Unless you have been living under a rock all your life, you probably know about THC and how it affects the body. And surely you’ve heard of CBD and it’s healing properties. But have you heard about the dozens of other cannabinoids in this amazing plant? Let’s take a minute to focus in on THCV, or tetrahydrocannabivarin.
- What is THCV?
As the name might suggest, tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) is very similar to the most famous cannabinoid, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC); THCV is like THC’s propyl cannabinoid cousin. Their chemical structure is nearly identical, but the process involved in their creation is slightly different.
Unlike THC, cannabidiol (CBD), and cannabichromene (CBC), THCV doesn’t begin ascannabigerolic acid (CBGA). Instead of combining with olivetolic acid to create CBGA, the geranyl phosphate joins forces with divarinolic acid, which has 2 less carbon molecules. The result is cannabigerovarin acid (CBGVA).
Once CBGVA is created, the process continues exactly same as it would for THC. CBGVA is broken down to tetrahydrocannabivarin carboxylic acid (THCVA) by the THCV synthase. At that point, THCVA can be decarboxylated with heat or UV light to create THCV.
- The benefits of THCV?
The relationship between THC and THCV is obvious in the effects as well. Although both cannabinoids effect the same receptors, they do so in a different manner. THCV is actually an antagonist of the CB1 and CB2 receptors, and is being studied for its use as an appetite suppressant.
THCV helps curb your appetite. It is likely one of the reasons why cannabis users are slimmer on average.
Researchers have already found a relation between theendocannabinoids and appetite. Expanding on these findings, they are interested in the potential forTHCV to aid in fighting obesity. It’s believed that it blocks the rewarding sensations we experience when eating, often unhealthy, comfort foods.
Not only can THCV help you fit into that new pair of jeans, but it also has anti-convulsive properties. THCV seems to lower the seizure threshold for those with epilepsy. As a result, they experience less seizures.
As its name suggests, THCV is similar to THC in molecular structure and psychoactive properties, but it provides a variety of pronounced and altogether different effects. A note forvaporizer enthusiasts: THCV has a boiling point of 428 °F (220 °C), so you’ll need to turn it up higher than you would THC.
THCV is psychoactive. It intensifies the euphoric high of THC, but with only about half the duration.
THCV is energetic. It provides a clear-headed, stimulating buzz.
THCV may help with diabetes. Research shows promise in THCV’s ability to regulate blood sugar levels and reduce insulin resistance.
THCV may help with Alzheimer’s. Tremors, motor control, and brain lesions associated with Alzheimer’s disease appear to be improved by THCV, but research is in progress.
THCV stimulates bone growth. Because it promotes the growth of new bone cells, THCV is being looked at for osteoporosis and other bone-related conditions.
- High THCV strains- While commonly attributed to sativas, an article in the American Journal of Botany found that all the strains analyzed—sativa, indica or ditchweed—contained THCV. They analyzed 157 cannabis plants from all over the world, and found high levels of THCV in plants from Southern Africa and parts of Afghanistan. Durban Poison, which hails from South Africa, and Jack the Ripper are the most common strains with high THCV, but Dutch Treat and Skunk #1 also have a significant content. If a strain has one of those four biggies in its lineage, it’ll likely have some THCV. Two strains have been specifically bred for high THCV content, Doug’s Varin and Willie Nelson, but they aren’t very common.For example, Tangie, a cross of Cali Orange and a Skunk hybrid, has a modest 0.3 % THCV due to its skunky origins. Pie Face OG, a cross of Cherry Pie and “Face Off” OG Kush, has almost 0.5 % THCV because of its Durban Poison genes: Cherry Pie is a cross of Grand Daddy Purple and Durban Poison. Girl Scout Cookies also has some THCV from its Durban Poison origins, but not in any significant quantity. Hawaiian Dutch (Dutch #5 Female x Sweet Hawaiian) has almost 0.5 % THCV, likely because of its Dutch lineage.The highest-testing flower for THCV at the 2014 High Times Seattle U.S. Cannabis Cup was Durban Poison by TJ’S Organic Gardens, which took third place in the U.S. Sativa category. THCV was almost 1 % of the flowers’ total mass.
The concentrate that tested the highest for THCV at that same cup was Ace of Spades Shatter by Category 5 Research. This cross of Jack the Ripper and Black Cherry Soda had 2.4 % THCV, but it didn’t win any awards in the U.S. Concentrates category. Agent Orange Nug Run Shatter (Agent Orange x Jack the Ripper) by A Greener Today North took Fifth Place in the Medical Concentrate category and had almost 2 % THCV. Since then, TGA TImewreck has tested 2.2%THCV http://tgagenetics.com/images/stories/lab_results/Timewreck.pdf