What is THCV?

Discovered in 1973, THCV is a molecule that contains 19 Carbon atoms, 26 Hydrogen atoms, and 2 Oxygen atoms, chemically represented as with the formula C19H26O2. It is highly soluble in lipid-based solvents but insoluble in water, therefore exhibiting a common behavior associated with phytocannabinoids.

THCV begins life as cannabigerovarin acid (CBGVA) before the enzymes in the cannabis plant break down and become tetrahydrocannabivarin acid (THCVA). The tetrahydrocannabivarin acid then further breaks down as a result of the exposure to heat from the sun and UV through a decarboxylation process to become THCV.

When taken in low doses THCV produces very little of the “high” experienced with THC. However, as soon as the dose is increased even slightly, THCV has the ability to make you feel the high associated with THC. It has the tendency to exhibit undesirable effects, such as paranoia and short term memory loss and as such should be treated with caution.

How safe is THCV?

In short, we aren’t sure. It is considered to be safe in extremely small doses, but increasingly risky when taken at higher doses. That said, the science is embryonic, so we strongly advise that your exercise caution and speak to a medical practitioner about its use.

Are THCV and THC the same?

THCV (tetrahydrocannabivarin) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) are similar but do have some marked differences, especially when you look at their molecular structure. THC possesses a longer carbon chain than THCV, so when the compound interacts with cell receptors, even at low levels there is a significant change both inactivity and effect as a result of the interaction.


Should I take THCV?

It is dangerous to think of THCV as being “THC Light” because no matter how you look at it, it can lead to unwanted psychoactive effects. Therefore, if you are going to use THCV, you must do so with the risks of psychoactive effects in mind.

Therefore, in spite of the calls that THCV offers some benefits, including being a good appetite suppressant and giving you a healthy, energetic high that doesn’t give you the munchies, we ask you to exercise caution and only take THCV under the guidance of your doctor.

There is a widely held understanding that more research is needed on the isolated effects of THCV and its role in treating the symptoms of neurodegenerative diseases before we can say that a) it is safe, and b) that it is effective. For now, we simply don’t know enough about it, so the calculated risks, need to be taken into account, against the largely unknown benefits.

The good news for everyone is that THCV is being tested for its safety and benefits all the time, so as we know more, we will be sure to let you know. In the meantime, if you have any experience of THCV and are willing to share your story, we would love to hear from you!

Ian Parkes

Ian has been writing for a number of high growth industries for the past decade. Having plied his trade in the craft beer industry, Ian drew parallels between that and the world of CBD and soon became fascinated. Ian enjoys writing about innovation in the industry, particularly as it relates to the development of the leading brands.

See all posts by Ian Parkes

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