The research into the array of medical benefits that medical cannabis offers is still underway, and researchers are hitting the goldmine in Cannabidiods. Two of the newest discoveries are tetrahydrocannabiphorol (THCP) and Cannabidiphorol (CBDP), and we would be discussing what we know about these newly discovered Cannabidiods.
The Cannabis sativa plant contains over 400 chemicals. However, over time, medical knowledge has revealed that only one of the chemicals gets you high. This 1 in 400 chemicals is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The other components such as CBD and other show varying effects on body physiology and psychology.
What We Know About THC
THC is an active secondary metabolite in cannabis, which makes it the primary psychoactive component of the marijuana plant. This compound works by binding itself to the cannabinoid receptors in the brain and other parts of the nervous system and causes the euphoric effects that cannabis is known for. As a result, people would get a high feeling after consuming cannabis. However, contrary to popular knowledge that THC is the most psychoactive chemical in cannabis, researchers have discovered that another cannabis component tetrahydrocannabiphorol (THCP) is more active.
The human body has two kinds of receptors called CB1 and CB2, and they exist across the entire body. These receptors are activated by THC, and this accounts for its notoriety as the most popular psychoactive compound in cannabis. Sidechains are responsible for the ability of chemicals found in cannabis to bid itself to these two receptors. However, TCH has only 5 link side chains. Apart from THC, synthetic cannabinoids are the only substance that are known to have more side-chain links before now.
Improvement with THCP
Unlike THC that has five links, THCP has seven links in its molecule structure chain. The number of links in the structure chain plays a role in the effect the compound has on the body’s cannabinoid receptor. From the study carried out by a team of Italian scientists, it named tetrahydrocannabiphorol (THCP) and cannabidiphorol (CBDP) as two naturally occurring cannabinoids with seven link side chains.
Popular knowledge that claims that THCP will get you 30 times higher than are false, however, tests have revealed that it is more active than THC. The compound was tested on the receptors with a 33-fold affinity for CB1 in contrast to the data on THC. Tests carried out by researchers to investigate the cannabimimetic activity of THCP on mice concluded that, although tetrahydrocannabiphorol acts like THC, you only need about a half dose to achieve the same result.
Originally, because cannabis is illegal in Italy, the team of Italian scientists needed the permission of the Ministry of Health to study the plant. As a result, only the Military Pharmaceutical Chemical Plant in Florence is authorized to cultivate medical cannabis strain that is supplied by the Council for Agricultural Research and Agricultural Economy Analysis (CREA).
The new cannabinoids were discovered after the team studied the FM2 strain that was cultivated in the approved facility. According to the research, THCP is more lipophilic, has a longer alkyl chain, and fits the CB1 receptors 30 times more than THC.
Medical tests on mice revealed that THCP caused catalepsy, hypomotility, decreased rectal temperature, and analgesia activity that is similar to THC. However, the biological results in mice have to be extended to humans before scientists can understand the power of the compound or its potential legal implications.
Improvement with CBDP
CBDP, like THCP, has seven side chains and could prove useful in treating inflammation, epilepsy, and has antioxidant properties. Since CBDP has more side chains, scientists estimate that it could have a better binding affinity to the receptors, unlike CBD. Although THCP reduced pain in mice considerably, little is known about how much benefits the two chemicals have.
To be fair, the team of Italian scientists has not performed any biological test on CBDP making its activity relatively unknown, nonetheless, there is nothing conclusive since it is yet to be evaluated. What we can be sure of is that CBD and the CB receptors don’t bind too well which is an area that CBDP can find application.
Since THCP has an elongated side chain, it suggests that it has a stronger affinity for the receptor compared to THC. This also means that it has better binding properties against the CB1 and CB2 receptors. Scientific findings revealed that THCP is 5-10 times more active on the CB2 receptor and 33times more active on the CB1 receptor compared to THC.
THCP and CBDP are the first discoveries of their kind. With seven side chains, the chemicals in their natural form are more potent than THC. Since THC requires 5 links to bind itself to the receptor, having a chemical with seven links is a plus.
While we may not know much about the newest cannabinoids, we are sure that they bind better to the cannabinoid receptors. Like these two chemicals, more will emerge with further research into cannabis and its components. With enough funds, time and increased legalization to promote research, we could dig deeper into the cannabis goldmine that we have been scrapping on the surface for years.