What Is THCV?
Whether you are a patient or a healthcare professional, you are going to want to become familiar tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV). This super-star compound has an array of unique therapeutic effects that sets it apart from other phytocannabinoids. It is not as well-known as CBD and THC, but it is well-studied and abundant in cannabis plants, specifically so in some strains.
Some of the conditions it can help with include:
- Appetite suppression
- Diabetes management
- Curbing panic attacks
- Alzheimer’s symptoms
- Low energy
A Different Stimulant Than THC
As the name implies, THCV has a molecular structure that is similar to THC. The similarity also extends to the psychoactive properties. THCV, however, has a more clear-headed “high” than THC, does not last as long, and does not produce the infamous “munchies.” The euphoric effect, though, occurs only when high doses of THCV are taken. This would be ideal for patients that suffer from lack of energy and sluggishness.
At low doses, THCV acts as an antagonist of the CB1 receptor, meaning it binds to and blocks the receptor and no psychoactive effects will be produced. Interestingly, when doses are increased, THCV becomes an agonist of the CB1 receptor and a very stimulating and clear-headed euphoric state occurs. This happens more quickly than with THC but does not have its longevity.
A Veritable Buffet of Benefits!
THCV suppresses the appetite: Unlike THC, THCV has the potential to inhibit or suppress one’s appetite. This is a great natural approach for patients who need to lose weight for health reasons. Clearly, this compound should be avoided by people being treated for anorexia or appetite loss.
It helps with diabetes: Studies have shown that THCV has the ability to regulate the sugar content in the blood. Through this, it reduces resistance to insulin.
THCV helps to curb panic attacks: This is prevalent in patients who have frequent anxiety attacks and in PTSD patients. Unlike other conventional treatments, it does this without suppressing emotion.
It helps with Alzheimer’s: Alzheimer’s disease is associated with symptoms such as tremors, brain lesions, and poor motor control. Studies have shown that THCV improves these symptoms. Research is still in progress, though.
Stimulates the growth and development of bones: THCV promotes the development of new bone cells. Because of this property, it is being studied as a treatment for osteoporosis and other related conditions.
THCV has antioxidant properties: Because of its neuroprotective properties, alongside its ability to antagonize CB1 receptors while activating CB2 receptors, THCV is a good candidate for treatment to delay of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative ailments.
Reduces swelling and pain: A study by Riedel et al., published in 2009, the research team found that THCV reduces swelling and pain in mice. These are two of the main symptoms of inflammation after exposure to inflammatory chemicals.
It has stimulant effects: THCV gives an energetic and clear-headed experience. This is short-lived compared to that given by THC. Studies have shown that THCV boosts the euphoric effect brought on by THC.
Other conditions that may be treated by THCV include:
- Chronic pain
- Opiate dependence
- Crohn’s disease
As with other substances used for therapeutic purposes, whether derived from natural sources or synthesized, the effectiveness and results will depend on the individual. Even though medical cannabis can bestow a lot of benefits on chronic conditions, it should be utilized on a case-by-case situation.
The Bottom Line
Specific cannabinoids have shown promising results in research to have therapeutic effects on very specific conditions. THCV is a cannabinoid with a unique chemistry and set of medicinal properties that have beneficial effects on a variety of diseases and disorders. It is apparent that with more research, development, and education, cannabinoids such as THCV could offer safer, more natural disease-targeted alternatives to conventional treatments. How many diseases alone would be more manageable or nonexistent if weight could be controlled or if anxiety could be safely held in check? Additionally, THCV’s and many other phytocannabinoids’ value as preventative supplements could have a significant impact on the future of degenerative diseases.
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