One of the most famous cannabinoids is THC, but have you heard of THCV? THCV may be a less popular cannabinoid, but it also has amazing benefits for cannabis enthusiasts to enjoy. One notable benefit is the THC’s ability to suppress appetite, which attracts those users aiming to lose or maintain a certain weight while enjoying its psychoactive effects. Keep reading and get to know the science backed THCV effects.
First off, what is THCV?
THCV is short for tetrahydrocannabivarin which is considered a minor cannabinoid. This means that it is found in lower concentrations compared to the major cannabinoids, THC and CBD. THCV can be found in cannabis and hemp plants, where it can either be consumed in plant material or taken as an isolated extract, most commonly in oil form.
When consumed in low to moderate doses, THCV has none of the psychoactive properties of THC. However, In higher doses, THCV has its own psychoactive qualities, which are sometimes described as producing a clear-headed, euphoric state of mind.
THC Vs. THCV: How do they differ?
Chemically speaking, the primary difference between THCV and THC is the presence of a 3-carbon group rather than a 5-carbon molecular group. This small molecular point makes for a significant difference in the two cannabinoids' effects on cannabis users.
As mentioned, the main advantage of THCV over THC is the lack of psychoactive effects. Another distinct difference between the two is THC causes the “munchies” or increased hunger while THCV does the opposite, which suppresses appetite.
THCV presents a number of benefits and alleviate symptoms of certain diseases. It is generally known to suppress appetite, but it has other health benefits for consumers to enjoy. Take a look at these therapeutic benefits of THCV, backed by science.
THCV May Suppress Appetite and Help with Weight Loss
Perhaps the most known benefit of THCV is its ability to suppress appetite, which potentially helps in losing weight. In contrast to THC, which is responsible for the “munchies”, THCV blocks the receptor that triggers the hunger hormone.
Appetite suppression alone will help with weight loss, but there's more going on that just ditching carbs. A 2013 THCV research published on the National Center for Biotechnology Information has shown that THCV may increase energy expenditure, which means burning more calories.
In addition, a review of existing THCV studies published in 2020 by the Journal of Cannabis Research said THCV provides appetite suppression and glycemic control. The reviewed studies looked at obesity and diabetes in humans and mice.
THCV May Regulate Blood Sugar Levels
For people suffering with Type II diabetes, THCV might help! In a 2013 research published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, THCV shows promise in its ability to regulate blood sugar levels and reduce insulin resistance.
In a study done by Harvard Medical School, subjects who reported using marijuana in the past month had lower levels of fasting insulin and HOMA-IR [insulin resistance], higher levels of HDL-C [high-density lipoprotein or ‘good' cholesterol], as well as smaller waist circumference.
Who knows, THCV may help you bring back the beach-ready bod!
THCV may help reduce seizures
A 2015 review published in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics concluded that THCV may be able to reduce seizure activity in epileptic subjects. The evidence suggests that THCV can reduce both the frequency and the severity of seizures, both when taken as a preventative measure, and when administered during the event.
Current research is now being done to create marijuana strains and cannabis derivatives that have minimal THC content and medium THCV content, in hopes of developing a non-intoxicating product that can be used to treat epilepsy in both adults and children.
Use of THCV in Aiding Muscle Control and Neuroprotection
To explain this benefit, it is important to know that THCV can bind with both the CB1 and CB2 receptors of the body's endocannabinoid system. The endogenous cannabinoid (endocannabinoid) system is a complex network of receptors, a variety of ligands, and a series of enzymes that are responsible for ligand synthesis and breakdown.
That concept stated, A 2020 study on mice published in the journal Neurobiology of Disease concluded that THCV had neuroprotective properties that may be useful in treating Parkinson's disease. Another 2020 research, published in the British Journal of Pharmacology, stated that THCV showed potential in the treatment of neuroinflammation and Huntington's disease.
THCV may ease symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease
A preclinical study published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease found that very small doses of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), can slow the production of beta-amyloid proteins, thought to be a hallmark characteristic and key contributor to the progression of Alzheimer's.
As THCV mimics the effects of THC, it can potentially slow down the production of beta-amyloid proteins, thought to be a hallmark characteristic and key contributor to the progression of Alzheimer’s.
THCV may stimulate bone growth
By acting on cannabinoid receptors located within the skeletal endocannabinoid system, evidence suggests that THCV lay important roles in bone metabolism by regulating bone mass, bone loss, and bone cell function.
As researchers learn more about this process, and the ways in which THCV binds to the receptors that regulate bone mass, this cannabinoid is being increasingly studied for its potential in treating osteoporosis and other degenerative bone-related conditions.
THCV may help reduce anxiety and panic attacks
People may debate whether the use of cannabis can actually reduce psychiatric symptoms, but there are several studies that back up this claim. According to a 2019 research, cannabis can potentially reduce Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms. THCV may also reduce panic attacks.
THCV as Medicine: Analgesic and Anti-inflammatory
Although THCV is less popular than other cannabinoids, there has been a good deal of scientific studies undertaken which shows the potential benefits of this cannabinoid.
In a 2010 THCV study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology, it can decrease the signs of inflammation and inflammatory pain in mice. The mice in that study were offered THCV after inflammatory exposure every day for four consecutive days. Apart from proving to be beneficial in lowering inflammation, the scientists discovered that the mice didn't develop a tolerance to the compound.
Since THCV is considered a minor cannabinoid, there has been 2013 research published National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine. It concluded that cannabinoids may form a useful adjunct to current analgesic drugs in many conditions, especially in low doses incapable of inducing hyperalgesia (increased sensitivity to feeling pain) or other side effects.
THCV Benefits: Final Notes
THCV may be considered a minor cannabinoid, unlike THC and CBD, but it definitely offers therapeutic benefits for cannabis users to enjoy. Backed by science, THCV may help in certain medical conditions such as obesity, diabetes, anxiety, Alzheimer's disease, and can also be used as medicine due to its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.
Low to moderate doses of THCV might not give users the "high" feeling, but it can still mimic the psychoactive effects when taken in significantly high doses. It is important to take THCV in moderation to fully enjoy its benefits.