Cannabis contains more than 85 different cannabinoids -- naturally occurring active compounds in the cannabis plant. The two most famous cannabinoids are THC and CBD, but as researchers study cannabis more, they’re discovering exciting new cannabinoids that may be good for your wellbeing.
One of those exciting new cannabinoids is THCV, or tetrahydrocannabivarin. THCV is a close relative of THC, and it has similar psychoactive properties -- but THCV comes with a new set of possible benefits that set it apart from other cannabinoids.
Whether you’re a medical patient or a recreational consumer, THCV may be worth a try. Here’s a basic guide to THCV’s effects and benefits, as well as a list of strains that contain this fascinating cannabinoid.
THC -- the compound in cannabis that gets you high -- is almost identical to THCV when it comes to molecular structure. The only difference is that THC has a little tail on the end of its molecule, while THCV has no tail.
That missing tail on THCV makes a huge difference when it comes to effect. Research is still pretty new, but a few studies have found that THCV brings a whole new set of potential benefits to the cannabis table, including:
Keep in mind that research on THCV is still quite young. It’s only been on cannabis researchers’ radars for the last few years and there’s a lot about it that we don’t know yet.
Because THCV was weaker than its more exciting cousin, researchers put THCV on the back burner for about 40 years. The little research done on THCV described its high as brief and mildly euphoric, like a shorter, gentler version of a THC high.
However, the recent flourishing of cannabis research has brought THCV back into the spotlight, and new studies paint a more nuanced picture of how THCV works.
At high doses, THCV gets you high with about a quarter the potency of THC. But at lower doses, THCV seems to do the opposite.
Low-dose THCV partially blocks CB1 receptors in your brain -- the same receptors THC activates[*,*]. As a result, lower-dose THCV may prevent some of the psychoactive effects of THC, keeping you more clear-headed (and less hungry)[*].
THCV is found mostly in African cannabis strains or in their descendants. High-THCV strains include:
THCV content in the above strains is fairly low, so it’s more likely to mellow out the THC than to provide additional euphoria.
That said, as THCV becomes more popular, we’re starting to see the first few cannabis strains bred specifically to have high THCV. The two main ones now are:
One final note: THCV vaporizes at a higher temperature than many other cannabinoids. If you’re using a vaporizer and you want to activate THCV, you’ll want to turn your vape’s temperature up to 220 °C (428 °F).
If you’re interested in high-THCV strains, Power Plant is a good place to start. And even if you don’t want a high-THCV strain, why not check out the rest of our online cannabis store? We have the largest selection of dried cannabis flower in Canada, all shipped directly to your door.