Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) Is a cannabinoid with a very similar structure to THC. It is found in small amounts within the cannabis plant, and has curiously opposite effects on appetite than THC. Its psychoactivity is at this point not well understood, previous studies in the 1970’s suggested it was 25% as potent as THC for psychoactivity, more recent studies suggest that it may alter the effects of THC, but taken alone, may have no psychoactivity.
Some strains have been tested and show significant amounts of THCV.
THCV has similar effects to THC on pain and inflammation, and its anticonvulsant effects are similar to CBD, what sets THCV apart from the other cannabinoids that are well understood, is it has the ability to suppress appetite, as studies are demonstrating.
THCV is an area of intense research for tools to help fight obesity.
From the Telegraph Newspaper in the UK:
Although cannabis is better known for inducing hunger in those who smoke it, known as the munchies. when the scientists examined two compounds, called THCV and cannabidiol, they were found to have an appetite suppressing effect.
This effect only lasts for a short time, however. When the scientists looked closer, they found the compounds also had an impact on the level of fat in the body and its response to insulin, a hormone that controls the sugar levels in the blood.
Tests in mice showed the compounds boosted the animals metabolism, leading to lower levels of fat in their livers and reduced cholesterol in their blood stream.
THCV was also found to increase the animals sensitivity to insulin while also protecting the cells that produce insulin, allowing them to work better and for longer.
It has raised hopes that the drugs can be developed into treatments for obesity related diseases and type 2 diabetes.