Hemp is Evolving: A Breakdown of THC-P vs THC-O
The cannabinoid race has continues to heat up as a new challenger has recently entered the line-up. One of the more promising contestants, THC-O, may be in a bit of trouble. Rumor has it that this new challenger has some pretty long legs, and could easily run circles around THC-O.
In today's article, we'll be discussing one of the most recent cannabinoids to become popularized; THC-P.
Currently, THC-P is one of the only cannabinoids other than THC-O that's known to be more potent than Delta-9 THC. Because of this, these two are directly competing with each-other for a potential crown as the alternative cannabinoid of choice for many consumers.
So, without further a due, let's give these two the stage and discuss them a bit more in-depth. In this segment, we'll take a deep dive into these cannabinoids and attempt to provide some clarity on frequent topics of discussion. We'll cover what exactly makes these two cannabinoids so unique, observe some of their differences, and understand the impact they they have on the hemp industry in general. Let the race begin.
What is THC-P?
For starters, we'll be putting THC-P in the hot seat. For context, THC-P is one of the most recent invites to the alternative cannabinoid party. Although late in discovery when compared to mainstream alternatives like Detla-8, it definitely makes up for said delay with their rumored potency. According to reports, THC-P is said to be 33 times stronger than Delta-9 THC.
Now, at first glance to some, that's an extremely bold claim. However, a key thing to understand here is that because of the molecular structure and binding method, this is actually a likely scenario. In a recently published article by Leafly, this was covered more in depth. For reference, here's an excerpt that we feel summarizes the concept pretty well:
"In the newly discovered THCP molecule, the researchers found that a critical side chain in the molecule’s structure is elongated, with seven links. In comparison, regular THC has five links. To provide further context, naturally occurring cannabinoids with more than five links in this side chain have not yet been detected in cannabis." [Leafly]
Now, in the introduction we mentioned the "long legs" that would help THC-P compete in our little cannabinoid race. This was actually a sly reference to the elongated side chain. Get it...?
Anyways, let's move on. THC-P is likely one of the more impactful cannabinoids to become available in the market. It's fairly potent, and in our opinion, is an exciting catalyst for continued research into the potential of cannabinoids as a whole. A unique aspect of THC-P is that it is found naturally in cannabis. This is in comparison to other cannabinoids that can only be manufactured through intensive extraction processes that utilize a variety of other compounds and reactions before you reach the final product.
What is THC-O?
Moving forward, THC-O is also one of the more recently popularized cannabinoids on the market. Similar to Delta-8 and Delta-10, THC-O has created a name for itself as a result of the intense effects it has been said to create when consumed.
In contrast to delta-8 and delta-10, though, it's been said that THC-O can only be made in a controlled lab setting. According to various reports, it was synthesized for the first time in the 1940's under military guidance. Rumors have it that THC-O was one of the chemicals developed to be used in war against opposing forces.
Although THC-O is derived directly from cannabinoids you can find in hemp, it isn't naturally found in industrial hemp. This is one of the main things that makes it somewhat more exotic than delta-8 and delta-10, as these minor cannabinoids are both naturally derived from hemp. In contrast to THC-O, this makes them more accessible to those with the appropriate lab equipment due to having a less complex extraction process.
Why Should You Care?
Why are these two cannabinoids so important? Let's take a step back and look at the bigger picture.
Until recently, Cannabis and Delta-9 THC have been looked at with a stigma. To put it into perspective, here's a fun scenario:
Let's say that you have a time machine, and you go back 70 years. How would people react to the idea of you just casually walking down the street to a local dispensary and coming out with a nice little branded go bag and an ounce of some top-shelf kush?
Is it possible that could be something they would embrace?
Do you think they would believe you if you said that's what the future would be like?
Maybe some will, sure, but the reality is that cannabis wasn't exactly something that was accepted with open arms. Also, depending on what state you reside in, this very well may still be the case.
Although a heap of progress has been made, cannabis and Delta-9 THC are still heavily regulated, and illegal in many parts of the United States.
As a result of current regulation, alternative cannabinoids have flourished, especially in states that heavily restrict cannabis.
Alternative Cannabinoids Aren't Going Anywhere
Regardless of legislation, new hemp-derived cannabinoids seem to enter the scene faster than laws can be made to restrict them. Each will continue to be more unique than the last, with added complexity in terms of production and physiological effects.
The fact that both THC-O and THC-P are so hyper-marketed in the hemp industry is evidence of this.
The cannabinoid race, as we call it, is really a culmination of cannabis legislation, science, and capitalism. A combination of various factors, stemming from each these, has created an unsettling and hyper-aggressive market focused on finding the next best cannabinoid.
That being said; as research and development of these cannabinoids continue to unravel at their current pace, it's unlikely we'll see a slowdown of hemp-derived ultra potent cannabinoids hitting the market anytime soon.
The Difference Between THC-O and THC-P
So, in terms of these two, let's understand what makes them different. Although similar at a glance by name, these two cannabinoids have some striking contrasts.
To start, THC-P falls under the group of over 100 phytocannabinoids that are naturally found in hemp. This is in comparison to THC-O, which as mentioned previously, is only able to be processed in a lab from hemp-derived cannabinoids.
Another thing to consider when comparing these two super cannabinoids, is their rumored potency.
As mentioned previously, THC-O and THC-P are both said to be more potent than traditional Delta-9 THC. When directly comparing the two to eachother, THC-P is said to be the most potent. THC-P is technically 11 times stronger than THC-O, which is supposed to be 3 times stronger that Delta-9.
In terms of effects and side effects, these two cannabinoids are still in their infancy as far as research goes. We imagine that effects are fairly similar to traditional delta-9 THC, albeit more intense, but the scientific studies are limited.
How is THC-P different from other cannabinoids?
According to recent research, THC-P is bound to make an impact on more than the hemp industry, it can also be relevant to future cannabis industry research. Due to the fact that THC-P is a naturally occurring cannabinoid found in cannabis, researchers are hypothesizing that it explicitly could be responsible for a variety of pharmacological properties that are unique to specific cannabis strains.
If true, this means that THC-P can play a large part of future medical research. We may very well see strains being grown with a focus on THC-P percentage rather than Delta-9 THC percentage. For perspective, this has potential to be as groundbreaking as CBG, or even quite possibly CBD.
Of course, as always, the research is limited. Time will tell, but THC-P could be one of the most important cannabinoids to be discovered in recent years.
THC-O and THC-P don't seem to get the attention they deserve when discussing the impact they have on the hemp industry. They are a reflection of everything that has made the industry a success - Regulation, capitalism, and scientific research.
Whether indirectly or directly, they play a huge part in the progress we expect that we'll continue to see in the hemp and minor cannabinoid space. However, although both THC-O and THC-P are extremely important, it's looking like THC-P will take the lead for now in the cannabinoid race.