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What is THCP? A Guide to Tetrahydrocannabiphorol

What is THCP? A Guide to Tetrahydrocannabiphorol

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As a cannabis enthusiast, it feels like there's some "new," hyped-up type of THC arriving on the scene every other day, each promising to be more potent and more euphoric than the one before. So… what is THC-P?

Below, we explore everything you need to know about THC-P- including what it is, its effects, and if it's even legal. So, if you’re curious as to whether this cannabinoid could be right for you, read on.

What is THCP?

THC-P stands for "tetrahydrocannabiphorol," and it is a type of cannabinoid. THC-P isn't anything "new.” Biochemist Roger Adams (the same guy who identified Delta-8 THC) had been studying the compound as early as 1942

Just like Delta-8, Delta-9, HHC, CBD, and other cannabinoids, THC-P occurs naturally within cannabis plants, whether the law categorizes these plants as hemp or as marijuana.

Is THC-P Synthetic?

The term "synthetic" is a hot topic of debate within the hemp industry and legislators alike. But we prefer to go with the scientific community regarding these matters. 

Synthetic chemistry means that two compounds react together to create a new one. Hemp-derived THC-P is produced in this way and is 100% identical to the THC-P found in plants; after all, a molecule is a molecule. 

THCP vs. THC

holding cannabis flower

Okay, so we misled you a bit in the introduction of this article (sorry for that). Technically speaking, THC-P is not THC, though they bear resemblance in effect and chemical makeup

In a structural sense, THC-P is very similar to Delta-9 THC, with the main difference being the amount of carbon atoms on its alkyl side chain. THC-P has seven carbon atoms on its chain, while Delta-9 THC contains five carbon atoms on its chain. 

So essentially, THC-P molecules have longer alkyl side chains and interact with the endocannabinoid system differently. If you have ever legally smoked marijuana, you may know that Delta-9 THC is the most prominent cannabinoid in the plant. This is a bit different from hemp, which has a cap at 0.3% Delta-9 THC by dry weight. However, in both hemp and marijuana, THC-P generally appears in small amounts

Just like Delta-8 and other hemp-derived THCs, there is no limit to the concentration of THC-P in a hemp product because it is a separate cannabinoid from Delta-9 THC. 

What are the Effects of THCP?

Now, here's where it gets interesting. People have known about THC-P since at least 1942, but scientists haven't been able to isolate it until 2019. When isolated, researchers at the Military Chemical Pharmaceutical Institute of Florence, Itay, found that THC-P has a binding affinity to CB1 receptors with approximately 33 times more activity than Delta-9

Binding affinity is the degree to which a cannabinoid will interact with your endocannabinoid system’s receptors and yield its effects. CB1 receptors are located primarily in the brain, explaining the psychoactive effects of cannabinoids that bind to them, like THC and THC-P. For context, an August 2022 study found that Delta-8 has a slightly weaker binding affinity than Delta-9. This is why most enthusiasts describe Delta-8 as a "lighter" form of Delta-9, with similar psychoactive effects but with less intensity. 

So, in short, the effects of THC-P effects are going to be similar to Delta-9 but to a greater degree. Some of these effects may include:
  • Euphoria
  • Relaxation
  • Restfulness
  • Awe
  • Creativity
  • Contentedness 
It's best to remember that cannabinoids and their effects (or even side effects) vary from person to person. So the best way to discover what THC-P can offer you is to try it in small amounts, either through a light, slight pull from a vaporizer or a tiny piece of an edible. And be sure to consult a physician if you have any questions about THC-P regarding physical or mental health.

Is THCP Legal?

Yes, THC-P is federally legal and legal in most states. Federal legality means that vendors can ship THC-P across state lines and right to your doorstep. State legality will vary because despite every state legalizing hemp-derived cannabinoids after the 2018 Farm Bill, some legislatures have taken steps to prohibit these products due to outdated stances on cannabis, the influence of special interests, or a combination of both. 

But don't worry- we will never ship THC-P products or any products to a state where they are prohibited. So you wouldn't be able to order any of our THC-P products and get in trouble because you were in a state that outlawed it.

How to Enjoy THCP

close-up of a vaping cart

Just like other cannabinoids, there are many ways in which you can enjoy THC-P. These different mediums will directly impact the degree and duration of effects experienced with the cannabinoid.

Here are just a few ways you can enjoy THC-P:

Inhalation: Vaping, Smoking

This method offers the quickest onset of effects with the shortest duration. Vaporizing THC-P allows the cannabinoid to enter directly into the bloodstream through the lungs. If you are curious about trying this method, we have several vape products that contain THC-P, including: 
blueberry burst sour straws covered with crunchy sugar crystals and surrounded by blueberries

Eating THC-P via an edible is another way to experience this cannabinoid. When you consume THC-P as an edible, you will get a slower onset of effects, but the tradeoff is that the effects are more acute and last for a longer duration. As of this writing, we offer two edibles that contain THC-P:
With tinctures, you get the best of both worlds. When dripped sublingually (under the tongue), you get effects similar to inhalation; however, when swallowed or mixed with a solid or liquid, you get the effects of an edible. As of now, we do not offer any THC-P tincture products, but we'll be sure to keep you posted if or when we do. 

Buying THCP Products

Most of the time, when you encounter THC-P products, they're going to be hemp-derived. With that in mind, there are several smart purchasing practices you should employ when shopping for THC-P. 

Third-Party & Full Panel Testing

Lab testing from a third party is the most critical aspect of buying THC-P products. The availability of test results will show you are getting what you're paying for. However, not all lab tests are the same. Some will only show the cannabinoid content and nothing else.

Be sure to purchase only hemp products with full-panel test results, meaning that their batches are tested not just for cannabinoids but also for potential contaminants. All of our full-panel, third-party test results can be found on our COAs page

Check Reviews

Don't just take the manufacturer's word for it...see what real people are saying about these products. Now, keep in mind that a lack of reviews isn't necessarily a red flag, especially in instances of a newly released product. But in that case, check out reviews for their other offerings or if they won awards at the High Times Hemp Cup

Online Purchasing

Buying from a brick-and-mortar shop is a whole (and fun) experience. But don't forget that THC-P products are hemp-derived, which means you can purchase them online and have them delivered to your door if you are at least 21 years of age and live in a state where hemp-derived cannabinoids are legal

Final Thoughts

Essentially, THC-P is just THC but with a much more active (33 times) binding affinity. Although THC-P has many similarities in terms of effects and chemical structure to THC, they are two separate cannabinoids. And just like any other hemp-derived products, there are a multitude of ways in which you can consume THC-P, depending on your preference. Last but not least, be sure to do your research on a vendor when purchasing THC-P products, and remember that you can buy them online. 

Until next time, happy exploring, and Mind Your Mind. 

FDA Disclaimer: The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from health care practitioners. Please consult your healthcare professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any product. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act requires this notice.

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