During the last years, the study of cannabis has allowed researchers to find incredible compounds of the plant. Besides the popular THC and CBD, there are plenty of other cannabinoids that add to the great effects of the plant. Among them, we can highlight THCV. What is THCV in weed? This is a topic that is beginning to get a lot of attention from both researchers and consumers of cannabis. In this article, we will walk you through the basics of this recently discovered compound. Thanks for stopping by! Why not give something from our farm a try?
What is THCV and what does it do?THCV is an unusual compound found only in very small quantities within certain cannabis strains. Although all of its effects on humans are still unknown, from a medical point of view its properties are very intriguing. This possible medicinal value is what differentiates it from other cannabinoids such as THC and CBD. THCV and THC have similar structures of molecules and to some degree, effects. THCV, however, has unique biochemical properties that lead to various interactions with our body. Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) is one of the phytocannabinoids or cannabinoids that are not as prominent or as well-researched in the cannabis plant as the key phytocannabinoids being these tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). To induce psychoactive and therapeutic effects, phytocannabinoids interact with the cannabinoid receptors of our body and other targets in our system. As it works out, these interactions can have some therapeutic advantages. While research on potential uses is still being performed, this cannabinoid may become a crucial component of new therapies for a variety of health problems. THCV comes from cannabigerovarin acid (CBGVA), one of the two main substrates of cannabinoids, together with cannabigerolic acid (CBGA). Enzymes take CBGVA and turn it into acidic cannabinoids containing THCVA, which when exposed to heat or light, decarboxylates into the active compound THCV. THCV’s boiling point is a decent 220 °C (428 °F), so you need to turn it up higher than THC. The effects of THCV have been shown to be dose-dependent in several studies. Although it behaves in high doses like its cousin THC, THCV simulates CBD in lower doses. Moreover, THCV induces a different high than THC when taken at high doses. Although THC could put someone to sleep, the "buzz" of THCV is described as "still keeping clarity and stimulating". Individuals reported feeling energized too.
What strains are high in THCV?Most strains only produce small quantities of THCV that are undetectable, making the desired therapeutic effect difficult to achieve. Standard strains produce less than 1% THCV, which makes extracting this cannabinoid in large amounts expensive. However, lab results show that sativas, especially landrace strains from Africa, are more abundant in THCV, such as Durban Poison and Red Congolese. On the other hand, we can find other high-THCV strains like Jack the Ripper, Skunk #1, Tangie, Pineapple Purps, Doug’s Varin, Power Plant, and Willie Nelson.
What is THCV oil?One of the latest challenges for cannabis breeders is cultivating hemp strains that are high in THCV and low in THC, though a few strains are nowadays specially bred to produce higher levels of THCV and THC. As it was mentioned before, extracting this cannabinoid in bigger quantities is costly and still difficult. However, the strains listed above can be ingested in the form of a flower or processed into extracts, oils and edibles with a higher cannabinoid concentration. Check the lab testing to find oils with higher concentrations of this cannabinoid. Furthermore, when used in a full spectrum CBD oil, THCV effects might not be as evident. However they are strong when the cannabinoid is set apart and tested on its own. THCV retains tremendous medical promise in its refined form, either as an isolate or a distillate.
What is THCV good for?THCV research is very limited, but as our understanding of the therapeutic potential for cannabinoids beyond THC and CBD continues to expand, that is starting to change. What we know about THCV to date is pretty amazing, and for people suffering from a variety of conditions with complicated treatments, it can hold great promise. For instance, THCV relieves tension, and evidence suggests that it can help to alleviate anxiety and panic attacks or even avoid them. It plays an important role in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder for this reason (PTSD). In PTSD patients, it appears to curb anxiety attacks without suppressing emotions. Unlike THC, THCV serves to reduce appetite as well, but for obvious reasons it is not recommended for patients with cachexia or anorexia nervosa. On top of that, it is neuroprotective, making it suitable for the treatment of disorders such as:
- Alzheimer: Alzheimer's disease-associated tremors, muscle function, and brain lesions tend to be improved by THCV, but study is in progress.
- Parkinson: The British Journal of Pharmacology published a study tested on rats that concluded the capacity of THCV to stimulate CB2 receptors while inhibiting CB1 receptors, and as a consequence, endowing the cannabinoid with neuroprotective properties that may be useful for treating Parkinson's disease.
- Multiple sclerosis: According to a study published in 2007 by Calcified Tissue International, THCV is one of many cannabinoids which may promote bone health and healing by acting on CB2 receptors in the bone marrow. Moreover, THCV is being looked at for osteoporosis and other bone-related disorders because it encourages the formation of new bone cells.