As if cannabis wasn’t dynamic enough, we learn something new about the plant almost daily. And, the most recent cannabis revelation could be one of the most important as of late. Two new cannabinoids, the cannabis compounds that produce the plant’s unique effects, have been discovered, with one having the potential to be the most potent of all known cannabinoids.
What does this mean for cannabis potency testing, consumers, and growers too? Let’s explore the newly uncovered cannabinoids, THCP and CBDP, to determine what makes the minor cannabinoids so unique. Please keep reading for our ultimate guide on the latest cannabis discovery and why it matters for the industry’s future.
What are THCP and CBDP?
One reason why cannabis is so beloved by its consumers is the effects of THC and CBD. These two major cannabinoids are found in cannabis and hemp plants and are to thank for the rise of medical marijuana use and recreational legalization. Since cannabis was illegal for a large part of modern advancements in research and medical discoveries, the industry as a whole has a lot of catching up to do.
Hence, the latest rise in the number of cannabinoids we know to even exist. Until recently, industry experts were under the impression that cannabis contained around 60 varying cannabinoids. Including the well-known THC, CBD, CBN, THCa, CBC, CBG, etc. Now, the latest talk on the town is on THCP and CBDP.
THCP and CBDP do differ from the other cannabinoids we already know. Common major cannabinoids have a molecular structure that has a side chain of 5 links. THCP and CBDP have a molecular structure that has a side chain of 7 links. The number of links that each cannabis compound has affects the molecules’ exact interaction with our body’s endocannabinoid system receptors, CB1 and CB2. How they interact or bind also affects their strength.
The Science Behind Discovering THCP and CBDP
Before we get into the potency of THCP and CBDP, it’s crucial to understand how research accidentally came across more cannabinoids. Especially since it could mean similar and continued studies, it may forever change and re-define the science and testing of cannabis.
In December 2019, Italian researchers published a report that solidified their scientific findings of two new cannabinoids – THCP and CBDP. Those who conducted the study openly admitted the discovery was a complete accident. Or, as they put it, “no one was looking for them.” The same group is quite influential in the research of cannabinoids since they were also the ones to find THCB and CBDB.
The group initially had to receive approval to study industrial hemp from the Ministry of Health due to illegality in their country. In this first experiment, they successfully detected and identified the new phytocannabinoid, cannabidiol – AKA, CBDP. Convinced THC would have the same results; they requested further approval to study cannabis marijuana plants. Their hunch was correct, and THCP became the next majorly known cannabinoids in cannabis.
How THCP and CBDP Affect The Future of Cannabis
So, how do THCP and CBDP influence cannabinoids and their therapeutic effects? For one, they’re far more potent. As trials continue to investigate the new findings, they found even more profound results. THCP proved to be 33x more potent than THC, 63x more potent than minor cannabinoid THCV, and 13x more active potent than the newbie, THCB. The leading researcher Professor Giuseppe Cannazza explained the potency difference by saying, “THCP has a longer alkyl chain, and it is more lipophilic and fits the CB1 receptors 30 times more than THC.”
After making the discovery, the researchers were able to conduct small trials on mice to explore the exact effects of THCP. They found THCP caused:
- Hypomotility or slow movement
- Analgesia, or the inability to feel pain
- Catalepsy, or a loss of sensation and consciousness
- Decreased rectal temperature
For the future of the cannabis industry, these findings can affect everything from growing, sales, manufacturing, and testing. Knowing there’s a minor cannabinoid that’s more potent than major cannabinoids will soon put the cannabis compound into high demand. Not to mention, it could clear up some confusion medical experts have on the medical effects of cannabis in reference to THC levels. For instance – certain strains with THC with highly psychotropic effects could have undiscovered levels of the more potent THCP.
Minor Cannabinoids, Major Effects
With only a year of knowledge under our belts, cannabis testing facilities are still deciphering how to best isolate and identify THCP. Of course, just like the fast-paced industry overall, experts are working quickly to develop these new methods. When testing is available, cultivators will likely begin exploring ways to elevate the levels of THCP in crops for more potent yields.
That’s when you can expect to see THCP products highlighted as the next best and most potent thing…since THC. Until then, keep up with the latest cannabis testing news and information. Sign up for our LabPlex newsletter, or experience the LabPlex difference by scheduling your first compliance or quality assurance test now.