Regardless of whether you are experiencing discomfort from a health condition which research suggests can be treated with the use of cannabis or you are simply a marijuana enthusiast, who enjoys the magical side of the herb, it is useful to gain a deeper understanding of the cannabis plant before consumption. Studies demonstrate that the potential of the plant lies further than its basic use of getting consumers high and helping with the release of some steam gathered from the stressful lifestyles popular in today’s world.
While certain compounds found in the cannabis plant, such as THC and CBD, have prevailed in terms of popularity, when we dig deeper into the plant we will discover that there are numerous other cannabinoids, which play an essential role in shaping the plant’s power that we know very little of. However, they are not to be underestimated as in most cases, these cannabinoids are closely related to THC, CBD, and have their own independent and unique properties which can be of benefit to the human body.
In this article, we will examine the nature of THCV and see how it differentiates from its counterpart – THC.
THCV stands for tetrahydrocannabivarin but a more creative definition suggests it is the “sports car of cannabinoids”. It is another compound naturally found in cannabis plants, which provides a vast range of benefits for consumers. From a purely scientific perspective, THCV is a molecule with chemical formula C19H2602. The compound is insoluble in water but soluble in solvents with a lipid base. Although THCV is extremely similar to THC in structure, there are several important distinctions between the two.
The popular THC cannabinoid is best known for its psychoactive nature and its ability to stimulate mind-altering experiences for consumers. This compound is among the most influential in making marijuana smoking so popular and attractive for people of different ages and backgrounds. From this perspective, THCV is a bit different.
THC activates its effects on the body through our endocannabinoid system and more specifically, the CB1 receptors. The compound is considered a CB1 receptor agonist, meaning that it activates the receptor once in contact and stimulates certain processes and functions. When consumed in small doses, THCV plays the role of a CB1 antagonist or a substance that does not get consumers high. However, as the dose increases, the effect of THCV changes and it transforms from an antagonist into an agonist. In simple words, when taken in higher doses, THCV can act in a similar way to THC and create the typical “buzz” or “kick” of being high.
The high sensation from THCV and THC is also different. THCV is considered to last for a shorter period of time and the high is less intense when compared to THC.
Where is THCV found?
THCV is not a major cannabinoid and can, therefore, be found in very little amounts in certain strains. For instance, a range of African-based strains and other plants, which have been created specifically for the purpose of producing THCV. It is worth noting that even when consuming a strain with THCV, the consumer will be taking in the full range of cannabinoids found within the plant. The effect will be completely different to that of consuming pure THCV as a result of the Entourage Effect. Furthermore, similar to CBD, THCV can sometimes weaken the effects of THC in a strain.
THCV’s effects on the body
Research reveals that THCV can have a number of powerful effects on the body. For instance, the compound is associated with decreased appetite and body weight, due to its ability to block the CB1 receptors when consumed in certain doses. In addition, THCV has been related to treating anxiety, similarly to CBD, especially with patients suffering from PTSD. Alzheimer’s disease is another serious condition which the compound can tackle and provide support or the body. Furthermore, just like CBD, THCV is believed to have an anti-inflammatory ability, providing relief for a range of infections.
Just like other cannabinoids, THCV can also play the role of a bone growth stimulator and be extremely helpful in cases of fractures or with patients suffering from osteoporosis. Furthermore, the compound has been related to the decrease of seizures, meaning that it can also be used on patients with epilepsy.
The complex nature of cannabis makes the field interesting to explore. The deeper that science goes into its diverse cannabinoids, the more therapeutic effects are being discovered. The plant is slowly making its way towards the medical world and more consumers are turning an eye towards its natural benefits for the body.