THCV molecule in front of red bubbles

What is THCV & How Is It Different From THC?

THCV has been called a lot of things–including a cannabinoid sports car–but what does that actually mean? It turns out, there’s a lot to know about the naturally occurring compound. In this guide, we’re going to discuss this unique cannabinoid, covering topics like:

  • What Is THCV?
  • How Does THCV work?

  • What are the Potential Benefits of THCV?

  • THCV vs THC: What’s the Difference?

  • THCV vs Delta-8: What’s the Difference?

  • Where is THCV Available?

  • FAQs About THCV


What is THCV?

THCV, or tetrahydrocannabivarin, is a type of cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. While it’s not as popular as THC and CBD, it does seem to have potential as a powerhouse cannabinoid in marijuana. Like other cannabinoids, THCV interacts with the endocannabinoid system in unique ways that we continue to study to fully understand.

How Does THCV Work?

Here’s the interesting part about THCV. It seems that, in low doses, THCV works against the CB1 receptor, which is one of the receptors in our bodies affected by THC. Because of this, you won’t feel any psychoactive effects from the compound. At higher doses, however, THCV can change the way it interacts with the body and starts to work with the CB1 receptors. This means that at high doses, you can feel a THC-like effect from THCV. 

What Are the Potential Benefits of THCV?

We’re constantly studying cannabinoids, and THCV is no exception. Here are just a few conditions in which THCV is being examined for potential benefits:

Digestion: You may have heard THCV referred to as “diet weed.” The name sounds trendy, but we do not have the research to confirm that this cannabinoid is an appetite suppressant. However, there is some evidence that indicates THCV should be looked at for possible hunger-curbing properties.

Parkinson’s disease: This condition can be debilitating for those affected by it, but THCV has been showing some promise in research to treat involuntary spasms the disease is known for in mice. Further studies are needed to see if these benefits translate to humans.

Inflammation: There are a number of conditions that cause inflammation, including the aforementioned Parkinson’s disease. When studied in mice, THCV seems to have some anti-inflammatory properties that may help in the symptomatic treatment of certain diseases. 

Diabetes: Diabetes affects a wide variety of people around the globe, and researchers are constantly seeking out ways to address the condition. In one study, THCV helped regulate blood sugar, suppressed appetite, and reduced side effects in people with diabetes. 

Bone Growth: Conditions that inhibit bone growth or cause the deterioration of bone can be debilitating. In some studies, THCV has been shown in cultures of bone marrow stromal cells to encourage bone nodule formation and collagen production.

While there is a lot more research required to understand if THCV has any beneficial therapeutic effects, we look forward to seeing what else we can discover about THCV.

THCV vs THC: What’s the Difference?

While THCV and THC look chemically similar, they have some significant differences, the largest one being that their effects seem to be opposite of one another. For example, you don’t need a lot of THC to feel the psychoactive effects of the cannabinoid, but THCV requires a large amount to even feel anything intoxicating. However, THCV has a shorter duration of effect compared to THC.

Interestingly, when taken together, THCV seems to reduce the effects of THC, so keep that in mind when looking at your full-spectrum products that prioritize THCV as an ingredient.

THCV vs Delta-8: What’s the Difference?

There are a couple of big differences between delta-8 THC and THCV. First, they’re built differently—THCV’s chemical structure is much different from delta-8’s, so they’re going to have different effects on the body. Second, THCV occurs in small amounts in marijuana plants, but delta-8 is typically synthesized from compounds in the hemp plant because there just isn’t enough of it in marijuana. 

Where is THCV Available?

THCV occurs in small amounts in many strains, but there are some strains that seem to have just a little more than others. For example, African landrace strains seem to have a higher occurrence of THCV than other strains, so check your local dispensary for Durban Poison or a similar strain. 

You can also consider plants related to African landraces. This means that if Durban Poison was crossed with another plant and made a new strain, that new strain might have more THCV when compared to non-African landrace strains. If you’re not sure whether a strain has a high THCV amount, you can always ask your budtender.

Answering FAQs About THCV

THCV is a fascinating cannabinoid. Here are a few things to know about it:

Is THCV legal? 
Similar to THC, THCV is not federally legal. This cannabinoid is typically allowed in states that have passed recreational cannabis laws. However, it presents a legal gray area in other states as it is not listed as a controlled substance.

Is THCV synthetic?
No, THCV is a naturally occurring cannabinoid found in the cannabis plants.

Does THCV get you high?
Yes, THCV can have intoxicating effects. In general, you’ll find it in small amounts in marijuana, so you won’t be able to distinguish between THC and THCV. If you purchase a THCV-specific product, you should expect to feel intoxicated with higher doses, though it seems to have a shorter duration than THC.

More About THCV

The best place to learn more about THCV and experience it yourself is a licensed dispensary. There, you’ll be able to find the THCV products they have available and decide what may be right for you. Not seeing what you’re looking for? Talk to your budtender. They can point you in the right direction or recommend alternatives.  

Recreational cannabis is not available in all states. Cannabis is for medical use only and may only be used by certified patients in Ohio and Pennsylvania. State laws impact what dispensaries can and can’t sell to recreational customers and certified patients. Not every type of product, consumption method, dosage form, or potency mentioned on this blog will be permitted in all locations.