THCV is another molecule belonging to the cannabinoid family that is now known to be comprised of over 100 members. Although less well known, at least at this stage, than its brethren THC and CBD, it is making its way into the spotlight as a cannabinoid that has its own psychoactive effects and is displaying some impressive potential medical applications. THCV quantity will no doubt become another desirable trait that cultivators and smokers look when choosing a strain to indulge in. Similar in name to the most well-known cannabinoid THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), THCV (tetrahydrocannabivarin) is also similar when it comes to molecular structure. For this reason, THCV targets receptors of the endocannabinoid system and catalyses interesting results, the full potential of which are most likely yet to be discovered.

A THCV HIGH

First things first, let us address the question that is probably on the mind of most cannabis smokers when first catching wind of this relatively new cannabinoid of the scene; so, how will this affect my high? Well THCV is reported to be approximately 25% as psychoactive as THC, and it actually offers a different type of high in comparison to that typically experienced after THC ingestion. Smokers can expect to experience a clear-headed, lucid and stimulating sensation after consuming THCV rich strains.

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THCV strains may also make a great choice for those smokers who benefits off of smoking cannabis, but also struggle with some adverse side effects such as paranoia and forms of anxiety. An article published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology documented how THCV can manipulate the effects of THC. The findings suggest that THCV may positively influence potential negative effects experienced after ingesting THC, such as paranoia and short-term memory impairment. The results didn’t stop here, THCV may also be able to stop or reduce increases in heart rate that THC can bring about. The authors of the study also state, that THCV, when administered alone, showed signs of improvement in subjects when carrying out a working-memory test, however slight increases of anxiety were reported here.

These findings suggest that THCV may buffer THC, possibly easing the negative effects associated with smoking more than a person can psychologically handle.

Another difference that occurs with a THCV high is the duration, which has given the cannabinoid an association with a “racecar”. This is because the onset of the high is a lot faster than THC rich strains, but the effects wear off a lot quicker also. A THCV strain high could be looked at as a sprint, fast and intense, yet over hastily. Whereas a THC high is more like an endurance event, the effects take slightly longer to kick it, and the duration is longer. THCV is also reported to enhance the euphoric aspect of a THC high.

Another difference in the high could be how hungry you might feel. Many smokers have had the experience after indulging in a heavy THC strain via bong, pipe or joint where they experience a hunger so powerful that it is almost impossible to combat it. Even if you are short on food, a plain slice of bread can seem as satisfying as a slice of cake at these time. This sensation is typically referred to as the “munchies”, for more than obvious reasons. However, THCV is reported to have appetite suppressant effects, making it a great strain for those looking to lose weight or simply those who don’t want to overindulge in food during their smoking session. With this said, the element of THC that helps to bring about a raging appetite actually has useful applications in cases of appetite loss and anorexia, so both cannabinoids are useful in their own unique ways when it comes to appetite.

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THCV IN THE REALM OF MEDICINE

It is common knowledge now that cannabis is a highly medicinal plant, filled with cannabinoids that seem to be able to ease and treat a wide array of disorders through activation of the endocannabinoid system within the human body. THC and CBD are the mammoths in this domain, primarily because they have received the most attention through scientific research. THC is a renowned pain killer, whereas CBD is receiving praise due to its anti inflammatory properties and abilities to combat seizures. Also research is indeed in its early stages, THCV may one day join these giants on the medicinal pantheon.

A paper published in the British Journal of Pharmacology states that the cannabinoid THCV has antioxidant properties and has the ability to activate the CB2 receptor of the endocannabinoid system, and work to block the CB1 receptor. The authors explain that cannabinoids such as THCV might be an effective therapy in alleviating the symptoms and delaying neurodegeneration that occurs in Parkinson’s disease, “THCV has a promising pharmacological profile for delaying disease progression in PD [Parkinson’s Disease] and also for ameliorating parkinsonian symptoms.”

THCV may be able to contribute to the domain of Alzheimer’s treatment. Although research here is very limited, THCV may lend to improve tremors, motor control and brain lesions that are associated with the disease.

Cannabinoids may be able to influence bone health, with cannabinoid receptors actually found within bone. Researches state that, “Recent studies have implicated the endocannabinoid system in the regulation of bone cell activity and bone remodelling. These studies showed that endogenous cannabinoid ligands, cannabinoid receptors, and the enzymes responsible for ligand synthesis and breakdown all play important roles in bone mass and in the regulation of bone disease.”

THCV itself promotes the growth of new bone cells and is therefore being investigated for its use among bone conditions.

THCV may also play an important role in diabetes as it displays the ability to regulate blood sugar levels and positively influences insulin resistance.

This newly emerging cannabinoid might also have place in PTSD treatment, assisting in the reducing on anxiety and panic attacks.

 

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