With the word-of-mouth about the benefits of cannabis spreading ever more widely, the research and scientific studies being done on the plant have been able to continue and even increase, allowing for substantial growth of the industry as a whole at a breakneck pace. One such research study conducted by Italian researchers has led to discovering two new cannabinoids, THCP and CBDP, in the cannabis plant. They are similar in function and structure to the most widely known cannabinoids, CBD and THC.
As of now, an estimated 150 different phytocannabinoids have been discovered inside the cannabis plant. However, very few of them have been studied and isolated because of the restrictions and regulations on the use or research of the cannabis plant. Also, researching other minor cannabinoids is complicated, as most cannabis strains tend to be bred to have CBD or THC dominance.
However, the next-generation spectrometry tactics helped the group of researchers discover the two newly discovered cannabis compounds and determine their characteristics, functions, and structure efficiently.
The two new cannabis compounds THCP and CBDP, aren’t just an expansion of their predecessors THC and CBD – they possess great therapeutic implications of their own. Considering that, THCP may be a game-changer due to certain features and characteristics.
THCP, the newly discovered cannabis compound, is said to have a critical side chain linking the regular molecule structure with two additional links. A usual THC molecule has five links, while THCP has seven links altogether. The length of the cannabinoids side chain is known for playing a crucial role in the overall impact of the cannabinoids on the human endocannabinoid system. In THC, only three links are required to amalgamate receptors with the THC molecule along with an increased binding affinity of 8 links.
Thus, the prolonged side chain of THCP with seven links is expected to come up with a much stronger binding affinity for the CB1 receptors found inside the human endocannabinoid system. In a clinical trial where the researchers were aimed at determining the binding affinity of THCP against the CB1 and CB2 human receptors, the results suggested that THCP is 33 times more active compared to the affinity between CB1 receptors and the regular THC.
Similar to THCP, CBDP also has a long chain with seven links as well. According to scientists, research into the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-epileptic properties of CBDP is not the priority for the cannabis industry. Though the research is ongoing, the fact that CBD has a very weak binding affinity for both the CB1 and CB2 receptors of the human endocannabinoid system has made CBDP less impactful for such chronic ailments.
However, CBDP research is still being carried out and could hold many surprises, especially associated with cannabis. All the possible benefits of this plant have yet to be identified.
Though the research has discovered some great information about the two new cannabis compounds, it has also posed several implications on cannabis consumption and perceptions of the effects it causes at the same time. One such implication is that THCP could cause a very potent and unusual cannabis experience among some individuals. This is because the research has reportedly found that THCP has a higher potency than THC.
While it has always been perceived that the psychoactive effects of the cannabis plant come from the higher binding affinity and potency levels of THC, it could be partially due to the presence of THCP or other potential cannabinoids that haven’t been profiled yet. Extended research over the characteristics, features, and effects of THCP could help in determining this.