In 2019, Italian scientists discovered Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabiphorol from a medical marijuana strain. Abbreviated as THC-P, THCP, and THCp, this minor cannabinoid occurs in hemp and cannabis plants and appears to act on endocannabinoid receptors with incredible efficiency. In fact, research shows THCP is the most potent psychoactive cannabinoid yet. Users report THCP feels even stronger than delta-9.
Hemp-derived THCP is a fascinating compound, joining the ranks of Delta-8, Delta-10, and HHC as the latest federally legal cannabinoid to take the industry by storm.
Here we review THC-P’s effects, uses, benefits, legality, and strength.
What Is THC-P?
THC-P is an organic cannabinoid (or phytocannabinoid) similar to delta-9 THC, the most abundant cannabinoid in most marijuana strains.
THC-P’s molecular structure is similar to delta-9 THC, but with one significant difference: It has a longer alkyl side chain that contains seven carbon atoms versus five in delta-9 THC. According to researchers, the extra carbon atoms allow THC-P to bind more readily with cannabinoid receptors in the brain and nervous system. As a result, THC-P is the most potent THC analog discovered so far.
Like other minor cannabinoids, such as delta-8 and delta-10, THC-P occurs naturally in hemp and cannabis plants, yet very low concentrations. As a result, manufacturers produce most THC-P by chemically altering CBD extracted from legal hemp plants.
THC-P Effects: Overview
THC-P’s effects are essentially identical to THC but more intense. Almost everything known about THC-P comes from a 2019 research study. Scientists found that THC-P binds 33 times more effectively with CB1 receptors in the brain and nervous system than delta-9 THC. This is most likely due to THCP’s extended seven-atom side chain. CB1 receptors regulate functions like sleep, mood, and appetite and are critical in delivering marijuana’s psychoactive effects.
The resulting “high” from a THCP-rich cannabis strain or product is powerful and potentially more sedating, energizing, or soothing than delta-9 THC. Some users even describe THC-P as “psychedelic-like,” saying it can amplify sounds and colors, an uncommon effect with traditional THC. Most THCP users report:
- Stress relief
- Appetite stimulation
- A heavy mental and physical buzz
THCP is certainly more potent than THC due to its 33X receptor-binding affinity. But that doesn’t mean this novel compound gets users 33 times higher. Most say THC-P feels about five to 10 times stronger than Delta-9 THC. That’s because there is a limit to any cannabinoid's ability to activate endocannabinoid receptors before maxing out its effects.
What Does THC-P Do? THC-P Uses and Benefits
When studying the effects of THC-P on human cannabinoid receptors, the Italian research team uncovered several physiological effects, including:
- Analgesia (pain relief)
- Hypomotility (slowing of movement)
- Catalepsy (trance-like state)
- Decreased rectal temperature
Researchers say THC-P’s powerful properties could account for some of cannabis’ healing powers that are difficult to explain with THC alone. For instance, THC-P binds more readily with receptors in the immune system that regulate key anti-inflammatory processes. As a result, THCP could amplify marijuana’s pain, insomnia, and nausea-relieving properties.
THC-P Flower: What is it?
Hemp and cannabis don’t naturally contain enough THCP to deliver a psychoactive effect when smoked. As a result, manufacturers infuse or coat the plant with pure THC-P distillates (or blends that include THC-P).
Because THC-P is so potent, flower varieties enhanced this way pack a punch while offering many of the same effects users enjoy from THC, such as pain and nausea relief, appetite stimulation, a euphoric high, and sleepy effects.
THC-P vs. Other Cannabinoids
THC-P vs. Delta-9
THC-P and delta-9 THC produce euphoric psychoactive effects and offer various therapeutic and mood-boosting benefits. However, THC-P is more potent than delta-9 due to its chemical structure. Also, THC-P is fully federally legal, while Delta 9-THC derived from marijuana is a Schedule 1 controlled substance.
THC-O vs. THC-P
Unlike THC-P, THC-O acetate does not occur naturally in hemp or cannabis plants. It is an acetylated form of THC produced by adding an acetic anhydride to the mixture. Like THC-P, THC-O is a more potent analog of Delta-9 THC. The consensus says that THC-O is around three times more powerful, while THC-P is five to 10 times stronger.
THC-P vs. Delta-8
Delta-8 THC is another THC analog that occurs naturally in hemp in cannabis at low levels. It appears to have a lower affinity for the CB1 receptor, making it less potent than Delta-9 THC and significantly less than THC-P. Most consumers say Delta-8 is more soothing, whereas THC-P can be more stimulating.
HHC vs. THC-P
HHC is not a tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) like Delta-8, Delta-9, or THC-P. HHC is a hexahydrocannabinol with no double atom bonds and includes hydrogen molecules instead. Consumers say HHC induces less-potent psychoactive effects than conventional delta-9 THC or THC-P, describing it as less energetic and more cerebral.
Is THC-P Legal, and How Can I Buy THC-P Online?
THC-P is entirely federally legal and available in most states. However, some states have banned or limited the availability of “artificially derived cannabinoids” (which manufacturers produce from hemp-derived CBD or THC). Other states created rules prohibiting THC content above 0.3% in hemp-derived products–effectively eliminating many THCP products.
Is THC-P Safe?
Because THC-P is more potent than traditional delta-9 THC, users should take smaller doses to see how it affects them.
Also, due to its trace quantities in cannabis plants, most manufacturers convert CBD into THC-P through a chemical reaction involving acids and solvents, similar to delta-8 THC. Buyers should look for credible brands that thoroughly test their products for residual contaminants to be sure they are free from these potentially harmful compounds.
Common Questions About THC-P
Does THC-P show up on a drug test?
Consuming THC-P could cause users to fail a standard drug test as it likely breaks down into the federally illicit THC in the body.
Does THC-P get you high?
Yes, as THC-P is the strongest cannabinoid discovered yet to date. It offers the same intoxicating effects and euphoric feelings associated with traditional delta-9 THC.
Is THC-P stronger than Delta-9?
THC-P is 5 to 10 times stronger than Delta 9 THC, according to people who have tried it.
How is THC-P made?
THC-P naturally occurs in cannabis plants, but only in small concentrations. As a result, most brands make THC-P products in a lab by chemically manipulating CBD extracted from hemp plants.
How long does THC-P last?
Most users report that THC-P’s effects last about 1-3 hours, the same as delta-9 THC. The length depends on the delivery method and user tolerance level. Peak effects are usually within one hour, tapering off after two hours. The impact of gummies or cookies often lasts up to six hours.
How long does THC-P stay in your system?
THC-P can stay in the body for two to 30 days, similar to Delta 9. Small amounts of any substance can remain in the body for a surprisingly long time due to the nature of metabolization.
How long does THC-P take time to kick in?
Most people feel the effects of THC-P within 15 minutes when smoking or vaping. It could take an hour when consuming THC-P via gummies or cookies.
Is THC-P synthetic?
THC-P occurs naturally in cannabis. However, because it only exists in trace amounts, most THC-P comes from labs, which create it from hemp-derived CBD. This is a semi-synthetic process.
What is the difference between THC and THC-P?
The main difference between THC and THC-P is their psychoactive strength. THC-P has more potent effects than THC, likely due to it having two extra carbons in its chemical structure. THC has five carbons, while THC-P has seven.
Is THC-P good for anxiety?
THC-P is known for its anti-anxiety properties. It has an immense affinity for binding with CB1 receptors, which regulate anxiety, stress, pain relief, happiness, and more. Still, users should start with a low dose to determine how THC-P alters their mood, as effects vary.
Final Thoughts on THC-P
THC-P, which is up to 33 times more active at binding with cannabinoid receptors than THC, is a natural cannabinoid that causes an intense and intoxicating euphoric high. As a THC analog derived from hemp, THC-P is not explicitly listed as a controlled substance and is federally legal Researchers have only begun to explore THC-P’s potential, which could offer new therapeutic benefits. Initial research and user reviews indicate this powerful compound rivals delta-9 THC, making it worthy of attention.