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Cannabis 101

What is THCv? What does it do, and how do you buy it?

07.19.22 - 4 min read

Highlights 

  • Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCv) is a derivative of THC, and a very distinctive non-psychoactive cannabinoid. 
  • It may help ease anxiety symptoms and obesity-induced diabetes. 
  • It’s legal federally, but it can be prosecuted under the Federal Analog Act for sale and possession. 
  • It can result in a positive drug test THCv after smoking one Pre-roll. 

You’ve probably heard a lot about tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), but what about tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCv)?  

Is it a new cannabinoid that’s just hit the market? A miracle compound that’s going to save from all ailments? Not exactly.  

As cannabis use and legalization become more prevalent, more and more people are looking towards the benefits of medical cannabis and learn about the various compounds found in the marijuana plant.  

THCv is one such cannabinoid that is gaining popularity for its unique properties. We’ll take a look at what THCv is, its benefits and effects, and how you can find it in cannabis products. So, stay tuned to find out everything you need to know about Tetrahydrocannabivarin. 

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What is THCv- Tetrahydrocannabivarin? 

Tetrahydrocannabivarin or THCv is a cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. Just like THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids, THCv has unique effects that make it beneficial for specific medical conditions.  

For example, THCv has been shown to boost metabolism and reduce appetite, making it a potential treatment for obesity.  

THCv has also been shown to improve cognitive function and reduce inflammation. As a result, this cannabinoid offers promise for treating a variety of conditions. However, more research is needed to fully understand THCv’s potential medical benefits.

What are the effects of THCv? 

Various potential THCv effects have been reported. But, first, let’s go over what scientific research has shown. 

Appetite reduction 

Despite the fact that marijuana is often associated with an increase in appetite, THCv effects may have the opposite outcome. 

Several studies support this idea. A 2020 study suggested that THCv may reduce food consumption and fat accumulation. While this may be helpful to consumers who are looking to lose weight, THCv should be avoided by those suffering from anorexia or appetite loss. 

According to research published in 2020, it may improve glucose tolerance in obese individuals. 

Other effects 

THCv research on humans is modest, but a 2015 study of cannabis found that it may be able to reduce some of the negative effects of THC. 

Increasing evidence suggests that THCv may help with Alzheimer’s disease. Tremors, motor control, and brain lesions associated with Alzheimer’s disease appear to be improved by THCv, but research is in progress.  

In May 2020, an article published in Biochemical Pharmacology indicates THCv may stimulate bone growth. Because it promotes the development of new bone cells, THCv is being looked at for osteoporosis and other bone-related conditions. 

Tetrahydrocannabivarin

What is THCv good for 

Aside from its appetite-suppressing properties, THCv also shows promise in other areas. See the below links for the latest cannabis research and scientific studies supporting tetrahydrocannabivarin use as a therapeutic:  

How does THCv work with ECS? 

Whether you use cannabis or not, the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is active in your body. A full understanding of the ECS is still elusive. To date, two major endocannabinoids have been identified: 

  • 2-arachidonoylglyerol (2-AG) 
  • anandamide (AEA) 

Both of these contribute to the smooth functioning of internal processes. But, unfortunately, it isn’t easy to be certain of the typical levels for each since your body makes them as needed. [Source] 

Endocannabinoid receptors 

Endocannabinoid receptors are found throughout your body. Physiologically, endocannabinoids signal the ECS that it is time to act by binding to them. 

Two principal cannabinoid receptors are present in the body: 

  • CB1 receptors are primarily located in the brain and central nervous system 
  • CB2 receptors are most commonly located in the peripheral nervous system, particularly in immune cells 
Learn-More-Endocannabinoid

The effects you feel after consuming cannabis depend on where the receptor is located and to which endocannabinoid it binds. For example, an endocannabinoid might block pain signals by targeting CB1 receptors in the spinal cord. In other cases, they may bind to a CB2 receptor in your immune cells if they feel your body is undergoing the process of systemic inflammation, which is a common sign of an autoimmune disorder. 

CB1 receptors turn on once THC, cannabis’ main psychoactive component, is ingested. Hunger hormones are released as a result. In contrast, THCv suppresses appetite by turning off CB1 receptors. [Source] 

THCv-vs-THC

THCv vs THC: What is the difference?

Cannabinoids such as THC and THCv interact with endocannabinoid receptors in the body, causing them to initiate psychoactive behaviors. 

Chemically, the two compounds are remarkably similar also – the only difference is that the THC molecule has a longer hydrocarbon chain. [Source] 

However, there isn’t much resemblance after that. Despite the fact they share a similar name, a comparison of THC vs THCv will show that these two compounds originate from different parent molecules, exert different effects at various doses, and are naturally present at distinctly different levels within the cannabis plant. 

How do I buy THCv? Where can I find it THCv? 

Here are some tips for finding high-THCv strains and products if you seek the benefits listed above but do not know where to start your search. 

  • Learn about the parent strain genetics. Genetics have been used to hybridize many strains, which are predisposed to higher levels of THCv.  
  • Test results or a Certificate of Analysis can be requested. It is impossible to predict a high THCv content solely based on genetics, and cannabinoid content often varies from harvest to harvest. Your budtender is going to be able to assist you with lab-tested strains to ensure that you’re indeed getting THCv-rich herb. 
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THCv FAQ 

THCv is controversial in terms of legality. Even though THCv and THC are structurally very similar, it has no explicit prohibition in the United States at the federal level – but it is still a gray area. 

Usually, products with less than 0.3% THC content are legal federally. 

According to the Controlled Substances Act, THCv does not fall under the definition of “cannabimimetic agents.” Nor does it fall into the definition of “tetrahydrocannabinols,” which are also prohibited.  

Nevertheless, the 2018 Farm Bill permits hemp-derived cannabinoids, like THCv, even though cannabis and cannabis extracts are forbidden. 

THCv might be considered structurally similar enough to THC to be considered a schedule 1 substance under the Federal Analogue Act. Nevertheless, legal and scientific minds well versed in the marijuana industry feel that THCv is sufficiently different to avoid being categorized as an analog and categorized under the prohibited “tetrahydrocannabinol” label. 

By the rule of thumb, THCv should be legal in the states that have also legalized marijuana/THC for recreational and medical uses. But always check the laws in your state before purchasing any marijuana product. 

Is THCv safe? 

With THCv and other cannabinoids, proper dosing is imperative. Low doses of THCv are generally well-tolerated. If you have concerns about using THCv, be sure you speak with your doctor and purchase your cannabis products from a licensed dispensary. 

Is THCv natural or synthetic? 

Cannabis plants naturally contain THCv. 

THCvA, a byproduct of cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), is converted to THCv by exposure to light or heat. 

Is THCv psychoactive? 

THCv is considered a partial antagonist for CB1 and agonist for CB2 receptors, which makes it psychoactive. 

Is THCv intoxicating? 

You can only get intoxicating effects from THCv alone if you consume a very large amount of it. This is because THCv-rich cannabis flower will contain THC as well, and the THC is intoxicating. 

Does THCv show up on a drug test?  

In short, yes. A drug test will reveal the presence of THCv.  

However, there is conflicting information about whether THCv can lead to positive drug tests. Despite this, studies have found that THCv can be detected in urine samples two weeks after smoking a single cigarette of marijuana. 

Neither saliva, blood, nor hair testing has been extensively studied. Therefore, to be on the safe side, you may want to avoid cannabis-derived products altogether. 

Is THCv the same as Delta 8? 

No. 

There is a very small amounts of tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCv) and Delta-8-Tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta-8-THC) naturally found in hemp, cannabis, and other plants, so these cannabinoids are called “rare” or “minor” cannabinoids. These compounds work similarly to CBD and THC, which both bind to the endocannabinoid system.  

By blocking CB1 receptors, THCv may suppress appetite, aids in weight loss, boosts energy levels, and improves focus. 

The Delta-8-THC compound has the opposite effect. The CB1 receptor is activated, causing euphoria, and hunger hormones to be released. However, Delta-8-THC can cause weight loss despite increasing appetite, apparently by boosting metabolism. 

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Final Thoughts 

THCv Just like with all things cannabis-related, always consult with your local budtender before making any decisions.  

At RISE Cannabis, we pride ourselves on providing our customers with information on all things cannabis-related. We’ve got everything you need to make informed decisions about this fascinating cannabinoid. 

Sources:

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