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What is THCV: Everything You Need to Know About THCV, the Weight Loss Cannabinoid

What is THCV: Everything You Need to Know About THCV, the Weight Loss Cannabinoid

Jul 29th 2021

What is THCV: Everything You Need to Know About the Weight Loss Cannabinoid

Thanks to the health benefits of marijuana, it has been used to treat certain conditions such as anxiety, reducing pain and inflammation and can potentially kill cancer cells, to name a few. The two most common cannabinoids are CBD and THC, which are both equally beneficial when consumed in the right amounts. However, these cannabinoids can cause the “munchies” or stimulate appetite, making them undesirable to people trying to lose or maintain a certain weight. Good news! THCV is here, a cannabinoid used to suppress appetite which makes it a lusted after product due to its promising weight loss benefits.

What is THCV?

THCV, short for tetrahydrocannabivarin is one of the several phytocannabinoids found in the ever-trending cannabis plant. THCV is neither as famous nor as well-researched as the major phytocannabinoids,  THC and CBD, but it equally offers amazing therapeutic effects.

In general, cannabinoids interact with the human body by way of the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This is a system of cannabinoid receptors, messenger molecules, and enzymes that play a role in maintaining the body's homeostasis, or internal regulatory balance.

Phytocannabinoids, just like THCV, interact with our body's cannabinoid receptors and other targets to produce psychoactive and therapeutic effects.

THCV is most commonly found in pure sativas originating in Africa, China, Nepal, Pakistan, India, Thailand, and Afghanistan.

How does THCV occur?

The chemical structure of THCV is quite similar to THC, but it's actually derived from an entirely different precursor or source. While most cannabinoids, including THC and CBD, are the by-products of CBGA (cannabigerolic acid) synthesis, THCV is the final by-product of CBGVA (cannabigerovarin acid). CBGV converts to THCVA, which becomes THCV when exposed to heat or light.

How does THCV work in the body?

Just like any other cannabinoid,  THCV gains therapeutic benefits through interacting with chemical receptors in almost every system of the body. The body has two primary chemical receptors, CB1 and CB2, which make up in the Endocannabinoid System as mentioned earlier.

CB1 receptors are distributed throughout the body, but are mostly concentrated in the brain and nervous system, while CB2 receptors are more prevalent in the immune system. At low doses, THCV acts as an antagonist to CB1 receptors, which means it can block some actions caused by THC, such as the “munchies” and intense mental “highs.”

However, THCV activates both the CB1 and CB2 receptors, and  exhibits effects that more closely resemble THC when taken in significantly high doses. This said, it results in the enhanced euphoric and cognitive effects along with therapeutic benefits.

Can THCV get you high?

Albeit less popular than other cannabinoids, THCV offers psychoactive effects depending on the dosage and the strain. Generally, in low doses, it doesn’t give off the “high” feeling, but it does take effect on significantly high doses as mentioned. THCV is mostly found in low concentrations and not yet available in isolated concentrates on its own. However, many strains that have higher THCV concentrations may also have high THC content, hence offering psychoactive effects as well.

What cannabis strains do THCV have?

In most  strains, THCV is found in relatively low concentrations and there are also ones with elevated levels. THCV strains include African sativas such as Durban Poison, Red Congolese, and other landraces.

If you want those with high-THCV strains, these include GSC (formerly known as Girl Scout Cookies), Jack the Ripper, Pineapple Purps, Power Plant, and Skunk #1.

What are THCV's effects and benefits? Science answers!

As we mentioned, THCV is similar to THC in chemical structure and mimics the psychoactive properties, but it provides different therapeutic effects, making it suitable for health-conscious cannabis enthusiasts. Here are some potential health benefits of THCV, according to multiple research.

  • THCV suppresses appetite and helps in weight loss
  • THCV may reduce anxiety and panic attacks
  • THCV may ease symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease
  • THCV may regulate bone mass
  • THCV may reduce inflammation

Looking into more detailed effects of THCV? We made a more thorough article about how it can give therapeutic effects, too!

Read more: THCV Effects: Understanding THCV & Why It's Not Mainstream

How effective is THCV for weight loss?

While THCV is known to suppress appetite due to its ability to block cannabinoid receptors, it is important to note that it is not a miracle drug that makes you have that beach bod overnight. It can jumpstart  weight loss, but proper diet and exercise is still encouraged for a more sustainable result.

Where can you buy THCV?

It is true that THCV offers amazing benefits for cannabis users to enjoy which therefore, attracts the attention of more consumers and businesses. Right now, the biggest challenge with THCV is it cannot be naturally produced in high concentrations, with some exception like the African sativa. It may be hard to find more pure and potent THCV products or extracts like an isolate.

Pro-tip, the best option is to find a more generic  full-spectrum extract or hemp oil that includes THCV as the active ingredient or included in the profile.

THCV: Final Notes

THCV is closely related to THC in terms of chemical structure, but offers different medical benefits. Although considered a minor cannabinoid compared to THC and CBD, THCV might be the next big thing in the fitness industry due to its ability to  suppress appetite. Aside from it, this cannabinoid offers potential benefits such as regulating blood sugar levels and insulin resistance, stimulating bone growth and a potential treatment to symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.

It is important to note that THCV is beneficial when consumed in the right amounts, while causes psychoactive effects in significantly high doses. Just like any other thing, always consume THCV in moderation to maximize its health benefits. 

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