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Thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, a seemingly small piece of federal legislation with significant consequences, we are in the age of new hemp.

It is a period where new and novel cannabinoids are hitting the market almost every day.

And now comes along THCV, otherwise known as tetrahydrocannabivarin, another hemp-derived cannabinoid built off of a foundation of cannabis. The compound is quickly finding its place within the pantheon of hemp-derived compounds. 

As with many other cannabinoids, including better-known compounds like CBD and CBN, THCV might not have intoxicating effects linked to THC, despite having those all-familiar three letters in its name.

Even so, confusion reigns over whether THCV is legal in the United States.

Like CBD, THCV is federally legal as long as it is extracted from hemp plants containing less than 0.3% THC. THCV is also permitted in all cannabis strains where medical and/or adult use is legal at a state level.

But what exactly is THCV, and why would you want to use it in the first place?

What is THCV?

THCV is a new, cutting-edge cannabinoid (derived from Hemp) that carries psychoactive effects and euphoric feelings associated with the typical properties associated with cannabis use.

Researchers discovered THCV in 1973, and while it is not as popular as CBD or THC, the potential benefits of this cannabinoid is leading to a lot of substantial research thanks to consumer interest.

Like THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids, THCV exerts therapeutic effects through interaction with chemical receptors in nearly every system of the body.

The two primary chemical receptors are called CB1 and CB2, which make up what is known as the Endocannabinoid System (ECS).

This system is involved in regulating a wide range of our body’s functions required for optimal health.

CB1 receptors are found throughout the body but are concentrated in the brain and nervous system, while CB2 receptors are more prevalent in the immune system.

At low doses, THCV acts as an antagonist to CB1 receptors, which means it can block some of the actions caused by THC such as the munchies and intense mental highs.

At higher doses, however, THCV activates both the CB1 and CB2 receptors and exhibits effects that more closely resemble THC. This result is enhanced euphoric and cognitive effects along with the therapeutic value.

Is THCV Legal?

Although THCV looks molecularly identical to THC, it acts completely differently in the body and is not a scheduled controlled substance in the United States. 

Since products contain only THCV made from 100% Hemp extract, companies are able to fully legally manufacture, distribute and sell to consumers in the United States.

Additionally, thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, ratified and signed into law in December 2018, Cannabis containing less than 0.3% THC is legally classified as Hemp and thus is legal for all intents and purposes under federal law. 

This does, however, vary from state to state. 

There are surprisingly fewer states where THCV is illegal than legal.

But what is even more interesting is how some of these states were trailblazing leaders in terms of recreational cannabis, like Colorado.

Here is a complete list of states where THCV is legal:

Alabama, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. 

Here is a complete list of states where THCV is illegal:

Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, New York, Rhode Island, Utah, and Vermont.

What are the benefits of THCV?

Research suggests that THCV has some legitimate medical benefits. 

For one, THCV is a pretty effective appetite suppressant, which may offer relief for people experiencing obesity.

Some research indicates that low doses can reduce appetite by inhibiting the action of CB1 receptors.

Other research, such as this study by the Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, suggests that THCV may be an effective weight-loss compound because it improves connectivity in the areas of the brain that are generally altered in people with obesity.

This study supported THCV for weight loss but did not support the appetite-suppression theory. 

Research indicates that THVC may be a potent anti-inflammatory agent, which can help stave off a variety of age- and stress-related illnesses.

In a study by the Journal of Pharmacology, researchers found that THCV helps reduce swelling in mice.

Moreover, the study found that the mice did not tolerate the cannabinoid, despite ingesting it for four consecutive days.

THCV has also been shown to produce energizing psychoactive effects.

In addition, it dissipates fast, which can be a massive benefit for those who do not want to experience the results for long periods.

Where to get THCV?

Unlike cannabinoids such as CBN and CBC, there are relatively high levels of THCV in a wide variety of marijuana strains:

  • Doug’s Varin
  • Pineapple Purps (aka Purple Pineapple)
  • Durban Poison
  • Malawi Gold
  • Power Plant
  • Willie Nelson
  • Jack the Ripper 
  • Pink Boost Goddess
  • AC/DC
  • Chocolope Haze

Up until recently, quite a few brands offered THCV products online.

However, that number has dwindled as former sellers have turned to delta-8-THC and delta-10 THC instead.

Yet, with the net tightening of these cannabinoids as several states have made them illegal, attention may shift to THCV.

Conclusion

The word is getting out about this energy-boosting, weight-loss-stimulating, anti-inflammatory powerhouse, and THCV promises to be one of the cannabis industry’s next big ingredients.

Currently, there are few strains in the market that produce significant levels of THCV, so there’s a market gap and an opportunity, according to market-research firm Benzinga, to be one of the first companies to market high-THCV strains or extracts. 

THCV is a product that invites people of all kinds to give it a try, especially those who have never tried cannabis because they fear the high and the munchies characterized by THC.

Unlike its intoxicating cousin, low levels of THCV provide high energy, mental clarity, and appetite-suppressant qualities that may even entice the Type A’s among us.

Its ability to draw in a wider crowd of customers is a huge benefit.

Because of the ever-changing nature of cannabinoid legality, please make sure you double-check to see if THCV is legal in your state.

Remember, it is probably legal if your state allows recreational cannabis or if you have an MMJ card. Otherwise, you are taking a risk.

Sources

Tetrahydrocannabivarin

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetrahydrocannabivarin

COMPOUND SUMMARY: Tetrahydrocannabivarin

https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Tetrahydrocannabivarin

USDA: 2018 Farm Bill

https://www.usda.gov/farmbill

Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV): a commentary on potential therapeutic benefit for the management of obesity and diabetes

https://jcannabisresearch.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s42238-020-0016-7

The plant cannabinoid Δ9-tetrahydrocannabivarin can decrease signs of inflammation and inflammatory pain in mice

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2931567/

High-THCV strains you should know about

https://weedmaps.com/news/2020/01/high-thcv-strains-you-should-know-about/

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