Tetrahydrocannabivarin, or THCV, is a compound found in many different cannabis strains. As the name implies, it has many similarities to the compound well-known for producing psychoactive effects – THC; but there are some key differences.
THCV, or Tetrahydrocannabivarin, is present in many different strains of marijuana – sometimes in low quantities, up to moderate and sometimes high. THCV does not have the same psychoactive properties of THC, but it does produce its own type of cerebral effects, which are described as feeling relaxing and pleasant, but it does not get you high. One of the most contradicting effects is that, while THC is known to cause the “munchies”, THCV is an appetite suppressor, making it a popular option for people who enjoy cannabis but are trying to watch what they eat.
Not very many strains are naturally dominant in THCV, but we know of a handful that are and of course, innovative cannabis companies are always finding ways to extract and isolate cannabinoids to make exciting new products for the masses.
Let’s dive into some more details on THCV – what it is, what the effects are, and where you can find it! To learn more about THCV and other interesting cannabis compound, and for exclusive deals on all the latest products, remember to subscribe to The THC Weekly Newsletter for deals on legal cannabis products, as well as all the latest news and industry stories. Also save big on Delta 8, Delta 9 THC, Delta-10 THC, THCO, THCV, THCP & HHC products by checking out our “Best-of” lists!
What is THCV?
The cannabis plant is full of trace compounds which include various minor cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. All of these compounds work together synergistically, in a phenomenon referred to as the entourage effect, to provide maximum benefits. Sometimes, the minor compounds are extracted to created synthetically to get a higher concentration than what you would find in the plant. THCV is one such compound.
THCV, or tetrahydrocannabivarin, is a naturally occurring analog of THC. It comes from the precursor cannabinoid CBGVA, which breaks down to into THCVA (tetrahydrocannabivarin acid), which then is decarboxylated to form THCV. One of the more interesting things about THCV is the way that it interacts with our endocannabinoid system, and the subsequent effects it has on appetite and weight.
THCV is a CB1 receptor antagonist, which is the reason it is known to suppress appetite, whereas delta-9 THC is a CB1 agonist, promoting hunger (or munchies). This theory has been tested pretty extensively on mice, although human trials are lacking. Either way, this could be a possible breakthrough treatment for diabetes and other dietary and weight-related health conditions.
The benefits of THCV
The psychoactive effects of THCV remain relatively unknown. In small doses, it’s believed to act as an antagonist to some of the cerebral effects of THC, however, in large amounts it may actually accentuate them. On it’s own though, THCV will not get you high like THC, despite the similarities in name.
Although cannabis has a reputation for increasing appetite (aka, the munchies), that’s only related to certain cannabinoids. Strains that are high in THCV like Durban Poison and other Afghan and African strains actually do the complete opposite and suppress appetites, which can be very beneficial depending on the health condition in question.
For example, it can be used as an all-natural weight loss supplement which could be a helpful aid in combating the rise of obesity in the United States. Not only that, but the effects on appetite are also believed to be a factor in regulating the blood sugar levels of diabetic patients.
Diabetes has become one of the prevailing health issues of our day, effecting 422 million in 2014, up from 108 million in 1980, according to WHO (and these numbers are continuously on the rise). In the US alone, a total of 34.2 million people had been diagnosed with diabetes by 2018. Globally, the number increased threefold since 1975. Because of diabetes, premature death rates have climbed 5% between the years 2000 and 2016. This disease was responsible for 1.5 million deaths in 2019.
Because of this, GW Pharmaceuticals – creator of Epidiolex, the first FDA-approved CBD medication – is working on a drug made with THCV to treat Type II Diabetes and other diet-related disorders. Unfortunately, they’re stuck in phase II of the clinical trials so it might take a while before this treatment is available on the market.
Additional studies published in the British Pharmacological Society Journal have looked at tetrahydrocannabivarin’s role as a neuroprotectant and an anti-convulsant, both of which have shown promising results. Another interesting use for this compound is promoting bone health. Research has found that several phytocannabinoids, including tetrahydrocannabivarin, have been reported to “stimulate bone nodule formation, collagen production, and alkaline phosphatase activity in cultures of bone marrow stromal cells”.
Where to find it
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While Delta 8 THC gives a great body-buzz and relaxation, THCV is made to help give mental clarity, productivity and focus. Similar to a “super sativa“. In addition, THCV might be also responsible in balancing your appetite (so if you are get the munchies after using cannabis, THCV might be the one for you…)
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THCV is also beginning to have a presence outside the medical realm. A handful of companies are beginning to sell THCV vape products, edibles, and tinctures so consumers can try out this newish, therapeutic compound for themselves. If this article as piqued your curiosity then you’re in luck because we have deals on some of these products available in our newsletter.
Have you ever used THCV products? If so, did it help regulate your appetite so you could reach your weight loss goals or control your blood glucose? If so, let us know in the comment section below, we’d love to hear your thoughts!
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Disclaimer: Hi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advice, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.