Almost everyone these days knows about THC. To put it simply, THC is the part of cannabis that gets you high, right? Well, yes, but it isn’t quite that simple.
For almost the entire history of the cannabis industry, the THC that people would consume has been Delta-9 THC. But presently, there are several different types of THC to choose from, such as Delta-8 THC and Delta-10 THC.
Now, we’ll get into some lesser-known THC cannabinoids and their similarities and differences to each other and Delta-9. Let’s get into THC-O vs. THC-P vs. THC-H vs. THC-B vs. THC-JD.
THC-O, THC-P, THC-H, THC-B, THC-JD Overview
If you’ve smoked weed in the past, you can be confident that it was Delta-9 THC; that is the standard psychoactive cannabinoid and the standard of comparison for others. As of late, cannabis retailers have been bringing various cannabinoid alternatives to the market, with varying potencies and characteristics.
Among these Delta-9 THC alternatives are THC-O Acetate (THC-O), tetrahydrocannabiphoral (THC-P), tetrahydrocannabihexol (THC-H), tetrahydrocannabutol (THC-B), and tetrahydrocannabioctyl (THC-JD). These alternatives contain THC just like Delta-9, but they all differ from there.
THC-O is THC with acetate added through a complicated chemical process.
THC-P, THC-H, THC-B, and THC-JD on the other hand, are all phytocannabinoids; meaning they occur naturally.
Let’s examine some of the more significant differences between these up-and-coming cannabinoids.
THC-O vs. THC-P vs. THC-H vs. THC-B vs. THC-JD: The Key Differences
As you can assume, these THC cannabinoids are similar in many ways, but what’s important is how they differ from one another.
Chemical Compound Structure
As we touched on above, the chemical structure of THC-O is THC with acetate. You may expect that the acetate which defines THC-O would be attached to a Delta-9 THC compound, but it is actually linked to Delta-8 THC, a less potent and increasingly popular version of Delta-9.
The defining element of THC-P is the carbon tail in its chemical compound. It has a tail of seven carbons, putting it above a standard THC compound by two.
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THC-H also has one particular characteristic in its chemical makeup that sets it apart from standard THC. THC-H has what is called an “n-hexyl chain” on its side. This chain results from hydrogen and carbon combining to create hexane, usually due to the loss of hydrogen atoms.
THC-B is the most similar compound to standard THC, with such slight differences in the chemical structure that they have not yet been broken down and analyzed.
THC-JD has eight carbon chains compared to THC’s five. As we have seen in other cases where this occurred, the extra bond strengthens its effect on CB1 receptors.
The Endocannabinoid System
If you’re wondering how our bodies receive all of these different molecules, it happens in our system of endocannabinoid receptors. Everyone has this built-in system because our bodies naturally produce cannabinoids; even people who have never smoked weed before constantly produce and receive cannabinoids.
But, the cannabinoids we get when we smoke Delta-9 THC or CBD bind differently to our endocannabinoid system than those we produce naturally and differently from each other. Of course, the cannabinoids we’ve been discussing each bind to our endocannabinoid system a little bit differently as well.
The added acetate in THC-O makes it easier to grab than standard THC. This means it binds to the endocannabinoid receptors slightly more strongly.
Because of its carbon tail, THC-P can also bind to the endocannabinoid system more strongly than standard THC and even more strongly than THC-O.
As mentioned above, THC-B functions similarly to standard THC, but current research suggests that it might be somewhat stronger in its binding ability to the endocannabinoid system.
There is not much research on how THC-H binds to the endocannabinoid system in humans, but, in mice, it was found to react with their brains in such a way that it blocked pain transmitters.
THC-JD prefers the CB1 receptors, and because of its extra carbon chains, it bonds strongly. Although research is extremely limited, it’s believed that THC-JD is up to 19 times stronger than Delta-9 THC and possibly 25 times more potent than D8.
The Cannabinoid’s Effects
Unlike most Delta-9 alternatives, THC-O is significantly more potent. Studies show that THC-O is three times more potent than Delta-9 THC, to be exact. With THC-O being so much stronger, it is considered psychedelic, even bordering on hallucinogenic.
THC-P is also more potent than Delta-9 THC, but only slightly. This is because, again, it can bind to the endocannabinoid system more strongly with the help of its carbon tail. If you consume THC-P, you can expect feelings of euphoria and relaxation.
The effects of THC-B are quite similar to Delta-9 THC. But, THC-B particularly targets issues of pain and insomnia in users. THC-JD is also much like Delta-9, but with more intensity. It’s said to provide more of an indica-like effect than a sativa-like effect. You an expect sedation over an energy burst.
THC-H is also quite similar to Delta-9 THC; it boosts your mood and aids relaxation. As mentioned above, it was also shown to block pain receptors in mice. But, this has not yet been tested in humans.
An essential inspiration in the development of all these THC alternatives is the 2018 United States Farm Bill. This bill has made it so that any cannabis product containing less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC is legal at the federal level. Since none of these cannabinoids contain Delta-9 THC, they should all be federally legal.
However, the states are a different story. Some states have enacted laws banning any Delta-9 alternatives that still have psychoactive effects because state legislatures see the technical phrasing of the farm bill to be more of a loophole than an intentional law.
It is always best practice to research the cannabis laws in your state before purchasing products.
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