A NEW cannabis compound has been discovered and it may be 30 times more potent than THC.
Scientists aren’t yet sure whether the compound causes a high or has medical benefits so they’ve been conducting tests to try and figure this out.
Little is known about the potential effects of the new strong compoundCredit: Getty – Contributor
The compound is one of two newfound cannabinoids that have been discovered in Cannabis plant glands.
Cannabinoids is the collective term for the group of diverse chemical compounds that act on the cannabinoid receptors of the brain.
THC is just one of these cannabinoids and it’s currently considered to be the principal psychoactive component of cannabis.
THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, plugs into brain receptors and can alter our ability to co-ordinate movements, reason, record memories and perceive things like time and pleasure.
THC in cannabis is what can give smokers a high feelingCredit: Getty – Contributor
It’s thought that cannabis contains over 140 similar chemicals that can interact with receptors all over the body.
However, THC is currently the only one we know can result in a high spaced out feeling.
Of the two new cannabinoids discovered, one looks similar to the compound CBD, which isn’t psychoactive.
The other appears similar to THC but may even produce stronger mind-bending effects.
This THC lookalike is called tetrahydrocannabiphorol (THCP).
Recent research suggests that it interacts with the same brain receptor as THC but has slight differences in its chain of atoms.
The slight difference in shape of THCP means it can technically fit more snugly into its preferred brain receptor than THC.
A test showed that the compound can actually bind 30 times more reliably than THC.
When given to lab mice, the THCP made them behave as if they were on THC with slower movements and decreased reactions to pain.
The mice reached this state with a much lower does than would have been required with THC meaning the new compound is stronger.
However, this lab experiment still doesn’t mean that the same effect would happen in humans.
THCP doesn’t appear to be present in large amounts in cannabis plants but even if it was, increased psychoactive properties would still not be guaranteed.
Is marijuana illegal in the UK?
Here’s what you should know…
- Cannabis remains illegal to possess, grow, distribute, sell or grow in the UK.
- Being caught with cannabis comes with a maximum of five years in prison, an unlimited fine, or both.
- While being convicted of producing and supplying the Class B drug carries up to 14 years behind bars, an unlimited fine, or both.
- Police can issue a warning or on-the-spot fine if you’re caught with a small amount – generally less than one ounce – if it is deemed for personal use.
WE ARE NOT ALONE
Confirmation of alien life ‘IMMINENT and inevitable’, researcher claims
What is a penumbral lunar eclipse and is it safe to look directly at it?
Asteroid bigger than Empire State Building to make close approach today
’Alien' graffiti painted on ancient Stonehenge-style monument in Cornwall
LIFE FINDS A WAY
The beautiful desert teeming with wildlife found nowhere else on earth
Sea level 'doomsday' simulator reveals whether YOUR home would be wiped out
In other news, Elon Musk is sending marijuana to astronauts on the ISS – and could create new ‘mutant’ weed.
Ancient cannabis pollen has been discovered near a Viking settlement in Canada.
And, last year, a historian revealed that hedgehogs, cannabis bread and horse placenta were amongst some of the most popular health foods of ancient times.
What are your thoughts on this new cannabis compound? Let us know in the comments…
We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online Tech & Science team? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org