What is THCV: Uses and Benefits

THCV, short for tetrahydrocannabivarin, is showing promise as yet another medical component of marijuana. You may already know the cannabinoids THC and CBD, but there are over a dozen minor cannabinoids. THCV is one of these.
Tetrahydrocannabivarin is very similar to THC in structure, but there are some important differences. Here’s what you need to know about THCV, how to use it, and what it’s beneficial for.

What Is THCV and Its Benefits?

Studies show that THCV may have the potential as an appetite suppressant. It reduces the urge to eat, unlike its more well-known cousin THC. Obesity researchers are studying the compound for THCV weight loss treatments.

Tetrahydrocannabivarin, like THC, also has anticonvulsant properties. People with epilepsy and other seizure disorders benefit from high-THCV strains. It also relieves pain, which can help those who cannot take normal pain medications or which to avoid opioids.

If you have Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease, THCV research shows potential neuroprotective properties to slow these diseases down. It also seems to curb anxiety attacks in people with PTSD, but without suppressing emotion like other treatments.

There are even signs that this cannabinoid stimulates bone growth in the body. Some researchers are examining if it can help with osteoporosis and other bone conditions.

How Does THCV Work?

Our bodies have a chemical signaling system that interacts with cannabis. This is called the endocannabinoid system. This system is at the center of cannabis research in humans. So far, scientists have found that it regulates mood, appetite, sleep, and the immune response. Our bodies create natural cannabinoids on our own. When we use cannabis, we’re supplementing that system.

THCV acts on CB1 and CB2 receptors located inside the endocannabinoid system. When tetrahydrocannabivarin binds to CB1 receptors, which are primarily found in the brain and central nervous system, it moderates serotonin and dopamine. This can help with depression and anxiety.

thcv effects

When THCV interacts with CB2 receptors, which are mainly found in the immune system and peripheral tissues, it can help regulate immune response and reduce inflammation. People with chronic inflammation can benefit from this. Chronic inflammatory diseases include rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel disease, which are commonly prescribed marijuana.

What’s the Difference Between THCV vs THC?

THC causes the “high” that happens when you use marijuana. While people often take it for recreation, scientists have proven THC’s medical benefits, including pain relief, nausea reduction, and appetite stimulation.

While it shares some similarities with THC, THCV has some differences. It’s not as intoxicating and it has different effects. Notably, it suppresses appetite instead of increasing it. It also has antipsychotic effects and potential neuroprotective properties.

This cannabinoid has a higher boiling point than THC. If you vape your cannabis, you’ll need to turn up your vape to at least 428 degrees Fahrenheit to release the compound. That’s 220 degrees Celsius if your vape is metric.

More on THCV’s Benefits

Reduces Appetite

One of the most intriguing THCV effects is its ability to suppress appetite. This is in contrast to THC, which stimulates hunger. THCV may help in managing obesity and addressing related metabolic disorders.

Research suggests that Tetrahydrocannabivarin interacts with the CB1 receptor in a way that reduces cravings and the urge to eat. This mechanism makes it a potentially valuable tool in weight management efforts.

Antipsychotic Effects

Another THCV effect is its use as an antipsychotic. Studies show that THCV may have a positive impact on schizophrenia symptoms.

Research involving animal models suggests THCV may reduce social withdrawal, improve motor control, and modulate the brain’s reward system. These findings highlight the potential therapeutic applications of THCV in mental health.

Lowers Insulin Sensitivity

If you struggle with Type 2 diabetes, THCV could help you manage your blood sugar. Tetrahydrocannabivarin may improve glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity in animals. Improving these can prevent your diabetes from getting worse.

thcv vs thc

Anti-inflammatory Effects

Inflammation is at the heart of many chronic conditions, and it may reduce the amount of inflammation in the body. Sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis or irritable bowel syndrome may find some relief with THCV.

Is THCV Legal?

The legal status depends on where you live. Federal marijuana legalization is still in progress, but many states have their regulations on cannabis compounds.

In some states, authorities may classify THCV as a controlled substance along with THC. However, it may be legally available as an isolated compound or present in specific cannabis strains. You can also purchase gummies.

If medical marijuana or recreational marijuana are legal in your state then it is legal to take Tetrahydrocannabivarin. California has full legalization, so there are no restrictions on using THCV. If you’re reading this and you live in a state where it’s still illegal recreationally, speak to your doctor about your medical options.

Where Can I Find It?

A knowledgeable dispensary is your best friend when you want to try new strains of cannabis that have particular cannabinoids like THCV. We test our strains for many of them, not just for THC and CBD.

Stop by HLC and we’ll be glad to help you find high-quality THCV strains of cannabis. You can find examples at our Los Angeles marijuana dispensary:

  1. Durban Poison
  2. Jack the Ripper
  3. Skunk #1

Sativa strains from Africa or have hybridized African genetics contain the most THCV. For more information on these strains and new strains with high Tetrahydrocannabivarin content, contact us. We can provide test results for what we have in stock. Remember that cannabinoid content can vary from harvest to harvest, so ask our budtenders for the latest results.


So, what is THCV? It is a cannabinoid like THC and CBD, but it’s found in much smaller amounts. Some breeders are raising strains that have higher amounts because it has effects that neither THC nor CBD have, like appetite suppression.

Scientists are also researching it for antipsychotic effects, anti-inflammatory effects, and other medical benefits. It is legal in California, so visit our dispensary and ask us about our high strains.

Written By

Ian Baker

Ian Baker does content and customer communications with Happy Leaf Collective through the website and blog. With 5 years of total experience working in cannabis niche, 3 were spent as a budtender in Arizona. 2 years ago, following his passion of writing and educating, Ian made the move into content and communications.