WHAT IS THCV OR TETRAHYDROCANNABIVARIN?
THCV is short for tetrahydrocannabivarin, one of the many beneficial compounds found in the cannabis plant. It is chemically similar to THC, but it is not intoxicating. Because it’s found only in trace amounts, THCV has not (yet) been heavily studied. However, emerging research suggests that it has some potent effects on appetite, inflammation, and neural activity — meaning it plays a bigger role in your overall health than in getting you high.
Like other phytocannabinoids, THCV interacts with your body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), Your ECS is the intricate network of neurotransmitters, enzymes, and other molecules that keep your cells regenerating and your metabolism in check. By binding to your ECS’s cannabinoid receptors, THCV facilitates your body’s natural immunity, metabolic, and stress responses.
So far, research is showing that THCV’s greatest impact seems to be on anxiety and neurological conditions. Initial research suggests that THCV may help treat seizures and Parkinson’s, as well as complex stress disorders (e.g., PTSD). It also may help prevent neural decline that leads to Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s.
All cannabinoids interact with the ECS, which plays a huge role in your body’s homeostasis, but THCV seems particularly geared toward promoting balance. It also seems to regulate blood sugar, which could help diabetics, and reduce bone loss in people with osteoporosis. More research is needed, but it appears THCV may help prevent cell degeneration — and provide the pain-relieving, stress-busting perks of other cannabinoids as well!
WHAT YOU SHOULD EXPECT WITH THCV
While THC produces a “high” that tends to feel euphoric, relaxed, and dreamy, THCV typically causes a mellower feeling. You’ll likely feel less anxious but with an influx of energy. THCV is excellent for creativity and focus. At lower doses, it blocks CB1 receptors in the digestive tract, suppressing your appetite. So, you can enjoy the relaxing effects of cannabis
without the munchies! This means THCV is a potentially helpful tool for weight loss, but if you already have a poor appetite, be aware of this effect.
In larger doses, THCV does have notable cognitive effects, although the jury is out on whether or not THCV should be considered intoxicating. Either way, the “high” from THCV, when it happens, feels more like intense focus and clarity. It’s also short-acting, so you can take a high dose and achieve a burst of creative flow and stress relief — or simply use THCV to help regulate your metabolism and keep your body running smoothly.
In sum, THCV offers a bit of the best of both worlds: the therapeutic, anti-inflammatory benefits of CBD and the mentally stimulating, neuroprotective qualities of THC.