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Before the 2018 US Farm Bill was passed, “THC” had only one meaning: “delta-9 THC”. However, due to the recent explosion of hemp-derived THC alternatives, customers and manufacturers must specify which THC molecule they are talking about.
Although delta-8 THC is the most in-demand hemp THC compound, there are a staggering number of THC alternatives online and in smoke shops. For example, have you heard of THCV? Short for tetrahydrocannabivarin, THCV is one of the newer THC-related cannabinoids entering the hemp market. There isn’t much data on THCV, but some customers are starting to see THCV in lab reports for their CBD oils.
Even if you’re not interested in consuming pure THCV, it’s worth knowing what this hemp cannabinoid has to offer to make an informed purchase.
“THC” is usually associated with psychoactive effects, but recent reports suggest that there is a lot of variation in how THC cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). In some cases, THC molecules do not have any psychoactivity.
Strange as it may sound, most scientists believe that THCV has more in common with CBD than with delta-9 THC. Many researchers claim that THCV has a lower risk of psychoactivity than delta-8 THC.
Like the inactive THC-A cannabinoid, THCV does not bind to the brain’s CB1 receptors to give users a “high” effect. Interestingly, some early research suggests that THCV blocks CB1 receptors, which may explain its unique effects on the ECS. So it’s unlikely that people will feel “stoned” when they take a THCV capsule, vape cart, or tincture.
Most importantly, some animal studies suggest that THCV will not give users the famous “munchies” side effect. Rather than making people feel hungry, THCV seems to naturally reduce appetite. While this isn’t good news for those struggling with nausea, it can be a huge benefit for patients who need help with weight management.
There is also preliminary research suggesting that THCV may have therapeutic potential for diabetic patients. A few recognized studies have shown that THCV has a positive effect on regulating patients’ blood sugar levels. While these findings are preliminary, they suggest that THCV has unique properties not found in other cannabinoids.
People often fear THC alternatives because they believe that anything with “THC” in the name is illegal. However, according to the US Farm Bill of 2018, only delta-9 THC is a controlled substance. When manufacturers make THCV with hemp-derived cannabinoids, it meets DC’s standards.
Unfortunately, every THC cannabinoid today is “guilty by association”. Most people are not aware of the nuanced differences between cannabinoids such as delta-8, delta-9 and THCV. While THCV has minimal psychoactivity, it can end up in the same “illegal basket,” especially in states with strict cannabis laws.
Customers should pay attention to their state’s hemp policies before ordering THC products such as delta-8 or THCV. Even if your city has lenient hemp laws, be sure to get a third-party lab result showing your THCV has ≤ 0.3 percent delta-9 THC.
If you are only interested in THC for its “high-stimulating” effects, THCV is not the right choice for you. You won’t feel a powerful burst of euphoria or stress relief when you take THCV. Instead, THCV will likely feel like a non-psychoactive cannabinoid like CBD or CBG.
Most studies also suggest that THCV is not the best choice for people who already suffer from nausea or anorexia. THCV seems to reduce one’s appetite, so it’s a better option for people who are more interested in weight loss or who seem to be always hungry.
Keep in mind that we don’t have all the details about the proper use of THCV. Also, never use THCV as an alternative to professional medical care. If you’re already on medication for a variety of conditions, you should talk to a doctor before including THCV in your diet. You should also start with a small amount of THCV and increase it by 5-10mg per day until you get the results you want.
THCV is not a ‘celebrity’ like delta-8 THC, but it is gaining more and more popularity every month. As more researchers investigate the effects of this rare cannabinoid, you’re likely to see more THCV-forward products popping up online and in hemp stores. Hopefully the above information will help you figure out if THCV is a good option for your situation.
You can find out which full spectrum CBD oils currently contain THCV by checking out Real Tested CBD’s unbiased reviews. We always run every CBD product we test through our labs to verify the data each company provides. You can find dozens of articles on the best CBD and delta-8 brands on the Real Tested CBD website.