Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) is one of the hundreds of cannabinoids housed in the cannabis plant. THCV has been called “skinny pot” due to the claim by some users that it is a powerful appetite suppressor. Some users have also found that strains with high levels of THCV have helped with anxiety. On the other hand, the following high-THCV strains have been associated with experiences of paranoia. Others have found that THCV amplifies the effects of THC, describing the high produced by THCV strains as clear-headed and energetic rather than foggy and lethargic. This anecdotal evidence is mixed because there is no universal reaction to a cannabis strain. There are too many variables from mood to genetics to accurately predict how a cannabis strain will affect an individual.
God’s Green Crack
God’s Green Crack lives up to its name according to the strain’s fans. Some users describe experiencing a high that allows them to focus on simple to complex tasks during the first half of their high. Following the burst of energy, the cerebral effects may settle into a relaxing body high ideal for more sedentary activities. In addition to providing both a satisfying mental and physical high, God’s Green Crack is recognized for its citrus, woodsy aroma.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that strains containing the most THCV are from Asia and Africa. Durban Poison is a well-known landrace strain with origins in South Africa. Users report a very energizing high after consuming this strain that is accompanied with little to know body heaviness. Because of its alleged powerful cerebral effects, many use the strain to divert attention away from anxiety and depression or to focus their energy on creative and productive tasks.
Jack the Ripper
Like the other strains in this list, Jack the Ripper is known for its powerful cerebral high. Unlike the other strains, that high tends to lack clarity lending to focus. Jack the Ripper has been described by some users psychedelic. This effect may lead users to initiate creative activities. Some describe experiencing an elevated mood and increased energy as a result of consuming this strain along with relief from migraines, fatigue, and pain.
Like Doug’s Varin, Pineapple Purps contains unusually high levels of THCV. It can even have ratios of 3:1 THCV to THC. The strain has been described as extremely psychoactive in a way that can be overwhelming for someone who is looking for a more focused and grounded high, but perfectly appropriate for those seeking a creative, mind-opening experience. Fans of the strain enjoy its reported mood-elevation and pain relief.
Fans of Red Congolese tend to use the strain in the morning or afternoon, some calling it their wake-and-bake strain of choice. Some report experiencing an enhanced mood followed by the motivation to create or be productive. This focus is enhanced by a slight body high that, as some users describe, removes aches and pains while sharpening the senses. Once the energizing phase of the high has passed, you may experience a period of tranquility and calm as the effects of the strain subside.
Doug’s Varin is a very rare strain specifically bred to contain high levels of THCV. Unlike the other strains on this list, Doug’s Varin can contain up to 25% THCV. Users describe an energetic, clear-headed high that can cause mild anxiety. The quantity of THCV may decrease appetite. If you are consuming pot to stimulate your appetite, this may not be the right strain for you. However, if you are interested in experiencing a high that leaves you feeling productive and energetic without giving you the munchies, Doug’s Varin is worth a try.
Research Suggests THCV May Treat Obesity and Diabetes
The belief held by some cannabis consumers that THCV can amplify the effects of THC and reduce the appetite are not without some scientific basis. Though the two cannabinoids are different (despite their similar names), they do engage with many of the same endocannabinoid receptors. This means that they may cause similar effects in consumers. According to a 2007 British Journal of Pharmacology review by R.G. Pertwee , THCV has been found to produce trance-like effects in mice. It also seems to cause effects similar to those produced by THC in humans, though at a potency that is four or five times less than THC. THCV has also been identified as a pain blocker in mice. These observed effects in early animal studies suggest that THCV targets CB1 receptors, the receptors THC is known to activate. However, THCV seems to be much less potent than THC. Pertwee also notes that THCV can target CB2 receptors as well as it targets CB1 receptors. This is another similarity is shares with THC. The limited evidence demonstrating THCV’s ability to target CB2 receptors make it an important research subject for the treatment of chronic liver diseases and inflammation-related obesity. Whether or not THCV can treat obesity has been the target of interest for researchers in the past 7 years. A 2013 Nutrition and Diabetes study on mice by researchers in the UK found that THCV reduced glucose intolerance, improved glucose tolerance, increased insulin sensitivity in mice who had dietary-induced diabetes and restored insulin signaling. The researchers concluded that “THCV is a new potential treatment against obesity-associated glucose intolerance.” A 2016 Diabetes Care randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel group pilot study confirmed these findings. In that study, human subjects with noninsulin-treated type 2 diabetes were administered combinations of THCV and CBD or each cannabinoid individually. The patients tolerated both CBD and THCV well and saw beneficial effects on their diabetes with the treatment of THCV. The researchers concluded that “THCV could represent a new therapeutic agent in glycemic control in subjects with type 2 diabetes.”