While the therapeutic values of medical marijuana are understood within the medical community, there is a growing interest to learn more about its makeup, particularly in compounds called “phytocannabinoids.” When these combine with the endocannabinoid system – we will learn about this momentarily- positive, physiological changes can occur.
The most common cannabinoids [in marijuana] we hear all the time are “THC” and “CBD.” Did you know, though, there are hundreds more that researchers are bringing to the forefront for their potential health benefits? Yes, and one that is getting a lot of attention is the cannabinoid called “THCV.”
Tetrahydrocannabivarin (known as “THCV”) is a unique cannabis compound with remarkable properties that set it apart from the more normal cannabinoids, such as Tetrahydrocannabinol (known as “THC”). As a naturally occurring analog of THC, the biggest difference, yet fundamental benefit, of THCV is the absence of its psychoactive impacts. Research continues to show the potential effectiveness of THCV on diminishing hunger, satiety, metabolism, weight reduction, obesity, and even the management of Type II diabetes.
THCv Impact on Weight, Obesity, and Diabetes
Cannabinoids, such as THCV interact with the body through the endocannabinoid system – think of it like a “get together” of lipid proteins, compounds, and receptors that are engaged with various physiological cycles. Through the regulation of neurotransmitter release, the endocannabinoid system has been recognized to manage hunger & cravings, metabolism, energy, weight, and even diabetes. In addition, cognition, pain, memory, sleep, immune function, and mood have shown positive responses too!
Let’s take a peek at the positive impact and health benefits of THCV, and learn more about its role in weight loss, obesity, and possibly answer the question of “does THCV help with diabetes?”
- Curbs Appetite: Cannabinoid receptors have shown to be quite effective in curbing appetite and weight gain by their pharmacological inactivation. With obesity on the rise in modern society, it’s important to understand the basic physiology and pharmacology when it comes to effective weight management strategies. The endocannabinoid of the hypothalamus and cortico-limbic system both play a pivotal role in regulating caloric intake. The endocannabinoid system connects with the hormone “leptin” (an appetite suppressant), which is delivered by adipocytes and prompts the release of peptides to the hypothalamus, curbing appetite.
In one study done on fasted and non-fasted mice, when a low dose of THCV was administered, it acted as a competitive antagonist to cannabinoid receptors (specifically “CB1;” these are individuals from the G protein-coupled receptor superfamily of cell surface, heptahelical receptors), resulting in an overall reduced caloric intake and body fat reduction. Researchers conclude that there is the potential for THCV to be a novel compound in the treatment of weight loss/obesity.
- Boosts Metabolism: In addition to curbing appetite and suppressing hunger and cravings, THCV has been shown in various rodent studies that it can, actually, boost metabolism; a clinically valuable way to maintain and lose weight, have more energy to workout, and even manage obesity and type II diabetes.
- Energy Increase: The endocannabinoid system is a far and wide intercellular framework that assumes a major role in energy homeostasis – the matching of caloric intake with caloric output which, generally speaking, keeps body weight stable after some time. One study showed THCV as a neutral CB1 blocker, creating “hypophagia” (suppression of caloric intake in animals usually resulting from a reduction in feeding behavior brought about by drug administration or change in diet) and a decrease in body weight in lean mice. After investigating the effects of THCv on two groups of mice – dietary induced and genetically obese – it was concluded that while there was no change in body composition, or the amount of calories consumed, but it did produce a brief increase in overall energy expenditure. More energy expenditure means burning more calories at rest, and something that can, easily, be achieved through the addition of daily physical activity and exercise.
- Reduce Glucose Intolerance: In a study performed on 62 individuals who were non-insulin treated with type II diabetes, THCV – compared to the placebo group (63 out of 125 total individuals) – reduced fasting plasma glucose concentration. Additionally, those treated with THCv showed a dramatic increase in insulin release, and a significant improvement in their 3 hour blood glucose response.
- Stabilize Insulin Levels: In the same study just mentioned, THCV was also shown to improve insulin sensitivity by reducing fasting and post-glucose insulin concentrations. Although there was no change in overall body composition, the effects of THCV controlling glycemic response is still uncertain.
Our understanding of the impact of THCV is ever evolving, and one that continues to bring to the forefront new therapeutic means to treating various metabolic conditions. Our product, Citravin, contains the same THCV that we have discussed – 100% cannabis free and without the psychoactive impact of getting “high.” These easy dissolve mints will help curb your appetite and cravings, and work beautifully when in conjunction with an intermittent fasting protocol. If you are interested in learning more about fasting, and wondering which approach is best for you, why not check out our fasting style quiz!
- Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV): a commentary on potential therapeutic benefit for the management of obesity and diabetes
- An introduction to the endogenous cannabinoid system
- Synthetic and plant-derived cannabinoid receptor antagonists show hypophagic properties in fasted and non-fasted mice
- Mechanisms of CB1 receptor signaling: endocannabinoid modulation of synthetic strength
- Endocannabinoids and energy homeostasis: an update
- The cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) ameliorates insulin sensitivity in two mouse models of obesity
- Efficacy and Safety of Cannabidiol and Tetrahydrocannabivarin on Glycemic and Lipid Parameters in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Parallel Group Pilot Study