What is THCV
THCV is an alternative cannabinoid that, unlike analogs like THC-O, is considered a propyl homolog of the main THC molecule. That is how chemistry defines THCV’s relation to THC and its various forms. THCV stands for tetrahydrocannabivarin, and it was first discovered in the 1970s. It does not occur in all cannabis and has often been used as a marker to distinguish between various origin points of cannabis. For example, forensic analysts use THCV as a marker to determine whether a batch of cannabis has originated from within the US or from outside.
Cannabis within the US has a much lower THCV concentration than those originating outside. Scientists in Japan have even discovered a different form of THCV altogether. Research into THCV has been thriving in recent years. This has led to a significant leap in the amount of information about this unique cannabinoid. And it also sheds light on the THCV drug test situation.
Where Does THCV Come From?
THCV is mainly found in Cannabis Sativa plants, where it is highest in concentration. It is also found in Cannabis Indica but only in trace amounts. Specific strains in Africa have been identified to have the highest amounts of THCV, with one strain from South Africa recording a whopping 53% THCV concentration. Thus even though it is a lesser-known cannabinoid, it is fairly abundant in nature and is easy to find and extract. This is good news because it has many benefits that people suffering from illnesses and people with good health can enjoy. THCV does not have to be manufactured in a lab, unlike synthetic cannabinoids like THC-O or Delta-8.
D8 occurs in nature but has to be synthesized for commercial use. This makes it much safer and cheaper to make available for wider adoption. And this has already begun. People have started to recognize the vast array of therapeutic possibilities this alternative cannabinoid offers.
Advantages of THCV
THCV is mainly known for its benefits for type 2 diabetes, an area that has had a field of vigorous research for over a decade now. Promising results have been pouring in every year, resulting in the demand for THCV to increase. A critical aspect of THCV is that it is non-intoxicating. This part is what appeals to most people who are interested in using this unique cannabinoid. THCV’s other advantages include suppression of appetite, earning it the nickname “diet weed.” This is especially true when this cannabinoid is taken in low doses, where it can counteract some of the appetite-enhancing effects of regular THC. Just like CBD, THCV is also known for lowering anxiety in users. Studies have shown THCV to reduce panic and anxiety attacks in PTSD patients successfully. This is good news for war-scarred veterans and those suffering from neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia.
THCV has neuroprotective abilities which act as protection for nerve cells. It has also been shown to reduce tremors and seizures, which is another promising new direction. CBD is already recommended for these same benefits. Also, similar to other cannabinoids, THCV has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help with various kinds of aches and pains in users.
How Is THCV Different from THC?
Interestingly, a THCV drug test is actually common practice because it is used to distinguish between medicinal THC and recreational use. This is because a popular THC-based drug called Marinol does not have THCV. If tested only for THC, users of this medicine would fail the drug test just because they were following their prescription. So scientists came up with a test that would look at only THCV and thus understand whether the individual was using a pure THC product like Marinol or using the cannabis plant. However, with the advent of pure THC products posts the 2018 farm bill, things are no longer as simple as that. The main difference between THCV and THC is that the former does not bind to the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the human body. Thus it is perfectly non-intoxicating and one of the rare cannabinoids that have such an absence of any psychoactive effect.
So this is the THC that won’t get you high. It occurs selectively in cannabis strains and thus is often used as a marker to determine where the cannabis came from.Apart from that, it has many medicinal and therapeutic uses that put it in the same league as THC itself.
What Are The Effects of THCV on the Human Body
THCV is a CB receptor antagonist and thus has no psychoactive effects on the human body. Taken in correct doses, it can counteract some of the intoxicating effects of THC. So it has a balancing and regulatory role to play in the entourage effect of the dozes of different cannabinoids and terpenes present in natural cannabis and hemp plants. THCV does not metabolize the same way as THC does, so it leaves different metabolites behind when it is consumed.
However, as we discussed earlier, there are already THCV drug test methods that have been devised specially for detecting THCV in the presence of other cannabinoids, primarily THC. This directly impacts your drug test results. We will be circling back to this later in the article.
How Potent is THCV?
Since THCV does not bind to the CB1 and CB2 receptors and is an antagonist, it does not create the characteristic cannabis high that THC is typically associated with. So in that regard, it is not potent at all. However, there are recommended doses for THCV that should be followed. Nothing is good for the body or mind when taken to extremes.
How Does A THCV Drug Test Work?
A specially designed THCV drug test looks for specific metabolites or enzymes that the body creates to help it process the THCV. These tests have been in place for a long time to determine the use of cannabis vs. using a purely THC-based prescription drug like Marinol. So if you are tested in this manner after having consumed THCV recently, it is very likely that you will fail the test. Regular drug tests test only for the THC-COOH metabolite produced after consuming (Delta-9) THC, THC-O, or Delta-8 THC. If you have consumed pure THCV, these tests may not detect it in your body. There is, however, one caveat to take into consideration. THCV products are often blended with other cannabinoids such as Delta-8 THC. In this case, you will fail any drug test.
The signature metabolites are stored in your hair and even fat cells and can circulate for up to six weeks. Even small amounts of THCV take at least five days to leave the body. So if you are expecting to appear for a drug test any time in the next few months, it is best to avoid THCV and all other THC-related cannabinoids altogether. Pure CBD extracts and legal CBD hemp with less than 0.3% THC are still okay.
Is THCV Legal?
THCV is perfectly legal, and it is being actively researched for its medicinal properties. The main demand arises from type 2 diabetes patients looking for a natural alternative to help them maintain good health. However, it may be considered a scheduled substance under the THC analogs law in some cases. So if you are planning to buy some THCV products, check with your local laws first. Most sellers maintain an updated list of areas where THCV is legal, so if your area is not on that list, your order may not go through, or it may be canceled and refunded.
Is THCV Safe?
It is a very safe cannabinoid. Due to its non-intoxicating properties, it is perhaps one of the safest ones. You will not feel any effects on your mind or body. Not only is it non-toxic and non-intoxicating, but it is also highly medicinal with a host of health benefits that are only now being discovered.
Where to buy THCV?
THCV has recently risen in popularity; as a result, many businesses and online retailers are making and selling THCV products. You can find THCV products in the form of vapor cartridges, THCV-infused CBD flowers, tinctures, capsules, soft gels, and more. THCV extracts and concentrates are also available in some cases. It is comparatively safer than lab-manufactured cannabinoids such as Delta-8 and THC-O as a natural plant-derived substance.
THCV is a naturally occurring cannabinoid mainly found in cannabis Sativa dominant strains. Its existence was first discovered in the 1970s. It was initially used as a marker for guessing the origin point of a given cannabis plant. In recent years, it has seen a lot of research has shown THCV to have a long list of medicinal properties. The list continues to grow. A special THCV drug test has been in place for a long time now because it is used to determine whether the individual was using a prescription drug such as Marinol, pure THC, or cannabis where THCV is also present. THCV is chemically different from THC and thus creates different metabolites that standard drug tests may not detect. However, it is often blended with other cannabinoids, including various forms of THC, which will definitely cause you to fail a drug test.
So even if you intend to use pure THCV, you may fail a drug test. Metabolites can remain in your body for up to 6 weeks and be found in your hair and fat cells, so they stay in circulation for a very long time. Even small amounts of THCV can take almost a week to be ejected from the body. So if you are expecting to appear for a drug test anytime in the next two months, you should avoid THC-related cannabinoids altogether and try CBD instead.