“After years of personal curiosity regarding THCv I finally found that wonderfully novel cannabinoid."
Hey folks — it’s good to be back!
Fred DeLisio here, back here at Weed World, with a regular column for you from here on out.
I’ve had an interesting 6 months since we last were together, so I wanted to bring you up-to-speed on why I’ve been gone and recap on where we came from over the past few years, with the Origin of the Species and an Overview of Cannabinoids and how they’re produced. With some cannabinoids defined in detail, I’ll give you a glimpse of where we’re going, and we’ll end with the next installment of “Cannabis, a Primer.”
This time, it’s “THCv — Tetrahydrocannabivarin — The Most Misunderstood Cannabinoid”.
First, the unbelievable reason that I’ve been absent for the past 6 months, the one you’d never guess, is, I was in the hospital, waiting for a donor heart. I got the phone call after 76 days, had it “installed”, and am now, for all intents and purposes — HEALED.
Celebrating a brand new LIFE!!
I normally would never do this, but I have to give a BIG shout-out to Cedars Sinai and all the amazing people that work there. They perform more successful heart transplants than anywhere in the world, and it shows. I was able to interface with the smartest humans on the planet on this subject, and they were brilliant, to a one.
It was a long, painful and arduous process, but worth every second, and I’m SO grateful to have had the opportunity, and for the stellar results that it produced — a whole new ME!
The real irony here is, I am the first Medical Cannabis Patient in the US, and possibly the world, to ever receive a heart transplant, as it’s been against the law to receive a donor organ if you are using Cannabis, for any reason, until just this year in California.
As such, and since we are “in the business”, I’m able to follow up with a myriad of Cannabinoid therapies to help myself heal completely, as well as combat any rejection issues that might arise using Cannabis therapies.
There are MANY studies done on Cannabis and organ rejection, both THC and CBD have shown GREAT promise in replacing immunosuppressant drugs currently ravaging transplant recipients everywhere.
I am embracing these therapies, and we are exploring new blends every day — so we will be “pushing the envelope” in this area of research, needless to say.
I’ll keep you folks in the loop with our progress as things develop.
I feel like a walking miracle, and I will never forget it or take it for granted for as long as I live — every day is a gift.
We kicked this series of articles off with, “Cannabis — Part 1 of 2 of a 2-part Primer…and Counting…”.
In this article, we were given a bird’s-eye-view of Cannabis, how the plant grows, how the medicine is contained in a myriad of small “Trichomes” — tiny resin-filled spheres covering the female plant’s surface when it is mature.
We learned there is no medicine contained in the leaves and plant material — only in the Trichomes.
This is why most extraction methods, liquid, dry, etc., can be done with wet or dry material, as everything valuable is housed on the outside of the plant.
Because this oil/resin is “hydrophobic” (meaning it repels water), some of the newer methods use water washing to remove trichomes. It can also be removed as “dry sift” by processing the material with the same nylon-mesh bags that are used with water, but through manual agitation, as well.
In “Cannabis — A Primer, Part 2 of 2, and Counting”, we learned that all of the Cannabinoids produced by this plant are NOT psychoactive when on the plant, and taken from the plant, unless heated or exposed to oxygen for long periods of time, which will then convert the acid-form of THCa to THC, the only psychoactive Cannabinoid (out of over 100) on the plant.
This is why the misnomer “medical marijuana” is not only misleading, it’s virtually meaningless.
With over 100 Cannabinoids, and over 350 Terpenes, Terpenoids, Enzymes and compounds all housed in the tiny trichomes on the outside of this plant, it is a veritable treasure-trove of medicinal compounds that in various combinations can treat and manage a wide-range of ailments and illnesses.
We also learned that of the 4 known most-dominant Cannabinoids (THC, CBD, CBG and CBC), CBG (Cannabigerol) is known as the “stem cell” Cannabinoid, as the rest of the named cannabinoids are created through enzymatic reaction from Cannabigerol in the Trichome.
THC, CBD and CBG all feature a myriad of health benefits, and are each being explored for their unique and different ways of supplementing the body’s Endocannabinoid System.
After discovering and synthesizing THC and CBD in the laboratory in 1964, Dr. Raphael Mechoulam and his team of researchers worked tirelessly with this plant to uncover the natural-occurring equivalent to THC produced by the body.
They discovered Anandamide (meaning “Bliss” in Sanskrit), calling it an “Endo” Cannabinoid. In other words, it was an “Endogenously-Produced Cannabinoid”. Cannabinoids produced by plants are called “Phytocannabinoids”.
Then, in “Cannabis: A Primer Part 3 of 3 and counting”, we went back to the roots of Cannabis and learned that the word “Sativa” comes from latin (Sativus), literally meaning “cultivated”, since it was the world’s first cultivated plant, originating in Southeast Asia over 15,000 years ago.
We also learned that “whole-plant” or “full-spectrum” oil from the plant (containing ALL trace Cannabinoids, Terpenes, Terpenoids, etc.), are FAR more effective and efficient than sterile, fractionated “distillate” of any single Cannabinoid.
This brings us just about current. The next Cannabinoid that I want to feature is to-date a most mysterious Cannabinoid that very little is known about, though there is MUCH speculation on its effects. The reason for this is, invariably the effects of individual Cannabinoids when isolated from the rest of the Cannabinoids and Terpenes in the Trichome of the landrace strain that they were extracted from, become far less effective, some as to show no noticeable effect.
We’ve learned that, invariably, these extracts are FAR more effective and efficient taken as a whole, which is why we are working with individual strains to produce specific effects, benefits, etc., as we’ve found that the plant itself is the perfect “factory” to “blend” these Cannabinoids botanically, instead of using a “ham-fisted” brute-force method of extracting the individual components, and then trying to reproduce the beneficial effects of the whole-plant oils.
Cannabis A Primer: THCv — The Most Misunderstood Cannabinoid.
Tetrahydrocannabivarin, or THCv has exhibited some very exciting health benefits. For example, by all accounts it has shown to be an appetite suppressant, and is being explored for use in this arena.
In this same thread, THCv has shown promise in reducing blood-sugar levels, and reducing insulin resistance.
THCv has also displayed the ability to suppress anxiety attacks and these attributes of this Cannabinoid are currently being explored.
As we reviewed above, any of these Cannabinoids taken alone without the trace Cannabinoids and terpenes tend to be far less effective, thereby making this research more difficult in terms of trying to procure accurate, repeatable results.
Additionally, THCv seems to help greatly when it comes to regulating motor control, brain lesions and tremors associated with Alzheimer’s disease, and other anxiety-centric or issues and ailments associated with misfiring neurons.
THCv has also shown to stimulate bone growth, and could be an incredible tool in managing degenerative diseases like osteoporosis.
Ok, the BIG question on everyone’s mind is — “Does it get you HIGH?!”
The simple and best answer is, we’re still not sure.
Taken alone, and I’ve spoken to folks that vaporized pure THCv many years ago, it has no psychoactive effect.
However, since it is ALWAYS presented in full-spectrum oils and extracts, or in the flower form in the presence of all of its other trace components, that tend to modify its effects, and THCv, at the same time, is modifying the effects of the THC, CBD and other Cannabinoids acting in concert with it.
The consensus is that it DOES modify the effects of THC, much like CBD, extending and buffering the psychoactive effects.
My personal opinion is that THCv is an “enabler”, or an “enhancer”, in that it seems to amplify the specific effects of other Cannabinoids, but I have yet to substantiate this to an acceptable degree.
But, at very high doses, it seems to amplify the effectiveness of THC, while shortening the duration of the effects.
THCv strains tend to be sativas, mostly African strains, one of the first being Durban Poison (immortalized in 1972 in the Humble Pie song, “30 Days in the Hole”).
This strain was bred by a legendary grower, writer and photographer (not necessarily in that order) and good friend, Mel Frank, with the additional involvement of Ed Rosenthal, and Skunkman Sam. This strain was one of the first THCv-rich strains available since the ‘70s.
Some other THCv-rich strains include Doug’s Varin, Willie Nelson, Red Congolese, Provenance/Proven, Pineapple Purps, Jack the Ripper, and Skunk #1 (bred by Skunkman Sam), to name a few.
Sativas tend to be lanky, grow forever if given the right environment (a warm, moist environment with a good breeze — South America, Africa, Thailand — all have very good climates for Sativas), and mature a branch at a time, often growing for years if male pollen is withheld.
My good friend, Eamon Ryland, is the breeder of Provenance/Proven — there are pictures, and here are a few words about this strain directly from him.
“After years of personal curiosity regarding THCv I finally found that wonderfully novel cannabinoid.
My personal cultivar is of Middle Eastern and African descent. I call it “Provenance” to some and “Proven” to others.
This classic Sativa has a 12-16 week flowering time. If put into flower untopped as soon as cuttings root, expect 4-4.5 ft. single columnar colas. If topped and grown vegetatively for even 2-3 weeks before flower, be prepared to provide lots of support. It is truly a narrow-leaf cultivar in its nearly perennial flowering characteristics. A more resinous and faster-flower version is currently being field tested.
In my own use of this particular molecule I’ve come to suspect that it has a truly positive effect on neurogenesis. I believe that THCv combined with CBD and THC would be very effective for any and all neurodegenerative conditions.
THCv for neurogenesis, CBD for neuroprotectant qualities and THC for increased neuroplasticity.”
Eamon is an amazing breeder with 25 years of experience and a vast knowledge of this plant.
For more information on the Provenance/Proven Strain, visit http://www.FuturePrimitiveLabs.com.
In closing, I wanted to thank all of you — most of all the wonderful folks at Weed World (you know who you are), for your best wishes, support, friendship and interest over the years — I really appreciate the love and support shown to me, and I am always at your service.
By Fred Delisio
Originally published in Weed World Magazine issue 138