Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) is one of the lesser-known cannabinoids gaining popularity. THCv has a similar chemical structure to THC but lacks two carbon atoms on its alkyl side chain, providing a distinct combination of euphoric effects and medicinal advantages that distinguishes it from CBD and THC. This difference results in a wide range of effects and applications.
There’s no shortage of effect-based cannabis products promising everything from better sleep to pain relief. While many of these claims have limited scientific support, there are a few cannabinoids that offer highly targeted and unique effects.
THCv (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabivarin) is one of these cannabinoids that has recently become popular, with THCV often being referred to as “diet weed.” While THCv has similar molecular structures as THC, it exhibits fewer psychotropic effects due to its weaker binding affinity for CB1 receptors in the brain and central nervous system.
So, what is THCV? It is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid well-suited for daytime use when focus and energy are essential. It can also enhance cognitive function and increase the efficiency of specific motor skills. Additionally, previous research has found that THCV can help suppress appetite and promote satiety, making it an excellent choice for intermittent fasting. In addition, THCV has been found to offer neuroprotective properties in Parkinson’s patients.
Unlike THC, THCV doesn’t produce psychoactive effects nor induce the high feeling that many consumers associate with cannabis consumption. This is a significant benefit for those concerned about intoxication and cognitive impairment.
Rather, THCV is known to act as an appetite suppressant and metabolic regulator. This distinguishing trait has earned it the moniker “diet weed” and prompted the investigation into its possible application in weight management and other illnesses that may benefit from metabolic control.
It’s also been shown to stimulate bone growth, making it an essential cannabinoid for those battling skeletal issues like osteoporosis. It can help the body absorb calcium and reduce inflammation, contributing to bone degradation. This makes THCV an excellent addition to any medical cannabis regimen.
THC has a biphasic effect, producing opposing effects at different doses. While THCV can make people sleepy or cause anxiety, it also has the potential to reduce muscle spasms and stimulate cellular growth.
It’s also a potent appetite suppressant, so some patients report that cannabis reduces their hunger and allows them to lose weight. THCV is also reported to have a calming effect on the mind, which can help with anxiety and stress disorders. The molecule differs from THC in one significant way, however: the tail of the THCV molecule has two fewer hydrocarbon groups, which can account for its less psychoactive properties. THCV’s biphasic nature has confused researchers, as beneficial aspects observed at low levels have had the opposite effect in higher doses.
It’s Effective for Diabetes
Like all cannabinoids, THCV interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system to produce various therapeutic effects. It suppresses appetite, which is excellent for consumers focused on weight loss, and has also been shown to help manage diabetes.
In addition, it has been shown to stimulate physical activity and increase energy metabolism, which are critical factors in promoting weight loss and maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. In a glucose tolerance test, THCV resulted in a significant reduction of glucose concentrations measured 30 min after the glucose load and improved the product of post-glucose blood glucose concentration and plasma insulin concentration, an index of insulin sensitivity, at both 2.5 and 12.5 mg/kg dose.