What is THCV and CBDV

Written by BlackbirdGo December 6, 2018
The Plant

In a previous article, we talked about THCA and CBDA, the acidic precursors to THC and CBD. This week, we’re learning about THCA and CBDA’s cousins, Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) and Cannabidivarin (CBDV).

As we discussed in this article, THC and CBD are derived from CBGA, the mother of all cannabinoids. All cannabinoids, that is, except for THCV and CBDV. While CBGA is created when olivetolic acid combines with geranyl phosphate through a process called biosynthesis, THCV and CBDV’s precursor is created when divarinolic acid combines with geranyl phosphate.

What is THCV?

THCV is often referred to as the “Sports Car of Cannabinoids” because it has a diverse range of potential benefits. THCV is psychoactive, but only in high doses. In lower doses, it seems to have an antagonistic effect to THC, which means it could even help temper your high as it interferes with your CB1 receptors ability to interact with THC. According to Steephill Labs, THCV produces a more intense high than THC, but with only about half of the duration. Unlike THC, THCV does not stimulate your appetite, which means it could be effective for weight loss.

What are the medical benefits of THCV?

Because of cannabis prohibition, there is not enough research to conclusively list the medical benefits of THCV. However, research has shown promising results using THCVA as the following:

Where can THCV be found?

Because of the lack of research and the fact that most strains today are sought after for their THC content, it may be difficult to find strains of cannabis high in THCV. Typically, strains from Africa have higher levels of THCV. While it is difficult to find landrace African cannabis, or “wild” cannabis for the lack of a better term, you can find modern strains with African genetics. Durban poison, for example, is a strain of cannabis believed to be from South Africa that may be high in THCV.

What is CBDV?

CBDV has a similar relationship to THCV that CBD does to THC. THCV and CBDV are both derived from the same cannabinoid found in raw cannabis that is formed when divarinolic acid combines with geranyl phosphate. CBDV is non-psychoactive, like its cousin CBD. This is because its chemical structure does not allow it to interact with our CB1 receptors in our brain.

What are the medical benefits of CBDV?

Due to prohibition, there is not enough research to conclusively list the medical benefits of CBDV. However, CBDV has shown promising results in studies when used as the following:

CBDV has proven to be such a promising anti-convulsant, that one British company G.W. Pharma is in the process of patenting a seizure medication using CBDV.

Where can CBDV be found?

Due to the lack of medical research and therefore a low demand for products that have high levels of CBDV, it may be difficult to find at your local dispensary. Typically, indicas from India, Pakistan, and Mexico will have higher levels of CBDV. Strains that are high in CBD, like Harlequin and Island Sweet Skunk, are typically higher in CBDV as well.

What are the potential risks of THCV and CBDV?

There is not enough research at this time to accurately assess the potential risks associated with THCV or CBDV. As always, if you are concerned, you should seek advice from a trusted medical professional.

The Entourage Effect and Total Plant Medicine

Research suggests that the use of pure extracts of any cannabinoid or terpene is not as effective as when they are paired with other cannabinoids and terpenes. These compounds have a synergistic effect, working in tandem to interact with your body’s endocannabinoid system. Studies have shown that consistent use, as well as the use of a variety of cannabinoids at different potencies, shows better results in the treatment of various symptoms.

Think of it like taking a multivitamin -- the increased and consistent levels of vitamins in your immune system promote the overall efficiency of your immune system and will show improvement over time. Similarly, research suggests that consistency of use of cannabinoids promotes the overall effectiveness of the endocannabinoid system.

The 300 levels are all about understanding the chemical components of cannabis and how you can use them to customize your cannabis experience. Next lesson is “WeEdu 309: What is CBGV and CBCV?” where we’ll learn about other cannabinoids formed from divarinolic acid. Questions about cannabis? Comments or feedback? Just want to chat? Email us at joey.johnson@weedu.io or eric.johnson@weedu.io.

Disclaimer: Keep out of reach of children. For use only by adults 21 years of age and older.