Science

What to know about THCV

What to know about THCV
June 05, 2024
2 min read

THCV, or Tetrahydrocannabivarin, is a psychoactive minor cannabinoid that occurs in small concentrations naturally in cannabis. It is closely related to THC in its chemical structure and mind-altering effects, and contributes to the Entourage Effect of cannabis alongside other minor cannabinoids and terpenes. In this article, we aim to explain everything you need to know about THCV as a medical cannabis patient.

What to know about THCV

What is THCV?

THCV is one of around 120 minor cannabinoids found in small concentrations (typically under 0.2%), and occurs most often in African sativa-type cannabis strains such as Durban Poison, GSC, Skunk #1, Red Congolese, and their descendants.

In recent years, some cultivars of cannabis have been bred to produce high amounts of THCV such as Doug’s Varin, although these high-THCV cultivars have yet to become available to Australian medical cannabis patients. 

What does THCV do and how is it different to THC?

  • Research into the effects of THCV is minimal, although we are beginning to understand how it behaves in the body. Like THC, THCV has a high affinity for cannabinoid receptors with roughly 25% of the potency of THC.
  • Small amounts of THCV may contribute to the entourage effect, although the extent of this is unknown
  • THCV has a much higher boiling point than THC and consuming it requires a vaporiser that is capable of heating flower to 220°C — very close to the point of combustion. This is not recommended, as around this temperature, harmful byproducts such as benzene are produced.

Is THCV legal in Australia?

THCV is classified as a Schedule 8 Controlled Drug in Australia, which means it is treated similarly to THC. To use THCV legally, you must have a valid prescription. However, as of now, there are no THCV products available for medical cannabis patients in Australia. The only way to consume THCV is through trace amounts found in regular high-THC cannabis.

Is THCV harmful?

Like all medications, THCV and THC can have side effects ranging from mild to severe, including Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome (CHS), anxiety, sleep disturbances and lethargy, habituation, and more. If you have questions on the effects of THCV and THC on the body, be sure to ask your prescriber.

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Disclaimer

Please note that this blog was not written by a licensed medical practitioner and therefore is not providing medical advice. We do not endorse the use of cannabis or any other illicit drugs. Like any medication, cannabis has potential negative side effects and should only be used under the guidance of a qualified medical professional. For the latest information on cannabis prescription and use, please visit the TGA website. If you are considering cannabis as a treatment option, we encourage you to consult with a licensed healthcare professional.

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