If you are struggling with weight loss I’m guessing the last thing you thought could help you is marijuana. One of the main side effects of THC is the fact that it reduces nausea and helps increase appetite. This is can be a lifesaving function for someone going through cancer treatment but having the munchies is not ideal when you are attempting to lower your calorie intake. However, there is one part of the plant that may change the way you think of cannabis and weight loss, the minor cannabinoid THCV.
How it works
Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) is a minor cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. The term minor does not come from its lack of strength but due to the fact it is found in smaller quantities than the major cannabinoids like THC and CBD. If you are familiar with the Endocannabinoid System, the largest system in the body, then you know that it is comprised of CB1 and CB2 receptors. This is where all the magic happens and why medical marijuana has so many different healing properties. Depending on the type of cannabinoid, they attach to these receptors resulting in treatments for pain, nausea, anxiety, cancer, epilepsy, neurodegenerative disorders, PTSD and so much more.
THC and THCV may sound like the same thing but THCV is actually an antagonist of CB1 and CB2 receptors. So that means it blocks THC from attaching to these receptors and prevents users from getting the increased appetite side effects. THC increases appetite but research is now finding that THCV has the opposite effect. So if you are trying to manage weight loss, THCV may be a natural appetite suppressant. This could be especially promising to individuals who struggle with obesity.
In addition to THCV being an appetite suppressant, there are studies that found that it can help reduce body weight. The THCV helped increase energy expenditure and reduced glucose intolerance. This could be a break through treatment for individuals who suffer from type 2 diabetes. Not only can it help with weight loss but it can potentially help stabilize insulin levels for individuals who have glucose intolerance. At this time there are no FDA medications of THCV but there are some starting the first phases of clinical trials. Hopefully, similar to Epidiolex, we will start to see a shift in legitimizing these potential treatments for serious diseases such as diabetes.
Where can I find THCV?
Right now there is no miracle drug to help those struggling with weight loss. Diet and exercise is still the best way to accomplish your fitness goals. However, THCV may be the extra boost needed to help manage cravings and increase metabolism to achieve those goals faster. Similar to CBD increasing in popularity, strains with higher THCV levels are going to become more common. Check with your certified budtender about what strains they carry that have a higher content of THCV. Some of the more popular strains with higher THCV content include Doug’s Varin, Tangie, Pinapple Purps, Durban Poison and Girl Scout Cookies.
Know Your Cannabinoids
Nikki is the COO and co-founder of Medical Marijuana 411. She has taken on the monumental task of working with medical and cannabis experts to bring accredited CME courses to medical professionals around the world. She is also an avid runner and has a passion for health, fitness and personal wellness. Nikki holds a MBA from Portland State University and a Bachelor of Science in from Humboldt State University.