You were right to guess that THCV is a close relative of THC.
They have a lot in common, but they are not the same. THCV is a novel cannabinoid compound found in cannabis plants that have piqued the interest of both cannabis enthusiasts and medical professionals. THCV, also known as “diet weed” and “weederall,” is said to have a wide range of mental and physical benefits, but it is most notable for its appetite-controlling and energy-boosting properties.
We’ll go over what it is, how it differs from THC, and what benefits it can provide.
WHAT IS THCV?
Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) is a cannabinoid compound identified in the cannabis plant with unique properties that set it apart from other known cannabinoids. THCV acts as an antagonist for CB1 and CB2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system.
How is it called an “antagonist”?
Usually, when phytocannabinoids enter the body, they bind to CB1 and CBD receptors in the endocannabinoid system. This interaction causes a chain reaction of effects depending on where they are in the body. THCV acts on the same receptors like THC but blocks them rather than activates them.
Several THCV users, including students and athletes, claim that despite its appetite-reducing effects, it is popular due to its high energy-boosting component. They say it gives them euphoria without making their minds fuzzy like THC. In addition, people frequently report that the short-term effects of THCV provide them with energy and focus and make them more productive.
THCV may be infamous for being the “diet weed,” but it also has other health advantages. Here are some ways that THCV can help our bodies.
THCV appears to have anti-inflammatory properties.
Just like its precursor, THC, THCV helps reduce inflammation(3). While inflammation is an essential immune response that helps us fight off infections and heal wounds, it can also trigger discomfort and heat, leading to several health issues. In this way, THCV may help with acne and fatty liver disease, which are both caused by inflammation.
THCV may be helpful in the treatment of diabetes.
Oxidative stress(4) and inflammation play a role in how diabetes and other long-term illnesses start and get worse. Research(5) suggests that THCV oil could help keep blood sugar levels steady, and THCV seems to help the body respond well to insulin. Cannabinoids such as THC and THCV seem to protect cells and decrease swelling.
THCV may help reduce panic attacks.
Studies(6) show that after taking THCV, patients diagnosed with chronic post-traumatic stress disorder report experiencing a reduction in symptoms (PTSD). Research indicates that THCV may help treat epilepsy and may reduce the severity of psychotic symptoms.
THCV promotes bone development(7).
THCV may promote bone growth by stimulating the production of new bone cells. It aids in forming bone nodules and collagen production, suggesting that it may contribute greatly to bone growth. This means that THCV has full potential for treating degenerative bone diseases like osteoporosis. However, more research is needed.
THCV vs. THC
You see, their atoms are arranged in a very similar way. The side-chain of THC is a pentyl group, but the side-chain of THCV is a propyl group. Most of the well-known cannabinoids have pentyl groups. But some, like CBV and CBDV, follow THCV’s propyl group. The chemical structure of THCV and THC are quite similar, but their effects on the user are not. THC may cause you to have food cravings, while THCV does the reverse. THCV helps suppress the appetite, so it is suitable for weight management.
THCV works differently on CB1 receptors than THC, so it does not produce the intoxicating high that THC does. The table below provides a breakdown of the differences between THC and THCV.
DO YOU GET HIGH FROM THCV?
Yes, it may cause a high. But it will only happen when taken in very high doses. This is because THCV still contains THC. THC remains the most well-known psychoactive cannabinoid, and it’s the one responsible for cannabis’s well-known high. Some users say that the THCV high makes them feel energized, clear-headed and focused, and that it makes them more creative and motivated. And so, it is ideal to use during the day or whenever productivity is important.
It seems THCV is a great option for those who use cannabis for a specific type of relief or a recreational user looking for a certain effect.
Consider THCV to be something in between CBD and THC. It benefits the body in the same way CBD does, with the amped-up mood THC does but without the psychotropic high. Though it has been dubbed the “diet weed” because it suppresses hunger, and some may even consider it a “wonder drug” for weight loss, be wary of such claims since studies on it are still in their early stages.
While we need to do more research on THCV before we can say for sure if it can be used as a medicine, what we do know so far tells us that it is an interesting cannabinoid. And one to be on the lookout for.
1 Mackie K. (May 2008). Cannabinoid receptors: where they are and what they do. Neuroendocrinol. National Library of Medicine. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18426493/
2 Abioye, A., Ayodele, O., Marinkovic, A. et al. (2020 January 31). Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV): a commentary on potential therapeutic benefit for the management of obesity and diabetes. Journal of Cannabis Research. https://doi.org/10.1186/s42238-020-0016-7
3 Bolognini, Daniele et al (2010 Jun). The plant cannabinoid Delta9-tetrahydrocannabivarin can decrease signs of inflammation and inflammatory pain in mice. National Library of Medicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2931567/
4 Dix, Megan. Reviewed by Timothy J. Legg, PhD, PsyD. (2018, September 29). Everything You Should Know About Oxidative Stress. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/oxidative-stress
5 NORML (2017, January 16). Clinical Trial: THCV Lowers Blood Sugar Levels In Type 2 Diabetics. https://norml.org/news/2017/01/26/clinical-trial-thcv-lowers-blood-sugar-levels-in-type-2-diabetics/
6 Earlenbaugh, Emily. Contributor. (2020, September 17). New Research Reveals Why Cannabis Helps PTSD Sufferers. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/emilyearlenbaugh/2020/09/17/new-research-reveals-why-cannabis-helps-ptsd-sufferers/?sh=3de48b17179a
7 Idris, Aymen I, and Stuart H Ralston. 2012, November 16. Role of cannabinoids in the regulation of bone remodeling. PubMed Central. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3499879/