Comparing THCV And THC : What Are the Uses & Differences?

THC is the main psychoactive source in the cannabis plant. Cannabinoid is a naturally occurring compound found in the cannabis plant. However, it isn’t only the compound present in the cannabis plant. For example, Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) is also present in the plant.

The THCV distillate and THC have similar names and looks, but that is pretty much where the resemblance stops. Generally, THCV doesn’t have a psychedelic effect. Still, like THC, THCV can induce psychoactive effects when ingested in high doses. The two cannabinoids are derived from different parents, give different effects, and are  present at different levels even though they are both present in the cannabis plant.

However, suppose you would love to know the difference between these two cannabinoids and their similarities. In that case, keep reading as we will be comparing both cannabinoids in this write-up.


Understanding THC

THC is a cannabinoid molecule in the cannabis plant. It is the main psychoactive compound in the plant and is responsible for making people high. The THC binds with brain receptors that control pain, mood, appetite, and other feelings to produce a high effect. 

In addition, the cannabinoid can be detected in the body for longer than most compounds, even though the psychedelic effect wears out after a few hours. This is because it stores in the body fats and organs for up to four weeks. Hence, it’s easy to detect ingestion of THC with a standard THC test even after a long time. 

When it comes to the legality of THC, it’s a bit tricky to say whether it’s legal or not because many states allow hemp containing THC for medical uses. Yet, it is illegal under federal law. Some states have also made recreational hemp with THC legal for consumer use while still being federally illegal. 

Hence, here’s to show that you might be able to use THC freely or not, depending on your state. Several states legalized THC for its medical benefits, such as helping treat nausea, glaucoma, nerve pains, and many more. However, THC has its side effects, and some of them include dizziness, drowsiness, vomiting, memory loss, and more. 

Also read: THC or CBD: What Is In Your Weed?

Understanding THCV

One of the many cannabinoids in the cannabis plant is THCV. However, its quantity varies because the amount in a typical cannabis flower depends solely on its strain. It is particularly high in some strains from Africa and Asia. Nevertheless, the chemical properties of the THCV are like THC, and it also works on both cannabinoid receptors in the brain. 

However, THCV isn’t psychoactive, so it doesn’t produce an intoxicating effect like THC. In contrast, THCV causes some effects related to appetite and energy levels. It also reduces activity at the cannabinoid (CB1) receptors, suppressing appetites and easing inflammatory pain. Scientists have also found that THCV may benefit several medical uses, such as managing type 2 diabetes, weight loss, and pain relief.

When it comes to the Legal standing of THCV, it can be not easy to know if the substance is legal or otherwise. While several claim that the cannabinoid is federally legal, there are claims that THCV is illegal due to its few similarities with THC. Hence, before purchasing, it is important that you Make yourself familiar with the laws of your state and if THCV is legal or not.

Note that while there is positive feedback on the benefits of THCV, such as reducing nausea, supporting bone health, increasing satiety, regulating energy metabolism, and more. Unfortunately, THCV also has negative reports, including appetite loss, dizziness, tiredness, and even diarrhea. So, it would be best if you only used THCV for recreational purposes in reasonable amounts. 

Comparing THCV Vs. THC

It would be incomplete to compare THCV and THC without mentioning the psychoactive effect. THC is the main psychoactive ingredient in the cannabis plant and can produce a high sensation. It triggers the part of the brain that responds to pleasure and gives a euphoric feeling. 

On the other hand, THCV is anti-psychoactive because it acts as an antagonist to the CB1 receptors and can even block some of the effects of the psychoactive THC. This is not to say that the THCV cannot be intoxicating, as THCV is still a psychoactive compound and produces a similar effect when taken at high doses. 

However, a good thing about its antipsychotic effect is that it may help improve social behavior and cognitive performance. Generally, when we compare THCV to THC, it is important to note that while both cannabinoids look alike, they are from different parent molecules and chemistry. 

THC is produced when THCA is exposed to oxygen, heat, or sunlight, while scientists derive THCV from THCVA. Additionally, while it might look like only a slight difference, THC has a longer hydrocarbon chain, enabling a stronger binding affinity for CB1 cannabinoid receptors, unlike the THCA. The strong binding affinity is also responsible for the strong psychoactive effect. 

As with several other novel cannabinoids, there is limited research on the THCV, but here’s what the researchers have found. First, the THCV doesn’t get you intoxicated, but it does get you high, and you will feel more focused, energized, and alert. It is a different high from THC, and thus, it is recommended for use during the daytime. 

In addition to helping with weight loss, reduced appetite, and accelerated metabolism, another advantage of THCV over THC is that it doesn’t result in side effects such as sleepiness, drowsiness, a state of incoherence, and increased appetite.

So far, research has shown that it is safe to ingest THCV and that it is non-toxic. It has also been found that the THCV may have a potential incline to help reduce symptoms of some psychiatric disorders and increase heart rate. Still, you should note that all these aren’t verified yet, so be cautious of your THCV intake. 


A common side effect you might experience if you use THCV frequently is tiredness. However, you need to prevent taking THCV if you have an eating disorder or are on other appetite suppressants because of its ability to suppress appetite. Suppose you are considering using a THCV supplement. Then you should consult your doctor before use.

Medical Disclaimer: All the content available on the website is just for informational purposes. It’s not a substitute for any Professional advice. Don’t take it personally. As a medical student, I’m just trying to use my information through my content, and please keep in mind it’s not written by a professional doctor. Use the data just for educational purposes.

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