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Cannabis compound 30 times more potent THC discovered

A newly discovered cannabis compound,THCP,tetrahydrocannabiphorol, has been shown to be 30 times more potent than THC,the most studied psychoactive compound in marijuana. A second compound,CBDP (cannababidiphorol) has also been discovered.

In the journal,Scientific Reports,the team of researchers from:the  University of Modena and Reggio Emilia; the University of Rome;the University of Campania and the Institute of Nanotechnology in Lecce, describe how they isolated and identified the two compounds from the Italian cannabis variety known as FM2 (ethanolic) using mass spectrometry and metabolomics,processes used to find basic chemicals of a sample or molecule.

THCP  has an even higher binding affinity to CB1 and CB2 receptors of humans the endocannabinoid system,which keeps our body in homeostasis and  regulates everything from sleep to appetite to inflammation to pain and more. When a person smokes marijuana, THC overwhelms the endocannabinoid system, latching on to cannabinoid receptors and alters our ability to reason,record memories,coordinate movement perceive time and experience pleasure. THCP bound strongly to both receptors, 30 times more than THC does, making it more psychoactive. The actual biological effect of THCP on humans is however yet to be determined.

According to the authors,the alkyl side chain is the driving force behind a cannabinoid’s effects on humans. Most of the nearly 150 cannabis compounds, including THC and CBD, have a five-atom chain whereas THCP and CBDP have a seven-atom chain, meaning that in their natural form they has surpassed the potency of THC and CBD. Therefore,THCP could be reason for such variety in different strains of cannabis.
A cannabinoid with more than five atoms has never been previously reported as naturally occurring and isolating them or characterizing them is not an easy task especially due to rare sources.
Because THCP appears to show stronger binding abilities and potency, the authors think there is potential for health benefits and medical applications, however, further investigation is necessary in understanding not only the benefits but the risks of this cannabinoids on the body.
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