Delta THC | Other Cannabinoids

THCh VS THCP: Effects, Differences and Risks Compared

Dr Abraham Benavides

MEDICALLY REVIEWED BY

Dr Abraham Benavides

Medical Doctor

If you want a high that is said to be exponentially stronger than Delta 9-THC then you want to upgrade to either THCh which is ~10x the potency of regular THC. Or the very potent THCP which is 33x stronger!

This article will cover how these different THC homologs interact using  longer carbon chains, and outline the process of how both these phytocannabinoids are sure to get you “high.”

This is especially true when it comes to THCP, which is the most recently discovered and most potent phytocannabinoid yet. Read on to discover the effects and the risks of using these two THC alternatives.

THCh THCP

Both THCh and THCP are THC Homologs

THCh and THCP are both homologs of THC. What this means is that they have similar genetic and chemical makeups to Delta 9-THC. 

Therefore they act similarly when it comes to the binding of THCP or THCh to the endocannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 scattered throughout our central nervous system (CNS), immune system, and the rest of our bodies. 

CB1 is located in the neocortex, hippocampus, amygdala, basal ganglia, striatum, cerebellum, and hypothalamus. 

These parts of the brain are responsible for functions like learning, memory, decision-making, sensory and motor responses, emotions, hunger, and other processes. 

CB2 can be found throughout the peripheral nervous system and is commonly found in the circulating immune cells, the spleen, osteocytes, osteoclasts, and other immune response cells. CB2 is also believed to play a significant role in modulating inflammation. 

Both THCh and THCP bind with these two receptors. And there are multiple semi-synthetic versions of each as well. Some are derived from CBD, Delta 8-THC, or Delta 9-THC. For example, there is Delta 8-THCh, Delta 9-THCh, Delta 8-THCP, and Delta 9-THCP. 

Though, when it comes to potency, out of these two homologs, any derivative of Delta 9-THC is expected to have a more substantial psychoactive effect on the human body. 

Though this has not been explicitly investigated and proven, there are speculations from researchers and anecdotal comments of cannabinoid connoisseurs. 

Any research available concerning this potential difference in potency has to do with Delta 9-THC, not Delta 8-THC. Until science catches up with the cannabinoid market, we cannot say with any certainty about the potencies of the various homologs of Delta 9-THC.

Though we do have some bench data on THCP and THCh, at the moment, there is no clinical data for either THCh or THCP.  

THCP was discovered in 2019 by Italian researchers, and it was found to have a seven-carbon alkyl chain. It is the first natural cannabinoid discovered to have a seven-carbon chain.

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THCh VS THCP

To be frank, we know very little about THCh. Most of the data we have collected is anecdotal evidence from consumers who have tried products on the market listed as containing THCh. 

The difference between THCh and THCP from the scientific side is the length of the carbon chain. 

As a homolog of THC, THCh has a hexyl (six-carbon) alkyl side chain, unlike the pentyl alkyl side chain that regular Delta 9-THC has. 

On the other hand, THCP has a heptyl (seven carbon) alkyl side chain and is scientifically referred to as (-)-trans-Δ9-tetrahydrocannabiphorol (Δ9-THCP).

This increase in the carbon chain length seems to vastly increase the potency of THCP when compared to Delta 9-THC. In fact, it was found that the affinity for THCP to bond with the CB1 receptor was over 30 times the amount of the homolog Delta 9-THC. 

In a 2018 study, they found that the pentyl side chain leads to changes in the affinity, selectivity, and pharmacology of the ligands binding to the cannabinoid receptors. 

The study also found that the shorter chained alkyl groups reduced the potency of the compound as it didn’t interact with the CB1 receptor as strongly as a pentyl chain does.

Not only does THC have analgesic properties, but it also produces the psychotropic side effects that many cannabis users are searching for. 

The same study also found that an increase in the number of carbon atoms leads to increased potency and affinity for binding with cannabinoid receptors. 

As such, it’s expected that THCP is more potent than THCh as it has a longer carbon chain. It also has shown to have a high affinity for the CB1 receptor as an agonist. Not to mention, the length of the alkyl side chain proved to be essential for the activity of the CB1 receptor.

This seven-carbon alkyl chain is why Delta 9-THCP is thought to be the most potent cannabinoid discovered yet concerning psychotropic potency. With Delta 9-THCh with its hexyl side chain being a likely close second.

Related Read: THCh VS Delta 9 THC

Effects

The problem is that THCh is so new and usually found in combination with other cannabinoids when it comes to products on the market. 

Due to this, we can’t be 100% certain about its personal effects. Furthermore, the current products containing THCh usually contain four to five different cannabinoids in different ratios.

That’s why it is better to say that these THCh products are more or less THCh-enriched rather than dominant, and most of these THCh products contain Delta 8 as the predominant cannabinoid.

On the other hand, THCP is available both in isolate form and with other cannabinoid compounds. But remember that you don’t need much of it to get intoxicated. 

THCP has been studied in mice, and it has been demonstrated how potent the compound actually is. THCP is said to produce almost psychedelic effects. That’s why it is best to begin THCP with small doses. 

Risks and Side Effects

The side effects of THCh and THCP are still relatively unknown. We might speculate they have similar risks and side effects as THC until further research is done.

The side effects of THC can include:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Coordination Problems
  • Dry mouth
  • Red eyes
  • Slower reaction time
  • Memory loss
  • Anxiety

A notable difference between THCP and THCh is that the potency of these compounds makes overdosing a more likely possibility when compared to Delta 9-THC. This problem is due to those alkyl side chains that demonstrated an increase in strength.

If the person consuming THCh of THCP isn’t aware of just how strong they are, it is possible to overdose, or in other terms, “green out.”

If you take too much of either of these compounds, you may feel nausea, dizziness, anxiety and paranoia, slurred speech, tiredness, dry mouth, increased heart rate, and body temperature changes like feeling cool or sweating. 

But there are ways to prevent and care for this instance where you become too high and green out. 

Be advised that no one actually knows the short or long-term side effects of these cannabinoids or products that advertise containing them. 

Semi-synthetic products may contain other byproducts, residues, solvents, and unknown contaminants if they are not regulated which can have unforeseen health effects of their own.

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Wrapping Up THCh and THCP

Out of THCh and THCP, and based on the length of their alkyl side chains, THCP is the more potent, almost psychedelic, compound. 

So if you have a high tolerance and are having difficulties achieving the effects you want, you can go have a try.

And though it produces a lesser high than THCP, THCh is great for people who want to get higher than straight THC but are afraid of taking too much THCP. Both are stronger than your typical Delta 8-THC or Delta 9 THC. But can also be derived from each.

Theoretically, this means that Delta 9-THCP is the strongest natural phytocannabinoid we have discovered. This will make waves in the industry.

Keep in mind that you should only buy from reputable vendors that have Certificates of Analysis (COAs.) This is to ensure what you are getting doesn’t have residual solvents due to the cannabinoid conversion process from turning Delta 8-THC to THCP or THCh.

Enjoy these relatively new cannabinoids, and remember to always consume responsibly and do your due diligence when it comes to determining the legality in your state.