Next New Cannabinoid to Hit the Hemp Scene: THC-P

Medically reviewed by Alexander Tabibi, MD
September 16, 2021
THC-P What is Tetrahydrocannabiphorol,
THC-P What is Tetrahydrocannabiphorol,

With so much research going into cannabis right now, it’s not surprising that we’re suddenly discovering a whole array of cannabinoids that deserve their fair share of the spotlight.  Right now, the new and exciting cannabinoid everyone is talking about is tetrahydrocannabiphorol (THC-P for short).  Now, perhaps you’re feeling fatigued by the ever-expanding hemp industry at this point, but we’re here to tell you that THC-P is, in fact, a gamechanger, with recent research backing up the fact that it can offer a lot to anyone who enjoys hemp with a side of psychoactive properties.

Where Does THC-P Come from?

Tetrahydrocannabiphorol is a naturally occurring cannabinoid in the hemp plant, that exists in very trace levels much like most of the cannabinoids we’ve been closely observing over the last couple of years.  While most cannabinoids were discovered and analyzed decades ago, like cannabinol (CBD), tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabigerol (CBG), cannabinol (CBN), delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-8 THC), delta-10-Tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-10 THC), and tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), THC-P is totally new as far as researchers are concerned.  While it’s always existed in hemp, we never knew of its existence until very recently.

In December of 2019, a team of Italian researchers accidentally discovered tetrahydrocannabiphorol while using a series of liquid chromatography and mass-spectrometry techniques on hemp to fully analyze individual cannabinoids in a more precise manner.  This essentially unveiled the bouquet of cannabinoids in the hemp plant so that each one could be isolated and tested for its individual properties.  THC-P emerged, clear as day, and the scientists immediately started studying it more intently to understand its properties, psychoactive effects and potential for therapeutic use.

What So Special About THC-P Anyway?

As you may have guessed from its name, “THC-P” is a psychoactive cannabinoid that shares a lot in common with delta 9 THC.  But, the big story about this compound is that it binds to CB1 receptors 30x more effectively than delta 9.  CB1 receptors are the cannabinoid receptors in the nervous system that regulate nervous system functions, while also being responsible for producing the high caused by certain hemp compounds.  If THC-P is 30 times more effective at binding to these receptors, then the high produced by THC-P may be particularly powerful.

Now, anyone who uses full spectrum hemp or flower already consumes tetrahydrocannabiphorol without knowing it.  But, now that it has been isolated, we can create products with pure THC-P extracts to provide stronger effects of the cannabinoid, just like we do with delta 8, THCV, and so on.

What Does THC-P Do?

Besides the fact that THC-P is psychoactive in a uniquely competent way, it’s rich in other properties, as one should expect if they have studied cannabinoids and their relationship to the endocannabinoid system.  Cannabinoids including THC-P, CBD, and others all have the distinctive ability to bind to cannabinoid receptors in the body to regulate important processes that help us function throughout the day, which means that THC-P definitely has some sort of regulatory effect on specific bodily systems.

Research on THC-P is in the very early stages, as it’s just too new to have a lot of studies behind it.  But, the same study sourced above shows that the Italian researchers who first discovered this compound noted some properties that it has that can be very useful.

Interestingly, THC-P seems to have a lot of the same potential as delta 9 THC in terms of its specific effects.  Although we need more findings to really confirm this, it looks like THC-P has an effect on pain levels through analgesic and anti-inflammatory activity, along with effects on nausea, mood and appetite, and these are all effects associated with delta 9.  Its unique efficiency level pertaining to its relationship to CB1 receptors could make these effects far more prominent than delta-9, as well.

Were You Actually Consuming THC-P but Had No Clue?

Most likely, you’ve inadvertently consumed THC-P at some point in your life. A fair share of users now believe a very strong and unexpected “high” could be caused by a paring of THC and THC-P, as opposed to THC on its own.  This makes sense because the specific compounds in cannabis do not suddenly begin to exist when unearthed.  They have been there the whole time.

What Side-Effects are Potentially Associated with THC-P?

Side-effects of tetrahydrocannabiphorol are still hidden to an extent.  Again, this is a new cannabinoid and exclusive short-term and long-term THC-P side-effects have yet to be documented properly. 

As mentioned earlier, tetrahydrocannabiphorol binds effectively to your CB1 receptor, hence those side-effects might be more pronounced.  That is why care and consideration should be taken if (or when) you choose to consume any THC-P products.  This means knowing your body and above all else, speaking with your doctor first before taking it, especially if you’re taking prescription medications.  Like any other cannabinoid, it could interfere with the CYP3A4 enzyme responsible for metabolizing half of the medications we take.

Can I Buy THC-P?

Currently, tetrahydrocannabiphorol is still in the early stages of purchase (only a handful of companies have it for sale), but that’s all about to change very soon.  Whenever a new cannabinoid is discovered, companies that make hemp products must very carefully develop their means for extracting it based on its innate stability and characteristics, and then they must decide how to formulate it properly to give customers a positive experience.  That being said, companies are presently working on making THC-P products, which you should expect to see fully on the market very soon.

  • Vapes: Will be extremely popular, as hemp customers by and large prefer vaping products when it comes to cannabinoid-specific formulas.  You can expect to see both pre-filled vape carts and disposables containing THC-P extracts, in a variety of strains just like we’ve seen with delta 8 and the like.
  • Edibles: Like thc vs thcp vapers, will also no doubt be very popular.  This is due to its similarities to delta 9, as there is no reason not to expect that THC-P can deliver a prominent body high much like its cousin cannabinoid, in a way that’s very favorable.
  • Tinctures: Should be a big hit as well, as many people like the nature of sublingual products that act as a sort of middle-ground between fast-acting, hard-hitting vapes and mellower, slower-acting edibles.
  • Capsules: Will undoubtedly be released at some point, as more and more people choose to take cannabinoids routinely in the form of capsules.
  • Flower: Expect to see THC-P flower, which will be hemp flower buds infused with THC-P extract, in numerous strains, as well as loose bud and pre-roll forms.
  • Dabs: An option that will be highly regarded amongst experienced users of THC, as many people enjoy the highly concentrated nature of them that allows for higher potency levels.

At the time of this article, there is no legislation singling out tetrahydrocannabiphorol, and it will maintain a federally legal status as it’s protected by the 2018 Farm Bill.  This piece of legislation allows all hemp derivatives, except for delta 9 THC, to be legal.  Individual states may ban the compound as they have with most other cannabinoids.

THC-P: The Next Big Cannabinoid to Take the Hemp World by Storm

As you can see, tetrahydrocannabiphorol is a cannabinoid that’s already known for its potential for powerful psychoactive properties.  In the coming months and years ahead, as our industry as a whole continues to progress forward,  we will see it continue to expand.  THC-P is already attracting quite a lot of buzz, and it’s no wonder considering the amazing discoveries made relating to its properties and psychoactive activity. If you’re interested in trying THC-P, check out the products available in this cannabinoid at today!