Everything You Need To Know About Thcv

THCV is a unique cannabinoid now entering the limelight. But what does it have to offer? Read on to learn more about this dose-dependent compound.


Cannabinoid research has been conducted for decades, but it’s only recently intensified as cannabis has gained a better reputation. Along with better-known cannabinoids like THC and CBD, the lesser-known THCV has started gaining traction. Although distinct from THC, it has a little psychoactive touch of its own, and can play a strong role in maintaining holistic wellness. Let's take a closer look at THCV and see what's so special about it.

What Is Thcv?

What Is THCV - Trichomes

THCV (tetrahydrocannabivarin) is just like other cannabinoids in that it is produced in the trichomes of the cannabis plant. And, like its chemical siblings, THCV first begins as the precursor cannabinoid CBGV-A. With the help of enzymes, CBGV-A is then converted into THCV-A (tetrahydrocannabivarin acid) and other cannabinoids. The last step needed to turn THCV-A into THCV is a process called decarboxylation, which involves applying heat to cannabinoids. That process, simply enough, happens when cannabis is smoked or vaped.

THCV has several peculiar characteristics that make it stand out from other cannabinoids. Namely, it has some of the psychoactive elements of THC, but is distinct enough to be worthwhile in its own right.

Thcv And The Endocannabinoid System

THCV and the Endocannabinoid System

We’ve known about them for some time, but it wasn’t until the 1980s that we really began to learn how cannabinoids work in the body. With the discovery of innate cannabinoid receptors, which make up the endocannabinoid system, researchers could finally make headway regarding the physiological effects of cannabis-derived cannabinoids.

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Specifically, the endocannabinoid system regulates important bodily functions including immunity, sleep, mood, and more. The body produces its own cannabinoids ("endocannabinoids") which bind to these receptors, known simply as CB1 and CB2. Cannabinoids from the cannabis plant, as it turns out, can bind to these receptors as well. In doing so, they can cause profound alterations in physiological functions. THC, for example, binds to CB1 receptors in the brain, which is how it produces its characteristic high.

Thcv — An Underrated Cannabinoid

THCV — An Underrated Cannabinoid

Despite being discovered way back in 1973, THCV is one of the less talked-about cannabinoids. Very little research has been conducted on it, and, unlike THC or CBD, it isn’t much mentioned in mainstream discussion. In fact, THCV has only recently amassed attention thanks to the cannabis industry boom.

Under the microscope, it appears THCV acts as a CB1 receptor antagonist at low doses. That, in short, means it inhibits the effects of THC, a quality it seems to share with CBD. At higher doses, however, it acts as an agonist of the same receptor, producing effects similar to THC in turn. In a sense, it combines the effects of THC and CBD, although in a distinct way.

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THCV, however, has dose-dependent interactions. At low doses, THCV works as a CB1 antagonist, but it has the exact opposite effect at high doses. In other words, THCV can make the psychoactive effect from cannabis more or less intense depending on dose.

Thcv Vs Thc — What Are The Differences?

THCV vs THC — What Are the Differences?

Given the similarity in name, some may wonder if there’s even a difference between THC and THCV. Chemically, THCV only differs slightly from the more widely known THC. On a molecular level, THCV has a 3-carbon side chain, while THCV has a 5-carbon group. Both cannabinoids, however, have double bond isomers and 30 stereoisomers. Despite having that in common, there are some profound differences between THCV and THC:

  • The high from THCV is described as intense and stimulating, yet more clear-headed than that from THC. It is, however, not as long-lasting. Some believe THCV only achieves its effects by influencing the effects of THC. Specifically, THCV is thought to "take the edge off" THC.

  • THCV, unlike THC, is believed to suppress the appetite. This makes it potentially useful as a weight management option, but nothing’s set in stone yet.

  • THCV has a boiling point of 220°C, while the boiling point of THC is 158°C. This is important to know if you’re vaping a THCV-rich strain.

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Does Thcv Get You High?

Does THCV Get You High?

As mentioned before, the effects of THCV depend on the dose. So indeed, if you take higher doses, you’ll experience a pleasant high. The high from THCV is stimulating and more clear-headed than the high from THC. This can make THCV a great alternative during the day when you still want to function while enjoying a nice buzz. THCV may also amplify some aspects of the THC high, such as euphoria and mental stimulation. It’s also been shown to counteract the worrying brought on by using too much THC.

This high doesn’t give you the “munchies”, either. This can be a welcome side effect for consumers who are looking to lose weight. On the other hand, it makes cannabis strains with THCV less suitable for people with certain eating issues.

Lastly, it’s good to note that the high from THCV is believed to have a faster onset, but lasts about half as long as THC. This makes THCV-rich cannabis strains perfect for people who want a briefer experience.

The Benefits Of Thcv

The Benefits of THCV

Appetite suppression is just one of the noteworthy characteristics of this underrated cannabinoid. But anecdotal reports and current research suggest it might have potential benefits for mental well-being, too. Specifically, THCV has been observed to produce a soothing effect that helps when feeling agitated and nervous. Research suggests this is because THCV can enhance the activation of 5-HT1A receptors[1], which play an important role in mood regulation. More studies still need to be done, but this could be a potential use for THCV in the future.

Other studies are being conducted to see if THCV can benefit physical health as well, but they’re in very early stages. As more of that research comes out, we’re sure THCV’s future will start to look even brighter.