Author – Jon Russell
Edited by Noah Persin
Welcome back to the GreenSea “Understanding Cannabinoids” series. We’ve covered the first four of the “Big 6” cannabinoids: CBG, THC, CBD & CBC. What about the last two though? In order to discuss the final two of the “Big 6” we have to go back to the beginning of the cannabinoid map.
We learned in the CBG article that as cannabis (hemp or sativa) grows, geranyl pyrophosphate (ger·a·nyl py·ro·phos·phate) combines with olivetolic acid to create a high concentration of CBGa. What we didn’t discuss before is that at the same time it can combine with divarinolic acid to create CBGV. Just like CBG, CBGV is the first step along a line new cannabinoids.
Cannabigerovarin Acid (CBGVa)
The “V” stands for “varin” and it’s a slightly different molecular bond which we won’t go too into here. The main difference is that there are less carbon atoms which changes the half life. Varins tend to wear off much quicker than the other “Big 6” cannabinoids.The difference isn’t much though, they work in almost identical ways. Cannabigerovarin Acid (CBGVa) (cann·a·bi·ger·o·varin acid) synthesizes into THCVa, CBDVa and CBCVa just like CBGa does with the other cannabinoids. They all decarboxylate the same, dropping the acid and becoming THCV, CBCV and CBDV.
Research on varins has been focused on how it converts into the other varins, but current research is showing some promise for its promotion of bone growth.
Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) (tetra·hydro·canna·bi·varin) (now please say that 10 times fast) is an interesting cousin to THC. Both create that “high” that most people recognize when they smoke cannabis. Varins work a little differently though. THCV produces a very sativa-like high that is peppy and uplifting. It’s more psychoactive as well, meaning it gives a stronger high. However, it wears off much faster so you don’t stay high as long.
See how close the two are?
THCV is now known for its ability to suppress appetite (so long midnight munchies). THCV is a CB1 receptor antagonist as well, which means it prevents other cannabinoids from affecting the receptor as efficiently. Due to this, it actually reduces the “munchie” feeling that many experience. This function is now being studied for treating obesity! By blocking the CB1 receptor, THCV may also be beneficial for PTSD patients or to curb the anxiety that comes from THC itself.
In a dual capacity, THCV also binds to the CB2 receptor and works as an anti-inflammatory on the cellular level. Not only does it reduce cellular inflammation, studies on mice show a VAST potential to reduce neuropathic pain.
Health Benefits of THCV
THCV has shown promise as a treatment for symptoms associated with epilepsy and other ailments, ever so slightly dulling motor control, THCV can help stop the muscle tics and can potentially be used to treat seizures.
THCV has many other potential health benefits. A CBD/THCV tincture is being studied as a potential treatment for multiple symptoms and causes of diabetes. Likewise, research is beginning on its potential to promote bone growth.
Finding THCV proves to be easier said than done. African landrace strains seem to have the highest concentration of THCV, with Durban Poison being a favorite of many consumers. Doug’s Varin and Jack the Ripper are the strains known with the highest THCV content, with DV being a 1:1.05 and the only strain known with a higher THCV than THC content. Dutch Treat is a popular strain locally in Oregon that contains a high amount (relatively speaking) of THCV, and can be found concentrated in extracts from processors such as White Label Extracts.
THCV took us back to the top of the cannabinoid map as it introduced us to the varins. THCV looks to be a powerhouse for helping people overcome weight, anxiety and motor/reflex conditions.
Join us next week for our next article in the “Understanding Cannabinoids” series. We’ll cover a CBDV, the last of the major cannabinoids. Stay connected for the next in our series by signing up for the newsletter below.
Editor’s Note: I am very excited about the prospect of strains with high THCV content. After editing and reviewing the research associated with this article I am much more optimistic about many aspects of cannabis in terms of palliative, curative and preventative medicine. While this article serves as a great introduction I encourage interested readers to embark on their own research efforts to learn more. Lastly, after editing this article I searched through the GreenSea catalog for strains that we deliver that have higher concentrations of THCV and found Dutch Treat BHO shatter from White Label Extracts. Please always medicate and/ or recreate responsibly and enjoy!
Click here to read the next article in the Understanding Cannabinoid series: Cannabidivarin (CBDv) & Cannabinol (CBN)
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