I think we’re parked, man.
A newly discovered cannabis compound has been shown in the lab to potentially be 30 times more potent than THC, the most studied psychoactive compound in marijuana.
Whether the new cannabinoid, named tetrahydrocannabiphorol, or THCP, will deliver 30 times the high of THC — or any high at all — is unclear.
Italian scientists also discovered a second previously unknown compound they named CBDP. It appears to be a cousin of CBD, the medicinal compound known for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anticonvulsant activity.
The discoveries were recently published in the journal Nature, Scientific Report
Discovering the compounds
The compounds were isolated and identified from the Italian medical cannabis variety known as FM2 using mass spectrometry and metabolomics, processes used to find the basic chemicals of a sample or molecule.
The authors assessed the ability of THCP to bind to human cannabinoid receptors found in the endocannabinoid systemby sending the compound to a lab to be tested in a tube.
The endocannabinoid system’s job is to keep our body in homeostasis, or equilibrium, and it regulates everything from sleep to appetite to inflammation to pain and more. When a person smokes marijuana, THC overwhelms the endocannabinoid system, latching on to cannabinoid receptors and interfering with their ability to communicate between neurons.
THCP bound strongly to both receptors — 33 times more than THC does, and 63 times more than another compound called THCV. The finding led the authors to wonder if THCP might explain whysome particularly potent cannabis varieties have a stronger effect than can be explained by the presence of THC alone.
“This means that these compounds have higher affinity for the receptors in the human body,………. In cannabis varieties where THC is present in very low concentrations, then we can think that the presence of another, more active cannabinoid can explain those effects.”Dr. Cinzia Citti
University of Modena