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  • Alternative Cannabinoids

May 24, 2022

What is THC-P?

Estimated Read Time: 8 min

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By Valerie Orta on May 24, 2022

Looking for a cannabinoid that will deliver powerful relief and relaxation? Meet THC-P, a newly discovered and the most potent hemp cannabinoid to date. Here's what to know about this growingly-popular powerhouse.

Key takeaways:

  • THC-P is immensely powerful, delivering stronger effects than conventional THC for most people. 
  • The most common uses for THC-P are intense relief and deep relaxation.
  • THC-P was only recently discovered in the cannabis plant by a team of researchers in 2019.
  • THC-P products are legal to buy and use in the United States when derived from hemp.

CBD is no longer the only cannabinoid in town. First, it was delta-8 THC, and then came delta-9 THC, delta-10 THC, HHC, and THC-O.

Now, another cannabinoid is taking the hemp world by storm – THC-P.

THC-P has quickly surged in popularity for its immensely potent effects. Only recently discovered by scientists, it has a reputation for being stronger than regular THC – possibly 30 times more potent!

Here’s what to know about this emerging cannabinoid: The benefits, the risks, and an explanation of why it’s grabbing so much attention.

The Basics: What’s THC-P?

First, a brief overview of THC-P.

what is THC P infographic

THC-P – short for tetrahydrocannabiphorol – is a naturally-occurring cannabinoid in the hemp plant. It shares a similar molecular structure to conventional delta-9 THC but has a longer alkyl side chain. THC-P behaves like THC, but with its longer side chain, it more effectively binds with receptors, producing stronger effects.

A team of Italian scientists discovered THC-P in late 2019, and the revelation came by accident. During a study investigating the cannabinoid profile of a strain called FM2, the researchers inadvertently isolated and identified two brand new cannabinoids, one being THC-P.

THC P exists naturally in cannabis plants like hemp, but only in trace amounts (well below 0.1%). Scientists can extract and isolate THC-P from the plant using chromatography techniques. But because of its low concentration, the cannabinoid is often created by converting it from hemp-derived CBD.

THC-P Effects

Since its discovery, THC-P has captured the attention of scientists and hemp users alike.

The reason?

The appeal of THC-P lies in its potency. Research has found that THC-P far surpasses conventional THC in strength.

People can respond to any cannabinoid differently, but generally, THC-P delivers a heavy-handed sense of relief and relaxation. Because of its potency, it’s best to unwind at the end of the day or for uncomfortable days when you could use some extreme relief.

When it comes to how THC-P makes you feel, we've heard that it anchors your body and mind in deep relaxation. You can imagine that with THC-P you are likely to have a similar experience as THC but at a higher intensity.

What does THC-P Do?

Like all cannabinoids, THC-P elicits its effects by interacting with the endocannabinoid system.;

Research shows that THC-P binds well with the endocannabinoid system’s CB1 and CB2 receptors.

  • CB1 receptors are mostly found in the central nervous system.
  • CB2 receptors are mostly found in the peripheral nervous system (immune cells, especially).

By activating these receptors, THC-P stimulates the endocannabinoid system and creates a range of effects on your body and mind.

Those sought-after strong euphoric effects of THC-P? They specifically come from the compound’s activation of CB1 receptors, and data shows it binds with these receptors more efficiently than conventional THC.

How Strong is THC-P?

So how strong is it?


In vitro tests show that THC-P is the most powerful variety of THC.

Spectrum of THC Strength - Low to High - D10, D8, D9, THC-O, THC-P

The 2019 study during which THC-P was discovered showed it to be 33 times more active than conventional THC against the endocannabinoid system’s CB1 receptor, and up to 10 times more active than THC against the CB2 receptor.

Does that mean that THC-P will produce 33 times the effects of conventional THC?

Not necessarily. Other factors influence the type of experience and pharmacological effects you’ll have with THC-P. Those who have used THC-P say it's more like 5-10 times more potent than delta-9, but things like genetics, tolerance, body make-up, and eating schedules can factor in.

Is THC-P Stronger Than THC-O?

We’ve only got anecdotes and early research to go off of, but yes–

Evidence points to THC-P being stronger than THC-O.

THC-O is another exceptionally-powerful cannabinoid. Research has found it to be roughly three times stronger than conventional THC.

But THC-P appears to have THC-O beat in the potency department. THC-P is the strongest naturally occurring cannabinoid identified so far, and it’s thought to be several times stronger than THC-O.

Further reading: Learn more about how THC-P differs from THC-O and what THC-O is and its benefits.

Comparing THC-P Vs. THC

When you hear THC, your mind likely assumes well-known delta-9 THC. But, there are dozens of different types of THC.

In addition to delta-9 THC, the primary THC compound in cannabis, you may also be aware of delta-8 THC and delta-10 THC. These different types of THC are analogs of each other, so they have similar molecular structures.

THC-P is simply another analog of THC. Where they differ is a subtle variance in their chemical structure: Conventional delta-9 THC has 5 carbons on its alkyl side chain, and THC-P has 7.

This minor difference makes a big impact on potency.

The Italian researchers who discovered THC-P recently explained to the technology and science publication New Atlas why that is:

“THCP was tested in vitro on CB1 and CB2 receptors proving to have a 33-fold affinity for CB1 compared to the data on THC reported in the literature.”

Thanks to the size of its alkyl side chain, THC-P better binds with CB1 receptors than THC. And that equals stronger, more intense effects for you. THC-P has the most links in its side chain, so it's rightfully earned the reputation as the most powerful member of the THC varieties.

Things to Know About THC-P Safety

Before adding THC-P to your wellness routine, there are safety considerations to keep in mind. 

Is THC-P safe?

With THC-P being so new, there's not much scientific research on its effects, benefits, or safety profile. There's no evidence suggesting that THC-P carries any more risks than THC, but more research is needed.

Early findings suggest that THC-P has the same mind and body-calming effects as THC, just at a higher potency. THC-P appears so far to have a comparable safety profile, provided it's used responsibly and taken in suggested serving sizes.

One legitimate risk of using THC-P is the lack of strict manufacturing and testing requirements. The hemp cannabinoid industry is largely unregulated, so seek out credible, trustworthy THC-P brands that provide full transparency with accessible Certificates of Analysis (COA) to confirm purity and potency.

THC-P Side Effects

Because of THC-P’s potency, it’s much easier to overdo it compared to other cannabinoids. And, you're more likely to experience unwanted side effects if you do.

Side effects of using THC-P tend to be similar to those of THC, but they may be more pronounced due to its stronger binding affinity. So take it easy at first until you have a good grasp of how you’ll react to it.

Common temporary side effects of THC-P can include red eyes, dry mouth, fatigue, increased heart rate, coordination problems, slower reaction times, and paranoia.

Is THC-P Legal?

Eager to try THC-P and wondering if it’s legal? It could depend on where you live.

THC-P products are legal at the federal level, making them accessible to most people throughout the United States. You can thank the 2018 Farm Bill, which permits the sale and use of hemp and all hemp-derivatives, such as THC-P, provided they don’t exceed the legal limit of 0.3% delta-9 THC.

Still, THC-P laws can vary state by state.

Every state can form regulations and laws related to buying, selling, and using THC-P. Some state legislators have taken action regarding other cannabinoids, so it wouldn’t be surprising if some restrict the sale of THC-P. Keep an eye on your state’s laws for more detailed information.

How and Where To Buy THC-P

The availability of THC-P products is limited since the cannabinoid is so new.

At Koi, we’re thrilled to offer one of the first THCP products on the market, including our Koi THC-P Vape Cartridges.

Koi THC-P Vape Cartridges with bullet points of primary selling points

Our 1-gram carts blend the powerhouse benefits of THC-P with delta-8 THC, THC-O, and strain-specific terpenes. Every batch has its quality and safety verified by an accredited third-party laboratory.

You know that lack of regulations we mentioned earlier? Here’s where some due diligence is needed. As you shop for THC-P products, steer clear of products containing unsafe additives or fillers. Pay close attention to whether the product has been tested for purity and potency by a third-party lab.

Ready to get started with THC-P? Head to the Koi CBD online store to shop THC-P vape cartridges and THC-P disposable vapes.

THC-P Servings: How to Get Started

THC-P is a heavy-duty cannabinoid with a staggering level of strength, so repeat this adage with us: “start low and go slow.”

Your ideal serving of THC-P will be very different from other cannabinoids. Begin with a very tiny amount, then slowly (seriously, slowly) increase as needed until you feel what you need.

This THC-P serving chart can serve as a guide as you get started:

  • Beginners: 0.5 mg - 2 mg of THC-P per serving
  • Intermediate: 3 mg - 4 mg of THC-P per serving
  • Experienced: 5 mg - 10 mg+ of THC-P per serving

Also, practice patience. It can take some time for THC-P effects to kick in. Edibles and tinctures can take up to an hour to work. When you vape THC-P, its effects take hold within 25 minutes.

Taking too much THC-P can be an uncomfortable experience. Effects can creep up and then come on fast, so we recommend waiting at least 90 minutes to see how you feel with your initial serving before taking any more.

Learn More About Cannabinoids

We’ve arrived at the era of new cannabinoids, and exciting times lay ahead!

THC-P is one such exciting new hemp cannabinoid that offers all-new ways to benefit from hemp. Visit the Koi blog to stay informed on these cannabinoids and how they might help you.

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