main competition?

The main competitor of THCP is Delta-9 THC. However, Delta-9 THC is legal in only a few states, whereas THCP is legal in almost every state. THCO is a close second as far as potency, but it is purely synthetic.

21. Who are the key opinion leaders in the THCP space?

The International Academy on the Science and Impact of Cannabis (IASIC).

22. What are the benefits of THCP?

There is not enough research yet to determine the benefits of THCP. Some of the research that has been done has discovered THCP provides hypomobility, more pronounced pain relief, and acts as a more potent sleep aid. Based on the knowledge experts in the cannabis industry have about THC, we can assume THCP may be helpful for medical marijuana patients with chronic pain or insomnia. THCP has more of the relaxation effects associated with THC, but the high is more pronounced and lasts longer.

23. What are the risks of taking THCP?

Some of the risks of taking THCP include:

  • Increased anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Sleepiness
  • Fatigue
  • Alertness
  • Dry mouth
  • Memory Loss
  • Vomiting
  • Psychosis

24. How is THCP created?

Researchers use a compound called n-hexane to extract a fraction of the cannabinoid-rich FM2 hemp. To extract clean cannabinoids, a further dewaxing process is required. After an extreme heating process, THCP is produced as a transparent oil.

25. Are there any THCP products on the market?

Yes! THCP has gained a lot of interest in the cannabis industry. You can find THCP products currently on the market, like vape cartridges and edibles, as well as dabs and flower and more products will be making their way to market soon. THCP can be purchased online and at most CBD retailers and marijuana dispensaries. 

26. How can one use THCP?

Like other THC products, THCP can be smoked, ingested, and even applied topically. THCP marijuana is widely available in many forms, such as flower, hash, resin, and wax. It can typically be smoked out of a joint, bong, or blunt, or cooked and incorporated into edible products like candy and cookies.

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