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Learn about how THCv promotes
weight loss and the other
potential use cases of THCv.

Category: Cannabinoids, Health

THCv: An all-natural solution for weight loss

THCv - weight loss

Written by our editorial team

Last updated 6/03/2021

Last time, we discussed The Endocannabinoid system, which is an essential system in our bodies that helps maintain homeostasis in order to keep us alive. We also learned that cannabinoids found in hemp are similar to endocannabinoids in the endocannabinoid system. This means they can interact with the endocannabinoid system to produce a variety of effects.

One of these cannabinoids found in Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica is THCv – THC’s distant relative. While it remains relatively understudied compared to other cannabinoids, certain effects of THCv observed in various studies suggest that the cannabis-extracted substance might present a promising, safe and natural weight-loss method.

If you are interested in the similarities and differences between THC and THCv, if you want to learn how THCv promotes weight loss or if you want to find out about the other potential use cases of THCv, such as managing diabetes or reducing stress and anxiety, then read through this short article to find the answers.


[3-minute read]

THCv is a naturally occurring cannabinoid similar to THC.

Despite similarities in their names and structures, THCv and THC have different effects:

  • THCv does not cause a high, THC causes a high;
  • THCv suppresses hunger, THC increases appetite with so-called “munchies”.

THCv can be used as a weight-loss method because it:

  • Reduces appetite,
  • Increases satiety,
  • Promotes energy metabolism.

THCv has also been proven beneficial in other indications:

  • Managing diabetes,
  • Reducing inflammation,
  • Suppressing tremors in multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease,
  • Preventing seizures associated with epilepsy,
  • Coping with stress and anxiety.

1. THCv vs. THC: Similarities and differences

THCv is a naturally occurring cannabinoid found in both Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica. Judging purely by its name, you might get an impression that it is similar to THC. And if you look at its molecular structure, you will be even more convinced that this is the case (see Figure 1).

Figure 1: Molecules of THC and THCv (chain length is the only difference)


But while THCv and THC might seem structurally similar, they are far from being the same. In fact, they are naturally synthesized from entirely different substances. Like CBD and some other cannabinoids, THC is created in the breakdown of CBGA. THCv, by contrast, is created from a different acid called CBGVA.[10]
Despite these minor difference in the structures of THC and THCv, their effects on the organism differ greatly. One major difference is that unlike THC, THCv is not linked to any psychoactive effects.[11] This means you cannot get high from THCv. Another major difference is that while THC gives you munchies, THCv does just the opposite – it reduces appetite!

2. A promising outlook for weight loss

Are you struggling with some extra kilograms? Then you probably know that the greatest obstacle on the way to losing weight is our natural instinct to eat. No matter how aware we are of the huge number of calories that burger in front of us contains, it just looks too delicious to resist. So, the best way to lose weight is to deal with our appetites. And THCv might just be the go-to solution![9]
According to a study review, THCv reduces appetite, increases satiety and up-regulates metabolism, which makes it a clinically useful remedy for weight loss and obesity management.[1] While this was proven in a study on rodents, supporting findings were made in other studies, namely a study on patients suffering from diabetes type 2.[7]

While no negative effects of THCv have been reported so far, its use is strongly discouraged among individuals with anorexia. In a patient who is already having trouble eating, the appetite suppression resulting from THCv use could complicate things even further.

3. Other benefits of THCv

If you are happy with your body weight, then you might not have an interest in THCv’s weight-loss action. However, there is more to it than merely its weight-loss benefits. While THCv remains largely unstudied compared to other cannabinoids – especially in clinical settings with human populations – certain possible beneficial effects have been reported so far. Aside from its potential in combating obesity and aiding in weight loss, THCv might also prove useful for:

1) Managing diabetes

Studies have demonstrated that THCv decreases the fasting glucose in blood plasma[7] and restores insulin sensitivity[4] among others. Based on its favorable action and its good tolerance among patients suffering from type 2 diabetes[7], it was established that THCv provides a good platform for the development of new therapeutic agents.

2) Reducing inflammation

Another promising finding observed in studies is the potential of THCv to reduce inflammation by interacting with cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2.[2] In fact, it has been proven that THCv not only reduces the extent of inflammation, but also the pain resulting from the inflammation.[2]

3) Suppressing tremors

Another positive effect of THCv was observed in patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis, where it was demonstrated that THCv suppresses the tremors associated with such conditions.[8] In can delays the progression of the disease itself.[5]

4) Preventing seizures

In an in vivo study on rats suffering from epilepsy, it was shown that THCv significantly reduces both the frequency and severity of epileptic seizures.[6] This provides a platform for the development of anti-seizure agents not only in epilepsy, but also in other neurological conditions.

5) Coping with stress and anxiety

THCv has been shown to relieve stress and reduce or even prevent panic attacks and anxiety. It has even been suggested that THCv could play an essential role in the treatment of mental disorders, such as PTSD.[3]


THCv has a wide variety of different use cases, but what sets it apart from other cannabinoids the most is its potential for obesity management. If you would like to learn more about other cannabinoids, stay tuned for our next article where will explore CBC – a cannabinoid that has been shown to successfully treat depression and other depression-related conditions.

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.

Bibliography and sources

  1. Abioye, A., Ayodele, O., Marinkovic, A. et al. Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV): a commentary on potential therapeutic benefit for the management of obesity and diabetes. J Cannabis Res 2, 6 (2020). [doi:10.1186/s42238-020-0016-7]
  2. Bolognini, Daniele et al. “The plant cannabinoid Delta9-tetrahydrocannabivarin can decrease signs of inflammation and inflammatory pain in mice.” British journal of pharmacology vol. 160,3 (2010): 677-87. [doi:10.1111/j.1476-5381.2010.00756.x]
  3. Crescolabs. “Cannabinoids: THCV”. Crescolabs. Accessed on 19 February 2021. [URL:]
  4. De Petrocellis, L. et al. “Effects of cannabinoids and cannabinoid-enriched cannabis extracts on TRP channels and endocannabinoid metabolic enzymes”. British Journal of Pharmacology. 2011;163:1479–94. [doi:10.1111/j.1476-5381.2010.01166.x]
  5. García, C et al. “Symptom-relieving and neuroprotective effects of the phytocannabinoid Δ⁹-THCV in animal models of Parkinson’s disease.” British journal of pharmacology vol. 163,7 (2011): 1495-506. [doi:10.1111/j.1476-5381.2011.01278.x]
  6. Hill, Andrew J. et al. “Δ⁹-Tetrahydrocannabivarin suppresses in vitro epileptiform and in vivo seizure activity in adult rats.” Epilepsia vol. 51,8 (2010): 1522-32. [doi:10.1111/j.1528-1167.2010.02523.x]
  7. Jadoon, K. A. et al. “Efficacy and safety of cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabivarin on glycemic and lipid parameters in patients with type 2 diabetes: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel group pilot study”. Diabetes Care. 2016;39(10):1777–86. [doi:10.2337%2Fdc16-0650]
  8. Kluger, Benzi et al. “The therapeutic potential of cannabinoids for movement disorders.” Movement disorders: official journal of the Movement Disorder Society vol. 30,3 (2015): 313-27. [doi:10.1002/mds.26142]
  9. Tudge, L. et al. “Neural Effects of Cannabinoid CB1 Neutral Antagonist Tetrahydrocannabivarin on Food Reward and Aversion in Healthy Volunteers”. International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, Volume 18, Issue 6, April 2015, pyu094. [doi:10.1093/ijnp/pyu094]
  10. Vergara, Daniela et al. “Modeling cannabinoids from a large-scale sample of Cannabis sativa chemotypes.” PloS one vol. 15,9 e0236878. 1 Sep. 2020, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0236878
  11. Wargent, E. T. et al. “The cannabinoid Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) ameliorates insulin sensitivity in two mouse models of obesity.” Nutrition & Diabetes vol. 3,5 e68. 27 May. 2013. [doi:10.1038/nutd.2013.9]
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