What is THCP?

Cannabis Nug on a Plate

Key Takeaways 

  • THCP is a minor cannabinoid found naturally in cannabis and hemp.
  • Because THCP occurs in such small amounts, THCP is produced in larger amounts in labs.
  • THCP is known for its potent effects and can be up to 5 times stronger than traditional THC, making it great for experienced users. 
  • Because THCP is new, it is important to get THCP products from safe, reputable sources that have tested their products. 

What is THCP?

THCP is a lesser-known cannabinoid, brother to traditional Delta-9 THC. It’s a minor cannabinoid, meaning it is found in very trace amounts in the cannabis plant. THCP is known for its extremely potent effects that can be up to 30 times stronger than traditional THC. 

THCP is so strong because of its chemical structure. Its carbon atom chains are longer than those of THC, making it bind to the receptors in our endocannabinoid system. Like Velcro, the longer the chain, the stronger it sticks. 

Is THCP Different than THC & CBD?

The biggest difference between major and minor cannabinoids lies in their effects. THCP, THC, and CBD all have different effects on the user, so it is key to understand how each will affect you. 

  • THCP is incredibly strong and potent, up to 5 times stronger than THC. So, these cannabinoids will always get you high, no matter if you consume it via smoking or ingesting an edible. 
  • THC elicits a calmer, more steady high than THCP, with less severe effects. THC will also get you high, no matter the method of consumption, via smokables or edibles. 
  • CBD will never get a user high. CBD is most often consumed via oils and tinctures and is likely to cause calming, mellowing effects without a psychoactive high. 

How is THCP Made?

THCP is a compound naturally made by cannabis plants, but only in very small amounts, making it hard to produce in large quantities. Because of this, most THCP found on the market are made in labs. Methods for producing THCP were only recently developed in 2019. 

Because all cannabinoids originate from the same molecule—CBGA, or cannabigerol acid, often referred to as “the mother cannabinoid”—it can transform one cannabinoid into another. The process of making THCP starts with CBGA. This compound is then put through decarboxylation, where carbon dioxide is removed, creating THCP.

After obtaining the necessary precursors, THCP is transformed into THCP through biosynthesis techniques such as dewaxing and liquid chromatography. This process requires careful precision and expertise.

The final step involves purifying the THCP to make sure it’s of high quality and free from contaminants. Pure THCP is then isolated. This step is crucial to ensure that the THCP is pure and contains no other cannabinoids or impurities. The isolated THCPA is then heated to form THCP, producing a clear oil with a purity of over 95%.

Is THCP Synthetic?

THCP is a naturally occurring cannabinoid. Although the industry uses the abovementioned processes to create larger amounts for sale, it is still considered a natural cannabinoid. No artificial chemicals or compounds are added to the end product. Growers simply use tried-and-true methods to produce more of a naturally occurring compound. 

THCP is 100% naturally derived, and its chemical makeup has not been changed in the extraction process. So, while some debate whether it is natural or semi-synthetic, THCP is considered natural by most definitions. 

Cannabis Plant Against White Backdrop

Photo by 2H Media on Unsplash

Effects and Benefits of THCP

Users who are looking for something stronger than Delta-9 THC typically turn to THCP. This is because the effects elicited by this cannabinoid can be anywhere from 5 to 30 times stronger than Delta-9. 

THCP will give you a strong psychoactive high with effects such as:

  • Increased creativity 
  • Feelings of bliss and euphoria
  • Increased appetite
  • Feeling “mellowed out” or calm

THCP has also been reported by users to have other potential health benefits, a user’s experience with many cannabinoids. These potential benefits include:

  • Pain management
  • Nausea and appetite aid 
  • Sleep aid

Each user is different, so your reaction to THCP will depend on your age, weight, and how much you use cannabis. If you are a beginner, it’s recommended to start with another cannabinoid or a very small amount of THCP. 

Risks and Side Effects of THCP

It is believed that because THCP can more easily bind to receptors in our endocannabinoid systems, the effects of THCP are much stronger than those of THC. Because of this, users should be cautious when using THCP to avoid negative effects. Using THCP in copious amounts may lead to effects such as:

  • Dry eyes & mouth
  • Paranoia 
  • Increased anxiety 
  • Mood swings

Given the limited understanding of THCP’s psychoactive properties, users should consume it cautiously, starting with low doses and gradually increasing to evaluate their response and minimize the risk of overwhelming effects.

Is THCP Addictive?

It’s essential to do your research when it comes to cannabis and hemp products, especially with cannabinoids like THCP that haven’t been extensively studied. The long-term effects of THCP on users are still largely unknown. If used responsibly and without overconsumption, THC generally does not have the same addiction risk as many other substances.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the research on whether THC is addictive shows mixed results and varies by study. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction issues, consider contacting the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) national helpline, which offers free support.

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Photo by Tingey Injury Law Firm on Unsplash

Is THCP Legal?

The 2018 Farm Bill declared all hemp-derived cannabinoids federally legal. So, THCP is legal at the federal level as long as the products contain less than .03% THC. 

Even though THCP is legal at the federal level, each state has the right to limit access or legality of any cannabinoid. So, just because it’s legal in the Farm Bill doesn’t necessarily mean it’s permissible where you live. It’s smart to check your local cannabis laws and ordinances carefully before purchasing cannabis products. 

Types of THCP Products

THCP is seen in more and more products as research on cannabinoids continues to expand; the most commonly seen THCP products are:

  • THCP Vapes 
  • THCP Prerolls
  • THCP Flower

However, some companies now offer THCP edibles, carts, and other smokables, so you are now able to find almost any THC product utilizing THCP. 

Final Thoughts/ Where to Buy THCP

Although THCP is a more newly-used cannabinoid, many users are finding success with its benefits and many applications. Because of its strength and potency, we recommend that those new to THCP start with a small dose, see how it affects you, and gradually increase your dose. 

Because THCP is a cannabinoid that’s newer on the market, you want to make sure you’re buying it from a reputable source that is formulating products safely and effectively. To try high-quality, lab-tested THCP products, check out Imperial Extraction’s THCP Vapes line.

Disclaimer reminder: This article is not medical advice. It is based on anecdotal user experience alone. If you are thinking about incorporating cannabis (delta-8 THC, delta-9 THC, CBD, etc) into your medicinal routine, please consult a healthcare professional. Do not stop taking any prescribed medications without first consulting your doctor.

Disclaimer: This article was written in February 2024 and reflects the United States’ laws that were current at that time. Because cannabis laws in the United States laws are subject to change at any time, please make sure that you are always staying up to date on your federal, state, and local county’s cannabis laws. Additionally, we are NOT encouraging anyone to break the law––we are simply showing people ways to legally and discreetly bring their cannabis products along with them on their travels so that they may have access to those products when they reach their intended destination.

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