Cannabis is the botanical gift that keeps on giving. As research into cannabis ramps up, the chemical complexity and potential of the plant are becoming ever more apparent. On the cusp of 2020, a group of Italian researchers announced the discovery of two new cannabinoids: meet THCP (tetrahydrocannabiphorol) and CBDP (cannabidiphorol). If the names look familiar to THC and CBD, that’s because they are similar in both structure and function.
At present, almost 150 phytocannabinoids have been detected in the cannabis plant, although few have been isolated and studied. While this has been due in part to legal reasons—cannabis is still illegal at a federal level in the US, rendering research tricky—it’s also because most strains of cannabis are THC- or CBD-dominant, making the isolation and study of minor cannabinoids challenging.
However, this is changing. Cutting-edge spectrometry—which is used to identify unknown compounds in cannabis—and advanced analytical techniques better enable the identification of new cannabis compounds.
The group of researchers who released the study have been industrious in profiling cannabis and also identified two other cannabinoids, THCB and CBDB, last year. Aside from the novelty of getting better acquainted with the plant and its myriad cannabinoids, identifying previously unknown cannabis compounds also holds immense therapeutic implications.
In this case, all signs are pointing to THCP being a potential game-changer. So what’s so unique about this new cannabinoid?