April 25, 2016

What Is THCV And How Is It Different From THC?

April 25, 2016
bladder cancer thcv marijuana cannabis
bladder cancer thcv marijuana cannabis
(image via SC Labs)

Cannabinoids. So many cannabinoids. Everyone of them has their own characteristics, and more are likely to be discovered. As far as I know, there are at least 111 known cannabinoids (fact check please, let me know if there are more!). A lot of them are unknown. The first cannabinoid (tetrahydrocannabinol) was discovered in 1964 at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, by Dr. Raphael Mechoulam and his colleagues, Dr. Yehiel Gaoni and Dr. Haviv Edery.

Research has been limited for the cannabis plant since that time, so a lot has yet to be discovered as to the traits and benefits of each cannabinoid. Historically tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) was obviously the most well known cannabinoid, but cannabidiol (CBD) has been surging in popularity and relevance. CBD is great for a number of things, the most well known of which is reducing epileptic seizures. It’s on the news almost every day, which has been a two edged sword for reform. On one hand, it’s outstanding that sufferers are getting relief where they can and that the world is learning about CBD. But on the other hand, it has led to a lot of CBD-only legislation, which is basically always accompanied by an absence of a way to legally obtain CBD, and that’s very unfortunate for patients.

I had a conversation with my friend Pamela today (who is speaking at a very big event in New York tomorrow) about the cannabinoid Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV). We both agreed that it’s going to be the next cannabinoid to ‘be discovered’ by mainstream America. THCV has been called the ‘the sports car of cannabinoids’ by Steep Hill Labs, and for good reason. THCV has a quicker, stronger ‘high’ compared to THC. The high from THCV doesn’t last as long as THC, so it’s much more useful being used as a sprint, rather than a marathon so to speak.

THCV and THC both possess pain relieving properties, but they differ in one very big way. Whereas THC induces appetite, THCV suppresses appetite. THCV also increases energy. That’s very significant when one considers how many health problems are directly tied to diabetes and obesity, which THCV can help combat. THCV has the potential to save our healthcare system, and I don’t think that’s too bold of a statement.

I know a lot of people that suffer from diabetes. A study in 2013 found the following about THCV and diabetes:

THCV is a new potential treatment against obesity-associated glucose intolerance with pharmacology different from that of CB1 inverse agonists/antagonists.

Steep Hill Labs had the following to say about additional benefits of THCV:

THCV has been found to reduce or even block panic attacks and, as a result, can be highly effective in the management of PTSD and other mental disorders involving anxiety or stress, as shown in research in places like Israel, where a great amount of cannabis research is done. THCV doesn’t appear to suppress emotions, only the ability to panic, associated with Fight or Flight response.

THCV has also been shown to reduce tremors associated with diseases such as Parkinson’s, along with ailments associated with motor control. There is also promising research demonstrating reduction of brain lesions associated with Parkinson’s.

THCV also stimulates bone cell growth, and has potential in the treatment of osteoporosis and similar ailments; possibly even in the micro gravity of space, to combat the loss of bone mass.

Strains that are high in THCV include Tangie, Girl Scout Cookies, Pie Face OG, Durban Poison, and Hawaiian Dutch. Durban Poison and Girl Scout Cookies is popular in my area. I’m not sure what is popular in your area but ask your local budtender and I’m sure they will help you out. And if you don’t live where there are bud tenders, move to the West Coast if you are able, it’s beautiful out here.


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