The hemp community has a severe case of “-phorol” fever. For those who aren’t hip to the alternative THC scene, you won’t know what that means, but hemp fans and extractors have probably seen “P” tacked on the end of many cannabinoids in recent days. This “P” usually stands for “-phorol,” and it refers to a new chemical structure which affects a cannabinoid’s absorption rate. Unquestionably, two of the most popular hemp cannabinoids in this category are THCP and HHCP. Most hemp shops and legal dispensaries now carry plenty of products like edibles, vape cartridges, and fortified flowers loaded with one of these compounds — so, it’s only natural for consumers to have questions about what these chemicals are.
Since THCP and HHCP are so new, customers need to take their time reviewing the effects of these cannabinoids. The more people learn about HHCP and THCP beforehand, the easier time they’ll have choosing whether to try one of them.
HHCP vs. THCP – Understanding The Key Differences
Before separating HHCP from THCP, let’s talk about the significant feature they both share: Long alkyl side chains. In plain English, these cannabinoids have “tails” with seven carbon atoms rather than the standard five in cannabinoids like delta-9 THC. Adding two carbon atoms may not seem like a big deal, but preliminary research suggests it has a greater affinity to the brain’s CB1 receptors. While we don’t have clinical data, some studies on mice suggest these compounds bind to the endocannabinoid system (ECS) over 30x more than delta-9 THC.
Although most commercially available HHCP and THCP are synthetic, THCP is a naturally occurring cannabinoid. Indeed, researchers in Italy discovered THCP in a cannabis flower sample in 2019. HHCP, however, is a synthetic derivative of another cannabinoid known as HHC. Short for hexahydrocannabiol, HHC is a natural cannabinoid, but it’s most commonly produced in labs by manipulating similar cannabinoids like delta-8 THC. The feature that sets HHC apart from other chemicals is it has extra hydrogen atoms rather than a double bond. The process of “hydrogenation” gives HHC a stronger chemical structure, which means it has the longest shelf life in the cannabinoid sector.
So, What Are The Effects Of THCP vs. HHCP?
There’s no scientific evidence on the standard effects of THCP or HHCP, so it’s impossible to say how they typically affect customers. However, since both cannabinoids are psychoactive, they will produce a “high” sensation. Just how “high” HHCP or THCP hits users is up for debate, but anecdotal testimonies suggest THCP and HHCP have extreme potency levels. The extra carbon atoms on each cannabinoid’s side chain seem to make them more intense than other hemp cannabinoids like HHC or delta-8 THC. While users with a high THC tolerance may experience euphoria or deep relaxation, the risk for adverse reactions like paranoia seems more pronounced with THCP and HHCP.
At this point, it’s unclear whether major differences exist in the “high” people experience on HHCP or THCP. All that’s clear is both of these cannabinoids seem to provoke a heady and almost “psychedelic” experience, even in small doses. Precisely how HHCP and THCP impact each user depends on countless individual variables, including genetics, tolerance, and weight.
How To Choose Between HHCP vs. THCP — A Few Considerations
Because the data on HHCP and THCP is so limited — and since everyone reacts to cannabinoids differently — it’s impossible to say whether HHCP or THCP would be a “better choice” for specific consumers. At this point, it’s only “safe” to say both cannabinoids are experimental and exceptionally potent. If people are curious about trying HHCP or THCP, it’s best if they already have a strong tolerance for other THC molecules like delta-8, HHC, or delta-10. It’s also crucial to start dosing HHCP or THCP at the lowest recommended amounts. Since HHCP and THCP have a stronger affinity for CB1 receptors, they will likely trigger heightened effects at small doses, meaning there’s a greater risk for paranoia.
Not Ready For HHCP Or THCP? Stick With Better-Studied Cannabinoids
As exciting as HHCP and THCP are, they aren’t the perfect call for every hemp customer. Also, since there’s not a ton of research on HHCP or THCP’s impact on the human body, some people feel apprehensive about rushing to try these cannabinoids. If hemp consumers want a less intense — but still psychoactive — experience, it’s better to stick with the more popular and better-researched options like delta-8 THC. For those who can’t tolerate any THC compounds, it’s still best to use non-psychoactive cannabinoids like CBD or CBG to reduce the odds of panic attacks.
No matter what hemp cannabinoid people choose, it’s imperative to get third-party lab test results from the manufacturer. Since the FDA doesn’t regulate the hemp industry, it’s up to companies to publish their independently-verified reports for quality assurance.