Are There THCv Benefits?
Posted on December 19th, 2020
Do you know there are more than 400 chemical presents inside of the cannabis plant? According to Zerrin Atakan, a student in the Depart of Psychosis Studies at King’s College London, there are over 60 cannabinoid compounds within these 400 chemical entities. The variety is so great that some of them even have opposing effects from one another that could balance their counterpart’s effects. The most common compounds that you will hear about are THC and CBD. But there is another compound that is now making the rounds due to the fact that it may suppress your appetite and, therefore, help you lose weight. That compound goes by the name of THCv.
What is THCv?
Tetrahydrocannabivarin, popularly known as THCv, is one of the 113 cannabinoid compounds. It offers a wide range of effects. Some of which have potential therapeutic benefits that make it stand out from the likes of other cannabinoids like THC and CBD. Whether you are a medical marijuana patient or looking at THCv as a way for you to lose weight, better to know fully know how this compound works before you use it.
The molecular structure of THCv is quite similar to that of THC. But, does that mean it will give you a euphoric feeling like the one you get from cannabis that is heavy on THC? Not necessarily. While THCv does contain minor psychoactive properties akin to THC, it might only give you a very brief, faint high. However, when you consume THCv at an excessively high amount, then and only then you might experience something resembling THC.
The Journal on Cannabis Research states that THCv’s chemical makeup involves a side chain of 3 carbon atoms. THC, on the other hand, also has a side chain, but it contains five atoms. This makes THCv considerably different, which is precisely why it works differently in your body.
How Does THCv work?
Before getting into the potential benefits of this cannabis compound, it is essential to find out how THCv works on you once you take it. People have a misconception that since similar names, they then must have similar psychoactive effects. But that is not the case. As already mentioned, you need to take THCv at high doses to experience a kind of high resembling THC. Otherwise, you might only get to experience its potential therapeutic benefits. One of the most significant differences between THC and THCv is the latter can suppress your appetite even when taken at low doses. Various studies also prove that THCv can counteract THC’s effects, making it an ideal product for those who don’t want to get high.
While both CBD and THC are the byproducts of CBGA synthesis (cannabigerolic acid), THCv, on the other hand, is a byproduct of CBGVA (cannabigerovarin acid). Cannabigerovarin acid converts to THCVA. Manufacturers then expose THCVA to heat or light to make it THCv.
Like CBD, THC, and most cannabinoids, THCv provides therapeutic benefits after interacting with the cannabinoid receptors in your body. The two primary receptors that THCv targets are CB1 and CB2. These two receptors are part of your body’s Endocannabinoid System (ECS). The ECS is responsible for regulating various body functions and keeps your body’s homeostatic state.
CB1 receptors, for example, are scattered throughout the body, but most of them concentrate near the brain and your nervous system. CB2 receptors, however, are more present around your immune system. Consuming THCv in low doses makes it work as an antagonist to your CB1 receptors. Thus, it can successfully block some of THC’s effects, such as intense psychoactive highs and food cravings colloquially referred to as munchies.
What happens when you take THCv at higher doses? Are there any THCv Benefits in that case? When you do that, the compound will activate both CB1 and CB2 receptors and give out similar effects to THC. Therefore, you will get ‘high’.
How Do Manufacturers Extract THCv?
Honestly, extracting THCv is quite an extensive process. This is because of the low percentage of THCVA available in hemp biomass. Manufacturers use an extraction process called chromatography. This procedure involves using superfluid liquid contents that contain ethanol or CO2. These liquids separate THCVA from the plant. The extract then goes into an evaporation chamber with heat underneath. It also involves a vacuum that removes the gas from the extract, thus leaving the purest form of THCv concentrate behind. Once manufacturers finish extracting, they store THCv at room temperature and away from sunlight to preserve its potency.
Are There Benefits of THCv?
One thing that you need to know before consuming THCv is that it produces its effects almost instantly. Yet, the effects will also go away within a few hours, which is rather fast for cannabinoids. This may be beneficial for those who don’t want to experience the effects throughout the day. The following potential THCv benefits are the reason it might soon become as popular as CBD:
1. Weight Loss
According to a study from the Journal of Cannabis Research, THCv is an appetite suppressant. This might be particularly helpful for obese people. If you are one of those who want to lose weight but can’t give up on your favorite snack and junk food, taking THCv in small doses might help you.
THCv seems to improve the connectivity in specific areas of your brain that remain altered due to obesity. It basically helps override that part so that your brain can actively stop craving junk food. Thus, THCv might be highly effective for weight loss because your brain will stop needing the source of your body’s weight gain.
However, you should note that the research supports weight loss by consuming THCv only in low doses. Ingesting THCv at high doses may make you stoned, and that might very well increase your appetite as it happens with THC.
There’s also some evidence that THCv might help people suffering from diabetes. However, research is ongoing to confirm if humans can take THCv specifically for diabetes. According to the study published in Nutrition and Diabetes Journal in 2013, THCv works flawlessly on mice with Type-2 diabetes.
The study went on to find that THCv increases energy expenditure and simultaneously reduces glucose intolerance. Remember, this is only for obese mice. So, don’t go around taking THCv with the hope that it will lower your diabetes just yet. To further reiterate the efficiency of THCv on diabetic mice, the cannabis compound significantly increased their insulin sensitivity.
The research concluded that THCv might offer excellent reactions against diabetes in mice. Meanwhile, human trials are pending. Instead, you can use THCv as a treatment against glucose intolerance associated with obesity. A newer study in 2016 shows that THCv improves pancreatic cell function of patients suffering from Type-2 diabetes.
3. Tremors and Seizures
In early research, THCv has an incredible ability to suppress tremors signature to conditions like multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and ALS. Many scientific researches support the fact that this cannabis compound can reduce epilepsy seizures as well. Further reports suggest that THCv can reduce not only the severity of seizures but also their frequency.
A detailed study published in the Epilepsia journal stated that you could take THCv as a preventive measure. Those who took THCv regularly noted a significant reduction in the number of seizures they had every week. In contrast, those who took it after seizures said that they felt calm and relaxed. Not a feature to ignore since the relaxation might make it unlikely that they have another episode for a while.
In addition to reducing weight, THCv might also act as a potent anti-inflammatory. According to a study by the Journal of Pharmacology, researchers noticed a significant reduction in swelling in mice after injecting THCv. The study also found that the mice didn’t have cannabinoid intolerance, which made it easier to experiment on them. The scientists used the same dose of THCv on the mice for four consecutive days and noticed the inflammation significantly reduced.
THCv Benefits vs THC Benefits
The primary issue with cannabinoid compounds is people think that they would get them stoned once consumed. That is a silly thought. Consider whisky and beer, for example. Whisky has a higher alcohol content than beer. This is the reason you feel tipsy after having, say, 300 ml of whisky while you feel fine even if you drink a full 350 ml bottle of beer.
THC is the medical cannabis you would want if you are looking for euphoric feelings that keep you stoned for hours. THCv isn’t like that. It helps suppress your appetite and thereby reduce your weight. The other potential benefits of THCv are still under the scanner. You can expect scientists to have more to say on it soon.
THCv Benefits – The Takeaway
Whether you consume THCv hoping to lose weight or reduce joint pains is entirely up to you. But make sure you don’t overdose.
You may soon come across THCv products all over the place. In the meantime, they are a bit scarce. Check the labels on the product you are buying to see they feature it. Alternatively, contact the manufacturer directly to enquire. It goes without saying that you should research the manufacturer’s background to make sure their products are of high quality.