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What is CBDV: Meet Cannabidivarin, the Less Popular Cousin of CBD

What is CBDV: Meet Cannabidivarin, the Less Popular Cousin of CBD

Jul 29th 2021

What is CBDV: Meet Cannabidivarin, the Less Popular Cousin of CBD

The cannabis plant contains hundreds of molecules, or more commonly known as cannabinoids. The most common cannabinoids are THC and CBD, but did you know there are so much more? Meet CBDV, a less popular cannabinoid, is slowly getting known in the marijuana world due to its non-intoxicating properties while offering therapeutic benefits.

What Is CBDV?

CBDV, short for cannabidivarin is a non-intoxicating cannabis compound with a similar chemical structure to CBD. Both cannabinoids have 30 stereoisomers, and seven double bond isomers. In general, you'll find CBDV in marijuana plants with high levels of CBD and low amounts of delta 9 THC and even lower amounts of delta 8 thc.

High CBDV stains are mostly found on indica landrace strains from Africa and Asia. Landrace strains are genetically pure, which means they haven't been impacted by thorough experimentation.

If you’re looking for strains with high CBDV content, indicas such as Medical Mass Euphoria is one of those. Sativas like Painkiler XL, Royal Medic, and Dance World has high amounts of CBDV too.

What Does CBDV Do to the Body?

Cannabinoids like CBDV interact with the body through our endocannabinoid system, a biological system of neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors, and receptor proteins that are expressed throughout the vertebrate and peripheral nervous system. This system is responsible if certain cannabinoids offer psychoactive or “high” effects.

As CBDV is closely related to CBD, it doesn’t produce a psychoactive high. According to GW Pharmaceuticals, CBDV reported “no safety or toxicity signals” and that “CBDV was well tolerated even at the highest tested dose and no significant side effects were observed”.

CBD Vs. CBDV: What’s the Difference?

Both CBD and CBDV are closely related in terms of molecular structure, but there is a slight difference. At first glance, they may be the same, but take a look at the figure below. This difference in their molecular structure impacts their chemical responses. CBDV can be used to develop THCV (tetrahydrocannabivarin) when it's exposed to an acidic environment, and CBD doesn't have this same ability to transform into THC.

As they are both cannabinoids, they interact with our endocannabinoid system and binds with the receptors. As CBDV binds to these receptors, it allows faster yet shorter results compared to CBD. The way they both interact with these receptors also inhibit different benefits. For instance, CBD is known to alleviate minor discomfort, while CBDV can improve bone health.

These cannabinoids focus on different effects and benefits in the body. CBD is more popular and more extensively researched compared to CBDV, but they equally have proven health benefits.

What are the health benefits of CBDV?

Although less popular and there is little research connected to CBDV, the results are promising.

Most research about CBDV is centered around its potential effect on seizures. GW Pharmaceuticals, a global leader in cannabis-based medicines, developed the first FDA-approved CBD drug called Epidiolex. It is a prescription medicine that is used to treat seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, Dravet syndrome, or tuberous sclerosis complex in patients 1 year of age and older.

To further the claim of the health benefits of CBDV, here are some medical research showing these:

  • The research done by GW Pharmaceuticals showed that CBDV affects the neurochemical pathway of the capsaicin receptors involved in both the onset and the progression of several types of epilepsy. In addition, GW reported that CBDV has shown anti-epileptic results “across a range of in vitro and in vivo models of epilepsy.”
  • According to a 2019 CBDV rodent study published in National Center for Biotechnology Information Journal, it has shown promise in helping the neurobehavioral issues associated with Rett syndrome. Rett syndrome is caused by an X chromosome mutation that affects girls with seizures, speech issues, and muscle spasticity. CBDV seems to help with both the genetically determined and chemically-induced forms of this and similar diseases.
  • In a 2019 study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology, CBDV showed potential for patients struggling with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). This muscle disease is characterized by chronic inflammation and irreversible skeletal muscle damage and degeneration. CBDV can potentially reduce inflammation and restore and even enhance muscle function. CBDV is also shown to improve locomotion, highlighting the compound’s potential as a new therapy for DMD.
  • A rodent CBDV study published in 2013 showed that the cannabinoid may also be a powerful anti-nausea agent. Initial research on rodents shows that CBDV likely acts as an agonist to the CB1 receptors, thereby blocking the nausea response.

What are the Side Effects of CBDV?

More research needs to be done in order to determine the possible side effects of CBDV. As mentioned earlier, the 2014 research done by GW Pharmaceuticals did not show side effects in all 66 healthy subjects. Side effects were also not experienced even in the highest possible dose and there were no symptoms from CBDV withdrawal.

To this date, there is not much else is currently known about the potential side effects of CBDV, and there's no record of the marijuana plant causing an overdose death, despite it being classified as a Schedule I drug.

Since CBD and CBDV are closely similar in terms of molecular structure, we can infer that CBDV has similar side effects. Based on current research, CBD is typically tolerated well and considered safe. To note, three are some potential side effects of CBD, which might be expected of CBDV and these include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Low blood pressure
  • Lightheadedness
  • Drowsiness

Is CBDV Legal in the United States?

Thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, CBDV is legal in the United States, as long as it is produced from hemp rather than marijuana. However, hemp contains very low amounts of CBDV. For this reason, processing hemp for its CBDV content is time-consuming, with very little CBDV extract produced.

Obtaining CBDV from marijuana is still illegal at the federal level, since marijuana has not been legalized across all 50 states. If you’re lucky, some states have legalized the use of recreational and/or medicinal marijuana, but this is only at a state level. This said, getting CBDV from marijuana can only happen at the state level.

CBDV: Final Notes

One of the hundreds of cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, CBDV is an emerging one we should notice. The less popular cannabinoid offers therapeutic benefits without causing the psychoactive high for all cannabis enthusiasts to enjoy. Although more research needs to be done around CBDV, it shows potential in treating epilepsy, nausea, DMD and the symptoms of Rhett Syndrome.

Overall, CBDV is definitely a cannabinoid we must watch out in the marijuana world. This is perfect for those seeking the therapeutic effects of cannabis without its psychoactive effects. Who knows, CBDV might be the answer to your health woes, especially if you have one of the conditions mentioned. Always remember to consult your doctor first, before taking any cannabis supplement. 

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