What is THCV?

THCV is short for tetrahydrocannabivarin. 

The majority of cannabis contain so little THCV that the cannabinoid is undetectable. But labs have shown that THCV is found in larger amounts in sativa strains. Landrace strains originate in Africa and tend to have the most THCV out of any other kind of cannabis strain. 

Durban Poison is the most popular THCV-rich strain and hails from Africa. But a lot of hybrid strains come from Durban Poison, such as Cherry Pie.

Research of cannabinoids has been going on for decades, but has recently boomed in response to the market salivating over CBD. Companies saw the positive public acceptance of CBD and quickly started to pursue other cannabinoid-focused products.

Delta 8 came next, once again being met with reverence. So extraction processes continued and eventually reached THCV!

Read on to learn all about this elusive cannabinoid, what it does, what strains have it, where it’s legal, and where to get it!

What does THCV do?

Let’s talk about how THCV affects the body. But to do so, we have to go back in time a bit. 

THC was the first ever discovered cannabinoid, coined in the 1960s.

Scientists continued to study cannabinoids and discovered that there were a lot of receptors in the body that the cannabinoids bind with. The receptors are part of the complex nerve system, so the cannabinoids affect the way your nervous system communicates.

The body makes its own cannabinoids- known as encodannabinoids. In 1992, researchers found that encocannabinoids from the body were similar to cannabinoids from cannabis.

Since cannabinoids function the same way that endocannabinoids do in the body, your body allows the cannabinoids to interact with the endocannabinoid system.

Within this system there are CB1 and CB2 receptors, and different cannabinoids lock into different receptors in different parts of the body. Wild stuff!


Is THCV legal?

THCV is legal on the federal level thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill

The 2018 Farm Bill is the reason that all of the up-and-coming cannabinoids are federally legal. It states that the production, sale, and possession of products derived from hemp are all legal. Hemp is defined as containing only .3% THC at maximum.

Producers jumped at the opportunity and started extracting cannabinoids from hemp, including different forms of THC.

However, individual states have started banning certain cannabinoids due to quality and safety concerns.

States where THCV is legal on the state level include:

  • Alabama
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Individual states that have banned THCV on the state level include:

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Delaware
  • Idaho 
  • Iowa
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • Nebraska


What is the difference between THC and THCV?

While THC and THCV are molecularly similar, they actually have little in common besides that.

THC is an agonist for CB1 along with CB2 receptors, but THCV is an antagonist for CB1 receptors.

THC and THCV also come from different compounds. THC originates as CBGA, but THCV originates as CBGVA. 

Likewise, THC is found in abundance within cannabis plants- sometimes reaching 30%! But THCVA is nearly impossible to find in high quantities, and is also picky as to what strains it’s found in.

But both cannabinoids evolve from their precursors when exposed to heat and light.

How is THCV made?

THCV occurs naturally as a cannabinoid in hemp and cannabis plants.

THCVA is a byproduct of CBGVA and will convert to THCV when it comes in contact with light or heat.

THCV isn’t synthesized, but needs lab equipment to be extracted. Although it’s unclear what extraction methods are exactly used, some potential methods include:

  • Solvent extraction
  • CO2 extraction
  • Butane hash oil extraction
  • Steam distillation

Strains with THCV

Some strains with THCV include:

  • Doug’s Varin
  • Durban Cheese
  • Durban Poison
  • Jack the Ripper
  • Malawi
  • Pineapple Purps
  • Power Plant
  • Red Congolese
  • Skunk #1
  • Willie Nelson

Where can I find THCV products?

The most important thing to keep in mind when purchasing cannabinoid products is buying from a reputable brand and dispensary.

Reputable brands will use 3rd party lab testing and happily post their results on their website. If results are hard to find or don’t exist, you should probably steer clear.

Here at Verts Neighborhood Dispensary, safety is one of our highest priorities. We only sell safe, reputable, high-quality THCV products.

So order online or visit one of our 7 Missouri, Michigan or Colorado locations. You’ll always find us nestled in a local community so we know who we’re serving!

And be on the lookout for a new Michigan location coming soon!

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