Many people use the words cannabis and marijuana to mean the same thing. But these two terms have very different implications.
The term cannabis describes any products that come from the Cannabis sativa plant. Marijuana describes any part of these plants that contain tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.
You’ve probably heard of THC and CBD. These are the two main cannabinoids or compounds found in the cannabis plant. But did you know that there are almost 100 cannabinoids?
In December 2019, scientists discovered a new cannabinoid called THCP. This cannabinoid binds to certain receptors in your brain more strongly than THC.
Many researchers and members of the marijuana community are excited about this new discovery.
In this article, you will learn more about THCP and other different types of cannabinoids. This post will cover the recreational and medical uses of cannabinoids as well.
Keep reading to find out more about these new developments in the marijuana industry!
An Overview of Cannabinoids
The cannabis plant contains many of these chemical compounds. Cannabinoids work by affecting the human nervous system.
But how do cannabinoids go about their impressive mission? Let’s take a look at the structure and function of these chemicals to find out.
The human body uses something called an endocannabinoid system (ECS). Endocannabinoids are naturally produced by our bodies.
The ECS system helps support homeostasis. This process keeps our body temperatures and blood sugar levels in a normal range. Homeostasis is the process of keeping our bodies consistent.
In the ECS, endocannabinoids bind to certain receptors in our brains. These are called cannabinoid receptors.
When these molecules bind to the receptors, they send important messages to other parts of the body.
Cannabinoids are similar to endocannabinoids. However, cannabinoids come from plants instead of the human body. They bind to the same cannabinoid receptors in the brain.
When cannabinoids bind to these receptors, they send signals through the body. Cannabinoids like THC can cause feelings of euphoria or (in some cases) anxiety.
Other cannabinoids can enhance feelings of calm or reduce pain. These versatile molecules are useful for a range of medical uses.
Do Cannabinoids Make You High?
A common misconception is that all cannabinoids make you high. In fact, most cannabinoids do not make you high.
The only known cannabinoid in this category is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This molecule interacts with receptors in the brain and causes the sensation of being high.
Other cannabinoids like CBD cause very different effects. CBD prevents receptors from causing any intoxicating effects. But it has been useful for treating conditions like anxiety or depression.
Most of the cannabinoids are not well understood. In many areas, certain cannabinoids are not yet legal. This makes it difficult for scientists to get permission to carry out more studies.
The coming years will reveal more details about these unique compounds. In the meantime, let’s take a look at what we do know.
How Many Cannabinoids Are There?
There are more than 100 different known cannabinoids. This section will take you through several of the most common.
Most of these compounds are scarce in the cannabis plant. Their low levels can make them difficult to detect.
Keep in mind that we still have much to learn about even the known cannabinoids.
As noted above, THC is best known for its ability to get you high. THC was the first cannabinoid strain that researchers identified.
THC causes everything from laughter and calm to euphoria and elation. In the medical industry, THC is used to help with conditions like chronic pain and social anxiety.
This cannabinoid is second only to THC in terms of popularity. CBD binds to receptors in the body and immune system. Because of this, the effects of CBD are felt more as a sense of physical relaxation.
Many people who feel uncomfortable with THC prefer to consume CBD. This cannabinoid helps with conditions like insomnia or high levels of stress.
Delta 8 is similar to Delta 9 (THC). However, Delta 8 is not known to cause paranoia or anxiety.
Delta 8 is also legal at the federal level. This might make it a more attractive option for certain consumers. Take a look at this best delta 8 guide to learn more about this newly discovered compound.
Like THC, CBN is known to cause psychoactive effects. But these effects are not as strong as those you might experience with THC.
Most of the time, CBN is difficult to detect. It is present in such small quantities that it’s been difficult to study. Some studies have suggested CBN might be useful for insomnia or arthritis.
This cannabinoid is not associated with psychoactive effects. It works in a way that’s similar to CBD.
Some researchers have found that CBG plays an important part in brain health. CBG can help our brains develop new nerve cells called neurons. It can also improve the rate at which we learn.
CBC is a fairly uncommon cannabinoid. Most of the time it is present in only small amounts.
Early research suggests that CBC might be useful for treating certain cancers. It could also help with health concerns like irritable bowel syndrome.
All told, there are well over 100 cannabinoids that we know about today. Researchers are continuing the search for more of these compounds.
Many of us are familiar with the idea of recreational marijuana use. But what cannabinoids show is that there are many other uses for the cannabis plant.
Let’s take a look at some of these now!
Medical Use of Cannabinoids
Most people who use medical marijuana use it for pain management.
Opioids might be appropriate for some people dealing with chronic pain. But the ongoing opioid epidemic in the US has shown how dangerous these drugs can be.
Medical marijuana can provide pain control without the danger of serious addiction or overdose. Cannabis is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties. This can provide still more support for pain management.
Many people have reported huge benefits from medical marijuana. Chronic pain can be debilitating. Medical marijuana can help people with this condition return to daily activities.
In the mental health arena, medical marijuana has been used to treat conditions like PTSD. Many veterans who return from war struggle with PTSD. Anyone who has dealt with abuse or trauma is also at risk.
Some people with PTSD report that medical marijuana has helped them manage their symptoms. PTSD can cause severe insomnia, flashbacks, nightmares, panic attacks, and many other symptoms.
Cannabinoids can help people manage these difficult aspects of PTSD.
Finally, many individuals with cancer use medical marijuana. Chemotherapy can cause a lot of pain and nausea. Many people find relief from these side effects through marijuana.
Remember, not all cannabinoids cause a high. People seeking medical benefits might choose a cannabinoid that is not psychoactive.
It’s crucial that patients speak to their doctors before using medical marijuana. Only your doctor can know the right choice for your health.
An In-Depth Look at THCP and CBDP
As noted above, researchers discovered these new cannabinoids in December of 2019. THCP and CBDP are similar to THC and CBD, respectively.
But they also exhibit some different properties that have excited researchers across the world.
It can be difficult to get permission to study marijuana in countries where it isn’t legal at the federal level. The researchers who found THCP and CBDP were based in Italy.
The Italian Ministry of Health authorized these individuals to conduct their study. The researchers believe that the results can teach us even more about the famous cannabinoids THC and CBD.
THC uses a special structure to bind to receptors in the brain. This structure is called an alkyl side chain. Most THC compounds have five carbon rings on this side chain.
On the other hand, THCP has seven of these carbon rings. The researchers tested THCP on a constructed receptor. They found that THCP binds to the receptor over 30 times stronger than THC does.
When mice were exposed to THCP, they acted like they had consumed THC. They looked more relaxed and their movements slowed down.
But guess what? These mice only consumed half of the amount they’d need if they were consuming THC. This led the researchers to suspect that THCP is more potent than THC.
The scientists also found that THCP binds more strongly to receptors outside the brain. These receptors control the way our bodies manage inflammation or handle pain.
This research is so astounding because it might change the way we understand marijuana. What if the psychoactive effects are actually caused by THCP?
Of course, many people are concerned that THCP could also have more negative effects than THC.
If THC can cause anxiety and paranoia in humans, then what will THCP cause? There are still many unanswered questions like this.
In the years ahead, scientists will work to understand more about how THCP functions. This research will have a big impact on the way we understand marijuana today.
Outside recreational use, THCP might also be beneficial in medical applications. Since THCP is so potent, it’s possible that this compound might have stronger potential as a medical treatment.
Whatever the real story, THCP has already taught us a lot. It has shown the scientific community just how little we really know about the cannabis plant.
CBDP has a similar structure to THCP. It features a total of seven links on its side chain.
The researchers believe that CBDP influences how people respond to cannabis. Two people can consume the same cannabis strain and have entirely different reactions.
CBDP might be at the heart of this versatility.
CBD has been used to treat epilepsy for some time. Researchers think that CBDP could also be effective in managing this condition.
Since CBDP has more links, it might be able to bind to receptors more easily than CBD. If this is the case, CBDP could treat epilepsy more efficiently.
In general, scientists see more promise with THCP than CBDP. CBD doesn’t bind to cannabinoid receptors as well as THC. Scientists suspect that CBDP will also have more trouble binding than THCP.
Although CBDP is federally legal, it’s not easy to find. This is a rare cannabinoid that needs further study.
Research must continue before we can understand the full use of this compound.
The fact that scientists discovered two new cannabinoids has inspired others to carry on the search. How many more cannabinoids are waiting to be discovered?
This discovery could help researchers understand more about how the marijuana plant works. Since much of this research is illegal in certain regions, there are many components of this plant that we don’t understand.
Human beings and other animals have used plants as medicine for thousands of years. Many drugs are based on synthetic versions of natural materials.
By continuing the cannabinoid search, scientists hope to shed more light on the cannabis plant.
When we fully understand how cannabis works, we can advance our knowledge of its medical uses. This may influence or even improve medical treatments for a range of health conditions.
Learn More Today
We hope you enjoyed learning more about THCP. This new cannabinoid represents a promising line of novel research.
From pain management to mental wellness, the cannabis plant offers a tantalizing range of applications.
As we move into 2021, we will continue to learn more about what cannabinoids can uncover.
Would you like to learn more about this and other interesting topics? Then keep visiting our blog for all this and more!