What is Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV)?
Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) is very similar to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in the respect that their chemical structure is almost identical, but the procedure involved in their conception and the variation of effects are quite different.
Unlike THC, cannabidiol (CBD), and cannabichromene (CBC), THCV doesn’t begin as cannabigerolic acid (CBGA). Instead of combining with olivetolic acid to create CBGA, the geranyl phosphate joins forces with divarinolic acid, which has 2 less carbon molecules. The result is cannabigerovarin acid (CBGVA).
Once CBGVA is created, the process continues exactly same as it would for THC. CBGVA is broken down to tetrahydrocannabivarin carboxylic acid (THCVA) by the THCV synthase. At that point, THCVA can be decarboxylated with heat or UV light to create THCV.
The relationship between THC and THCV is obvious in the effects as well. Although both cannabinoids effect the same receptors, they do so in a different manner:
– THCV has been studied for appetite suppressant properties by the Neurology department at Aberdeen University. The study suggests that THCV is ideal for illnesses where weight loss is necessary. Conversely, THCV should be avoided by people who suffer with anorexia, cachexia or similar illnesses.
– THCV has a different boiling point to THC (220°C). This means that users who choose vapourizing as an ingestion method will need to heat THCV trace strains at a higher temperature.
– THCV is know to have a very intense, euphoric, cerebral “high”, so may not be suited to novice users. It is worth noting however, that the intense “high” lasts around half the time as a THC induced “high”.
– Research in Israel has shown that THCV can alleviate panic attacks from people suffering with PTSD. However, rather than an all encompassing suppression of emotions, THCV seems to only suppress the ability to panic, associated with the acute stress response in humans.
-THCV appears to stimulate bone growth, making it the primary cannabinoid in the research of osteoperosis and other degenerative bone diseases.
– Research into the relationship between THCV and tremors associated with Parkinson’s has suggested a significant reduction in erratic, uncontrolled movement.
– Studies suggest that THCV has the ability to regulate blood sugar levels, with significant research into its link with the treatment of diabetes now underway.
THCV does not have a significant enough prevalence in cannabis strains for it to rival the effects of THC or CBD. However, with more research being conducted detailing its therapeutic benefits, expect to see THCV rich products on the market very soon.
Official Research Reports
The cannabinoid Δ9-tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) ameliorates insulin sensitivity in two mouse models of obesity (ET Wargent, MS Zaibi, C Silvestri, DC Hislop, CJ Stocker, CG Stott, GW Guy, M Duncan, V Di Marzo and MA Cawthorne, 2013)
Symptom-relieving and neuroprotective effects of the phytocannabinoid Δ9-THCV in animal models of Parkinson’s disease (C García, C Palomo-Garo, M García-Arencibia, JA Ramos, RG Pertwee and J Fernández-Rui, 2011)
The plant cannabinoid Δ9-tetrahydrocannabivarin can decrease signs of inflammation and inflammatory pain in mice (Daniele Bolognini, Barbara Costa, Sabatino Maione, Francesca Comelli, Pietro Marini, Vincenzo Di Marzo, Daniela Parolaro, Ruth A Ross, Lisa A Gauson, Maria G Cascio and Roger G Pertwee, 2010)