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Today, there’s so much more to the cannabis plant than just THC. From CBD to CBG to CBN, a whole host of different cannabinoids are starting to appear in everything from lotions and skincare to oils, supplements and snacks. And if you’re having trouble keeping all of these cannabinoid products straight, you definitely aren’t alone. Now, there’s yet another newcomer in the cannabinoid market: THCV, or Delta Nine THCV.
While CBD products claim to offer relief from everything to stress to aches and pains to inflammation, THCV is a little different. This highly-hyped compound comes with claims that it can suppress your appetite and help you lose weight. But can this cannabinoid really have an impact on your hunger?
We’re breaking down the details about THCV and whether or not it can actually deliver on the much-touted promises of appetite suppression and potential weight loss.
What is THCV?
THCV is definitely different from CBD. It is a cannabinoid that comes from the cannabis plant. But unlike CBD, which is derived from hemp and not marijuana, THCV does actually come from the psychoactive plant itself. That’s why it’s been nicknamed “diet weed.”
But what, really, is THCV? It’s one of the many cannabinoids found in cannabis plants, and Delta 9 THCV was first discovered in the 1970s. Unlike THC and CBD, which are byproducts of cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), THCV is a byproduct of cannbigerovarin acid (CBGVA). The CBGVA turns into THCVA, and when it’s exposed to heat or light, it ultimately becomes THCV.
It’s most commonly found in pure sativas from Afghanistan, Africa, China, India, Nepal, Thailand and Pakistan. And just like CBD, THCV can be extracted from plants and used in a wide variety of different products and applications. A little of the cannabinoid goes a long way.
It’s important to note that Delta Nine THCV isn’t the same as the Delta Eight variety. While the two seem to share the same name, Delta Eight doesn’t make the same health claims as Delta Nine. So, when you’re talking about THCV, it’s a good idea to double-check whether the product in question is the Delta Eight or Delta Nine variety (here, we’re talking about Delta Nine only).
And you definitely don’t want to confuse Delta 9 THCV with Delta 9 THC. That’s because Delta 9 THC is actually the psychoactive substance in marijuana – so don’t mix up the two! Delta 9 THCV should only have potential psychoactive effects at extremely high doses and in particularly potent strains, as ACS Laboratory explains.
Why is THCV getting so much hype?
THCV is starting to grow in popularity thanks to its supposed effects. Companies that sell THCV products tout its claims. Sometimes, it’s marketed as an anti-inflammatory aid. In other instances, it’s hyped as neuroprotective and stress-soothing. THCV is also said to be euphoric and energizing.
Some of these claims do have a bit of scientific support. Delta 9 THCV has shown potential to decrease the signs of inflammation and inflammation-related pain in mice, according to a 2010 research study. And a 2011 research study demonstrated that THCV may also help reduce swelling in mice.
When it comes to the brain, THCV also shows some promise. A 2010 study published in Epilepsia showed that THCV may be able to reduce the frequency and severity of seizures related to epilepsy, even working as a potential preventative measure. There isn’t yet, however, any relevant research tied to stress reduction or relief.
But the biggest reason this CBD alternative is taking off? It’s the claim that it can suppress your appetite, reduce your hunger and help you eat less. After all, who wouldn’t want to try a product that can make you feel fantastic, energized and less hungry? It’s hard to ignore THCV if it just might help you shed a little bit of extra weight.
But it’s important to keep in mind that though THCV has been around since the ‘70s, there’s still a whole lot we don’t know about it.
THCV might help you lose weight – but the research is still preliminary
There is some good news: THCV just might have the potential perk of working as an appetite suppressant. Recent research does show that some of those appetite and weight loss claims made in the cannabinoid’s marketing may be true.
According to a 2018 study, low doses of THCV may be able to help control appetite because the compound can inhibit the effects of CB1 receptors. The manipulation of those CB1 receptors can lead to benefits like a reduction in body weight, smaller waist circumference and a reduced appetite. Additionally, another study published in 2016 shows that THCV can affect the cognitive control network and dorsal visual stream network, two factors that are found to be altered in those with obesity. In this research, THCV showed the potential to aid weight loss in obese individuals.
And an even more recent study showed that there’s some potential in THCV – when combined with other cannabinoids. In a 2021 report from Forbes, a proprietary hemp extract that featured THCV, CBD, CBDV and other cannabinoids was found to help participants lose up to 22 pounds over the course of 90 days. Compared to individuals who took a placebo, those on the cannabinoid product lost at least 5 pounds each, while the placebo group either gained weight or saw no change. Along with their weight loss, the cannabinoid group also saw improvements in metabolic health metrics like lower BMI and smaller waist measurements.
But while all of this recent research sounds awesome, it’s important to remember that THCV is still pretty new when it comes to proven benefits. The study discussed by Forbes, for example, was done in collaboration with ECS Brands and tested not just pure THCV but a product called Nitro-V that’s created by ECS Brands. This gives a more limited scope to the exciting weight loss results found among the study’s participants.
There’s still more work to be done – and a lot to learn – in regards to how THCV might affect appetite and weight loss. Right now, there’s some promising potential, especially when it comes to weight loss and obesity. But more scientific investigation is needed to fully flesh out just how beneficial THCV might be, and if there really is good reason to give it a try. Before you dive into “diet weed,” science might need a little more time to prove its many claims.
If you’re interested in learning more about cannabinoids and their potential, keep reading: