THCv (Tetrahydrocannabivarin) : Everything You Need To Know

THCv molecule

THCv could be the next big cannabinoid. In this article, we discuss the effects and benefits related to THCv as well as showcase strains high in THCv.

Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCv) And The Future of Cannabinoids

When scientists realized that THC was the cannabinoid responsible for marijuana’s psychoactivity in 1964, most growers started focusing on developing strains with the highest THC percentage. As a result, most of the strains available today are packed with high THC content, but what about the other cannabinoids? Will Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCv) be the next big cannabinoid?

In the past 50 years, we have come to realize that marijuana is filled with at least a hundred cannabinoids, all with varying properties. The cannabinoids and terpenes all interact with each other in a highly complex manner, which is known as the entourage effect. Studying the effects of a single cannabinoid becomes difficult, as their effects change upon isolation.

As any cannabis consumer knows, the subtle differences in ratios of cannabinoids and terpenes can result in a wide variety of experiences, ranging from energetic and euphoric mental effects to a sedated and relaxing body high.

THCv Entourage Effect
Remember the HBO TV Show “Entourage”? Just like how the show wouldn’t be complete without Ari Gold, cannabis wouldn’t be complete, nor capable of producing its intended effects, without each of its cannabinoids. This is known as the “entourage effect”.

As the cannabis industry continues to blossom, proper research on the cannabinoids and their properties is essential for creating the best products. For example, we have already started to see growers single out high CBD strains for targeted medicinal purposes.

A naturally grown cannabis plant has more potential for medicinal value than synthetic cannabinoids, as the rich entourage of cannabinoids and terpenes is much more desirable than one alone. Would a painter create a masterpiece with simply one or two colors? Intuitively, more cannabinoids allow for a richer experience.

As cannabis consumers, we must learn what cannabinoids and terpenes work well with our bodies.

As growers start to learn more about the cannabinoids, it seems inevitable that new and more diverse strains will be cultivated. For example, what if strains that were high in THCV were easily accessible? What benefits would such a strain offer? Inevitably, some people may prefer these strains, whether it be for recreational or medicinal purposes. Keep reading to find out which strains have high THCV content.

In the next generation, responsible cannabis consumers will understand what cannabinoids and terpenes respond well with their body. Rather than simply asking for a sativa or sticking to their favorite OG, people will start to find the perfect strain for them. THC can be quite anxiety inducing for some, while many of the other cannabinoids are not. The perfect strain may not be the one with the highest THC, but rather the one with the proper cannabinoid ratios.

Find out why tetrahydrocannabivarin could be the next big cannabinoid of the future! While much is still not understood about this cannabinoid, we highlight its properties and what is currently known below.

What is THCV?

While Tetrahydrocannabivarin may seem like a mouthful, THCV is a cannabinoid that actually reduces hunger. Many people have asked me for strains that do not give them the munchies, and perhaps THCV is the place to start.

THCv molecule
Think of tetrahydrocannabivarin as a cannabinoid cousin of THC. They are almost identical structurally, with the only difference being that tetrahydrocannabivarin has a 3 carbon group in the location where THC would have a 5 carbon group.

Another difference between THC and THCV is how they are produced in the plant. The cannabinoid CBGA eventually gets turned into THC, CBD, CBC, CBG, or CBN, which are the main cannabinoids in marijuana. THCV, however, starts from CBGVA, which is eventually broken down into THCVA and finally THCV.

Tetrahydrocannabivarin has a higher boiling point than THC, which is at 428 °F (220 °C). People looking to cook or vaporize THCV should keep this in mind.

A recent study looked to see how tetrahydrocannabivarin may inhibit some of the effects of THC. Sometimes THC can increase people’s heart rate or negatively affect our short term memory, but this study found that tetrahydrocannabivarin helps prevent these aspects. Also, the intensity of the high seemed to decrease.

While it was initially thought that tetrahydrocannabivarin had weak psychoactive properties, this new study found that its 10 participants couldn’t tell the difference between tetrahydrocannabivarin and the placebo when taken alone, suggesting that it is not psychoactive.

Cannabis writer Johnny Green describes tetrahydrocannabivarin’s high as more intense and shorter, which sounds a bit different than the result of the above study. Users on Leafly describe high THCV strains as being a heavy sativa. THCV mixed with THC seems to give this psychedelic high.

THCV blocks the CB1 receptor at low doses, and binds to the receptor at higher doses. It is a partial agonist of the CB2 receptor as well.

Effects of THCV

THCv and Weight Loss

Endocannabinoids in our body regulate our hunger levels, so it is not surprising that cannabis does as well. While the stereotype is that weed gives people the munchies, researchers were surprised to find that cannabis users are on average less likely to be obese.

THCv Weight lossThis stereotype is generally true, since THC is given to patients with AIDS who struggle with eating. Interestingly enough, tetrahydrocannabivarin actually suppresses hunger, which some think may point to why cannabis users are less likely to be obese.

However, some think that strains high in THCV would not suppress hunger, as they still would have THC. A study found that high THCV extracts did not help with food intake. Currently, it seems that research has only shown that taking THCV by itself helps curb obesity.

THCv Is Psychedelic

As mentioned previously, THCV also leads to a different type of high than THC. The high is said to be more psychedelic and provide a clear-headed sense of euphoria. THCV also makes the THC get absorbed faster, making the high come on more suddenly. This also leads to the high lasting about half the duration.

The high is said to be more energetic, suggesting that some sativas have higher levels of THCV. Perhaps this is why Steep Hill Labs dubbed tetrahydrocannabivarin the sports car of cannabinoids.

Medical Uses of THCV

As of 2007, GW Pharmaceuticals started studying the use of tetrahydrocannabivarin for treating obesity.

GW Pharmaceuticals is producing tetrahydrocannabivarin to help with diabetes. They have also filed a patent on tetrahydrocannabivarin for its use with controlling insulin levels.

GW Pharma is developing THCv products to fight obesity and diabetes
GW Pharma is developing THCv products to fight obesity and diabetes

Supporting this work, other research also suggests that tetrahydrocannabivarin helps with diabetes in mice. While food intake and weight gain were not affected, tetrahydrocannabivarin did help with glucose tolerance and also restored insulin signalling.

Like many cananbinoids, tetrahydrocannabivarin has been found to have anti-inflammatory properties. Tetrahydrocannabivarin also has anti-convulsive properties, making it a potential treatment option for patients with epilepsy.

Tetrahydrocannabivarin has been shown to help with nausea, which may make it a good medical option for patients in the future who are looking for nausea treatment, yet don’t want a psychoactive experience.

It is also said to help curb anxiety for PTSD patients, as it makes panic attacks less frequent and more controllable. Some say that tetrahydrocannabivarin does not suppress emotions, but will reduce one’s ability to panic.

It may also help with Alzheimer’s, but more research needs to be done. A study found that tetrahydrocannabivarin has neuroprotective effects helpful for treating Parkinson’s disease.

Tetrahydrocannabivarin stimulates bone growth, which potentially makes it good for people with osteoporosis.

The researcher who discovered tetrahydrocannabivarin also found that it has anti-schizophrenic effects in a preclinical model.

Strains High In THCV

  1. Durban Poison
  2. Doug’s Varin
  3. Pineapple Purps
  4. Jack The Ripper
  5. Girl Scout Cookies
  6. Tangie
  7. Power Plant
  8. Willie Nelson
  9. Pie Face OG
  10. Red Congolese
  11. Dutch Hawaiian
  12. Durban Cheese
  13. Skunk #1

As the tetrahydrocannabivarin provides a euphoric head high, it is not surprising that strains that have higher levels of THCV are typically sativas. Tetrahydrocannabivarin is most prominant in African landraces, such as Durban Poison and other hazes. Durban Poison typically has about 0.5% THCV. There exists Pakistani cannabis that has nearly equal levels of THC and THCV. Varieties may be found scattered throughout China, India, Nepal, Thailand, and Afghanistan as well.

Doug’s Varin and Pineapple Purps are two strains that were designed specifically to have high THCV content. Pineapple Purps has a THC:THCV ratio of 3:1 with more than 4% THCV, making quite a difference in the high. Doug’s Varin even has slightly more THCV than THC. Both are quite difficult to find, however.

Jack The Ripper was also created by TGA Genetics, which has a decent amount of THCV. A batch of Timewreck was tested to have 2.2% THCV. Girl Scout Cookies, Tangie, Power Plant, Willie Nelson, Pie Face OG, Red Congolese, Dutch Hawaiian, Durban Cheese, and Skunk #1 also have varying amounts of tetrahydrocannabivarin as well.

While it is difficult to find strains high in THCV, let the Strain Genie help you find any of the strains mentioned above. Also, if you are looking for that psychedelic sativa high, try browsing through our Create activity group to find creative strains near you!