THCV is putting a fresh spin on the hemp industry, with the cannabinoid aiding concentration levels, weight loss, and much more. While THCV challenges what we’ve historically known about cannabis substances, it’s proving insanely popular.
Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) is a cannabinoid with several potential therapeutic effects. THCV may reduce appetite, increase energy levels, and help those with schizophrenia and type 2 diabetes. The cannabinoid can also improve recreational highs and combat sleepiness from taking CBD.
In this comprehensive review, I’ll explore the science behind THCV, examine its possible uses, and introduce you to the different products you can buy. Whether you’re new to THCV or already a fan, this post is for you!
What is THC V?
THCV is a minor phyto-cannabinoid found in cannabis, albeit typically in small amounts. However, studies have shown that marijuana plants originating from southern Africa and central Asia often have rich concentrations of THCV.
The cannabinoid is generally non-intoxicating, although researchers wonder if large doses of THCV may have a psychoactive effect. It comes down to how THCV engages with the crucial CB1 receptors in the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
THCV is usually a CB1 receptor antagonist, an interaction that explains its appetite-curbing properties. But THCV displays an agonist effect at the receptor in more substantial quantities – such a link-up would make the cannabinoid psychoactive.
THCV is a CB2 receptor agonist and may work in the serotonin system as a 5-HT1A receptor agonist, too. Indeed, THCV likely gets up to all kinds of stuff that scientists don’t know about yet. We must remember how new cannabinoid research is!
The chemistry of THCV has much in common with THC’s. However, THCV has a propyl side chain rather than a pentyl side chain on its molecule, hence its wildly contrasting effects. But experts do consider THCV a homolog of THC.
Side effects of THC V
Every cannabinoid has side effects, although some compounds come with more risks than others. THCV doesn’t pose the problems THC can, but you should take more care with it than when consuming CBD.
THCV’s appetite-suppressant properties are a double-edged sword. While it has clear benefits for dieting, THCV can have adverse and dangerous consequences for people with eating disorders. Don’t use THCV products if you have anorexia, bulimia, or purging disorder.
In addition, the cannabinoid’s stimulating effects could be an issue for those prone to anxiety and jitteriness when taking similar substances. If coffee, energy drinks, or white-vein kratom leaves you feeling wired and edgy, go easy on the THCV.
Beyond that, we have a limited understanding of THCV’s side effects. There’s much to discover about the substance, and we have lots to learn about its upsides and downsides. But if THCV caused any severe problems, we’d likely know by now!
Types of THC V Products
The legalization of hemp has permitted manufacturers to get creative with their products. It’s not like the old days where you could only indulge in cannabis substances by smoking a joint or scoffing a homemade brownie.
Like the CBD and delta-8 markets, there’s a wide range of THCV products up for grabs. Moreover, while you can purchase pure THCV, the compound also combines wonderfully with other cannabinoids, producing an array of unique effects.
Plain THCV: These products focus on THCV’s health benefits. If you want a natural alternative to Adderall for enhanced concentration or something to stop you from snacking during the day, choose a product that only contains THCV.
THCV with CBD: The supplemental and therapeutic qualities of CBD has made it a favorite of millions of Americans within a few short years. But anyone who takes hefty CBD doses will know they can make you quite tired.
Enter THCV! A small serving of this invigorating cannabinoid cancels out the sedative effects of CBD with an energizing boost. You’ll be left calm and relaxed, yet never tired.
THCV with delta-8: The emergence of delta-8 has given all Americans the opportunity to enjoy marijuana’s effects legally. However, the increased appetite associated with THC also occurs when using delta-8.
If you can’t control your hunger cravings when high, try a product that mixes delta-8 with THCV. From an appetite perspective, the two compounds balance each other out by regulating activity at the CB1 receptor.
Now we’ve explored how hemp companies use THCV, let’s look more closely at the types of THCV products available.
Pre-filled cartridges consist of highly-concentrated THCV vape juice. Tanks may have as little as 0.5ml e-liquid or more than 2ml, although most brands settle on a middling 1ml. Carts have a glass or plastic tank and an ergonomic mouthpiece.
The best-quality cartridges contain THCV-rich extract and plant-derived terpenes, with the latter generating sativa, indica, or hybrid experiences. Sketchy and cheap brands may blend in cutting agents or dilutants – but these make carts worse.
The cartridge attaches to a battery, providing both have 510-threaded connections. Most carts work with button and draw-activated (aka breath-activated) batteries.
Vape cartridges deliver THCV into your bloodstream at lightning speed. The effects kick in within minutes and last for roughly three hours. Vaping compares closely with smoking, but it is much less harmful.
Disposable vape pens have plenty in common with cartridges, except the battery comes pre-installed into the device. Therefore, disposables bring an extra layer of convenience to vaping THCV, even if they cost a few dollars more.
As the name suggests, once you have vaped through the e-liquid, you can toss the disposable in the trash. These pens make vaping as hassle-free as it can be!
If standard products don’t have enough THCV for you, perhaps concentrates like wax, shatter, or hemp-based crumble would be more to your liking. With these, you can administer much higher dosages of THCV and enjoy more potent effects.
Furthermore, concentrates offer multiple consumption options. You can utilize the unique dabbing method with these products or vape them traditionally. Or you could smoke THCV concentrates by mixing them with hemp nugs.
Some hemp flowers have high levels of THCV, making smoking possible. Don’t worry if you can’t roll a joint. Get a bong, bubbler, or pipe, grind up some THCV buds, pack a bowl, and indulge in an effortless smoke!
Perhaps you have a negative opinion of smoking. I’m not about to say that it’s good for you, but smoking hemp is less risky than smoking tobacco. Hemp lacks a highly-addictive substance like nicotine, so it’s easier to only smoke occasionally.
Maybe vaping and smoking are off-limits altogether. In that case, check out THCV tincture oils for fast-acting relief with zero consumption harms. Sublingual, under-the-tongue THCV absorption works more efficiently than ingesting capsules or edibles.
However, tincture oils can induce an edible-like experience when mixed with a beverage or meal. And THCV may even have an anti-inflammatory effect if applied to the skin.
Despite the snail-like onset of effects, THCV edibles have their perks – they wouldn’t exist otherwise! While products designed for smoking and vaping wear off quickly, orally-consumed THCV endures, with its benefits sustained over several hours.
Moreover, edibles such as THCV gummies have precise serving sizes, delivering more consistent effects than vaping and smoking products. And munching on a THCV edible doesn’t create a smell like puffing on a joint does!
Finally, you may find THCV extract in capsules. As with edibles, caps guarantee accurate dosages and provide more discretion than smoking or vaping.
But the benefits might not materialize for an hour or more as THCV in capsules releases slowly. The cannabinoids can’t get to work until your body breaks the capsule material down. Stick with easy-to-swallow soft-gel caps if you can.
Health benefits of THC V
THCV’s therapeutic potential has generated excitement within the cannabis community. Every year, we learn more about the endocannabinoid system’s (ECS) instrumental role in our wellbeing and the promise of cannabinoids like THCV.
Even so, I want to maintain a level of caution in this section. THCV research is still in its early phases and jumping to conclusions helps nobody. I’m optimistic THCV may have medicinal value in the following areas, but there’s no definitive evidence yet.
THCV suppresses appetite as a CB1 receptor antagonist, a receptor in the ECS known to regulate this psychological function. That’s why the cannabinoid may be a handy tool for dieting and treating obesity.
By lowering appetite, THCV could make it easier to lose weight by giving you support in those mental battles against cravings. However, if using THCV for weight loss, be careful not to go overboard and start eating too little.
May combat schizophrenia
According to a 2015 study in the British Journal of Pharmacology, THCV might tackle schizophrenia, a severe mental disorder.
Curiously, the compound’s beneficial effects appear to come via the serotonin system and not the ECS. Researchers revealed that THCV yields anti-psychotic effects in rats by activating the 5-HT1A receptor.
It’s a fascinating find that suggests THCV may relieve negative and positive schizophrenia symptoms. But take it with a pinch of salt until we see the results repeated in human trials.
Boosts energy levels and motivation
There’s a reason why THCV has the nickname “weederall” – it’s like a natural Adderall! THCV’s benefits for focus and motivation improve your productivity and efficiency, allowing you to whizz through your workday without breaking a sweat.
At least that’s what users say. Unfortunately, we don’t have any firm evidence yet to confirm the anecdotes. But if THCV does help in this area, I would imagine it works via an endocannabinoid system mechanism.
May treat type 2 diabetes
A 2016 study in the Diabetes Care journal found that THCV may alleviate type 2 diabetes symptoms. Indeed, the researchers went as far as touting the cannabinoid, in addition to CBD, as a “new therapeutic agent in glycemic control.”
In patients with type 2 diabetes, THCV treatment boosted insulin production while reducing blood sugar levels. It’s an intriguing revelation, made all the better by THCV being well-tolerated among patients.
Understanding THC V’s Legal Status
Hemp-derived THCV is legal under the 2018 Agriculture Improvement Act (Farm Bill). Legal hemp products can contain any combination of natural cannabinoids, including THCV, but THC levels must not be greater than 0.3%.
THCV has proven a little more controversial than some cannabinoids, given its chemical likeness to THC. While THCV is 100% natural, it’s also a THC homolog. Some claim this may make the substance illegal under the Federal Analog Act of 1986.
I disagree – the Farm Bill de-scheduled natural cannabinoids like THCV. No legislation makes any specific reference to the compound, so I cannot see any reason to worry. Anyway, the DEA cares much more about synthetic cannabinoids right now.
Drug Tests and THC V
I don’t recommend using THCV products if there is any chance you might get drug tested at work or anyplace else. With only a small chemical difference between THCV and THC, there’s a high risk of a positive test.
It’s unfair, but it’s an unfortunate reality. Until drug tests become sophisticated enough to distinguish between legal and banned cannabinoids, hemp users must be careful. If you need THCV for therapeutic reasons, I suggest getting a detox drink.
Is THC V the Right Hemp Product for You?
THCV is much different from other cannabinoids and doesn’t suit everybody. If you want a marijuana-style high, THCV is not your substance. But if you’re interested in fine-tuning your trip so that you don’t get hungry, THCV is the bit of magic you need!
For those battling through drowsy CBD experiences, products with a THCV kick can also work a treat. And, of course, if you’re captivated by any of the therapeutic effects I’ve mentioned, it’s well worth giving THCV a try.
I buy my hemp from CBD Genesis! They have an affordable range of third-party tested goods from several well-known and trusted brands.