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When you hear the words THC, what immediately comes to mind? The “munchies?” Euphoria? Napping? Body highs? Creativity? 

One does not need to be a user of THC to know about these well-known, mostly pleasant side effects. Years of film, pop culture and word of mouth have made THC a household name to the point where we do not bat an eye about it anymore.

Much less is known, however, about THC’s siblings. One of these siblings is beginning to make a name for itself; it is THCV, which is short for Tetrahydrocannabivarin, a word that we at PureKana are still struggling with both spelling and pronunciation wise.

The acronym THCV is a welcome shortcut. 

What can we say about THCV side effects, good, bad, or between? Cannabinoids THCV, HHC, and THCO are beginning to make waves within the cannabis industry and show potential as recreational and wellness add-ons.

But it is THCV that has gotten more buzz, thanks to its relationship to appetite and diet, as well as energy and focus.

These are issues that would intrigue a massive swath of the American population, considering our relationship with our weight, rigorous work schedule, and fluctuating work-life balance. 

For now, we at PureKana are sure you have many questions. 

How does THCV compare with its very famous twin? What kind of positive or negative side effects can one expect?

What is the process like inside the body when one consumes THCV?

Finally, with Delta-8 hemp causing a stir and getting pulled from shelves in states that implement aggressive restrictions on cannabis, will we ever get to see the day that THCV is openly sold on shelves?

All these questions will be answered in today’s blog. So read on to get more insight into this mysterious, rising star cannabinoid. 

THCV and THC: What To Know

THCV will be associated with psychoactive THC no matter what, so it’s worth getting into the real difference between the two.

All mammals have an endocannabinoid system that has cannabinoid receptors, and these receptors are programmed to be “best friends” with our body’s cannabinoid molecules.

The body makes these molecules in response to certain stimuli that the endocannabinoid system is in charge of. These include immune function, sleep, mood, appetite, memory, fertility, and reproduction. 

The molecules bind to the body’s cannabinoid receptors, aptly named CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are primarily found in the body’s nervous system, while CB2 receptors are found mainly in the body’s immune system’s cells. 

When an individual uses a THC-infused product, either through smoke inhalation or an edible, the THC molecules flood the endocannabinoid system, overwhelming our receptors and temporarily suspending the body’s ability to regulate itself in this arena. It is this that causes the famous psychoactive effects of THC. 

That brings us to THCV, which we are still figuring out in the cannabis industry.

For reasons still eluding researchers, THCV affects the endocannabinoid system, but one that is less psychoactive and a bit of a reversal of the THC and “hunger” or “munchies” relationship.

Some research has shown an inverse relationship of psychoactivity. The more elevated the presence of THCV is compared to THC percentage. This has implications, which we will get into in the next section. 

For now, we can assess THCV similarly to Delta-8; it is part of the THC family, but there seems to be some wiggle room in terms of whether we can truly deem it psychoactive. 

THCV Cannabinoid Effects

The effects of THCV are still being fleshed out, but for now, it’s been an interesting collection of anecdotes and research. Some farmers have opined on the ineffectiveness of THCV in isolation, claiming that THCV hardly does anything at all by itself.

There is some indication via research (all our sources are linked at the bottom) that elevated the presence of THCV mitigates the psychoactivity of THC.

This means more of a focused high, less fogginess, and more of a creative, “Sativa-like” high at a moderate level.

This could create an energizing instead of sedating effect, one that is mild and invigorating instead of mellow, calming, or body-high oriented. 

Called “diet weed” by some, a more curious aspect of THCV is its relationship with appetite levels and weight loss. There have been reports that this newest cannabinoid has an appetite suppressant quality, and research has been done on this hypothesis.

It certainly sounds unexpected, given the opposite and less palatable result that users get from classic THC (of course, stimulating appetite does have its pluses for many, especially patients who deal with side effects arising from certain treatments).

How much appetite suppression THCV may induce remains to be seen. But, for now, we do know that it is a much more energy-invigorating cannabinoid than its more popular predecessors. 

The implications of this bears out could be no less than a boon for the diet and weight loss industry, and we could see shelves stocked with “diet weed” for years to come.

In the absence of that, of course, we must at least attempt to understand the mechanisms of this novel cannabinoid and what to look for when buying products containing THCV. 

THCV, Content Levels, and the Future

We just covered the very popular “surface-level” issue regarding THCV and weight loss in the last section, but what other aspects of THCV could show promise for those who want to live a healthy lifestyle? 

THCV shows promise with debilitating conditions in the body’s nervous system. Among these are Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

Unfortunately, these diseases have yet to find a cure. Still, the benefits that a cannabinoid could give these patients would be welcome news, much in the same way medicinal marijuana has been able to help millions, including those with pain or sleep-related issues.

So far, THCV studies have been carried out at 10 mg daily, but this could go higher if researchers become convinced that a higher dosage is needed to achieve a particular effect or benefit. 

Other possibilities include dealing with bacterial inflammation, as THCV has shown positive benefits.

There is even a dermatological benefit that may be a feature of THCV, as certain studies have shown that it can block the production of sebaceous lipids. This material causes acne and blotchiness on the face and body.

Things like fatty liver disease, insulin resistance as a result of weight gain, and pain management are all on the table as researchers flesh out the benefits and curiosities of THCV. This means that more research is coming, and this is not the last we have heard about THCV.

Other cannabinoids have gotten their mainstream makeovers, like Delta-8, present in gummies and other wellness products, marketed as an approachable version of cannabis. However, if THCV is going to have the same fate, it may face skepticism in certain states, which we will get into below. 

THCV, Delta-8, and Legality

The confusion around marijuana’s legalization at the state level (in states like Nevada, California, Arizona, and Oregon) continues unabated in the United States, as somehow, THC is still listed as a controlled substance at the federal level.

One can presume this will have to be addressed at some point. Still, the DEA and Department of Justice seem uninterested in litigating this matter, seeing as how the political salience has waned considerably since the days of Nancy Reagan. 

That brings us to Delta-8, which is getting pulled from shelves in quite a few states that haven’t legalized cannabis to the extent other states have, if at all.

This presents the reverse situation, in which Delta-8, legal at the federal level thanks to the 2018 farm bill, is getting banned in states and being pulled from shelves.

There are several reasons to believe this may happen to THCV, so be on alert for a bumpy rollout if this is the case. After all, the name alone seems to provoke certain politicians! 

Though THCV is still a very new cannabinoid and will likely take its time to establish itself, just be prepared for it to be hard to obtain for the time being. It could have the same fate as Delta-8 in your state, but we hope this will not be the case! 

Sources:

http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/data-and-analysis/bulletin/bulletin_1980-01-01_2_page006.html

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2697695/

https://www.thebluntness.com/posts/the-ultimate-guide-to-thcv-strains

https://www.healthline.com/health/endocannabinoid-system#how-it-works

http://headsup.scholastic.com/students/endocannabinoid

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2697695/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3942876/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27094344/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25595882/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20590571/

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