What Sets THC-P Apart? Delving into the Science and Effects

by Aman Kodwani on Dec 09, 2023

What Sets THC-P Apart? Delving into the Science and Effects


THC-P, or tetrahydrocannabiphorol, is a novel cannabinoid that has piqued the interest of both the scientific community and cannabis enthusiasts.

Unlike its well-known counterpart, delta-9 THC, THC-P was only recently discovered in 2019 by a team of Italian researchers. This accidental find occurred during an analysis of a specific marijuana strain, revealing a compound with intriguing properties and potential.

As we delve deeper into this article, we'll explore the science behind THC-P, its effects, comparisons with other cannabinoids, and its current standing in the legal landscape. Join us on this enlightening journey into the world of THC-P.


What is THC-P? The Science Behind THC-P

At the molecular level, THC-P showcases intriguing differences when compared to the more commonly known delta-9 THC. One of the most notable distinctions is its molecular structure.

While both belong to the cannabinoid family, THC-P possesses a unique seven-atom side chain, contrasting with the five-atom side chain found in delta-9 THC.

This extended side chain isn't just a minor variation; it plays a pivotal role in how THC-P interacts with our body. The longer chain allows THC-P to bind more effectively with the human CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors.

These receptors are integral components of our endocannabinoid system, a complex cell-signaling system responsible for regulating a plethora of physiological processes.

Due to its enhanced binding affinity, THC-P's effects are speculated to be more potent in the brain and body than delta-9 THC.

In essence, the unique molecular structure of THC-P, especially its seven-atom side chain, grants it a distinct place within the cannabinoid family. Its interaction with the endocannabinoid system suggests potential effects that could be more pronounced, opening new avenues for research and understanding in the world of cannabis science.


Discovery and Research

The world of cannabis science was taken by surprise in 2019 when Italian researchers stumbled upon THC-P.

This discovery wasn't a result of targeted research but rather a serendipitous find during the analysis of a specific marijuana strain. The presence of THC-P, a cannabinoid distinct from the more familiar delta-9 THC, was a revelation.

Since its introduction to the scientific community, research on THC-P is still in its nascent stages.

Preliminary studies hint at its potential therapeutic benefits. Its unique molecular structure suggests that THC-P might offer enhanced effects, both recreationally and medicinally.

While the current body of research is limited, the initial findings are promising. As scientists continue to delve deeper, the hope is that THC-P's full spectrum of benefits and applications will come to light shortly.


THC-P vs. Other Cannabinoids

Delta-9 THC Comparison

Delta-9 THC is the most recognized cannabinoid, known for its psychoactive properties. While both delta-9 THC and THC-P belong to the cannabinoid family, their molecular structures differ.

THC-P's extended seven-atom side chain, compared to delta-9's five-atom chain, suggests a stronger binding affinity to cannabinoid receptors, potentially leading to more pronounced effects.



THC-O, another cannabinoid variant, is distinct from both delta-9 THC and THC-P. While the exact experiential differences between THC-P and THC-O are still under exploration, initial observations suggest that each offers a unique experience.

The presence of THC-P in products often blended with other cannabinoids makes it challenging to isolate its individual effects.


Potency Potential

One of the most captivating aspects of THC-P is its potential potency. The Italian researchers who unveiled THC-P found that it binds 33 times more effectively with the CB1 receptor than delta-9 THC.

This doesn't necessarily mean it's 33 times more intoxicating, but it does hint at THC-P's potential to produce a more potent high, setting it apart in the cannabinoid landscape.


Effects and Experience of THC-P

Psychoactive Potential

THC-P's unique molecular structure suggests it might produce effects similar to delta-9 THC but possibly more pronounced.

Its enhanced binding affinity with cannabinoid receptors indicates a potential for a more potent psychoactive experience.


Comparative Effects

While THC-P's exact effects in comparison to other cannabinoids remain a topic of research, anecdotal evidence hints at its distinctiveness.

Some users report experiencing a different kind of high, though these observations are subjective and can vary among individuals.


A Word of Caution

Given THC-P's relative novelty and the limited body of research, users should approach it with caution.

The potential for heightened effects, combined with individual variability in response, underscores the importance of starting with low doses and being mindful of one's reactions.


Legal Status and Availability of THC-P

In the U.S., the legal landscape surrounding THC-P is evolving. The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp and its compounds, provided they contain less than 0.3% delta-9 THC.

While a federal appeals court in 2022 confirmed the legal status of certain hemp-derived products, individual states have taken varied stances, with some imposing restrictions or bans on specific cannabinoids, potentially including THC-P.

As for availability, THC-P products are emerging in the hemp-derived cannabinoid marketplace.

They can be found online, in head shops, convenience stores, and select vape shops. However, consumers should exercise caution and stay informed about their state's regulations before purchasing.


Risks and Safety Concerns

While THC-P's potential benefits intrigue many, its side effects remain largely unknown due to limited research.

Concerns also arise regarding product quality, as the market is still maturing. Until comprehensive studies are conducted, users should prioritize safety, seek reputable sources and be cautious with consumption.



THC-P, with its unique molecular structure and potential effects, represents an exciting frontier in the cannabis industry. Its discovery has sparked curiosity and opened doors for further exploration.

As the industry evolves, ongoing research is paramount to fully understand THC-P's benefits, risks, and its place among other cannabinoids.

The future of THC-P is promising, but as with all innovations, knowledge and caution go hand in hand. We invite our readers to share their thoughts and experiences with THC-P. Please comment below and join the conversation!

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