It’s an exciting time as no-one really knows the full range of medical benefits offered by these cannabinoids.
Soon there will be some exciting new cannabis varieties rich in THC-V, CBD-V and CBG. These new varieties are currently being developed using selective breeding techniques to increase the concentration of these unusual cannabinoids.
Specifically, the breeding community is now very close to releasing cannabis varieties rich in THC-V (Tetrahydrocannabivarin) CBD-V (Cannabidivarin) and CBG (Cannabigerol). The first of these varieties is likely to be seen in 2017 or 2018, assuming the final breeding all goes to plan.
It’s an exciting time as no-one really knows the full range of medical benefits offered by these cannabinoids. Although there has been some research into these new cannabinoids, little is known about how, in high concentrations, they will interact with other cannabinoids. For example, will the new cannabinoids amplify the effects of other cannabinoids or will they counteract the effects? Will the new cannabinoids be most appreciated by medical users, or will they allow recreational users new levels of satisfaction and enjoyment?
These new varieties with elevated levels of THC-V, CBD-V and CBG are being created by selective breeding techniques which are combined with extensive lab testing. This means parent plants with known cannabinoid levels are crossed together and the seeds collected and grown. Normally, some of the offspring will show higher levels of the desired cannabinoid than the parents. These offspring are crossed and the process continues over many generations. It’s a labor-intensive and time-intensive process, but it’s the only way to create elevated levels of the desired cannabinoids. It’s the same process that was used several years ago to create the first CBD-rich varieties. CBD-rich varieties are those that contain 4% (or more) CBD in the dried buds. At the moment it still isn’t clear what the levels of THC-V and CBD-V will be, but we expect levels of around 2-7% with an upper target of 10%. CBG levels are expected to be in the region of 4% when stabilized.
THC-V (Tetrahydrocannabivarin) effects and benefits in cannabis.
As the name suggests, THCV has a similar molecular structure to THC with a few slight differences. THC-V is psychoactive, but like the rest of the cannabinoids, it has received little research due to cannabis prohibition. One of the most interesting questions is how THC-V will modulate (or affect) the traditional THC ‘high’. Will elevated levels of THC-V provide a more enjoyable experience? Moreover, if so how will that happen? Will THC-V amplify the effects of THC or will it counteract them?
Another important question is what will medical users get from the presence of high levels of THC-V? Will THC-V improve the medical qualities of cannabis and if so which conditions will benefit the most? Although there has been plenty of speculation about THC-V, and some suggested benefits, Dutch Passion expect many of the answers will come within the first year or two of THC-V rich varieties being on sale.
THC-V has a high boiling point, around 220ºC so your vaporizer may need to be on a higher temperature setting to release it. For comparison, THC boils at about 160ºC.
Early indications suggest that THC-V may have the ability to enhance the euphoric effects of THC. So this could be a cannabinoid which will be of great interest to recreational users as well as medical marijuana users. GW Pharmaceuticals are investing heavily in research into THC-V as a possible oral medicine to treat diabetes. You can read more about the work here.
CBD-V, Cannabidivarin effects and benefits in cannabis
CBD-V is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, meaning that it will not get you high. The chemical structure of CBD-V is very similar to CBD and CBD-V is already receiving lots of medical attention from GW Pharmaceuticals who are impressed with the anti-convulsant properties. Longer term medical research is focused on anti-epileptic medicines for both adults and children.
CBD-V has been found in reasonably high levels naturally in some Northern Indian indica varieties close to mountainous areas, and is also found in some Nepali varieties. Some of the highest CBD-V concentrations are found in Nepali hash. Old school readers will remember the legendary ‘Nepalese Temple Balls’ which was one of the most sought after hash varieties in the past, and was occasionally available in Dutch coffee shops.
Again, many questions about the function and effect of CBD-V remain unanswered. But with mainstream pharmaceutical companies already investing heavily in CBD-V it seems quite likely that the medical evidence for CBD-V effectiveness is already accumulating. More information on GW Pharmaceuticals medical research into CBD-V is here
CBG, Cannabigerol, effects and benefits in cannabis
CBG is thought to be non-psychoactive. CBG is the non-acidic version of cannabigerolic acid (CBGA). CBGA is often regarded as the initial “mother cannabinoid” which is the starting point from which other cannabinoids are created. At harvest, in most cannabis varieties, much of the CBG has been converted into other cannabinoids, usually THC or CBD. Typically, most cannabis varieties have less than 1% CBG in the plant at harvest, but selective breeding has allowed CBG levels to be increased to 2-3% in research varieties, and this may be increased further before the first CBG variety is released. Many of the medical expectations of CBG will be confirmed by ongoing research, so speculating about the benefits may not be helpful, however many potential uses are listed which include benefits as a neuro-protectant, pain/anxiety relief, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic etc.
Exciting times for cannabis: New cannabinoids on the horizon.
CBD varieties were just the first wave of new cannabinoid rich strains. Many were surprised at the impact which CBD varieties had, so it will be fascinating to see how the new cannabinoid varieties will eventually be received. For Dutch Passion it’s a normal and natural part of our thinking to push back the boundaries and look at new areas of cannabinoid breeding. Remember: Dutch Passion were the first to invent feminized cannabis seeds and were one of the first suppliers of high quality autos as well as one of the first to supply CBD-rich seeds. Being involved in the first wave of new cannabinoid research is an exciting challenge for the Dutch Passion team.
By Tony, Dutch Passion
Originally published in Weed World Magazine Issue 130