THCV: The Little-Known Cannabinoid
And How You Can Benefit From It
What is THCV?
Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), like other cannabis compounds, promotes good health by interacting with our endocannabinoid system in beneficial ways.
Just like better-known cannabinoids like CBD and THC, THCV binds to endocannabinoid receptors throughout our brain and body to support internal functions, promote healing, and help prevent diseases.
But there’s one thing that makes THCV unique among all other cannabinoids.
More on that in a minute.
But first, where did this compound come from?
Like most people, you probably haven’t heard of THCV. But, despite its relative obscurity, THCV was discovered in 1973 and has been studied more than many other cannabinoids.
And research has revealed a wide range of therapeutic uses for this surprisingly little-known cannabinoid.
It won’t be long before THCV becomes well-known for its healing properties.
So, you may be wondering…
What’s the Difference Between THCV and THC?
While the two might sound similar, THCV and THC have several key differences.
One significant difference is how they are produced within the plant. Most of the major cannabinoids, including THC, originate from the parent cannabinoid, CBGA (cannabigerolic acid).
They transform through a process known as decarboxylation, where heat or UV light is used to remove carboxylic acid.
THCV also goes through the decarboxylation process, however, it originates from a different parent cannabinoid, CBGVA (cannabigerovarin acid).
On a molecular level, THC and THCV are actually quite similar but have one distinct difference – the number of carbon atoms that make up their composition.
THC has a pentyl (5-carbon) side-chain, and THCV has a propyl (3-carbon) side chain.
And this matters because…
The slight variances between THC and THCV cause them each to have different effects.
One of the most interesting differences between the two compounds is their effect on appetite. THC is known to increase the desire to eat, while THCV does the opposite.
And with its ability to suppress appetite, THCV is gaining a reputation as an aid to losing weight.
That’s right, THCV is becoming known as…
The Weight-Loss Cannabinoid
Dieting Just Got Easier
You’ve probably heard that THC results in a case of the “munchies.” And it’s true – THC does stimulate appetite and can promote weight gain. But surprisingly, THCV does the opposite – it suppresses appetite.
If used thoughtfully, THCV could become an effective part of a healthy weight management routine.
And this is good news because…
Obesity and weight-related health conditions affect millions of Americans and nearly 2 billion people worldwide. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates 39% of the world’s population is overweight.
If you’re one of the many who’s trying to shed unwanted pounds, give THCV a try. In laboratory research, THCV has reduced body weight.
For many people, only a small amount of THCV is needed to help control appetite and cravings so you can eat smart and avoid weight gain.
And THCV has even more to offer…
Aside from being an effective weight management tool, THCV offers a wide range of therapeutic uses too.
Here’s a look at some of the other ways you can benefit from using THCV:
Laboratory studies have shown that THCV’s anti-inflammatory properties are capable of reducing swelling and pain. Research is showing such good results that patents incorporating cannabinoids like THCV into topical treatments for inflammatory skin conditions already exist.
Further Reading: CBD For Inflammation
THCV is being considered as a potential treatment for PTSD due to its ability to lower anxiety and reduce panic attacks. In Israel, scientists have determined that THCV is effective at treating anxiety disorders because it suppresses our ‘panic’ mode during the onset of fight-or-flight.
Further Reading: The Benefits of CBD for Anxiety
Research continues to show that cannabinoids like THCV interact with receptors to stimulate bone growth, improve bone density, and help prevent some bone-related disease. THCV and other cannabinoids may help heal fractures and offer an additional treatment option for osteoporosis patients.
THCV is one of many cannabinoids capable of reducing tremors associated with conditions like ALS, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease. While more research is needed, the neuroprotective of THCV and other cannabinoids seem to ease the severity and frequency of tremors.
Surprisingly, cannabinoids have been used for their anticonvulsant properties since the 1800s. THCV is one of several cannabinoids showing the potential to treat seizures, including those related to epilepsy.
Similar to CBD, THCV may help manage diabetes. Further research is needed however; THCV’s appetite-suppressing properties may help people with type-2 diabetes manage their weight. It also regulates blood sugar levels and reduces insulin resistance.
THCV, similar to other cannabinoids, may help improve some symptoms of Alzheimer’s including tremors, and motor control. And early research suggests it may also help improve brain lesion associated with the disease.
And here’s the one thing that’s most unique about THCV…
THCV May Have Surprising Versatility
Unlike any other cannabinoids, THCV has transformative properties that allow it to change its behavior according to how much is consumed. Meaning, it interacts with our endocannabinoid system differently at high and low doses.
Here’s what’s happening…
Our endocannabinoid system is made up of CB1 and CB2 receptors that interact with cannabinoids like THCV.
CB1 receptors are mainly located in the brain and nervous system. CB2 receptors are mainly located in the immune system and heavily concentrated in the gut.
At a low dose, THCV interacts with the CB1 receptor and provides therapeutic benefits but acts as an antagonist, blocking psychoactive effects.
However, at higher doses, THCV changes its behavior and interacts with the CB1 receptor and provides therapeutic benefits but acts as an agonist, producing psychoactive effects – ones that are more intense, but much shorter than THC.
All of this may prove to be important because…
THCV’s unique ability to modify its behavior between acting as an antagonist and agonist, and therefore modify its effects, may have other transformative properties as well. If so, THCV may prove to be the most versatile cannabinoid we know of.
This unique behavior also means…
THCV: No Psychoactive Effects… Unless You Want Them
Because of its unique ability to change its behavior according to dosage, you can opt to experience THCV in different ways – each providing a full range of therapeutic benefits.
Benefit From THCV And Enjoy Unique Psychoactive Effects
THCV produces a unique high that is intensely euphoric and clear-headed, stimulating mental energy and creative thought. It has a quick onset, and the effects are short-lived.
For those who enjoy smoking cannabis flower (where legal and available), the highest concentrations of THCV are typically found in Sativa dominant strains.
Cannabis Strains High in THCV
While it’s typical to see CBD and THC concentrations around 20%, THCV concentrations are typically below 5%. But cannabis varieties with high THCV are becoming more sought after, so growers are developing new strains. Doug’s Varin and Pineapple Purps are two strains that were developed specifically for their THCV.
- Doug’s Varin 24.3% (This strain currently has the highest concentration of THCV available on the market.)
- Pineapple Purps 4%
Some other strains with a high concentration of THCV include —
- Durban Poison
- Dutch Treat
- Girls Scout Cookies
In some states, vape cartridges with high concentrations of THCV are available. While the legal status of cannabis continues to evolve, we are likely to see these products become more widely available.
But, what if you don’t want any psychoactive effects?
No problem, here’s what you can do…
Benefit From THCV Without Psychoactive Effects
Full spectrum CBD oil is the best way to benefit from THCV without experiencing any psychoactive effects – and it’s completely legal nationwide.
Full-Spectrum CBD oil contains all the flavonoids, terpenes, and cannabinoids, (including THCV) present in the plant.
And because of a phenomenon known as the entourage effect, these compounds offer greater benefits when you consume them together rather than separately – which means, full-spectrum oil gives you all the therapeutic benefits the plant has to offer.
But to get the most out of your full-spectrum CBD oil, you have to know how to choose a high-quality product.
Here’s what you need to know…
How to Choose a High-Quality Full-Spectrum CBD Oil
In a crowded CBD market, it can be challenging to know how to choose a high-quality product that will give you the results you’re hoping for.
With a few pointers, however, finding the right product to get started with is a breeze. Here are some things to look for when choosing a full-spectrum CBD oil:
Natural Growing Methods
High-quality brands use natural growing methods and avoid harmful pesticides. Every step is carefully considered from seed and soil to harvesting, curing, and extracting.
Avoid brands that use toxic chemicals in their extraction process. Low-quality extractions typically use chemicals like propane, hexane, and butane.
Instead of these, choose brands that use pharmaceutical-grade ethanol in their process. Of all the extraction methods, it is known to yield the highest amount of cannabinoids.
Brands using an extraction process known as supercritical CO2 are also a good option. This process is the most expensive and produces the purest CBD extraction.
Still not sure where to start?
Our helpful buyer’s guide will get you on the right track and explain the benefits of some of the top brands. It’s the perfect way to get started when you’re ready to give CBD a try.
And here’s the other thing you need to know…
CBD: Determine Your Dosage
Once you choose your full-spectrum CBD oil, you’ll need to decide what dosage to start with. Your age, weight, condition you’re treating, and prior experience with CBD will all play a role in determining what dosage is best for you.
The individual characteristics of your endocannabinoid system will also play a role. In some people, receptors may be damaged or inactive, in some areas or particularly active in others.
Every person will respond in their own way, and some experimentation may be required to find the ideal dosage.
Here’s something you might find helpful…
We’ve created an easy-to-use CBD dosage calculator to help guide you on finding the correct CBD dosage for you. Use it as a starting point and be sure to take into consideration your unique circumstances and goals.
Here’s The Bottom Line
THCV may not be as well-known as other cannabinoids like THC or CBD, but its therapeutic benefits have been known to researchers for many decades.
Unique in its ability to transform how it behaves according to dosage, THCV may turn out to be one of the most versatile cannabinoids – able to interact with our endocannabinoid system in a number of different – and opposite ways.
Notably, THCV is gaining a reputation for its appetite-suppressing effect which may be helpful to people looking for a natural way to help regulate blood sugar and maintain a healthy weight.
As cannabinoid research pushes forward at a fast pace, anticipation around THCV and other cannabinoids continue to mount – and the future looks bright.