New Compound found in Cannabis Plant could be 30 times more potent than THC

The journal Nature, Scientific Reports recently published findings of a new cannabinoid, named tetrahydrocannabiphorol, or THCP, found in the cannabis plant. THCP has shown to be potentially 30 times more potent than TCH. Whether this new cannabinoid will have any kind of “high effect” at all is still unknown. It could prove very useful, however, for future beneficial targeted health medicines.

Italian scientists also discovered a second previously unknown compound they named CBDP. This compound seems to be a cousin of CBD, which is known for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anticonvulsant properties.

The endocannabinoid system keeps the human body in homeostasis, or equilibrium, and it regulates everything from sleep to pain. When cannabis is smoked, THC overwhelms the endocannabinoid system and latches on to the cannabinoid receptors and interferes with their communication between neurons.

THCP was found to be bound strongly to both receptors—33 times more than THC – leading scientists to wonder if THCP might explain why some very potent cannabis varieties have a stronger effect than would be expected by THC alone.

“This means that these compounds have a higher affinity for the receptors in the human body,” said Dr. Cinzia Citti, who was the lead author of the research in the life sciences department at University of Modena in Italy.

Further, nearly 150 cannabis compounds, including THC, have only five atom slkyl side chains – THCP has a seven- atom chain – which makes it much more potent than TCH in its natural form.

Because THCP looks to have stronger biding abilities and potency, the scientists think there is potential for some great health benefits. This could really help enable the production of cannabis extracts for targeted physical effects. More study could even lead to the discovery of other new compounds in the cannabis plant.

Sources:

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-56785-1
https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/03/us/cannabis-weed-compound-30-times-more-powerful-than-thc-scn/index.html

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