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Imagine an opportunity to use a form of cannabis that helps keep your diet in check, does not make your appetite surge to stratospheric levels, does not make you eat everything in your fridge, and does not have you ordering Uber Eats at 2 AM. Oh, and it has the potential to clear your brain fog and inspire creativity to boot. 

Sounds great, right? Luckily, it may be a reality, particularly if the promising research bears out. I am talking about THCV, or Tetrahydrocannabivrain if you want to know its true name. It is closely related to THC, Tetrahydrocannabinol, or Delta 9 THC if you want to know its various scientific names as well. 

THCV is unique for a few reasons. It bears a striking resemblance in its molecular structure to THC, yet hardly resembles it at all when ingested or inhaled and takes effect within the body. It is also unique because of its rarity; you do not find too many naturally occurring species of cannabis that have a ton of THCV present. Stateside, this makes sense, since all the THCV heavy strains tend to be located in South Africa or in central Asia, quite a ways away from us.

But back to the weight loss part. How does THCV assist with such a persistent, uniquely American problem?

The answer deserves more than a few sentences, but it involves our cannabinoid receptors and THCV’s interaction with them. Read on to see what the true connection between THCV and weight loss is. 

THCV: An Overview

First, let’s delve into what makes THCV a fascinating cannabinoid in the first place. THCV is virtually identical to classic THC but for one detail: its carbon group.  There is a propyl molecule, which is a 3-carbon molecule, while THC has a pentyl 5-carbon molecule, setting these cannabinoids quite a bit apart from each other. 

THCV is also an antagonist at our cannabinoid receptors, but we will save these important details for the next section in this blog.

When consuming THCV our bodies would need doses that are quite high in order to produce a psychoactive high like its cousin, and this is due to the fact that it has a far higher boiling point than that of THC. THC boils at 315° while THCV requires a scorching 428° in order to reach its boiling point. 

These rather obscure characteristics may not sound like they fundamentally make THCV all that different from THC, but these small differences go quite a long way, particularly when it comes to the way these cannabinoids behave within the human body. While THC is at best problematic for consumers who want to lose weight, THCV’s genetic makeup and relationship with our endocannabinoid system prevent this from being an issue. For insight into that, keep on reading for the next section. 

Our Cannabinoid Receptors

Every mammal has an endocannabinoid system. This system is its own machine and does not need hemp, THC, CBD, cannabis, or any cannabis plant in order to function. This system presides over important bodily issues like appetite, immune health, mood, memory, sleep cycles, and fertility. Needless to say, it is pretty important!

The human body produces its own molecules that bind to the molecule receptors in our endocannabinoid system. These molecules, known as anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), are mysterious compounds that bind to our receptors (called CB1 and CB2) as needed, governing the systems previously mentioned. This is the ordinary state of things, up until cannabinoids from the hemp or marijuana plants are introduced. 

These cannabinoids overwhelm the receptors, causing the famed side effects you have no doubt heard about. THC is an agonist at the CB1 receptor, meaning it locks into the receptor and influences its behavior. However, THCV has the opposite reaction at our receptors as an antagonist, blocking the receptor’s function and thus causing the opposite effect in our body.

This means increased energy instead of sluggish, pleasant drowsiness. It means enhanced creativity and concentration instead of brain haze. And it means a non-existent appetite, and perhaps better portioned, healthy eating, instead of the munchies! All these things taken together mean that THCV has great potential to be a weight loss aid, and just like CBD’s boosted reputation as an FDA approved medication for seizures, there is a non-zero chance that THCV could see a similar fate if these elements bear out enough, particularly in more long term studies.

Other Benefits of THCV

We are focusing on weight loss and dieting in today’s blog about THCV, and for good reason. But in other research, other potential health benefits from THCV have emerged. The nervous system may benefit from regular THCV, particularly when combating insidious diseases like Parkinson’s, which originates in this particular system. 

THCV has shown potential in fighting off Alzheimer’s as well and continues to be analyzed on this front as well. 

Anti bacterial effects are a hallmark of THCV in this linked study, holding out hope for better antibiotic technologies in the world’s healthcare systems. 

Even something more surface-oriented like our skin can benefit from THCV, as it has been shown to block the production of the ever-annoying sebaceous lipids that cause acne.

Fatty liver disease, particularly the kind that is not caused by alcohol consumption, may see a more managed future if these studies bear out, particularly because this disease causes such problematic insulin resistance in those it affects. 

Epilepsy, as well as generalized pain management, are both being studied as afflictions that may see some easing with regular administration of THCV. 

We still have a ways to go before any of these studies bear the kind of fruit that the medical community would be celebratory and jubilant over, but the fact that we already have these studies available to look at means that researchers will continue to be hard at work.

Helpful Tips

With all this being said, remember how new THCV is to the market. CBD this is not! So far, no one is really clear about what a proper dose for an adult human should be, so products have mostly consolidated around a 5-10 mg dose per product.

If you can help it, get a sublingual version of THCV as an oil or tincture as this has the best chance of rapid action activity in the body. 

Always be sure to check to see if the website you are buying from has a Certificate of Analysis or a lab report to go along with their products. Also, be sure to check out our other blogs post that detail THCV strains for weight loss. 

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.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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