Weight loss and cannabis are rarely used in the same sentence, due to the onslaught of insatiable munchies that follow after consumption. However, as scientists learn more about the plant’s unique compounds, new discoveries suggest that the two may be closely related.
Researchers have painstakingly isolated a cannabinoid that acts very differently from THC and CBD, called tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV). Like the cannabis terpene Humulene (isomer of B-caryophyllene), this dietary compound comes with appetite-suppressing and energetic properties.
Weight Loss, Diabetes and PTSD
In the family of cannabis compounds, THCV is the rebellious sibling that doesn’t like to play by the rules of the household. As mentioned earlier, the compound is capable of curbing hunger for individuals looking to shed some extra weight. It also contains properties that reduce insulin resistance, making it suitable for patients diagnosed with diabetes. This was confirmed in a 2013 study conducted by a team of scientists at the University of Buckingham. During the study, researchers administered regulated, oral doses of THCV to groups of genetically obese and dietary-induced mice. The results showed that the compound was able to improve insulin signaling and sensitivity in the animals.
The revolutionary cannabinoid is non-psychoactive at small doses. When high doses of the compound are consumed, it changes behavior and stimulates the brain in the same way THC does – but the high doesn’t last as long. For people who are sensitive to the effects of THC, THCV is extremely beneficial. According to Steep Hill, a California-based cannabis science and technology firm, it can curtail panic attacks, anxiety and stress without numbing one’s emotions. Taking this into consideration, patients suffering from PTSD and depression may find THCV to be advantageous.
This effect is also beneficial for people diagnosed with Parkinson’s and medical conditions that reduce motor control. For individuals concerned about the crippling effects of osteoporosis, Scientists believe that THCV increases bone growth. Like its other siblings, specifically CBD, the cannabinoid contains anti-inflammatory properties.
Where Can I Find THCV-potent Strains?
THCV-potent cannabis strains are hard to come by, since the plant is known to naturally produce only small amounts of the compound. To reap the full benefit of the cannabinoid, the herb must be specially cultivated or engineered (extracted). One of the first companies to isolate and produce THCV for mass consumption is Teewinot Life Sciences, an international biopharmaceutical firm that focuses on developing “pharmaceutically pure” cannabinoids.
“Our technology removes the negative factors from the plant,”said Jeff Korentur, Teewinot Chief Executive Officer. “We produce the same cannabinoid, just replicated outside the plant. It is identical in every way.”
said Jeff Korentur, Teewinot Chief Executive Officer.
“We produce the same cannabinoid, just replicated outside the plant. It is identical in every way.”
For individuals without access to pharmaceutical-grade THCV (note: most people!), there are strains out there that offer concentrated amounts of THCV, such as Doug’s Varin, Durban Poison and Pineapple Purps. If these life-changing strains aren’t available in your area, the next best option would be to stick to cannabis sativa variants with African origins. THCV also contributes to the plant’s pungent smell, which can serve as an indicator that the strain contains generous levels of the compound.
This post was originally published on April 21, 2017, it was updated on October 5, 2017.