Most people realize THC and CBD don’t represent the only things that makeup cannabis or marijuana. There are terpenes and other compounds as well, and as research expands on this exceptionally useful substance, new cannabinoids are found all the time. In point of fact, some 500 different compounds that are completely organic, and each come with their own unique benefits, can be found in varying cannabis strains.
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As these are discovered, so are their idiosyncratic uses. Right now, the new kid on the block is THCV. And, like with the many compounds in THC, specific benefits of THCV are now being discovered as pertaining to medicinal use.
THCV may be easy to confuse as the same sort of thing as THC, but in point of fact, it’s a very different sort of cannabinoid. To help you see why in this writing, we’ll dive head-on into what’s already known about THCV.
1. What Is THCV?
THCV is an abbreviation, just as THC is. THCV stands for tetrahydrocannabivarin—and that’s no easy word to say! Calling it “THVC” is a lot more sensible. And there’s a lot THCV can do. As a sports car to a minivan is THCV to other cannabinoids. It makes people more healthy owing to the ways in which it interfaces with the body’s endocannabinoid system.
MMJ, or Medical Marijuana, is known to contain the organic compound presently known as THCV. Its presence will impact how substances like CBD or THC affect the user.
2. Where Was THCV Discovered?
THCV strains are primarily central to the middle east and the orient. Most strains will be found in Pakistan, Thailand, Nepal, China, India, Afghanistan, the western part of Africa, and the southern regions of that massive continent. Most western hemp and marijuana will be strains that don’t have very high levels of THCV. Until recently—that is, in the last several years—you probably wouldn’t be able to find THCV content in levels higher than 1% among mainstream MMJ strains.
Today, though, things have changed. Marijuana farmers can effectively breed hemp, which comes with high levels of THCV, and they can isolate the compound so that cannabinoids, THC, and other unwanted aspects of the plant are at low levels. Also, exceptional quantities of THCV can be extracted while excessive waste is diminished owing to modern extraction methods.
3. So, How Do Cannabis Professionals Make THCV?
THCV was found sometime in the 1970s, but the full potential of the compound was only recently understood by modern science. In the intervening 40+ years, cultivation practices have made it possible for exceptionally robust levels of THCV to be cultivated. Scientific awareness of this potentiality enabled the research associated with THCV to succeed, and its substantial medicinal benefits to be explored.
Research has revealed unique features of THCV strains, which pharmacies now prescribe to treat a variety of ailments. Researchers have found clear benefits from this cannabinoid, and the means by which it is extracted naturally reduces toxins, pesticides, and other contaminants from affecting the final product.
THCV is also known to have a very good smell and a taste that is attractive to most patients. Part of the reason for this aromatic, tasty quality has to do with Sativa being combined with Indica strains for low THC and high THCV.
4. What Differentiates THCV From THC?
So specifically, what differentiates tetrahydrocannabivarin from tetrahydrocannabinol? It’s an issue requiring a molecular answer. Compounds, which are known as homologs, share structure; but in different elemental arenas exhibit clear variations—though those variations aren’t massive. Think of THCV as a cousin to THC.
These cannabinoid cousins relieve pain, and they’ve got therapeutic effects on the users. However, the big difference is that, while THC does produce the psychoactive effects known as the “high” associated with cannabis, THCV just dampens your nerves and calms you down. THC gives you the munchies, THCV moderates your appetite. You’re not going to get “dry mouth” with THCV, whereas THC will leave you somewhat dehydrated.
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5. The Science Behind THCV
Microscopic exploration of THCV and THC won’t reveal a huge difference between the cannabinoids as they share a structure on a molecular level that’s similar. The big difference is that side-chain carbon molecules of THC tend to be longer than those of THCV.
In terms of bodily reaction, human nervous systems have two primary endocannabinoid receptors: CB1 and CB2. CB2 is mostly contained in the immune cells of the body, as well as the skeletal system and gastrointestinal components of human beings. Meanwhile, CB1 receptors are all over our bodies, though you’re going to find the majority of them in the spinal cord and the brain.
Generally, endocannabinoids will attach to either CB2 or CB1 receptors. Accordingly, MMJ, THC, CBD, and THCV compounds will also have some level of influence on such receptors. Scientific research seems to indicate that in proper amounts, THCV acts as an antagonist to CB1 receptors and an agonist for CB2 receptors. This compound can attach itself to receptors of the CB1 variety, restricting other molecules from becoming bound to them. So, in summation, though similar, THCV doesn’t interact with human endocannabinoid systems in a way that’s exactly the same as THC.
The CB1 receptors will find THC acting as an agonist, while THCV has another sort of impact depending on levels of consumption. In small doses, THCV is an antagonist to receptors of the CB1 variety—it inhibits them.
THCV is thus described as an “anomaly” of marijuana—at least according to a Molecular Biology review. Essentially, the sort of effects considered to be negative that define THC are counteracted by THCV—as are the damaging effects THC is known to produce. If you’re experiencing a THC high, taking THCV can eliminate that high. This has been demonstrated via scientific study.
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6. Specific Benefits and Effects of THCV
You can expect a variety of effects from THCV on your body. Especially in regard to certain medical conditions, there’s much to recommend this cannabinoid.
Anxiety and other mental disorders are directly treated with THCV. Scientifically, a big reason these things happen can be explained by how CB1 and CB2 receptors interact with the compound. As the body interacts with THCV molecules, specific positive effects like the following can be expected:
- Bone growth promotion that is normalized
- Unique engagement of the body’s CB1 receptors
- PTSD symptom reduction
- Blood sugar normalization
- THCV acts as an appetite suppressant
- Symptoms related to Parkinson’s disease managed via THCV
- Energy expansion through THCV
- Schizophrenic issues can be counteracted via THCV
- Anxiety is reduced through THCV supplementation
- THCV exhibits a reductive effect on inflammation
- Seizures can be more efficiently controlled via THCV
- Symptoms related to Alzheimer’s are treated via THCV
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It’s easy to see that there are distinct health benefits related to THCV. Following, we’ll examine those specific benefits in greater detail.
1. THCV Can Help Counteract Obesity
You won’t get the munchies with THCV, you’ll lose them. If you thought getting hungry from THC was a myth, think again—the munchies are proven scientifically. However, so are the “anti-munch” properties of THCV.
This cannabinoid can definitely help you lose weight. For those who are obese and need MMJ to help them, THCV is a great answer. This is done through the suppression of appetite.
Naturally, this discovery has made waves in the pharmaceutical community. The International Journal of Neuropharmacology recently published a considerable report which examined how THCV fights obesity.
This report found that the urge to eat is diminished, allowing victims of excessive weight gain to target and attain the weight they desire. However, food intake reduction via appetite suppression is only one-way THCV fights obesity.
Because appetites are suppressed, this cannabinoid makes cravings almost disappear. Simultaneously, you’re able to increase your energy, making your metabolism function more efficiently. You’ll hit your goals in fitness more quickly via THCV.
Since the way THCV interacts with CB1 receptors in the body is as an agonist, appetite receptors are stimulated such that release from neurotransmitters pertaining to hunger is inhibited. If you’re unfamiliar, antagonist compounds jump on receptors and stop their signals. Agonists have the opposite effect.
THCV acts as a “neutral” antagonist of CB1 Receptors. The “neutral” quality means it’s essentially what’s known as a “selective” antagonist. Basically, the “reward” feeling you get from eating is blocked by THCV. Eating becomes less pleasurable as a result, making it less difficult to moderate intake. You don’t overeat because the desire’s gone.
Especially for those who find that food dominates the mind, there’s a strain of THCV called “Jack the Ripper” that is specifically known to reduce the desire to eat. Accordingly, this is a fine treatment for those who struggle with obesity and are cautious of the risks that commonly coincide with varying anti-obesity medications on the market today.
2. Promotion of Bone Growth in a Normal Way
Collagen production can be enhanced, at least according to the science, from THCV supplementation. Accordingly, bone growth is stimulated. This can help treat conditions like osteoporosis, among many others.
If you’re unfamiliar, when the body doesn’t make enough tissue for the bones, or bone mass is lost, this is known as osteoporosis. Therapeutically, THCV acts on endocannabinoid receptors at the molecular level, facilitating both balance and regulation of bodily systems related to the bones.
As alluded to earlier, CB2 receptors exist in skeletal tissue. Some cells have CB2 receptors on them and act in a way that reabsorbs bone. Essentially, science has found that bone mass can be regulated via THCV.
Because THCV binds with these CB2 receptors, it can keep bad compounds from attaching to CB1 receptors. This can help manage pain. One strain of THCV particularly well-known for this is called “Agent Orange Nug Run”. Osteoporosis can be managed even as associated symptoms like chronic pain after an injury or aches which come from fractures are combated.
Surface molecules on the exterior of bone cells are targeted by THCV, and the compound accordingly helps such receptors stop the loss of bone. The only downside here is the difficulty of acquiring cannabis strains with high levels of THCV. But when found, arthritis can be treated, and osteoporosis halted.
3. A Means by Which Diabetes Can Be Controlled
Yes, THCV can help reduce the impact of diabetes! This happens for a number of reasons, and the effects for diabetics are therapeutic, reducing associated symptoms known to be painful. This is done through blood sugar regulation. Insulin is also regulated via THCV, and this is the hormone responsible for controlling your blood’s glucose levels—glucose is a fancy word for sugar.
Those who have Type 2 diabetes contend with an issue where their body won’t make enough insulin or won’t properly respond to it. Lack of insulin recognition or production expands blood sugar levels. THCV reduces these levels while simultaneously expediting beta-cell function improvement. Beta-cells are involved in the production of insulin. Essentially, blood sugar is regulated, and insulin resistance reduced.
THCV also helps with diabetic neuropathy, a severe issue that accompanies diabetes and causes exceptional neuropathic pain from too much blood sugar. THCV’s insulin intolerance therapy reduces this, cutting down discomfort and dampening pain signal transmission.
4. Diminished Anxiety
If you’re anxious, you’re uneasy, you’re worried, you might even be afraid. This worry can be something you can handle or too severe to deal with. All people will have some level of anxiety at some time in their life, but recurring anxiety can transform into a clear disorder directly affecting you throughout your life. Anxiety can be reduced through THCV supplementation, and this doesn’t require total emotional suppression as with traditional pharmaceuticals, making it a more desirable treatment for disorders related to anxiety.
Something else THCV does is activate and enhance receptors associated with Serotonin. Serotonin is known to have effects that are antipsychotic and treat anxiety symptoms. To try this out, it’s recommended that THCV-rich strains from Sativa cannabis be used. A few that might do the trick for you include Durban Poison and Locktite, among others.
Panic attacks can be blocked, or at the very least, diminished. Phobias are easier to manage. Diseases causing mental anxiety don’t have so profound effects. A few strains known to suppress anxious emotions while increasing panic management ability are Citrus Sap and Frosted Freak. Those suffering from anxiety can address it head-on and talk about the pain with less difficulty.
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5. PTSD Reduction Through THCV Supplementation
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is treated by THC through panic attacks being blocked, and anxiety curbed. Certainly, the pain after a traumatic event can’t be totally erased via THCV, but owing to its CB1 receptor interaction, a high level of therapy can be experienced by sufferers. Phytocannabinoids are like endocannabinoids that occur naturally. Phytocannabinoids are produced via marijuana plants, however.
There is an entire receptor network in the body that, through THCV, can inhibit PTSD directly. Since CB2 receptor attachment has some level of effect on individuals, the mind can be cleared via THCV, additionally assisting individuals in fighting off PTSD symptoms. Though the psychoactive “high” associated with THC is not experienced under THCV, there is an exceptional psychoactive nature to the compound which helps mitigate distressing recollections that are not desired, aiding in recovery from PTSD.
A few strains to consider for such therapy include Slim Hash, Doug’s Varin, Ace of Spades, and Pineapple Purps. Flashbacks can be reduced, and the head cleared.
6. More Energy Through THCV Use
MMJ has become increasingly common, and THCV has greater inclusion in many of these medical strains—among 400 other compounds that can be potentially derived from such cannabis strains. The psychotropic effects of THCV as pertains to human central nervous systems come from CB1 receptor interaction.
Meanwhile, analgesic effects develop from CB2 receptor interaction. So, the “High” effect of THC is not experienced from THCV, but the pain is numbed from internal or external injury, while the clarity of mind isn’t negatively affected. Additionally, the resting heart rate becomes elevated, increasing energy after ingestion of THCV.
Some strains that produce these effects include Pie Face and Member Berry. Elation and stress reduction are combined with mental focus, allowing you to be energetic at optimum levels without having your sleep negatively impacted.
7. Reduction of Inflammation
One of MMJ’s most notable uses pertains to inflammation, which is accordingly reduced. THCV is known to positively reduce inflammation—and not only that; bloating, too. Many painful conditions cause bloating and inflammation. Tetrahydrocannabivarin counteracts these symptoms.
CB1 receptors are blocked while CB2 receptors are activated, the end result being inflammation reduction. Arthritis, AIDS, chemotherapy, and many other conditions inflame the body painfully. THCV triggers anti-inflammatory responses in the body.
Beyond that, the production and release of proteins that are known to expedite inflammation can be reduced through THCV use. Chronic pain from inflammation that is recurring can be curbed. A few strains known to be specifically effective here include Tangie and Ace of Spades Shatter.
8. Epilepsy and Seizure Therapy
THCV’s positive effects don’t quit at inflammation reduction. Furthermore, muscular tremors can be treated—such as those known to accompany Alzheimer’s, Epilepsy, and Parkinson’s disease—as well as ALS. As you may expect by now, this develops owing to THCV’s binding ability regarding CB1 and CB2 receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system.
Frequency of seizures is reduced, and so is their severity. Low THC and medium THCV help prevent epileptic episodes. So, the product is not an intoxicant, but it has a direct effect. Power Plant and Willie Nelson are known to curb epilepsy and other muscular issues associated with these conditions. The Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics published a study in 2015 which demonstrated clear effects from THCV reducing convulsions and seizures.
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9. Alzheimer’s Symptom Treatment
Lesions, tremors, motor control—all are associated with Alzheimer’s disease. THCV reduces the negative impact of these symptoms. A few strains are known to do this include Valentine X, Sour Willie, Ash, and Green Goddess. These have anti-inflammatory qualities and act in a neuroprotective capacity assisting the brain in overcoming dementia.
Many top-tier pharmaceutical drugs can’t produce such outcomes. THCV can. Reparation, recovery, and healing of the nervous system—as well as varying areas of the brain—represent some of the noted benefits of THCV for Alzheimer’s sufferers.
Also, such treatment doesn’t come with the negative side effects commonly experienced through the use of Alzheimer’s drugs. Furthermore, no damaging, harsh, or otherwise negative effects transpire from THCV. Brain degeneration diseases are stopped cold, and the benefits don’t quit there. Lesions on the brain develop in those who are suffering from late-stage Alzheimer’s. THCV treats them.
10. The Amelioration of Schizophrenia
It’s easy to see why many are surprised that a cannabis-derived compound can actually be used to treat schizophrenia. This is especially true because THC is known to be a contributor to this mental condition. Maybe it’s some sort of backhanded universal justice, but THCV is effective in therapeutically treating this mental disorder.
Hallucinations can be curbed, as can delusions. In 2015, there was a study in the British Journal of Pharmacology whose publication showed research demonstrating enhanced serotonin receptors contributing to antipsychotic outcomes in patients. Negative schizophrenia symptoms can be fought off, as can anxiety.
Because of the energy that comes from THCV supplementation, motivation can be stimulated, as can social drive. Several strains known to exhibit these positive effects include Alaskan Ice, Sour Space Candy, and Red Congolese. Creativity and comfort are facilitated through such strains even as clarity of mind is established, hallucinations are reduced, and healing can be experienced from the negative cognitive symptoms that result from schizophrenia.
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11. A Warrior Against Parkinson’s Disease
One of the most promising therapeutic benefits of THCV supplementation is the arrest of Parkinson’s disease, a condition that becomes progressively worse over time. THCV doesn’t merely block CB1 receptors while helping activate CB2 receptors. Additionally, it functions in an antioxidant capacity.
It also has properties linked to neuroprotective outcomes, increasing dopamine—a neurotransmitter. Tremors can be controlled through THCV. Specifically, those who are older or middle-aged suffer from such tremors after they are diagnosed with this condition. There’s a certain level of rigidity in musculature, and body motions become imprecise. THCV helps to stop these negative side effects.
A few strains to consider if you’re suffering from Alzheimer’s, or know someone desperately seeking a pharmaceutical solution that doesn’t include terrible side effects, are Chocolate Mint OG, Mango Tango, and White Dragon. Such strains not only help with Parkinson’s but many other symptoms of the neurodegenerative variety associated with similar conditions.
7. Considerable Strains with THCV to Explore for Therapeutic Purposes
There are quite a few different THCV strains, here we’ll briefly explore a few key options to help inform your choice:
- Doug’s Varin
- Durban Poison
- Pineapple Purps
- Durban Cheese
- Jack the Ripper
- Red Congolese
- Girl Scout Cookies
- Dutch Treat
1. Doug’s Varin
At the top of the list is Doug’s Varin. This strain has more THCV than any other available today, and if you’re looking to get rid of some weight, this is the way to go. You’ll experience the effects of this strain quickly, your mood will improve, and physiological pain or other stress you’re contending with will be treated, facilitating more activity during the day. For those fighting obesity, Doug’s Varin has much to offer.
2. Durban Poison
This is a strain quite rich in THCV, and its name comes from a port city in South Africa called “Durban”. Durban Poison is known to elevate both mood and energy. It’s for use in the day, and is known to be quite effective at stimulating creativity. Since it is high in THCV, productivity is enhanced even as stress that’s mental and physical is diminished.
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3. Pineapple Purps
They call Pineapple Purps a “super Sativa”. This is because it gives you energy, reduces anxiety, and has a euphoric effect. A lot of people fighting social anxiety swear by Pineapple Purps owing to the associated calm which accompanies its use.
Since your state of mind is an elated one during the effects of this compound, nervousness is curbed. Also, since it’s Sativa, creativity flourishes—those who fight writer’s block prefer this strain. It can be just the thing to put a person back on the creativity bandwagon.
4. Durban Cheese
Pain relief and stress reduction are the primary positive qualities of this strain. Additionally, both anxiety and depression can be treated with Durban Cheese. You become more calm using it, and you don’t have the stressful feeling that comes with it. Nausea can also be treated with this strain, and the euphoria mentioned in other strains is included in the package as well. Many who use this strain report feeling much more relaxed after they’ve ingested some.
5. Jack the Ripper
The naming of this strain belies its therapeutic effects. It hits the brain hard and allows for efficient, and razor-sharp focus. It also suppresses feelings of anxiety and has a positive creative impact on the user. The mood becomes high, energy expands, and tension reduces. For those who suffer from chronic migraines, pain, and fatigue, Jack the Ripper is an excellent strain.
6. Red Congolese
There’s a high level of THCV in Red Congolese, and as a result, it will calm users while stimulating the flow of creative juices. Inflammation is reduced, stress is reduced, and anxiety melts away. Those who suffer from PTSD commonly use this strain to mitigate mental health issues. Since it’s THCV that causes the positive benefits of this strain, if you’ve got stuff to do, take in some Red Congolese. You’ll be uplifted, and see that energy levels expand notably. When physical pain or pain that’s in your mind assails you, Red Congolese will help fight it.
7. Girl Scout Cookies
Girl Scout Cookies are designed to give the user an exceptional boost of energy while facilitating relaxation of both the mind and the body. Anxiety, pain, depression—Girl Scout Cookies can help improve these feelings, reducing their debilitating impact. Its specialty involves the reduction of muscle fatigue and spasticity. Especially for those who must contend with seizures or other epileptic conditions, Girl Scout Cookies is a fine option. One of the reasons for this is that the strain assists in melatonin formation. This ultimately will soothe the user.
8. Dutch Treat
Last but not least is a tasty Dutch Treat. This strain is known for producing a calm quality described by some as “soaring”. Almost instantaneously, the body is soothed. Tension disappears on the wind, and that even includes mental anxiety. People who have trouble sleeping from recurring pain, or psychological conditions like depression, are well-advised to try this strain. Insomnia can be thwarted, and muscle fatigue that comes from recurring work can be assuaged. THCV content in this strain helps it be a notable reliever of stress, and things like panic attacks can be rebuffed even as your appetite is suppressed.
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What to Take Away
In a nutshell, THCV acts as a natural supplement that impacts the body’s natural cannabinoid receptors, pushing them to act in ways that are different from their natural function. Accordingly, a high degree of potential defines this compound as pertains to medicinal applications where pharmaceuticals do the same job poorly, or with more adverse side effects. THCV strains are better than drugs, and as inverse agonists, these strains are jewels in the MMJ crown; functioning as some of the most useful cannabinoids derived from marijuana. There are many health benefits that accompany THCV.
For this and other reasons, you can expect the attention of THCV to expand. Researchers, growers, and medical professionals have recognized THCV as an exceptionally worthwhile cannabinoid. Energy, a balanced high, and therapy to a broad spectrum of diseases represent just a few of the reasons THCV has this reputation. The cannabinoid plays to the strengths of the user without diminishing their abilities. Though the majority of strains incorporating THCV are minimal at present, many who cultivate and research cannabis have expanded their awareness of this cannabinoid, and you can expect it to be more prevalent in the near future as new means of expanding THCV content are discovered.
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