Cannabis is the gift that keeps on giving in the botanical world. The chemical nature and value of cannabis are becoming increasingly evident as research into the plant progresses. For instance, nearly 150 organic chemical compounds formed by cannabis emerged after scientists identified the body’s natural enzymatic reactions. THC was previously considered to be the most potent psychoactive cannabis compound.
However, two new cannabinoids, tetrahydrocannabiphorol (THCp) and cannabidiphorol (CBDp) arrived in town in December 2019. CBDp and THCp are phytocannabinoids, described as substances that imitate the action of naturally occurring chemicals in the human body.
And what calls everyone’s attention is how THCp could be 30 times stronger than THC in terms of activating biological receptors in the body, according to research conducted by an Italian team of researchers.
What is CBDp?
Up until now, all cannabinoids discovered have had a molecular structure that included a five-link side chain. Since both THCp and CBDp have seven-link side chains, they stand out. This side-chain decides how well chemicals bind to the endocannabinoid system's CB1 and CB2 receptors. The greater the physical and cerebral effects, the better the binding.
Given the exciting discovery of THCp and what it could be capable of, CBDP is not a top priority for research, at least not for now. This is because we already know that cannabidiol, as a non-psychoactive component of the cannabis plant, does not bind to the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors as well as THC does. Therefore, a longer side chain is unlikely to help CBDp react more efficiently to the body's receptors.
For this reason, scientists are leaving its analysis on hold. CBDp can also have potential therapeutic benefits as we learn more about how it interacts with THCp and other cannabinoids. Only by venturing further into science will we be enabled to see a broader perspective of how cannabis interacts with our endocannabinoid system, albeit one could still be intertwined or complicated.
Moreover, although CBDp and THCp were discovered at the same time, the researchers chose to focus on THCp in their first experiment because it has the ability to imitate THC's therapeutic and psychoactive properties. Since CBDp and CBD have almost identical structures and biological activity, future studies could reveal that CBDp has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-seizure properties comparable to, if not superior to, CBD.
Strains with CBDP
An even more intriguing conclusion of the analysis is the need to grow non-THC or CBD-dominant cannabis strains. Cannabis genetics research has advanced by leaps and bounds in recent times, and varieties that contain higher levels of minor cannabinoids like CBDV, CBG, and THCV are becoming more widely available.
However, it is pretty evident that there are a couple more years before we have a small list of strains we can categorize as high in CBDp. Cannabis varieties high in other minor cannabinoids, such as THCp, may follow suit in the near future.
Furthermore, cultivating strains abundant in these minor cannabinoids allows extracting certain compounds faster, helping users enjoy the benefits of each compound's unique medical profile. Minor cannabinoids and currently unknown cannabinoids could indeed provide therapeutic benefits, with the promise of deeply transforming medicine or not.
But it's worth the effort to figure it out. Genetic studies and selective breeding have resulted in significantly higher concentrations of minor cannabinoids being available in past years. As we prepare and see what additional information on these newly found cannabinoids shows, potential product lines’ expectations become attractive. Until then, CBDp is in the list, waiting its turn to shine once someone with the knowledge finds interest in this compound full of promise.