What is THCP? And How Potent is it?

THCP is the short form for tetrahydrocannabiphorol, a recently discovered cannabinoid that is taking the cannabis market by storm. There is a lot to discuss about THCP and much more to discover, but one area on the lips of many is its potency and the levels of “high” it can deliver. 

In this article, we discuss the various areas of THCP, from its molecular structure to its psychoactive effects, drawing information from the experience of users and the research available to give a thorough perspective. 

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Key Takeaways

  • THCP is one of the less popular cannabinoids that occur naturally in hemp and cannabis plants.
  • Generally, THCP is considered significantly more potent than THC, with many consumers claiming it produces up to 30 times more intense highs.
  • You can typically consume THCP like every other hemp-derived product, with common methods including vaping, edibles, and smoking.

What is THCP?

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THCP is a naturally occurring cannabinoid that is found in cannabis plants and is capable of making users high. This cannabinoid was first discovered by Italian researchers in 2019, thereby adding to the list of about 120 cannabinoids that have been discovered in cannabis plants. 

According to the researchers who discovered THCP, it is an analog of THC, and it interacts with the endocannabinoid system in the human body in ways similar to the way delta 9 THC works. 

However, it has a stronger affinity and connection with the endocannabinoid system, an affinity that is believed to be 33 times more than THC does. As a result, the cannabinoid is expected to have more potent effects on the body than delta 9 THC, especially regarding its psychoactive properties. 

It is also important to note that THCP is found in cannabis plants in trace amounts, that is, in small quantities. Therefore, to produce it at a commercial level, most manufacturers do not extract it directly from plants; instead, they produce it synthetically. 

To produce it synthetically, manufacturers extract CBD and then convert it into THCP via chemical processes. This is possible because the chemical structure of cannabinoids is such that it is easy to convert one into another.

However, if you want to extract THCP from cannabis plants directly, here are some steps you can follow: 

 

  • Harvest hemp plants, and make sure you go for plants with high THCP content. 
  • Grind your hemp plant into a fine form. This will help the extraction solvent properly go through the plant material. 
  • The next thing is to extract your THCP with a solvent. Your solvent could either be CO2, hydrocarbon, or ethanol solvents. 
  • After this, filter your solvent to remove plant debris and impurities.
  • The next is to remove the solvent through evaporation techniques. 
  • Finally, purify your THCP using methods like fractional distillation and chromatography. 

 

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The Chemistry of THCP

The molecular structure of THCP is a fascinating feature of this cannabinoid, especially compared to THC

The major thing to note about the molecular structure of THCP is that it is similar to THC’s with just one significant difference: THCP possesses a heptyl chain that is longer than the alkyl chain found in THC. This chain contains seven carbon atoms against the five found in THC.

You should also note that the significant reason why THCP binds more firmly with the endocannabinoid system and CB1 and CB2 receptors in the body is because of its extended side chain. 

Furthermore, since THCP is similar to THC, it may also have a double carbon bond. However, it may differ from other forms of THC, like delta 8 and delta 10, in terms of the location of this bond. While in delta 8, the double carbon bond is on the 8th atom ring, and the 10th for delta 10, THCP may have its double bond on the ninth atom ring like delta 9 THC. 

 

THCP vs. HHC

While we have already examined THCP vs. THC and THC vs. delta 8 and delta 10, it is essential to compare this cannabinoid with HHC’s molecular structure. 

When we do this, we see major differences between THCP and HHC. The first one is that HHC is completely saturated or hydrogenated, while THCP is not. This ensures that HHC is typically stronger and stable than THCP. The other major difference is that HHC does not have double carbon bonds, while THCP and THC do. It is also important to note that HHC is usually referred to as the hydrogenated derivative of THC.

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How Strong is THCP?

When we discuss how strong THCP or any cannabinoid is, we are talking about the potency of the psychoactive experience you get from using the cannabinoid. That is, how intense will the “high” you get from THCP or any other cannabinoid be. 

As we mentioned earlier, there are over 120 discovered cannabinoids, most of which are psychoactive; that is, they will get you high. 

However, they get you high at different levels; for instance, delta 9 THC is stronger than delta 8. Therefore, taking delta 9 makes you more likely to experience deeper and stronger psychoactive effects like altered perception, daydreaming, bursts of energy, etc. 

The next question, therefore, is how we know which cannabinoid is stronger than the other, and there are two significant ways. The first way is by studying the molecular structure of each cannabinoid, and the second is anecdotal evidence, that is, evidence of users. 

From the first method, researchers study how thoroughly or loosely a cannabinoid binds with the endocannabinoid system. The principle is that the more firmly a cannabinoid binds with the CB1 and CB2 receptors, the more potent it is. 

When it comes to THCP, the consensus from the research done so far is that the cannabinoid is remarkably potent. In fact, some manufacturers say that it is the strongest cannabinoid. This is because the extended side chain allows it to bind 33 times more firmly than THC does with the endocannabinoid system. 

The assertion that THCP is very potent is also supported by the experience of users who consistently state that the cannabinoid provides a strong and incredibly powerful experience that may trump anything else they have experienced. 

Some statements from users of THCP about the potency of the cannabinoid include:

 

“Very very strong. I ordered Delta 9 THCP last week and tried it the other day. I still feel partly high. I woke up the following morning (yesterday) still fully stoned. It felt like my body weighed a million pounds.”

“It absolutely got me pretty damn high, and if not because I work from home, I would have been unable to go to work the following day.” 

“So strong it ruined my tolerance for a week, and one hit of it felt like 3-4 hits of delta 9 THC.”

 

From these, we can say that the consensus on the question “How strong is THCP?” is that it is “very strong.” Furthermore, users seem to have a consensus that the high gotten from THCP also lasts longer than what is with regular THC. 

However, it is essential to note that the effects of THCP on individuals vary from person to person based on several factors, from tolerance levels and individual biological makeup to the quality of the product taken.

For instance,  some users may not find THCP as strong as others. One user on Reddit stated this on the potency of THCP: “I don’t think it is anything crazy from personal experience. It lasts a little longer but not super crazy as others suggest.” 

 

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THCP in Application: Consumption Methods 

THCP may be a recently discovered cannabinoid, but it is growing in popularity at an accelerated pace in the world of cannabis. The increased demand for this cannabinoid has caused manufacturers to produce various products incorporating THCP.

You can take THCP in several ways, and manufacturers make products that help you utilize all these different methods. 

Some of the popular methods for consuming THCP include:

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Vaping 

Vaping is an extremely popular way to consume THCP, especially because users believe that it is safer than smoking. THCP vapes allow you to enjoy the cannabinoid by heating it and inhaling the vapor. One of the major features of vaping is that it is fast-acting because it sends the cannabinoid straight to your bloodstream through your lungs. 

Therefore, you can expect to almost immediately begin to feel the effects of THCP when you vape. Furthermore, it also produces less smell than you find with smoking. 

 Vaping

Pros of Vaping 

  • It is fast-acting, which may mean that users immediately feel the effects.
  • There is no smoke, which makes it safer for the lungs and the body in general.
  • It is more discreet than smoking because it has reduced smell.
  • It is easier to control your dosage with vaping. 

Cons of Vaping

  • Even though there is no smoke, vaping has still been linked with certain health conditions.
  • High-quality vaporizers are usually expensive, and the cheap ones may be unsafe.
  • There are few studies on vaping, so we are unaware of the possible long-term effects of vaping. 

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Smoking 

You can also consume THCP by smoking. Smoking is one of the oldest methods of consuming cannabinoids and cannabis, and it is famous for being fast-acting. This means you can expect to feel the effects of THCP within minutes of smoking it. 

However, note that there are concerns with smoking and the danger that it can pose to the lungs. In fact, in a bid to avoid the risks of smoking, many of the other methods of consumption have grown in popularity. 

Pros of Smoking 

  • It is fast-acting and allows for immediate relief.
  • It is easy to learn and utilize.
  • It is also easy to control dosage.
  • Cons of smoking. 
  • It smells a lot and, therefore, is not discreet.

Cons of Smoking

  • There may be health complications, especially because of the effect of the smoke on the lungs. 
  • The effects of the THCP do not last as long

 

Tinctures

These are liquid extracts of THCP that are taken orally. You take tinctures sublingually; that is, you place drops beneath your tongue and swallow. As a general rule, tinctures are fast-acting, which means that the effects of THCP kick in quickly when you consume it via tinctures. 

Some manufacturers say it takes about 30 minutes to an hour for you to begin to experience the effects of taking THCP via tinctures. It is also important to note that tinctures can be added to food and beverages. 

 

Pros of Tinctures

  • It allows for flexibility because there are various ways to take THCP tinctures.
  • It is discrete and can easily be ingested by people of all ages.
  • It is efficient and typically considered safe.
  • THCP tinctures are widely available and have a wide range of flavors.

Cons of Tinctures 

  • It typically causes a stronger “high,” which may be overwhelming for users. 
  • There is a high risk of buying a dangerous or bad product.
  • It may also be difficult to determine the exact dosage to take.

 

Edibles 

THCP edibles are precisely what their name suggests — edible items infused with THCP. One of the most popular forms of edibles is gummies. They are a discreet and direct way to take THCP while also enjoying some flavors that come from gummies. 

However, note that with gummies, the effects of THCP take longer before they kick in. Some manufacturers place the time it takes before you begin to feel the effects of THCP gummies at about 1-2 hours. It is also a consensus that the “high” from THCP gummies last longer than other consumption methods. 

Pros of Gummies 

  • They are discrete and very easy to take. 
  • Gummies come in various flavors that ensure uniqueness and variety.
  • They have a long-lasting high effect.
  • Typically, it is easy to calculate dosage with gummies.

Cons of Gummies 

  • Gummies are slow-acting, which means their effects may take a while. This may be disadvantageous for those seeking quick relief.

Dabbing 

The final method of consuming THCP that we will discuss is dabbing. Dabbing is similar to vaping, but you use a dab-rig when dabbing. Dabbing is also quite fast-acting, though not as fast as smoking or vaping. 

Pros of Dabbing 

  • It involves less burning than smoking does.
  • You experience al the flavors of your dab.

Cons of Dabbing 

  • It allows for a powerful experience that may be too overwhelming for new users or those without tolerance. 

 

Finally,  many people wonder which of these methods is the best, but the truth is simply that none is inherently better. They all have pros and cons, so your need or preference determines which of the consumption methods is best for you.

For example, if you want something discreet and flexible, then gummies and tinctures may be better choices than smoking or vaping. Whereas if you want to get high very quickly, then you should vape or smoke. 

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Safety Considerations

THCP is a newly discovered cannabinoid; therefore, we don’t have sufficient research yet on the full and long-term effects of taking the cannabinoid. However, from anecdotal evidence, that is, the evidence of users, the cannabinoid seems pretty safe to use, possessing similar side effects to THC. 

However, because THCP is far more potent than THC, it is not strange that some of the side effects experienced by individuals are much more intense.

Some of these side effects include:

  • Dry eyes and mouth 
  • Headaches and feelings of heaviness 
  • Anxiety and hangovers 
  • Altered perception and loss of motor skills

 

It is also important to note that because THCP is still quite new in the cannabinoids market, there are high chances of encountering bad or low-quality products that may be dangerous. Therefore, you must pay attention to what brand you buy your THCP products from. 

Some things to check before you buy from a brand include: 

  • Third-party lab testing: The best brands always take their products through lab testing to ensure they are safe. Not only that, they also make these tests available to the public. Therefore, if you find a brand that fails to do this, it may be a cue to avoid their products.
  • Reviews and feedback: If everybody says that a brand or a product is excellent and safe, then chances are that it is actually so. Therefore, watch out for reviews about a brand or product before you choose it. Some places to get information about a brand or product include Reddit, Facebook Group, X/Twitter, and the brand’s website. 
  • Customer support: The final thing we advise that you check out is how a brand responds to customers. Do they have a firm policy that allows them to respond to queries and complaints, or is it impossible to reach them after reviews? Typically, communicative brands are brands with great products because they are not afraid to answer questions and queries.

 

Lastly, it is important to start with small dishes of THCP, especially if you are a first-time user of cannabinoids.

 

Final Thoughts 

THCP is an exciting discovery because of its molecular structure and psychoactive effects. More research still needs to be conducted to be sure of the long-term effects of this cannabinoid, but already, it is delivering novel experiences to users. Above all, remember to be cautious as you use and buy THCP products. 

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What is THCP: FAQs

THCP vs. THC: What's the Difference?

The primary difference between THCP and THC is in their molecular structure.  THCP has a longer side chain that contains seven carbon atoms against the five found on THC's side chain. The other significant difference is that THCP is far more potent than THC.

Can You Find THCP in All Cannabis Strains?

No, you can't find it in all strains. Note also that it occurs in small amounts in strains that you find it. 

What are the Potential Benefits and Risks Associated with THCP's Potency?

Some of the significant benefits that accompany the potency of THCP include pain relief, relaxation, and improved appetite. On the other hand, the risks include headaches, dry mouth, red eyes, and anxiety attacks. 

How is Potency Measured and Labeled on Cannabis Products?

The potency of a cannabis product is typically labeled with “% of THC.” The same applies to how potency is measured. Typically, the higher the THC content, the higher its potency. 

Is THCP Legal?

The answer to this is subjective. At a federal level, THCP is legal thanks to the Farm Bill, which doesn't specifically list it and is even favorable to a % of THC. However, while THCP may not be expressly prohibited at the state level, it may be frowned upon in states that prohibit THC. Therefore, if you are in a state where THC is illegal, THCP may be treated similarly. 

 

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A fluent writer in English and Spanish, Raul comes to us with vast work experience in the tobacco industry. He has turned his sights to informing readers about vaping culture, safety, and news.

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