What is THCP?

What Is THC P
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THCP is a new heavyweight cannabinoid hitting the market.

Not to be confused with THPC, THCP is another new naturally occurring cannabinoid that is taking the cannabis industry by storm.

In the last two years, the CBD and hemp industry has evolved significantly, and it’s easy to get lost in all of the new cannabinoids that are being introduced to the market.

THCP—tetrahydrocannabiphorol—is a naturally occurring phytocannabinoid that is becoming extremely popular amongst cannabis users.

And with more and more brands throwing delta 9 THC-P into their products, it is more important than ever before to know what THCP is, what it does, and its implications on the industry. If you’re wondering “what is THCP,” don’t worry—we got you covered.

How was THCP discovered?

While it is now starting to hit the market, THCP is not a newly discovered cannabinoid. THC-P was actually discovered by accident by a group of Italian researchers who ran mass spectrometry and liquid chromatography on a cannabis sample.

Mass spectrometry and liquid chromatography are tools scientists use to separate out, identity, and quantify known and unknown compounds in a sample.

When the Italian scientists observed their data, they found an unknown cannabinoid, THCP (although in very low concentrations in the cannabis plant).

tetrahydrocannabinol, hydroxy, thc-

How does THC-P work?

THCP has been reported to be 33 times more potent than the THC in cannabis due to its chemical structure (specifically, alkyl side chains).

An alkyl side chain is a chain of carbon atoms. In THC, there are five carbon atoms in the alkyl side chain, and this is what causes the “high” people experience when they consume THC. However, THCP has seven carbon atoms in its alkyl side chains.

This makes THCP have a much higher binding affinity for the body’s cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptors. The result of the binding affinity is an intense and euphoric experience since delta 9 THCP binds to the CB1 receptors 30 times more effectively than THC. In other words, your body’s cannabinoid receptors in the endocannabinoid system are getting flooded.

THCP effects explained

Delta 9 THC-P works like regular THC (like delta 9 THC and delta 8 THC) from cannabis plants. In fact, there are almost the same effects. The only difference is that you’ll experience significantly more potent effects.

This makes THCP have more of the psychoactive effects, physiological effects (like hunger), sedative effects, pain relief effects, pharmacological effects, and possibly other health benefits at an equivalent dose of hemp-derived THC or other alternative cannabinoids, like THC-O.

Actually, the closest cannabinoid to THCP is probably delta 9 THC-O. It’s going to be quite a significant step up if you’re only used to consuming delta 9 THC from cannabis plants or hemp-derived THC products (e.g. delta 8 THC).

The different types of THC-P products

Just like with delta 8 THC, delta 9 THC, and other active compounds from marijuana plants, there are a many Types of THC-P products out in the market. The most popular THCP products are THCP distillate, THCP tinctures, THCP gummies, and THCP vapes (like THCP carts and disposables).

Take note, though. It’s extremely important to check THCP’s legality in your area. Like other cannabis compounds, there is a grey area when it comes to the law.

Because THCP exists naturally in such small quantities, there are many brands using synthetic forms of THCP and other cannabinoids (like THCjd, which is almost a fully synthetic cannabinoid).

Is THCP safe?

It may be tempting to get your hands on some THC-P after hearing it’s 30 times more potent than the THC in cannabis, but there is much more to it.

Like THC, THCP has been reported to have many physiological benefits (but much stronger)

  • Improved mobility for those struggling with hypomobility
  • Pain relief
  • Sleep (insomnia)

THCP is also commonly paired with other cannabinoids for unique experiences. Many brands have introduced products that feature THC-P and delta 8 THC, which results in an extremely euphoric and psychoactive high. 

So, is thcp safe? here is the answer!

With all of that said, THC-P does not have enough research or testing done to say it is safe for human consumption. And as enticing as it may seem, THC-P poses a huge health risk. THCP is becoming popular because of its potency, but for the same reason, it could be extremely dangerous. 

Because THCP is 30 times stronger than THC, the risk of overdose is more likely. While there have been no reported incidents of people overdosing on THC, the probability is certainly higher when you are dealing with a compound that is that much more potent.

For example, when cannabis brands manufacture their THC edibles, each edible can have a slight margin of error in its dosages. One edible might be one milligram more or less than its advertised dosage. With THC, this may not be much of a problem. However, with THCP, these errors are magnified—by 30 times. One milligram of THCP over the advertised dose means you’re getting 30 more (relative to THC).

When you have too much THC, it may be unpleasant, but the discomfort usually subsides after a few hours. The same cannot be said for THC-P. In the same way that delta 9 THC-P has stronger physiological benefits than THC, its side effects or negative symptoms are also amplified. 

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Is THCP legal in your area? It depends. While most argue that THCP products are legal due to the Farm Bill, others argue that THC-P violates the Federal Analogue Act.

If you want to abide by the Farm Bill, it is federally legal, but it is up to the states to decide if THCP is on their prohibited substances list.

Once more research comes out about how THCP works, these laws may become more clear. It is unclear whether delta 9 THCP falls under the same category as molecules like delta 8 THC-O or delta 9 THC.

While the THCP content in products is debatable, one thing is still for certain. All hemp-derived THC products must contain less than 0.3% delta 9 THC.


Ultimately, we highly recommend staying away from most THCP products because of the lack of research data supporting the cannabinoid and its unruly potency.

While the promise of a 30 times stronger THC sounds like a dream, its unpredictability can create problems for the industry. In order to continue enjoying the benefits of recreational hemp, it is imperative to keep brands accountable so that they cannot exploit their customers’ health for quick profits.

To us, newer does not always mean better, and we are going to take the necessary steps to preserve the hemp and cannabis industry. If we ever carry THCP products in the future, it will be because we’ve done enough testing and third-party lab testing on the products to be confident in their safety for our customers.

While many online cannabis stores or brands may offer THCP products to keep up with the trend, we are going to continue prioritizing the safety and well-being of our customers. 

As more brands try to recreate THCP artificially or create other synthetic THC compounds, we’re going to continue sticking to our values. One crucial difference between cannabis brands that care and brands in it for a quick buck is how much they invest in quality and education.

By now, we hope we’ve answered your question of “what is THCP.” If you’re still curious, we recommend reading Area52’s article on THC-P products.

Jennifer Williams
Jennifer Williams
In my early twenties, I had everything in the palm of my hand. I was a journalist, published author, and was passionate about cannabis. Quickly realizing that the cannabis industry wasn't going to take off the way I wanted it to, I decided I needed a change.After some soul searching and self-reflection, I realized that all of my passions were centered on wellness. CBD is an incredible healing tool with scientific research backing its effectiveness in alleviating anxiety and promoting restorative sleep. With CBD becoming a more mainstream topic every day (not just among the medical community), it seemed like this was something that could be well worth pursuing!