In the cannabis / hemp world, the two most famous cannabinoids are the THC and CBD. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant, which primarily causes the “high” feeling. Despite its use for recreational reasons, THC is also recognized for its medical use. The cousin of THC, the THCV cannabinoid is also getting known in the cannabis community because it offers a number of health benefits. In this article, we'll go over everything you need to know about THCV.
THCV Disclaimer: Why It's Not Mainstream
As you'll soon read, there are a lot of benefits associated with THCV and backed up by preliminary research. However, THCV at the moment struggles to be a viable consumer product because it is hundreds of times more expensive than other comparable options like delta 8 distillate or full spectrum cbd distillate.
What Is THCV?
Tetrahydrocannabivarin, or simply known as THCV is another type of cannabinoid which potentially offer benefits and effects to cannabis enthusiasts. This cannabinoid was discovered in 1973 and has been the subject of quite extensive research since then.
Chemically speaking, THCV has a chemical formula of C19H2602. It consists of two oxygen atoms, 26 hydrogen atoms, and 19 carbon atoms. Although it copies the usual phytocannabinoid characteristic of being insoluble in water, it's highly soluble in lipid-based solvents. In terms of structure, it's similar to the popular psychoactive cannabinoid THC.
Unlike other cannabinoids, it will be only psychoactive when consumed in significantly high doses. To explain this, it comes down to how it is synthesized. Most cannabinoids are usually Cannabigerol (CBG)-synthesized, which undergoes several metabolic processes from several cannabinoids. This includes how THC and CBD are formed.
In THCV’s case, you won’t experience the typical “high” feeling due to the blocking of several receptors that causes it. However, as you increase the dose, the cannabinoid changes its behavior. It still gets you stoned if you consume too much of it, just like how THC does.
If you are smoking relatively large doses of a strain high in THCV, you'll experience a clear-headed and stimulating high. Unfortunately, the said high does not last very long. Although THCV might work quicker than THC, it doesn't have the latter’s longevity at all.
THCV Vs. THC: What’s the Difference?
As we mentioned, THCV users can experience the same psychoactive effects of THC in large doses because they have similar chemical structures. For instance, their atoms have this closely identical arrangement. THC's side-chain has a pentyl group, but THCV's comprised of a propyl side-chain. The most popular cannabinoids consist of pentyl groups.
The most distinct difference between THCV and THC is that THCV suppresses appetite, while THC increases the infamous “munchies” or feeling hungry and increased cravings. THCV is the best cannabinoid if you’d like to maintain a stable weight while experiencing the “high.”
What are THCV's effects?
THCV is closely related to THC, but it provides a variety of pronounced and altogether different effects to cannabis enthusiasts. Get to know the different effects and benefits of THCV.
THCV may suppress appetite
Obesity is an ongoing epidemic in the United States, with 36.5% of the adult population are considered obese. $147 billion was also estimated amount spent relating to obesity in 2008 alone. Preliminary research in 2013 has shown that THCV may serve as an appetite suppressant.
THCV may regulate blood sugar levels and reduce insulin resistance
In a 2013 research published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, shows promise in THCV's ability to regulate blood sugar levels and reduce insulin resistance.
THCV may help reduce anxiety and panic attacks
There has been a 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 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
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. There is accumulating evidence suggesting that endocannabinoids and their receptors play important roles in bone metabolism by regulating bone mass, bone loss, and bone cell function.
THCV may reduce inflammation
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.
THCV Effects: In Summary
THCV is a cannabinoid which mimics the psychoactive effects of THC due to its similarity in chemical structure. Users of THCV may experience the "high" a lot faster, but relatively shorter in longevity compared to THC.
The main effect of THCV is its ability to suppress appetite, which potentially aids in weight loss. Apart from it, THC offers several therapeutic effects backed by numerous research such as regulating blood sugar levels, reducing anxiety, stimulating bone growth and reducing inflammation.