A recently published article in the journal Scientific Reports has described the remarkable discovery of a previously unknown cannabinoid. Dubbed THCP, the molecule has been shown to be significantly more potent that its well-known counterpart THC, however, it’s still unclear how psychoactive it is in humans or how present it is in popular cannabis varieties.
Although humans have been utilizing the intoxicating properties of cannabis for thousands of years, it is only incredibly recently that scientists began to understand exactly how the plant confers its psychoactive affects. In the late 1980s scientists discovered a new type of brain receptor that seemed to respond directly to compounds in cannabis. A few years later a second similar receptor was discovered, and the two receptors were labeled CB1 and CB2.
These two kinds of receptors, found in significant volumes across the entire human body, are strongly activated by tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), perhaps the most well-known psychoactive compound in cannabis. A number of naturally produced neurotransmitters, called endocannabinoids, also interact with CB1 and CB2 receptors.