Why is THC-P Meant for Adult-Use Only?

September 18, 2021
THC P Adult Use
THC P Adult Use

Did you know that the hemp plant has become a superstar in recent years?  We mean, with a range of new and existing hemp-derived cannabinoids making their mark on the industry, it is easy to see why they offer dazzling, highly useful properties to anyone who consumes them.  The very latest cannabinoid to emerge is Tetrahydrocannabiphorol (THC-P), a brand-new discovery that’s already getting quite a lot of buzz.

The fast-growing popularity of the hemp plant coincided with the legalization of hemp derivatives through the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill.  But, just because a cannabinoid is federally legal doesn’t mean that it’s appropriate for everyone.  Primarily, tetrahydrocannabiphorol is, like many others, a cannabinoid that is strictly for adult-use only.

THC-P: A New Cannabinoid We are Still Learning About

Tetrahydrocannabiphorol was discovered at the end of 2019, when Italian researchers were isolating individual cannabinoids and came across THC-P by accident.  Right now, we don’t know much about it because of how new it is.  But, the researchers who did discover it performed analysis that gave us a good idea of what it is capable of, by observing how it binds to specific cannabinoid receptors in the body.  What we do know about it so far is enough to know that this is not a compound that should be consumed by minors.

What are the Psychoactive Properties of THC-P?

The most fascinating thing about tetrahydrocannabiphorol is how it interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which uses cannabinoids to attach them to cannabinoid receptors that control and regulate certain responses throughout the body.  THC-P works on CB1 receptors in the nervous system about 30 times as powerfully as delta 9 THC, the one cannabinoid in hemp that remains illegal federally.

CB1 receptors are responsible for triggering the psychoactive response that certain cannabinoids are capable of.  Essentially, THC-P may be profoundly psychoactive compared to delta-9 THC, let alone delta-8 THC or delta-10 THC, two other legalized cannabinoids in the hemp plant.  Basically then, it’s safe to assume that THC-P will get you very high.  By binding to these receptors more competently, the body absorbs more of the compound through its enhanced bioavailability. 

Note: All of the properties of tetrahydrocannabiphorol could possibly be more potent than those associated with other cannabinoids.

Why are Psychoactive Cannabinoids Such as THC-P Only Suitable for Adults to Use?

Psychoactive cannabinoids have never been considered suitable for minors.  No intoxicating substance is, including alcohol.  There are many reasons for this, but primarily:   

  1. Minors have less developed endocannabinoid systems than adults.  This means that the psychoactive effects of cannabinoids can be extremely powerful – to the point that the effects are extremely unwanted.  Being more potent than delta-9, tetrahydrocannabiphorol impact on a minor’s system could be overwhelming, and even harmful.
  2. The intoxicating properties of tetrahydrocannabiphorol can be quite bad for a minor whose brain is still developing.  While experienced adults can navigate these effects, minors may experience intense anxiety, paranoia, and other unwanted psychological side effects.  Why?  Because simply put, their brains simply aren’t as equipped to handle such a powerful nervous system response.

The Law Regarding Cannabinoids and Age

There is also the fact that minors are not legally allowed to purchase hemp, including cannabidiol (CBD).  While possession laws are not as clear-cut, it is well-known that hemp isn’t something that a person under 18 can walk into a store and purchase.  Therefore, a minor cannot legally buy THC-P.  And, these laws are there to protect children, who, once again, do not have fully developed endocannabinoid systems that can process cannabinoids, and especially intoxicating ones, as efficiently as adults.

Ethical Issues with Intoxicating Compounds

Giving a child any intoxicating substance is enormously unethical.  A minor may not be able to decide for themselves whether or not a cannabinoid is beneficial to them and making that decision for them creates a strong moral issue.  While there are pediatricians who recognize the value of giving minors non-intoxicating cannabinoids – primarily CBD – psychoactive cannabinoids are different issue entirely.  Allowing a child to have marijuana, for instance, can lead to criminal charges on behalf of the provider, as it’s considered child endangerment. 

There is always a chance that getting your child high on even a legal cannabinoid could result in similar criminal charges, especially if that child does something dangerous under the influence.

A Note for Pet Owners

It is important to point out that tetrahydrocannabiphorol is definitely not appropriate for pets, either.  No intoxicating cannabinoid is.  An animal’s nervous system simply isn’t equipped to handle the psychoactive effects of these cannabinoids, and so giving your cat or dog THC-P could be quite dangerous, not to mention overwhelmingly unethical.

Bottom Line: THC-P is a Cannabinoid for Adults Only!

With its potentially powerful psychoactive properties, tetrahydrocannabiphorol is a cannabinoid that should only be used by adults, and even then, it’s suitable for adults who already have a tolerance to THC due to how much more potent the high can be.  Always, and we mean ALWAYS remember, NEVER give a minor THC-P, no matter the milligram strength or dosage, as this is dangerous, potentially harmful, and potentially illegal.