THCV – the munchies play a significant role in cannabis culture, in fact, we don’t need science to point out how getting stoned and eating 3 pizzas and a tub of ice cream go together like two peas in pod, but we do need it to inform us which cannabinoids get us feeling that way.
As you tear through your pile of junk food, you may be wondering whether you’ll be able to sustain a trim figure while still enjoying the spoils of all that dank weed.
While it is true that cannabis consumption can be associated with people with trimmer waistlines and lower BMIs, the keyword is “can,” as it really depends on the cannabinoids you take in that affect your state of mind.
A close relative of THC, Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) is showing promise in providing the best of both worlds: a clean euphoric high minus the munchies.
If you’re someone who enjoys their weed but aren’t too keen on gaining those lbs, then keep on reading and we’ll show you how you can continue to enjoy the dankest weed without the risk of weight gain.
Why You Get the Munchies in The First Place
To first understand how you can avoid the munchies, you have to understand where it comes from and how it happens in the first place. A study found a set of neurons located in the hypothalamus of the brain called POMCs become scrambled when exposed to the cannabinoids in cannabis.
These neurons are known to release chemical indicators that tell you whether you are full or not. Specifically, alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH) is a chemical released that is a large factor in determining the satiety of an individual.
The study found that when mice were administered with cannabinoids, beta-endorphins were actually released rather than alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH). For those of you who are unfamiliar, beta-endorphins are an appetite stimulant that promotes cravings, especially in sugary foods.
As you probably guessed, the munchies and weight loss don’t really fit the bill when it comes to pure health and weight loss, luckily Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) actually has the opposite effect of THC when it comes to manipulating the appetite.
So What is THCV?
Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) is a minor cannabinoid mainly found in the Sativa subspecies of the cannabis plant and is usually only found in trace amounts.
THCV is currently dubbed as the “sports car of cannabinoids” for its energetic and focusing psychoactive effects. That said, the actual effects of THCV are unique to itself, filling a void that other cannabinoids like THC and CBD leave open.
Surprisingly, THCV was actually discovered in the early 70s, but research is still in its early stages due to the scarcity of the compound, requiring more in-depth studies to fully uncover the medicinal properties of the cannabinoid. Luckily, thanks to selective breeding, growers have been able to genetically modify their crops to isolate and fortify THCV-heavy breeds.
The Effects of THCV
If THCV is known for its energetic high with an appetite suppressing effect, how does it compare to THC? THCV in many ways acts similarly to CBD when used with THC, dampening, and amplifying certain aspects of its effects.
Because of the entourage effect, THCV is known to alleviate and halt some of the less desirable effects of THC such as the munchies, paranoia, anxiety, and even the couch lock effect.
Not to mention that THCV is also a great cannabinoid for giving its users a clear headspace great for creativity and productivity, which is a stark contrast to the typical stoner stereotypes of getting high.
What’s interesting about THCV is that it is actually non-psychoactive when taken in low doses, however, this quickly changes when more abundant amounts of it are consumed. So much like THC, it can also produce psychoactive effects, but with much different results.
Here are a few things THCV is effective at:
THCV is a Great Supplement for Weight Loss
One of the biggest benefits of THCV is its ability to curb hunger and reduce the perceived satisfaction gained from eating delicious foods. Unlike THC, THCV has the opposite effect, helping its consumers reduce their overall food intake, potentially resulting in weight loss.
When used together with THC, THCV is known to act as an antagonist towards certain effects of THC, including the munchies.
While eating less food isn’t always a healthy option, those who are struggling with obesity or weight loss can use THCV as an extra boost towards picking the right foods and achieving their goals.
THCV May be Able to Stimulate Bone Growth
THCV is known to promote bone cell growth, making it a potential treatment for Osteoporosis. THCV’s bone cell-stimulating properties could also be used for other bone-weakening conditions such as Osteomalacia.
THCV Can Help Reduce Anxiety
While extremely high doses of THC can induce panic attacks on its users, THCV has the opposite effect. THCV has the ability to reduce or sometimes even halt an anxiety attack altogether by enhancing 5-HT1A receptor activation.
For those who enjoy THC and its psychoactive effects but constantly find themselves on edge, they can opt for strains with high THCV to get the best of both worlds without the risk of a panic attack.
THCV is an Effective Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes
Going hand in hand with its appetite-suppressing effects, THCV’s ability to curb hunger can also help to treat people who suffer from type-2 diabetes by decreasing insulin resistance and regulating blood sugar levels. THCV’s anti-inflammatory properties may also help to ease the pain of diabetic neuropathy.
Top 5 THCV Strains
1. Pineapple Purps
A rare species of the THC strain, Pineapple Purps is a special variety of cannabis that has a THC to THCV ratio of 3:1. Pineapple Purpz delivers a smooth energetic high wrapped in the intoxicating scent and flavor of pineapple.
2. Durban Poison
A highly coveted African landrace Sativa strain known for its mind blowing uplifting effects and super-saturated resin glands, making it a great option for concentrate extraction.
3. Jack the Ripper
A safe option with a consistently high THCV content, usually clocking in at a THCV content of 5% or higher. To date, Jack the Ripper is one of the most potent THCV strains currently on the market.
4. Pink Boost Goddess
One of the newest additions to selectively bred THCV strains, Pink Boost Goddess was developed by a California based cannabis farm. Pink Boost Goddess carries an approximately 4-5% THCV content, making it ideal for appetite suppression and blocking panic attacks.
5. Girl Scout Cookies
We saved one of the best for last… A cult favorite in the cannabis world, Girl Scout Cookies is a reliable Sativa known to stimulate even the dullest of conversations. It also boasts a decent tetrahydrocannabivarin profile as well.
If you enjoy your cannabis but are hesitant to let loose because of the munchies, maybe it’s time you gave THCV a try. It might be your next favorite thing.