For years, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) was the most widely-known cannabinoid that existed. With increased cannabis research however, new cannabinoids are continually being discovered. Up until a few years ago, CBD (cannabidiol) was virtually unheard of. CBN (cannabinol) is another cannabinoid that is also gathering noteworthy attention.
The latest cannabinoid to gain recognized attention is THCV, or tetrahydrocannabivarin. Like THC, THCV is a psychoactive cannabinoid present in the cannabis plant. In most strains, THCV is present in very small amounts. There are however, higher amounts in some strains, with Durban Poison known to contain some of the highest levels of THCV.
What is THCV and How is it Different from THC?
While both THC and CBD are produced from cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), THCV is unique. This cannabinoid comes from THCVA, which is what happens when CBGVA is broken down from UV light or with heat.
Steep Hill Labs is a global leader when it comes to testing cannabis. When testing THCV, they found it to be stronger than THC, but with a shorter duration. The high, Steep Hill Labs expressed, was one that was clear-headed and psychedelic.
While the psychoactive effects were stronger, researchers noted the high lasted about half that of one with THC. They also noted that to prove the high is stronger than THC, they will need to conduct further research where subjects receive high doses of THCV.
Health Benefits of THCV
In the studies that have been conducted on THCV, researchers have found it to be beneficial for a handful of specific conditions. One study showed that THCV impeded THC-induced increased heart rate in mice. This study was performed to see if there were other beneficial cannabinoids to treat anxiety that did not have “adverse psychiatric effects.”
Because of its ability to decrease anxiety, some researchers have suggested that THCV is an ideal cannabinoid to treat PTSD, however more research is needed. There have been some lab reports that THCV is beneficial in reducing stress and managing anxiety, however there is yet little research to support such statements.
In a 2012 study, CW Pharmaceuticals found that THCV was beneficial in treating type II diabetes. When the study concluded in the latter part of 2015, results showed that THCV was beneficial at reducing blood sugar levels, as well as reducing insulin resistance.
Still More to Understand About THCV
While there has been some primary research done on this particular cannabinoid, there is still much more to be known about THCV. As cannabis research continues to move forward however, we’ll likely be learning more about this newly-emerging cannabinoid in the wide, wide world of weed.