[Today’s post is a guest post from the folks at HTGM. Thanks so much for laying this article on us and for pushing THCV into its spot in the cannabinoid limelight.]

Do you love a good, clear headed cerebral high? Like that day-time, energetic hit that comes from a powerful Sativa? If so, you’re already a fan of THCV. This cousin of THC produces soaring psychedelic effects while actually fighting obesity and disease.

We’ll take a look at just what this wonder-molecule is, how it works and how you can enjoy more of it.

About Cannabinoids

Cannabinoids are molecules produced by marijuana plants that interact with a certain type of receptor in your brain. They mimic endocannabinoids, molecules which occur naturally in the human body and interact with receptors on the spinal cord and brain.

Until the medical marijuana community began promoting the benefits of cannabidiol, or CBD, a few years ago THC was the only cannabinoid that got much notice. But there are more than 85 types of cannabinoids in marijuana, and at least one of them deserves a little more recognition.

What is THCV?

THCV is short for tetrahydrocannabivarin. As you might infer from the name, it is nearly identical to THC, but it has an extra side group of atoms. This tiny difference gives THCV some pretty spectacular traits.

The Benefits of THCV

Let’s look at some of the properties of THCV that make it especially beneficial for certain medical conditions and that set it apart from the other cannabinoids.

Psychedelic High:

THCV is even more psychoactive than THC. It produces a euphoric cerebral high that is clear-headed and energetic. This is the molecule that creates a creative, functional hit while still blowing your socks off. It can even get a little trippy if you smoke enough of it. If you are high on THCV, you may use words like “spiritual”, “ecstatic” and “rapture” to describe your experience.

Anti-Obesity Effects:

You know how marijuana is supposed to give you the munchies and make you fat? Strains high in THCV combat those effects.

Studies show that THCV increases energy expenditure while reducing glucose intolerance. This makes it an ideal drug for those suffering from Type II diabetes. Plus, marijuana is free of the unpleasant side effects that many synthetic drugs with a similar action produce.

Parkinson’s Treatment:

A study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology found that THCV reduces tremors in Parkinson’s patients and may actually slow the progression of the disease.

Addiction Treatment:

Wouldn’t it be a bit ironic if a molecule found in a Class 1 drug turned out to be the key to curing drug and alcohol addiction? THCV interacts with a different cannabinoid receptor than CBD, THC and other cannabinoids. Its unique mechanism of action make it a potentially useful drug for treating various neurological disorders from schizophrenia to Alzheimer’s disease. It could also work wonders for addicts, those with bone disorders or people who suffer from epilepsy.

Turn Up Your Vaporizer to Enjoy THCV

If you have ever used a vaporizer to smoke weed or cooked with cannabis, you know a little something about boiling points. THC has a boiling point of 314°F.  

When you are cooking with cannabis you need to be careful to keep the temperatures below the boiling point. Most recipes recommend cooking well-dried bud at 240°F for a long time to infuse the oil or butter with THC without overheating it and causing damage.

THCV has a boiling point of 428°F. That is a lot hotter than THC! What does this mean to you?

  • You can prepare edibles at a higher temperature without damaging THCV.

This doesn’t mean you should cook your edibles at a higher temperature. You will lose most of the THC, which will vaporize, and many of the terpenes and other cannabinoids which have health benefits. Some of these vaporize at temps as low as 245°F. But if you do burn a batch of weed brownies or overcook your cannabutter, you might still have some good THCV present if you used the right strain, so don’t just throw it out!

  • If you are vaping, you’ll need to turn up the temperature to get the most THCV out of your buds.

Adjust your vaporizer to a hotter temperature to get the full benefits of THCV.

Cannabis Strains with High THCV Content

Okay, so how do you get your hands on this euphoric little molecule? The key is to smoke the right strains.

THCV is present in small concentrations in most cannabis strains, but it is especially high in South African Sativas. Try smoking strains like Durban Poison, Pineapple Purps or Malawi Gold.

Pineapple Purps is one of the highest THCV strains out there. The breeders claim it has a THC:THCV ratio of 3:1, and a Bay Area testing lab found them to be even higher, nearly 2:1. You can expect soaring, creative highs and psychedelic experiences from this bud.

The Future of THCV in the Cannabis Market

Researchers around the world, and especially those in Israel, are working on high CBD strains. They’ve got some that have hardly any THC at all, and you can purchase pure CBD oil in some states.

As more research is done on THCV you can expect to see breeders and scientists alike focusing on this cannabinoid. Hopefully in the near future you’ll see a “High THCV” label on the dispensary shelves.