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THCP vs THC: What’s The Difference

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A prominent debate over THCP vs THC has emerged in the world of cannabinoids. THCP, a recently discovered cannabinoid with intriguing properties, has emerged as a potential game-changer. This article will comprehensively explore the distinctions and commonalities between THCP and its well-known counterpart, THC. We will delve into the essential aspects that differentiate these compounds and the effects they bring about, shedding light on their roles in the world of cannabis.

THCP, a relatively newfound cannabinoid, is present in minute quantities within specific strains of marijuana and can be artificially synthesized using legal hemp-derived CBD within laboratory environments. Its serendipitous discovery unfolded in 2019 when Italian researchers were meticulously examining a particular strain of marijuana.

Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabiphorol is sometimes abbreviated as delta 9 THCP or THC-heptyl. Additionally, common shorthand forms include THCP, THC-P, and THCp, while some retailers have even adopted the moniker “delta-p” to refer to this intriguing cannabinoid.

Following the remarkable commercial success of delta 8 THC, the cannabis industry has identified various hemp-derived cannabinoids that have the potential to compete with delta-9 THC, a hallmark of traditional marijuana. These three cannabinoids—delta-8, delta-10 THC, and HHC—have become very well-known in the diverse cannabis market, and THCP is about to follow suit.

While THCP has the capacity to induce a potent recreational high, it also holds promise for providing novel therapeutic effects. Researchers have only just begun to scratch the surface of exploring the potential advantages that THCP may offer in the realm of cannabis-related therapies.

Table of Contents:

Key Takeaways

  • THCP, a potent newcomer: THCP, discovered in 2019, has a longer molecular structure than THC, allowing it to bind more effectively to cannabinoid receptors, potentially making it more potent. This characteristic underlines its potential for a variety of uses.
  • THC, the well-known psychoactive: THC is recognized for its properties, attributed to its interaction with the endocannabinoid system. Its presence in cannabis is the primary cause of the plant’s intoxicating effects.
  • Legal and Commercial Landscape: The cannabis industry is evolving with the introduction of new cannabinoids like THCP following the commercial success of delta-8 THC. The legal status of these compounds varies, with THCP’s legality being less clear due to its recent discovery.
  • Research and Potential Effects: Both THC and THCP interact with the endocannabinoid system but with differing potencies and effects. While THC’s effects are well-documented, THCP’s are still being explored, with initial studies suggesting it could offer more pronounced perks and risks.

What Is THCP?

THCP or Δ9-tetrahydrocannabiphorol, is a natural cannabinoid, also known as a phytocannabinoid, bearing a striking resemblance to delta 9 THC, which happens to be the most prevalent cannabinoid found in the majority of marijuana strains. In addition to being discovered in marijuana plants, THCP can also be synthesized in laboratories by chemically altering CBD extracted from legally grown hemp.

In fact, the production of THCP in meaningful quantities necessitates laboratory synthesis, as the levels naturally occurring in cannabis flower are insufficient for cost-effective extraction.

THCP’s molecular structure diverges notably from that of delta 9 THC. It boasts an elongated alkyl side chain, which is essentially the “tail” of atoms extending from the lower part of the molecule. With seven carbon atoms instead of delta 9’s five, this oversized side chain makes THCP more apt to bind to human CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors. Due to this increased binding potential, THCP may have a stronger effect on the body and brain.

The majority of what we know about THCP comes from a 2019 study that was published in the world and was carried out by a team of Italian researchers. Remarkably, research involving human subjects remains absent, leaving us with limited knowledge regarding potential safety concerns or side effects associated with THCP. We can only speculate based on our insights into the effects of other forms of THC.

What Is THC?

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)—also referred to as Delta-9 THC—is one of the most well-known substances in the cannabis world. The unique psychoactive properties of marijuana are attributed to the high concentration of THC. While THC has become practically synonymous with marijuana, it is important to note that various forms of THC also exist in hemp. In marijuana, the primary type of THC is Delta 9 THC, which is also present in hemp but in considerably lower concentrations. The potency of the intoxicating sensation we commonly refer to as “high” hinges on the dosage of THC.

In our bodies, THC acts on the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is crucial to cell communication. Numerous bodily functions are controlled by this system.

THC stimulates neurons that affect pleasure, memory, cognitive reasoning, coordination, and time perception by attaching to cannabinoid receptors in the brain. Notably, THC can remain detectable in the body for an extended period, surpassing the duration of its psychoactive effects, which typically last only a few hours.

Does THCP Get You High?

The CB1 receptor is the primary cannabinoid receptor responsible for inducing psychoactive effects; however, THCP also binds more readily to the CB2 receptor. THCP binds to the CB1 receptor 33 times stronger than delta 9 THC, perhaps because of its longer seven-atom side chain, according to the Italian researchers who discovered organic THCP.

It appears probable that THCP will be more effective than delta 9 THC for a large number of individuals, even though part of its 33x higher binding affinity may be wasted on cannabinoid receptors that are already overloaded. It could give you a strong high. It should be remembered, though, that every cannabinoid has a limited capacity to activate endocannabinoid receptors, and that every individual responds to cannabinoids in a unique way.

To highlight the effects of THCP, cannabis breeders will probably develop new strains in the future with higher concentrations of the compound. According to the scientists who discovered THCP, certain marijuana strains may have trace amounts of THCP, which could account for why users find those strains more intoxicating than others with comparable or even higher delta 9 THC concentrations.

What Are the Effects of THCP?

THCP’s potential effects are akin to those of delta 9 THC, possibly even more pronounced due to its robust binding to cannabinoid receptors. Initial experiments involving THCP and mice revealed reduced activity at lower doses and induced a trance-like state, known as catalepsy, at higher doses. Furthermore, THCP demonstrated promising properties when administered at higher concentrations.

The remarkable affinity of THCP for cannabinoid receptors suggests its potential not only for recreational use but also for other applications. Although THCP’s research is still in its early stages, its unique receptor-binding properties hold promise for treating various conditions.

Moreover, trace amounts of THCP may already play a role in the therapeutic effects attributed to certain cannabis strains. Researchers who uncovered THCP in 2019 suggest that its potency could help explain some pharmacological effects observed in marijuana beyond those solely linked to delta 9 THC.

In addition to the risks associated with its use, it may also present other risks. However, a comprehensive understanding of THCP’s effects awaits further research involving human subjects, and many aspects of its impact remain speculative at this stage.

THC Effects

THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, plays a role in elevating dopamine levels in the brain, which can lead to feelings that are commonly associated with THC. However, the impact of THC on the body varies from person to person.

The potential effects of THC encompass a range of experiences, and individual responses to it can differ based on several factors, including dosage and usage method.

Burning various cannabis strains is the most common way to use THC. Cannabis flowers contain a blend of cannabinoids like CBN and CBG, the well-known CBD, as well as terpenes and flavonoids. The composition of these compounds can significantly influence the effects of THC. For instance, CBD has the potential to temper THC’s effects, so strains with higher CBD levels tend to produce milder THC effects.

Will THCP Show Up in a Drug Test?  

It is hard to tell for sure if taking THCP will cause you to fail a drug test because it has not been studied, but there is no reason to believe that it does not cause the body to produce typical THC breakdown products that would be detected by standard drug tests used by law enforcement and employers. The simple conclusion is this: you should stay away from THCP, THC in all forms, and other cannabinoids derived from hemp (safe forms of CBD excluded) if your employer tests for marijuana use.

Does THC Show Up on Drug Tests?

Yes, it is true that THC can linger in your system for up to 30 days. It takes a person some time to process THC and turn it into metabolites; depending on your body type and other factors, this process may take days or weeks. The metabolites that your body produces will show up in your urine, which is one of the most common ways to test for drugs.

What Does a THC High Feel Like?

THC usage has varying effects depending on strain, dosage, and personal tolerance. Typical potential effects include an array desired effects that common with THC use.

What Does a THCP High Feel Like?

It’s been reported by user to have a similar but different experience when compared to THC. This cannabinoid is believed to share similarities with THC but could potentially produce more intense effects due to its heightened binding affinity. However, due to the scarcity of THCP and the ongoing need for extensive research, there is much to explore and understand before reaching conclusive insights.

Why is THCP Called the “Exotic” Cannabinoid?

THCP’s classification as an “exotic” cannabinoid arises from its uncommon occurrence and its relatively recent emergence in the cannabis scene.

As opposed to THC, which has been thoroughly studied scientifically, THCP is still being researched. Scientists and cannabis enthusiasts are highly intrigued by its potential for increased binding affinity with cannabinoid receptors, which suggests that it may be potent.

Comparing THCP vs. THC

Although THCP and THC may appear to be identical, in this part, we will compare the two substances in-depth in this part, highlighting their distinctions and similarities to give you a better understanding of these intriguing cannabinoids.

What Are the Differences Between THCP vs. THC?

The primary distinctions between THCP vs THCP revolve around their potency and the specific effects they induce. A key differentiator between these two cannabinoids is their molecular structure. THCP, potentially more potent than THC, possesses a longer side chain that may facilitate more effective binding to brain CB1 receptors. Cannabinoids are known to have psychoactive effects because of this special structural feature.

What Are the Similarities Between THCP vs. THC?

Psychoactive cannabinoids like THC and THCP work with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which is also referred to as the brain’s signaling system. This system is important for controlling a number of processes and functions. The compounds can affect these processes, though the strength of their effects varies depending on the individual components.

Are Both THC and THCP Legal?

In the United States, the legal status of THCP and THC varies greatly from state to state. While THC is still illegal under federal law in the United States, it is legal for recreational and medicinal use in several states and countries. The legal status of THCP is less clear because it was only recently discovered and is not specifically mentioned in most cannabis legislation. Still, it is reasonable to assume that THCP may be legal in areas where THC is.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, THCP and THC are two cannabinoids that share some similarities but differ significantly in terms of potency and effects. As research into these compounds continues, our understanding of their potential benefits and risks will likely become clearer. Understanding the difference between THC and THCP is key to making informed choices about cannabis usage. Whether you’re seeking a mild or more potent cannabis experience, it’s essential to be informed about the specific properties of THCP and THC to make responsible choices.