What is THCV: Benefits and Effects
In the cannabis sphere, it can seem like there's a new cannabinoid in the spotlight practically every week. With so many terms floating around, it's easy for even the most established cannabis connoisseurs to get lost in the weeds.
In this article, we look at THCV (or "tetrahydrocannabivarin") and break down its effects, where it's found, and why it's getting so much buzz in the cannabis community.
What Is THCV?
THCV, full name tetrahydrocannabivarin, is a minor cannabinoid found most prevalently in certain sativa strains of cannabis.
It has attracted attention for its unique combination of effects and has earned several nicknames, including "diet weed", "skinny pot", and, less commonly, "the sports car of cannabinoids".
These nicknames lend THCV an air of prestige and desirability — which is only reinforced by the fact that it's relatively difficult to find.
THCV can be found naturally in many strains of cannabis, but it is usually found in very small amounts. Still, those amounts are enough that high-THCV strains of cannabis offer a distinctive set of effects prized by some.
Notably, these effects are principally therapeutic. However, it also has use for recreational purposes.
Anecdotal reports suggest that THCV offers a clear-headed, energetic, euphoric effect. However, other reports suggest that THCV can actually interfere with the high caused by other cannabinoids (most notably THC), thereby reducing intoxication.
But THCV's therapeutic effects are what have garnered the most attention. Several such effects of THCV have been identified in laboratory animal tests. These include:
- Reducing appetite (putting it in stark contrast with traditional THC, the cause of the infamous "munchies").
- Regulating blood sugar levels and reducing insulin resistance, which may show potential for treating diabetes.
- Reducing anxiety related to PTSD without suppressing emotion.
- Possibly reducing tremors, loss of motor control, and brain lesions associated with Alzheimer's disease.
Where Can You Find THCV?
Those looking to enjoy THCV may be in for a search. That's because this minor cannabinoid does not feature prominently in many strains of cannabis, and it is not typically featured in cannabinoid extracts the way that CBD and others are.
Leafly recommends seeking out African sativas and specifically recommends the following marijuana strains as being particularly high in THCV:
- Doug's Varin
- Pineapple Purps
- Durban Poison
- Power Plant
- Willie Nelson
- Red Congolese
- Jack the Ripper
- Durban Cheese
- Skunk #1
THCV is a large part of what makes these strains distinctive, and they may offer the best vehicle for experiencing what THCV has to offer.
Those looking to sample THCV on its own may be out of luck, at least for now. Unfortunately, it's incredibly rare to find THCV extracts, isolates, or products made from such.
But given the increasing interest in, research on, and demand for all things THCV, that's almost certain to change. In the near future, we expect to see a variety of specialized THCV products for users of all stripes. And they may find their way to the CBD Choice storefront.