As we rolled into 2020, a team of Italian scientists announced that they had discovered two new cannabinoids in the marijuana plant. This discovery shows that there is much more that remains to be learned about the cannabis plant. Their findings are an addition to the existing knowledge of the controversial plants, even though we are yet to find out the functions of the new compounds and how they affect the human body.
The two compounds found by the scientists include tetrahydrocannabiphorol (THCP) and cannabidiphorol (CBDP).
The structure of THCP is roughly the same as that of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the compound responsible for inducing a high. However, THCP is 30 times more potent than THC. When pharmacological tests were conducted on THCP, the compound induced hypomotility, analgesia, catalepsy, and reduced rectal temperature. This shows that its effect on the body is like that of THC. It is unclear if THCP is psychoactive or if it induces the same high as THC, but when it is administered at lower doses in mice, it appeared to be more potent than THC.
The CBDP is associated with CBD, which acts as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-convulsant, and reverses the adverse effects of THC.
The authors wrote that CBDP is a phytocannabinoid whose structure is made of a linear alkyl side chain with more than five carbon atoms. Research on the two compounds would be of significant benefit to the scientific world as it would help researchers understand why different marijuana strains have varying effects on the body, which results in a myriad of feeling as well as the promotion of healing and wellness.
The authors wrote in Scientific Reports that there is a growing number of clinical trials and documentation providing real evidence of the ability of marijuana and cannabinoids to treat a wide range of ailments such as insomnia, anxiety, autism, multiple sclerosis, and neuropathic pain. They also added that they expect THCP to bind better to the CB1 receptor cells than the THC.
Cannabis sativa species are more potent than cannabis indica. Cannabis sativa is used to treat glaucoma and epilepsy. This species of marijuana is an invaluable source of nutrients and can also be used for making textiles; however, it is considered to be the most illegal drug all over the globe, especially among young adults. The plant can produce at least 150 phytocannabinoids, with the most commonly known being THC and CBD. Until recently, THC was the only known psychoactive cannabinoid since marijuana strains that were tested contained low levels of THCP and CBDP. However, the researchers noted that higher levels of the two compounds might be found in other breeds of marijuana.
The authors further noted that since the properties and potential capability of THCP and CBDP is unknown, more research should be conducted on the compounds.
Analysts see these findings as vindication for weed companies like Plus Products Inc. (CSE: PLUS) (OTCQX: PLPRF) and Cannabis Strategic Ventures Inc. (OTCQB: NUGS) that have always said that federal authorities should remove all impediments to cannabis research so that the plant can be fully understood.
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