Cannabis may be the most evolutionarily-advanced plant on earth and its chemistry is complex. There are over 60 cannabinoids and 200 terpenes, so variations in both taste and affect are practically limitless. Yet most strains being sold today stem from a limited gene pool, basically six or seven clones that took over the market, strains with names like Chem Dog, Sour Diesel and OG Kush.
Fortunately, the last few years have seen an explosion in cannabis research and development, and one of the more exciting trends has been recent attention on THCV. Note the flow chart above only mentions CBGA (cannabigerolic acid), precursor to THC, CBD and CBC. Geranyl phosphate combines with olivetolic acid to create CBGA. But there’s a flip side to this coin: If geranyl phosphate combines with divarinolic acid, the result has two less carbon molecules and is called cannabigerovarin acid (CBGVA), which can be decarboxylated with heat or light to produce THCV.
THCV is an antagonist to the CB1 and CB2 receptors employed by THC and CBD for psychoactive affect, which is why it’s considered an appetite suppressant. Yet high THCV strains are among the most euphoric, which is why medical users rate them as the best strains to start the day with. Most well-known strains contain only small amounts of THCV, but a few strains have lately charted as high as 5% THCV. Justin Hartfield, inventor of Weedmaps, prefers to start his day with the high-THCV Green Crack. Other high-THCV strains include some Thai and African strains, as well as some hashes from Pakistan. Pineapple Purps and Jack the Ripper are two commercially available seeds said to be high in THCV.
Despite THCV being an antagonist to THC receptors, these strains do not “depress” but create even more intense euphoria than THC or CBD strains. We still have a long way to go in the study of this remarkable plant, but if you’re worried about cannabis slowing you down, putting you to sleep, or giving you the munchies, you just have to search for the highest THCV strain in your area because it won’t contribute to those side effects.