THCV and Weight Loss
When it comes to cannabinoids, some get more spotlight than others, but don’t overlook the less popular ones! You’re probably more familiar with the major cannabinoids CBD and THC, but there’s a whole range of minor cannabinoids that could do with some attention.
One minor cannabinoid that you might not have heard of is THCV. This cannabis compound throws a big therapeutic punch and could even help with weight loss.
Also called tetrahydrocannabivarin, THCV is a minor cannabinoid that is found in certain cannabis and hemp plants. As a minor cannabinoid, THCV is found in lower quantities in plant material than the major cannabinoids CBD and THC. Nevertheless, THCV’s therapeutic potential has meant that this compound has started to gain some attention from researchers.
THCV induces its effects on the body through a similar pathway to THC—by acting on the CB1 and CB2 G protein-coupled receptors. Through this interaction, THCV can then produce a cascade of different results.
THCV for weight loss
THCV shows some impressive potential benefits for healthy weight loss. In fact, THCV is often referred to as “diet weed” because of its weight loss effects.
Reduce food intake
THCV may be able to help you lose weight by reducing your food intake. Studies have found that THCV is able to reduce both food intake and body weight in mouse models (1, 2). It is likely that these effects on appetite and weight are due to THCV interacting with the TRPV1 receptor. By reducing food cravings, THCV demonstrates an impressive anti-obesity effect, although further research is needed to determine how effective these results might be in humans.
Rodent studies have also given us an insight into THCV’s ability to increase metabolism and help you to lose weight more easily. The endocannabinoid system is known to play a key role in regulating metabolism. Research tells us that THCV is able to up-regulate energy metabolism, meaning that it may prove clinically useful as a weight-loss tool (3).
Metabolism plays a key role in weight, the faster your metabolism, the more calories that you will burn at rest. An increase in your metabolism means that you will need to eat more than when your metabolism was slower to gain weight.
Regulate blood sugar levels
Another potential weight-reducing benefit of THCV lies in its ability to reduce blood sugar levels. When there are high levels of blood sugar it can result in sugar storage and weight gain. High blood sugar levels can also increase your risk of diabetes, stroke, and heart disease.
Research backs up THCV’s blood sugar-reducing properties. One rodent study involving obese mice found that the minor cannabinoid reduced glucose intolerance, increased insulin sensitivity, and restored insulin signaling (4). Further research on humans is needed to properly explore these results, but this study does indicate the therapeutic potential of THCV in regulating glucose levels.
Other benefits of THCV
As well as possibly helping you to lose weight, THCV can also offer other potential therapeutic benefits such as:
One impressive benefit of THCV that you might experience is a reduction in inflammation. Research has found that THCV has demonstrated impressive anti-inflammatory effects, reducing both inflammation and inflammatory-related pain in mouse models (5). Inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease or psoriasis can be painful, debilitating, and make it harder to complete everyday tasks. The inflammatory potential of THCV means that it could offer some relief from these symptoms.
Stimulate bone growth
Interestingly, it seems that THCV may also be able to help your bones grow. Research tells us that THCV may be able to stimulate bone growth by encouraging collagen production and the formation of bone nodules (5). While more research is needed to properly explore the efficacy of THCV on bone growth, early research suggests that it could prove useful in the treatment of diseases like osteoporosis that are characterized by bone degeneration.
THC and THCV – Similar sounding, but very different compounds
Cannabinoid names can be confusing, so you’re forgiven if you’ve confused THCV for THC before, but there is a big difference between the two.
While THC and THCV both interact with the CB1 receptor, they do so in different ways. These two compounds contain different chemical structures, which results in them interacting with your body in subtle but significant ways.
One similarity between THC and THCV is that they can both get you high; however, THCV’s psychotropic effects are significantly less potent than THC’s. If you’re planning on getting high on THCV alone, you’ll need a lot. When it comes to psychotropic effects, THC is the prime cannabinoid to use.
THCV side effects
Because we know little about THCV compared to the major cannabinoids, more research is needed to fully explore potential side effects. However, what we do currently know tells us that THCV side effects largely involve a reduced appetite, which could be considered good or bad depending on your needs.
How to consume THCV
If you want to experience the potential benefits of THCV, look for strains high in the minor cannabinoid. Cannabis strains that contain THCV include:
- Durban Poison
- Pink Boost Goddess
- Pineapple Purps
- Power Plant
- Red Congolese
It’s important to note that THCV has a higher boiling point than other cannabinoids, so if you’re vaporizing THCV, you will have to ensure that you do it with a slightly higher heat.
The bottom line
THCV shows impressive potential as a weight-loss aid, although more research is needed to explore the efficacy and safety of THCV in weight management. If you’re struggling with your weight, be sure to consult with your doctor about safe and healthy weight loss techniques. You can find our THCV tinctures here.
**Standard Disclaimer: CBD is not FDA-approved. We make no such claims that using our products will guarantee relief. Moreover, research regarding CBD is still ongoing and in the early stages.**