THCV is quickly gaining notoriety for its potential as an appetite suppressant, which could revolutionize how Americans view cannabis. Like most cannabinoids, more research isn’t just needed — it’s required.
However, if early indications are correct, this hemp-derived cannabinoid may be the key to the long-overdue normalization of cannabis in the United States.
What is THCV?
Delta-9 Tetrahydrocanna-bivarin, or THCV, is a cannabinoid with psychoactive properties that produce energetic effects, including alertness, motivation, focus, and euphoria.
However, unlike THC, THCV is considered non-intoxicating in low doses. THCV is a rare cannabinoid found in both hemp and marijuana but has become more readily accessible since the Farm Bill was enacted in 2018.
When THCV is used on its own, users may experience a euphoric boost that is not as powerful as a cup of coffee but is much clearer than the typical high associated with THC. While appetite suppression sounds intimidating, user reports paint a much more complex and interesting picture.
What Are the Potential Benefits of THCV?
THCV’s potential as a “diet supplement” is beginning to gain traction, but like most cannabinoids, reports indicate that it has numerous effects.
Despite being a more energetic cannabinoid, THCV is often credited for its calming benefits, including reducing stress and preventing panic attacks. Researchers believe THCV also has neuroprotectant properties.
However, THCV’s ability to suppress appetite is the most significant cause for excitement because it has the potential to shift our nation’s perception of cannabis dramatically.
Beyond making significant strides toward federal legalization, THCV can also carve out a path towards normalizing cannabis if it becomes a widely accepted weight loss treatment.
How Does THCV Impact Appetite?
THCV acts as an antagonist to the CB1 receptors, which has appetite-suppressing effects. Conversely, THC binds to the CB1 receptors triggering numerous responses, including an increase in appetite.
However, our understanding of the endocannabinoid system is still relatively basic. While we can measure cause and effect, we do not fully understand why each cannabinoid affects us the way that it does.
Users report it reduces food cravings and consumption without inhibiting appetite or upsetting the stomach. These reports are notable because they reflect our current understanding of the endocannabinoid system’s primary responsibility to promote homeostasis and balance within the body.
Instead of forcing you to lose your appetite, it appears as though THCV naturally regulates your appetite to help you consume what your body needs without overdoing it.
Like other cannabinoids, the effects of THCV vary between individuals and doses. In small doses, it appears to impact everything from appetite suppression to blood sugar levels positively. However, THCV can be psychoactive in high doses and even increase appetite.
So while the potential of this cannabinoid is something we should be excited about, it is not a one size fits all solution. But, with research ongoing and more people willing to trust hemp, this once rare cannabinoid may be the key to the future of cannabis in America.
This article first appeared in Volume 4 Issue 4 of Cannabis & Tech Today. Read the full issue here.