Tetrahydrocannabivarin, or THCV, has gained some fame lately due to its high potency, rarity and promising medicinal value. Anyone interested in trying it has a few strains to choose from. As it turns out, popular strains like Tangie and Girl Scout Cookies contain THCV.
Have you ever smoked weed and lost appetite? Or even smoked to stave off hunger? While getting high normally gives you the munchies, THCV actually suppresses appetite and is responsible for this paradoxical effect. Quick-acting but not long-lasting, THCV energizes the cannabinoid cocktail for a roller coaster effect.
While commonly attributed to sativas, an article in the American Journal of Botany found that all the strains analyzed—sativa, indica or ditchweed—contained THCV. They analyzed 157 cannabis plants from all over the world, and found high levels of THCV in plants from Southern Africa and parts of Afghanistan. Durban Poison, which hails from South Africa, and Jack the Ripper are the most common strains with high THCV, but Dutch Treat and Skunk #1 also have a significant content. If a strain has one of those four biggies in its lineage, it’ll likely have some THCV. Two strains have been specifically bred for high THCV content, Doug’s Varin and Willie Nelson, but they aren’t very common.
For example, Tangie, a cross of Cali Orange and a Skunk hybrid, has a modest 0.3 % THCV due to its skunky origins. Pie Face OG, a cross of Cherry Pie and “Face Off” OG Kush, has almost 0.5 % THCV because of its Durban Poison genes: Cherry Pie is a cross of Grand Daddy Purple and Durban Poison. Girl Scout Cookies also has some THCV from its Durban Poison origins, but not in any significant quantity. Hawaiian Dutch (Dutch #5 Female x Sweet Hawaiian) has almost 0.5 % THCV, likely because of its Dutch lineage.
The highest-testing flower for THCV at the 2014 High Times Seattle U.S. Cannabis Cup was Durban Poison by TJ'S Organic Gardens, which took third place in the U.S. Sativa category. THCV was almost 1 % of the flowers’ total mass.
The concentrate that tested the highest for THCV at that same cup was Ace of Spades Shatter by Category 5 Research. This cross of Jack the Ripper and Black Cherry Soda had 2.4 % THCV, but it didn’t win any awards in the U.S. Concentrates category. Agent Orange Nug Run Shatter (Agent Orange x Jack the Ripper) by A Greener Today North took Fifth Place in the Medical Concentrate category and had almost 2 % THCV.
Most winners in the Sativa categories had some THCV in them. The extra-uplifting high that we all love about sativas could be partly be due to this compound. You may believe THCV is the needle-in-a-haystack cannabinoid, but don’t lose hope. You don’t necessarily have to go looking for exotic strains like Doug’s Varin or Willie Nelson to find some of this strange cannabinoid—but don’t let us stop you.
(Photo credit: Durban Poison Day 67 by Vash)