Updated on February 15, 2024

What is THCP?

Fact Checked

Key takeaways

  • THCP was identified in 2019 by Dr. Giuseppe Cannazza and a team of Italian researchers from the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia.
  • THCP was identified in 2019 by Italian scientist.
  • THCP was discovered alongside THCB, CBDP, and CBDB which are all naturally occurring cannabinoids but in small quantities.
  • THCP has 7 carbon atoms in its side chain as compared to THC with only 5 carbon atoms.
  • The higher the carbon atoms attached to the side chain of a cannabinoid the higher its activity and ease of interaction with receptors.
  • Researchers claim that it's 33 times more active than THC.
  • Research shows that THCP induced pain relief, reduced body temperature and increased movement in lab animals.
  • The legal status of THCP is a gray area and may differ from one region to the other.
  • THCP provides a similar effect to THC but at a more potent level and at smaller dosages.

There are over 120 cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, and THC is not the only psychoactive compound. Although THC is one of the most researched cannabinoids, studies indicate that it is not the most psychoactive one. In this article, we will discuss THCP, a cannabinoid believed to be 33 times stronger than THC.

What is THCP?

THCP, or Δ9-tetrahydrocannabiphorol, is a type of cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. It is a structural analog of THC, which is the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis responsible for the "high" sensation. THCP was identified in cannabis extracts by researchers, and it has a longer side chain than THC.

THCP was first identified in 2019 by Dr. Giuseppe Cannazza and a team of Italian researchers from the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia. The researchers analyzed the chemical composition of cannabis. THCP was discovered alongside THCB (Tetrahydrocannabutol), CBDP (Cannabidiphorol) and CBDB (Cannabidibutol).

THCP has 7 carbon atoms in its side chain as compared with THC with only 5 carbon atoms. It is important to note that the higher the carbon atoms attached to the side chain of a cannabinoid the higher its activity and ease of interaction with receptors. The length and structure of this side chain can influence the binding affinity of the cannabinoid to cannabinoid receptors in the body's endocannabinoid system. Researchers claim that it's 33 times more active than THC 

What are the effects of THCP?

Researchers observedthatΔ9-THCP induced hypomotility, analgesia, catalepsy and decreased rectal temperature indicating a THC-like cannabimimetic activity. Let’s discuss what they mean.

  • Hypomotility:

Hypomotility refers to reduced motor activity or movement. In the context of Δ9-THCP, this suggests that the cannabinoid is associated with a decrease in voluntary physical movement. This effect is consistent with the well-known psychomotor effects of cannabinoids, including THC, which is often linked to the "couch-lock" sensation.

  • Analgesia:

Analgesia refers to pain relief. The statement indicates that Δ9-THCP produces an analgesic effect, suggesting a reduction in the perception of pain. Cannabinoids, including THC, have been studied for their potential analgesic properties, and this finding aligns with the broader understanding of cannabinoids' interactions with the endocannabinoid system in modulating pain perception.

  • Catalepsy:

Catalepsy is a state characterized by muscular rigidity and a fixed posture. In the context of cannabinoids, catalepsy may manifest as a temporary loss of responsiveness to external stimuli, with the individual maintaining a fixed position for an extended period. This effect is consistent with the psychotropic properties associated with some cannabinoids.

  • Decreased Rectal Temperature:

The decrease in rectal temperature indicates a potential hypothermic effect, suggesting that Δ9-THCP may lower body temperature. This aligns with the broader understanding of cannabinoids' influence on thermoregulation, where some cannabinoids can lead to changes in body temperature.

  • THC-Like Cannabimimetic Activity:

The statement concludes by characterizing the observed effects of Δ9-THCP as "THC-like cannabimimetic activity." This implies that Δ9-THCP, despite its structural differences from THC, exhibits similar physiological effects. The term "cannabimimetic" indicates that Δ9-THCP mimics or imitates the actions of cannabinoids, particularly THC, within the endocannabinoid system.

Is THCP legal?

The legal status of THCP remains a gray area especially since regulations regarding cannabinoids, including newly discovered ones, can differ significantly from one region to another.

The legality of THCP is influenced by various factors, including its classification as a controlled substance, the source of the compound (hemp-derived or marijuana-derived), and local regulations on cannabinoids. Since THCP is a structural analog of THC, which is a controlled substance in many places due to its psychoactive properties, it's possible that THCP may also be subject to similar regulations.

We suggest you check the specific laws and regulations in your region or country to determine the legal status of THCP.

Is THCP safe?

THCP exhibits a stronger affinity for cannabinoid receptors compared to THC, along with a heightened binding affinity for the trans-receptor, resulting in increased potency and more pronounced effects. Laboratory analyses have revealed that THCP possesses a greater molecular mass and a longer alkyl side chain than THC, contributing to its heightened activity.

In animal trials, elevated doses of THCP led to an elevation in body temperature, reduced activity during open field tests, and exhibited higher levels in liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry analyses compared to other cannabinoids. These findings suggest that THCP may potentially deliver more robust effects than other cannabinoids; however, the limited research available poses challenges in comprehensively understanding the potential risks and side effects associated with THCP consumption.

THCP vs. THC which is more potent?

THCP is 33 times more potent than THC. Potency refers to the strength or effectiveness of a substance, and in this context, it indicates that THCP may have a more pronounced impact on the body's cannabinoid receptors compared to THC.

The increased potency may be attributed to THCP's higher affinity for cannabinoid receptors. Cannabinoid receptors, primarily found in the endocannabinoid system, play a crucial role in mediating the effects of cannabinoids. If THCP has a stronger binding affinity for these receptors, it could result in more powerful physiological responses.

Frequently asked questions

Is THCP found naturally?

Yes, but in small quantities. Analyzing mid to high THC strains revealed concentrations ranging from approximately 0.0023% to 0.0136% (w/w) or 0.02–0.13 mg/g.

Who discovered THCP?

In 2019, Dr. Giuseppe Cannazza and a team of Italian researchers from the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia identified and isolated THCP. This discovery was a component of their investigation into the chemical makeup of cannabis plants.

What is THCP used for?

Information and products on THCP are very limited due to its small concentration in the cannabis plant. Hence, there is little no information on its possible uses.

Want to Learn More?

  1. An Interview with Our Founder and CEO
  2. How Heavy Metals And Pesticides Are Getting Into CBD Oil
  3. Hemp History Timeline (CBD History)
  4. What is CBD? FAQ and 101 Guide
  5. What Are Hemp Oil Benefits?


Citti, C., Linciano, P., Russo, F., Luongo, L., Iannotta, M., Maione, S., Laganà, A., Capriotti, A. L., Forni, F., Vandelli, M. A., Gigli, G., & Cannazza, G. (2019). A novel phytocannabinoid isolated from Cannabis sativa L. With an in vivo cannabimimetic activity higher than Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol: Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabiphorol. Scientific Reports, 9(1), 1-13. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-56785-1

Lafaye, G., Karila, L., Blecha, L., & Benyamina, A. (2017). Cannabis, cannabinoids, and health. Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience, 19(3), 309-316. https://doi.org/10.31887/DCNS.2017.19.3/glafaye

The content on Nesa's Hemp blog is for educational purposes only. We meticulously research and cite our sources, but advise consulting a professional before making decisions based on our information. We derive our content from reputable studies and publications, but individual circumstances may vary. We cannot guarantee the accuracy or applicability of our content to every situation. Nesa's Hemp blog and its authors are not liable for any loss or inconvenience resulting from reliance on our information. By using our blog, you waive any claims against us regarding the accuracy or completeness of our content.

Let's Stay Connected!

Get insights on healthy living, CBD news, and the latest deals.

Subscription Form
*By signing up via email, you agree to receive marketing messages e.g. promos, cart reminders) from Nesa’s Hemp LLC. Consent is not a condition of purchase. Unsubscribe at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link (where available)
This product is not for use by or sale to persons under the age of 18. This product should be used only as directed on the label. It should not be used if you are pregnant or nursing. Consult with a physician before use if you have a serious medical condition or use prescription medications. A doctor’s advice should be sought before using this and any supplemental dietary product. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Void where prohibited by law.
usercrossmenucheckmark-circle linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram