Researchers identified a phytocannabinoid in Cannabis sativa that they say could be 30 times more powerful than THC, at least in their lab results. The scientists from Italy's University of Modena and Reggio Emilia and their colleagues found that in their in vitro tests, tetrahydrocannabiphorol (THCP) showed an attraction to the nervous system's cannabinoid (CB1) receptor that's more than thirty times higher than good ol' THC. From CNN:
CBD has mostly been the focus of studies on the health benefits of cannabis, but because THCP appears to show stronger binding abilities and potency, the authors think there is potential for health benefits.
The findings could enable the production of cannabis extracts for targeted physical effects; more testing with the study's methods could further the discovery and identification of new compounds, the authors said.
"There are other minor cannabinoids and traces in the plant that can be hard to study, but by isolation we can continue to assess the effects they might offer," (said Jane Ishmael, associate professor in Oregon State University's College of Pharmacy, who was not involved in the research.
"Historically, many of our medicines have been derived by or inspired by natural products. By having new compounds that bind with very high affinity, that will give scientists a new probe into biological sciences."
Read the scientific paper: "A novel phytocannabinoid isolated from Cannabis sativa L. with an in vivo cannabimimetic activity higher than Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol: Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabiphorol" (Nature Scientific Reports)