What is THCP? And How Potent is it?

Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabiphorol, commonly known by its abbreviated form, THCP, is a recently uncovered cannabinoid that is rapidly gaining attention in the cannabis industry. The conversation surrounding THCP often focuses on its potency and the heightened psychoactive experience it offers. In the following article, we’ll explore multiple facets of THCP, including its chemical composition and mind-altering effects. To provide a comprehensive overview, we’ll draw from both anecdotal accounts from users as well as current scientific research.

Let’s dive in.

Last update was on: September 28, 2023 9:57 pm

Article Highlights

  • THCP is a relatively under-the-radar cannabinoid naturally found in both cannabis and hemp.
  • In terms of potency, many users assert that THCP can induce highs that are exponentially stronger—some say up to 30 times—compared to THC.
  • Common ways to consume THCP are in line with other hemp products and include vaporization, eating it in edible form, and smoking it.
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What Exactly is THCP?

Identified for the first time by Italian scientists in 2019, THCP is a relatively new addition to the extensive roster of approximately 120 known cannabinoids present in cannabis plants. It possesses psychoactive properties and can induce states of euphoria in users.

The Science Behind THCP

According to the pioneering researchers, THCP serves as an analog to THC and interacts with the human endocannabinoid system in a manner akin to delta-9 THC. What sets it apart, however, is its enhanced affinity for the endocannabinoid system—a bond estimated to be 33 times stronger than that of THC. This significantly stronger interaction suggests that THCP could have more potent psychoactive effects compared to delta-9 THC.

Occurrence and Production of THCP

It’s worth mentioning that THCP naturally occurs in only trace amounts within cannabis plants. As such, commercial-scale production usually doesn’t involve direct extraction from plants. Rather, it is commonly synthesized in labs.

Synthetic Production Process

To manufacture THCP synthetically, producers start by extracting cannabidiol (CBD). They then transform this CBD into THCP through a series of chemical reactions. The malleability of cannabinoid molecular structures allows for this conversion to take place relatively easily.

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DIY THCP Extraction Steps

If you’re interested in extracting THCP directly from cannabis plants, here is a guideline you can follow:

  1. Harvest: First, select hemp plants that are rich in THCP.
  2. Grinding: Process the harvested plant into a finely ground material. This assists in ensuring the extraction solvent permeates the plant effectively.
  3. Solvent Extraction: Use a solvent of your choice, such as CO2, hydrocarbon, or ethanol, to pull out the THCP.
  4. Filtration: After extraction, filter the solvent to remove plant matter and other impurities.
  5. Evaporation: Use evaporation techniques to get rid of the solvent.
  6. Purification: Employ methods like fractional distillation and chromatography to purify your extracted THCP.

 

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The Intricacies of THCP Chemistry

The molecular makeup of THCP is intriguing, particularly when you consider its similarities and differences with THC. What sets THCP apart from THC at the molecular level is its elongated heptyl chain, which contains seven carbon atoms, in contrast to THC’s five-carbon alkyl chain. This distinguishing feature is primarily responsible for THCP’s heightened affinity for the endocannabinoid system, as well as the CB1 and CB2 receptors in our body.

Moreover, like its THC counterpart, THCP might also possess a double carbon bond. Yet it stands distinct from other THC variants such as delta 8 and delta 10 concerning where this bond is located. For instance, while the double bond in delta 8 is on the eighth carbon ring and delta 10 on the tenth, THCP likely shares its bond placement on the ninth carbon ring with delta 9 THC.

Comparing THCP and HHC

When pitted against HHC in terms of molecular structure, significant differences become apparent. Firstly, HHC is fully saturated or hydrogenated, unlike THCP, making it generally more potent and stable. Furthermore, HHC lacks the double carbon bonds characteristic of both THCP and THC. Typically, HHC is recognized as the hydrogenated form of THC, emphasizing its unique molecular constitution.

Understanding THCP’s Potency

The term “strength” in the context of cannabinoids usually refers to the psychoactive intensity experienced upon consumption. Among the over 120 known cannabinoids, many possess psychoactive traits, meaning they induce a “high.” However, the degree to which these cannabinoids produce these effects varies. For example, delta 9 THC is known for its stronger psychoactive outcomes as compared to delta 8, which includes altered perceptions, increased energy, and more.

How do we determine the strength of one cannabinoid over another? Two primary methods exist: studying the molecular structure and anecdotal evidence from consumers. By the first measure, scientists analyze how tightly or loosely a particular cannabinoid interacts with the endocannabinoid system. A more secure connection with CB1 and CB2 receptors usually indicates greater potency.

In the case of THCP, both scientific and user-based evidence point to an extraordinary level of potency. Researchers have observed that its elongated side chain allows it to bind 33 times more securely to the endocannabinoid system than THC. User experiences also corroborate this, with many stating that THCP offers an intensely powerful psychoactive experience, potentially eclipsing all other cannabinoids they’ve tried.

User Insights on the Potency of THCP

Statements from THCP users shed light on its remarkable strength:

  • “It left me incredibly high; had I not been working remotely, there’s no way I could have reported to the office the next day.”
  • “Immensely potent. I sampled Delta 9 THCP recently, and I’m still feeling somewhat high. The next morning, I woke up and felt as though my body was as heavy as lead.”
  • “So potent it temporarily shattered my usual tolerance levels. A single hit felt comparable to multiple hits of regular delta 9 THC.”

From these observations, it’s evident that the prevailing sentiment is that THCP is “exceptionally potent.” Additionally, users consistently report that the duration of the high from THCP exceeds that of standard THC.

It’s worth noting, however, that THCP’s impact can be variable, influenced by numerous factors such as individual tolerance, biological variables, and product quality.

For example, not everyone finds THCP’s effects to be overwhelmingly powerful. One Reddit user expressed a more tempered view on THCP’s strength: “From what I’ve experienced, it’s not particularly overwhelming. The effects last a bit longer, but it’s not as potent as others make it out to be.”

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Methods of Consuming THCP: A Practical Guide

THCP, a relatively new addition to the cannabinoid family, is rapidly gaining traction in the cannabis landscape. As interest grows, so does the diversity of THCP-infused products available on the market.

Manufacturers offer a myriad of ways to consume THCP, each tailored to different user preferences.

 

Liquid Tinctures

These are fluid-based THCP extracts designed for oral consumption. Users generally administer tinctures sublingually—placing drops under the tongue before swallowing. This method is known for its rapid onset of effects. A majority of manufacturers estimate that effects can manifest between 30 minutes to an hour. Note that tinctures can also be mixed into foods and drinks.

Advantages of Tinctures

  • Offers versatility in methods of administration.
  • Discreet and easily consumable by various age groups.
  • Generally safe and effective.
  • Extensive flavor options are available.

Drawbacks of Tinctures

  • Potentially overwhelming due to higher potency.
  • Possibility of purchasing subpar or harmful products.
  • Dosage measurement can be tricky.

 

Edible Products

THCP-infused edibles, like gummies, provide a flavorful and discreet method of consumption. The onset time for edibles tends to be slower, with effects generally appearing within 1-2 hours. However, the high is often more prolonged compared to other methods.

Advantages of Edibles

  • Discreet and simple to consume.
  • Wide range of flavors for a unique experience.
  • Effects are typically long-lasting.
  • Easier dosage calculation.

Drawbacks of Edibles

  • Delayed onset of effects, potentially problematic for those requiring quick relief.

 

Vaping

Vaporizing THCP has become a popular choice, primarily because it’s perceived as a healthier alternative to smoking. The vapor is directly inhaled, resulting in almost immediate effects. Produces less odor compared to traditional smoking.

Advantages of Vaping

  • Immediate onset of effects.
  • No smoke, potentially easier on lungs.
  • Odor is less pungent, making it more discreet.
  • Precise dosage control is possible.

Drawbacks of Vaping

  • Certain health risks have been associated with vaping.
  • High-quality vaporizers can be costly, and cheaper models may pose risks.
  • Long-term effects remain largely unexplored due to limited studies.

 

Traditional Smoking

Smoking is an age-old method for cannabinoid consumption, and its key advantage is rapid effect onset. There are health concerns related to smoking, mainly lung-related risks.

Advantages of Smoking

  • Quick onset, offering immediate relief.
  • Easy to learn and use.
  • Dosage is relatively easy to control.

Drawbacks of Smoking

  • Noticeable smell makes it less discreet.
  • Potential lung health risks.
  • Shorter duration of effects.

 

Dabbing

Dabbing utilizes a dab rig and is somewhat similar to vaping. It’s also fairly quick-acting, although not as immediate as smoking or vaping.

Advantages of Dabbing

  • Less combustion compared to smoking.
  • Rich flavor profile can be experienced.

Drawbacks of Dabbing

  • Can be overwhelmingly potent for newcomers or those with low tolerance.

In conclusion, no method is definitively superior; it all depends on individual needs and preferences. For those seeking discretion and versatility, tinctures and edibles are more suitable. If quick effects are desired, vaping or smoking are better options.

 

Cautionary Measures for THCP Use

Being a relatively recent addition to the cannabinoid family, THCP has not yet been exhaustively studied for its long-term effects. Nevertheless, anecdotal experiences from users indicate that its safety profile seems to be akin to THC.

Given its higher potency compared to THC, it’s unsurprising that the side effects could be considerably more intense.

 

Reported Side Effects

  • Dryness of mouth and eyes
  • Sensations of headaches or weightiness
  • Anxiety and lingering after-effects
  • Impaired motor skills and altered sense of reality

Since the market for THCP is still in its infancy, there’s an increased likelihood of coming across substandard or even harmful products. Therefore, due diligence when selecting a brand is essential.

 

Brand Evaluation Criteria

  • Third-Party Lab Validation: Trustworthy brands commonly subject their products to independent lab analyses, publicly sharing these findings. Brands failing to follow this transparent practice should raise red flags.
  • Customer Reviews: High praise and positive feedback often signal a reliable product. Utilize online platforms like Reddit, social media groups, or the brand’s own website for firsthand user experiences.
  • Customer Support: Assess how responsive a brand is to customer queries and complaints. Open communication channels are usually an indication of a reputable brand with confidence in their products.

 

If you’re new to the world of cannabinoids, starting with minimal doses of THCP is advised.

 

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Final Thoughts

THCP is emerging as an intriguing cannabinoid, captivating both users and researchers with its unique molecular makeup and psychoactive properties. Comprehensive studies are yet to be conducted, but the initial impressions point to a cannabinoid that offers fresh experiences. Caution is the watchword when selecting and using THCP products.

Highlighted THCP Vape Flavors

Check out our favorite choices for THCP vape, available in a wide range of flavors — Strawberry Shortcake THCP Vape and the Mango Gelato THCP Vape.

 

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Frequently Asked Questions About THCP

How Does THCP Differ from THC?

The main structural difference is that THCP’s side chain houses seven carbon atoms as opposed to THC’s five. Additionally, THCP is notably more potent than THC.

Is THCP Found in All Cannabis Varieties?

No, THCP is not universally present across all cannabis strains, and where it does occur, its concentration is typically low.

What Could be the Benefits or Risks of THCP’s Strength?

Potential upsides of THCP’s potency include enhanced pain relief, relaxation, and appetite stimulation. Downsides may comprise headaches, dry mouth, reddened eyes, and instances of anxiety.

How is Cannabis Potency Indicated?

Potency is usually communicated as a percentage of THC content. Higher THC percentages generally denote greater potency.

Is THCP Legally Sanctioned?

The legal status of THCP is nuanced. Federally, it’s legal due to its omission in the Farm Bill, which allows for a certain percentage of THC. However, states that have banned THC may likely treat THCP in a similar fashion.

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