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While CBD and THC are undoubtedly the most popular components of the cannabis plant, they only represent two out of the (at least) 113 cannabinoids found in marijuana. 

THCV, or tetrahydrocannabivarin, is a trace compound found in cannabis. It provides a distinct range of effects and medical benefits that sets it apart from other, more commonly understood cannabinoids, like THC and CBD. 

While lesser-known than its more famous counterparts, THCV holds a range of therapeutic potential that may make it your new favorite cannabinoid.

Let’s shed some light on this mysterious new cannabinoid. 

What is THCV, and how does it work? 

THCV is a cannabinoid first discovered in the early 1970s and is relatively common in cannabis plants.

In addition, THCV can be found in cannabis and hemp plants, where it can either be consumed in plant material or taken as an isolated extract, most commonly in oil form.

Like all other phytocannabinoids, THCV is synthesized in the cannabis trichomes, the glandular hairs found on the plant’s surface.

THCV binds to both CB1 and CB2 receptors, the most studied cannabinoid receptors in the body. Depending on their location, these receptors are responsible for the subsequent cascade of effects in the body.


It is understandably easy to confuse THCV and THC, and for more reasons than just the one letter separating the two.

Both cannabinoids are very similar, especially in structure. THCV and THC are so similar in structure that their only difference is that one has a propyl group while the other has a pentyl group.

This difference may not mean much to those unfamiliar with chemistry, but you need to know that THCV and THC interact with the cannabinoid receptor CB1 in different ways. Specifically, THC activates CB1, while THCV blocks it.

Also, similar to THC, preliminary studies indicate that THCV has some potential for psychoactive effects at a high dosage.

A considerable difference between THCV and THC lies in their health benefits. While THCV and THC share similar effects, you are likely to experience different health benefits from each cannabinoid.

Effects and Benefits of THCV 

So now that we have a better idea of what THCV is, you may be asking yourself: What is THCV suitable for?

One benefit of THCV that stands out is its potential to reduce blood sugar levels.

High blood sugar levels are associated with various health issues that can increase your risk of developing diabetes and heart disease. So keeping your blood sugar levels low and stable is crucial to keeping yourself healthy.

A 2013 study also found that THCV reduced glucose intolerance, increased insulin sensitivity, and restored insulin signaling in obese lab mice.

Although these tests were not conducted on humans, they highlight THCV’s potential to treat glucose intolerance and help keep blood sugar levels in check.

Similarly, another clinical trial conducted in 2010 found that THCV decreased appetite, increased satiety, and regulated metabolism. These studies provide solid evidence that THCV may be a helpful remedy for weight loss and type 2 diabetic patients.

Another significant benefit of THCV may be its ability to reduce inflammation. While inflammation is an important immune response that can help our bodies fight infection and respond to injury, it can also result in pain and discomfort that contribute to several debilitating conditions.

The 2010 study mentioned above also found that THCV decreased inflammation and inflammatory pain in mice.

This study found that THCV’s anti-inflammatory effects likely occurred through its interaction with the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2.

There is also some evidence that THCV may stimulate bone growth thanks to its ability to promote the production of new bone cells.

By stimulating bone nodule formation and collagen production, THCV may contribute to positive bone growth. Although THCV does show a lot of promise in the treatment of bone-degenerative diseases like osteoporosis, more research is needed.

Where to get THCV? 

While CBD products are abundant on the market, that’s not the case for lesser-known cannabinoids like THCV.

Given THCV’s unique and potentially powerful effects, the cannabinoid is attracting more and more attention from consumers and cannabis businesses alike.

However, the biggest challenge with THCV is that it is not naturally produced in high concentrations, except for a few strains, mostly African Sativas: 

  • Pineapple Purps
  • Willie Nelson
  • Jack the Ripper
  • Red Congolese
  • Durban Poison
  • Power Plant
  • Durban Cheese 

That being said, a quick Google search of “cannabis thcv” will yield many results for those seeking this exciting new cannabinoid. However, because of this burgeoning market’s unregulated nature, always do your research, so you know exactly what you are signing up for. 

Final Word

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

However, unlike its intoxicating counterpart, early studies show that THCV might become the basis for managing obesity and type-2 diabetes effectively.


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


The cannabinoid Δ9-tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) ameliorates insulin sensitivity in two mouse models of obesity

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

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