THCP adds to the complexity of understanding of the entourage effect in cannabis
In a 2019 paper published in Nature Scientific Reports, researchers announced the discovery of a novel cannabinoid isolated from Cannabis sativa L.1 The compound, (-)-trans-Δ9-THCP (Δ9-tetrahydrocannabiphorol), has the same chemical structure as (-)-trans-Δ9-THC (Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol) but with a seven-term alkyl side chain
The Length of the Side Chain is Key to the Effects of Δ9-THC Analogs
Previous studies indicate that synthetic Δ9-THC analogs with longer side chains have more significant pharmacological effects than Δ9-THC at CB1 (cannabinoid receptor type 1).2 At least three carbons are required in the side chain to bind to CB1. Receptor binding activity increases up to the point there are eight carbons in the side chain. Beyond eight carbons, the binding activity decreases. Until this current study by Citti et al., the five-carbon side chain of Δ9-THC was the longest naturally-occurring side chain known in these analogs.
“The presence of this new phyrocannbinoid could account for the pharmacological properties of some cannabis varieties difficult to explain by the presence of the sole Δ9-THC.”
The discovery of naturally-occurring Δ9-THCP in Cannabis sativa adds to the complexity of understanding of the entourage effect in cannabis. As the authors of this paper keenly observed
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