The discovery of new and improved cannabinoids means that our knowledge of cannabis’s medicinal capabilities is expanding.
Just when we thought we were learning more about cannabis and its compounds, the strongest cannabinoid yet steps into the spotlight. THCP, recently discovered by a group of Italian scientists, is said to be 30 times stronger than THC, expanding on cannabis’s medicinal potential. There’s also CBDP, another cannabinoid discovered by these same scientists which, as its name suggests, is very similar to CBD.
The discovery of new and improved cannabinoids will surely lend itself to grand statements and miraculous super powers (like it has happened with CBD), but this also means that our knowledge of cannabis’s medicinal capabilities is expanding, and that we can learn more about how the plant works and interacts with our bodies.
Here’s what you should know about these two cannabinoids:
THCP has a unique structure that allows it to produce much stronger effects than THC. Unlike regular THC which has a five link side chain in its molecule structure, THCP has seven links, and because of this, “it’s been reported that it has an immense affinity for binding with CB1 receptors, which are primarily found in the brain and body and help regulate anxiety, stress, pain relief, mood, happiness, and more,” cannabis author Jaime Evans tells Well + Good.
“In addition, these new studies have also shown that THCP might also be five to 10 times more active than THC on the CB2 receptors, which help modulate inflammation and pain, help our immune response to pathogens, and protect against bone loss in the body as we age.”
The discovery of THCP could also help us understand why cannabis works so differently depending on who’s ingesting it. For many years scientists worked off the assumption that most of cannabis’ psychotropic effect came from THC; now that THCP is in the picture, researchers can approach these questions from new directions.
CBDP has been studied even less than THCP, but one thing researchers have discovered is that, like THCP, the compound also has a seven-link molecule structure. But because CBD has poor binding ability with CB1 and CB2 receptors, it’s unlikely that CBDP will produce stronger results.
While this makes the discovery of the compound less impactful as the THCP findings, there’s always room for surprise, especially since these new elements allow us to get a clearer picture of cannabis.