THCP: the next cannabinoid break-through
As cannabis use for medicinal and recreational purposes is becoming more and more mainstream, so is a broad understanding of THC and CBD, the two dominant chemical compounds, or cannabinoids found in the cannabis sativa plant. These compounds trigger receptors CB1 and CB2 in the brain, only discovered and understood as recently as the late 1980s. While there are more than 100 different cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, a lack of research and enduring legal hurdles have stifled research of additional isolated minor cannabinoids, until now.
More phytocannabinoids emerging
Italian researchers have recently discovered two new cannabinoids, THCP (tetrahydrocannabiphorol) and CBDP (cannabidiphorol) on the back of their discovery of two other phytocannabinoids in 2019. In the newly discovered THCP molecule, researchers discovered that a critical side chain in the molecule’s structure is elongated, making it have a stronger affinity for the CB1 receptor than regular THC, suggesting it’s substantially more potent & psychoactive.
Why do people experience CBD and cannabis differently
One of many critical implications of this study is that the potency of THCP could help explain the disparate experiences of many cannabis users. While we’ve generally understood THC to be the primary psychoactive component of cannabis, there may be more to it. THCP (or other as yet-unidentified cannabinoids) could play a major role in the plants’ various physiological and therapeutic effects.
Expanding our knowledge of the pharmacological effects of the plants’ various cannabinoids will help us further evaluate the effects of cannabis extracts on people, and could lead to more ground-breaking discoveries within this miracle plant.