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THC-p vs THC: Understanding Differences

Hand holding up a cannabis leaf in sunny fieldCannabis has been used for thousands of years for medicinal and recreational purposes. Two of the most well-known compounds in cannabis are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THC-p). Both of these compounds are chemically similar, but they differ in important ways, including how they interact with the human body.

In this article, we will delve into the differences between THC-p and THC and explore how they differ in terms of, the products they can be found in, chemical data, and receptor-binding ability.

THC-p vs THC: Chemical Differences

THC and THC-p are both derivatives of the same parent compound, tetrahydrocannabinolic acid. The main difference between these two compounds is that THC is decarboxylated THC-p. This means that the carboxyl group in THC-p has been removed, resulting in the creation of THC.

The decarboxylation process can occur through exposure to heat, light, or air, and is why THC is typically found in the dried flowers of the cannabis plant. THC-p, on the other hand, is found in the fresh, raw flowers of the plant.

In terms of chemical structure, THC and THC-p are very similar. They both have a cyclic ring structure and contain 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and 2 oxygen atoms. However, the difference in their molecular structure affects how they interact with the human body.

THCP and THC have a similar chemical structure, but THCP has an extra phloroglucinol ring, which is responsible for its stronger affinity for cannabinoid receptors in the body. This increased binding ability could result in more pronounced effects compared to THC.

Cannabis cells binding to endocannabinoid receptorsTHC-p vs THC: Receptor Binding Ability

The most important difference between THC-p and THC is their ability to bind to receptors in the human body. THC is well known for its ability to bind to cannabinoid receptors in the brain and body, which is what produces the psychoactive effects associated with marijuana use.

Because THC-p binds so well with cannabinoid receptors, it’s likely to produce effects similar to those of delta 9 THC but perhaps even more pronounced. The scientists who discovered THC-p conducted standard cannabis mouse experiments to gauge the new cannabinoid’s physical effects. Mice displayed reduced levels of activity at lower doses, which became catalepsy—a trance-like state—at higher doses. THC-p appeared to work as an effective pain killer at higher doses too.

The ability of THC-p to bind so effectively with cannabinoid receptors in the body could make it highly valuable—not just as a recreational high, but also to relieve pain, ease nausea, and help users sleep. Although THC-P hasn’t been thoroughly studied yet, it seems likely that this cannabinoid’s unmatched binding affinity with human receptors will make it especially valuable for treating those and other conditions.

In fact, tiny (and previously unnoticed) amounts of THC-p in existing marijuana strains may already be responsible for some of cannabis’ known healing powers. The scientists who found THC-p in 2019 wrote that “the discovery of an extremely potent THC-like phytocannabinoid may shed light on several pharmacological effects not ascribable solely to [delta 9 THC]” in marijuana.

Of course, the powerful binding affinity of THC-p could also magnify the typical unwelcome THC side effects—like dry mouth and eyes, or anxiety and paranoia. It could even pose new risks for users. But until everyone sees the results of research on human subjects, everything is mostly guessing.

Closeup of woman rubbing thc-p lotion onto sore wristTHC vs THC-p: Potential Health Benefits

While more research is needed to fully understand the health benefits of THC-p, early studies suggest that this compound may have several therapeutic uses. For example, THC-p has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety effects in animal studies.

In addition, THC-p has also been shown to have potential neuroprotective effects, which could make it a useful compound for treating conditions such as neurodegenerative diseases.

Products containing THC vs THC-p

Unlike THC, which has thousands of various products from edibles to tampons that can easily be bought at a recreational dispensary, THC-p is a bit different.

THC-p is still difficult to produce on its own and thus often found mixed with other cannabinoids such as Delta 8 or CBD in cannabis products. But because of the potency that comes from combining THCp, manufacturers are eager to incorporate it into their goods. Unfortunately, due to its challenging production process, pure THCp products can be hard to come by at times.

Despite this, the demand for THC-p is on the rise, and it can be found mixed into a variety of productssuch as vape cartridges, disposable vape pens, edibles, and concentrates. However, it is important to note that pure THC-p products are not yet widely available and consumers may have to settle for products with a mix of THC-p and other cannabinoids.

As research and production methods continue to advance, it is likely that pure THCp products will become more widely available for consumers looking to experience its effects.

Until more research is conducted on human subjects, the full effects and potential risks of THCP are still unknown. However, its discovery could shed light on the pharmacological effects of cannabis and unlock new therapeutic possibilities and research in this field.

We hope this article gives you a better understanding of what THC-p is compared to THC.

Jars full of different types of cannabis strainsFAQs

Q: What is the difference between THC-p and THC?

A: THC-p is the acidic form of THC, while THC is the decarboxylated form. The main difference between these two compounds is their ability to bind to receptors in the human body, with THC having the ability to bind to cannabinoid receptors and THC-p having the ability to bind to other receptors.

Q: What are the potential health benefits of THC-p?

A: While more research is needed, early studies suggest that THC-p may have anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, and neuroprotective effects.

Q: Is THC-p psychoactive like THC?

A: Yes, varies by person.


*These statements have not been evaluated or approved by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any illness. Any medical advice should be taken from a medical professional.

All of the articles on this site are written by 3rd party content providers, expert bloggers, or doctors not directly affiliated with EHDelta.

Individuals should learn the risks and side effects prior to taking any Delta products. Make sure to always check with a medical professional before starting any new Delta treatment or medication that is not FDA-approved.

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