A Unique Cannabinoid Matchup: Delta 8 vs. THCV

Delta 8 thc vs thcv

A Unique Cannabinoid Matchup: Delta 8 vs. THCV

 

Are you someone who has an interest in the hemp plant?  If so, you’ve likely noticed that the hemp market has expanded like never before in the last year or so.  Seemingly out of nowhere, a large variety of new, individual hemp-based cannabinoids have been popping up in the forms of vapes, gummies and other popular products, promising to offer distinctive effects to the body and mind.  Two particularly popular cannabinoids at the moment are delta 8 THC and THCV, which, having come from the same plant, do share many things in common.  But, each of these cannabinoids can produce different effects, and can serve different purposes, thus suiting different individual needs.  

It’s important to know the key differences between delta 8 and THCV, as one may be far more suitable for you than the other.  Many of us have a specific purpose for taking a hemp product, and one of these two cannabinoids may be a lot more capable of helping you reach your goals.

Where Delta 8 and THCV Come from 

Delta 8 THC (Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol) is a minor cannabinoid found in the hemp plant, making up about 0.1% of the plant’s chemical structure.  THCV (tetrahydrocannabivarin) is also a minor cannabinoid, making up somewhere around the same amount of the plant’s chemical composition.  In other words, both of these compounds are naturally occurring rather than synthesized in any way.

THCV is a homologue of delta 9 THC, meaning that it maintains a lot of structural similarities despite having ultimately different effects.  It was only discovered in 1973, while delta 8 was discovered in 1965.  Delta 8 is also structurally similar to delta 9, but for a different reason.  Delta 8 is the result of delta 9 that has naturally oxidized while aging within the plant’s chemical structure, thus partially converting into delta 8.

Their Psychoactive Properties

Delta 8 THC and THCV are two psychoactive cannabinoids, meaning that they can get you high when consumed internally.  But, the nature of their highs are quite different from one another, so you shouldn’t assume that one will feel just like the other, as this is completely not the case.

Delta 8 THC is about 70% as intoxicating as delta 9, and therefore the high is milder.  This has to do with the cannabinoid losing some of its psychoactive properties as it is converted from delta 9 THC.  Many find the high to be quite mellowing, in both the body and the mind, with fewer instances of paranoia or brain fog than the high associated with delta 9 THC.  

Then, there’s THCV, which has a much more complicated psychoactive profile.  THCV is an antagonist to CB1 receptors at low dosage levels.  This means that it won’t get you high, and it may be capable of blocking the full psychoactive effects of other cannabinoids when taken alongside them.  However, when THCV is taken in higher doses, it switches over to being an agonist to CB1 receptors, meaning that it does produce an intoxicating effect, which is milder than delta 9 THC.  The exact amount required to experience the psychoactive properties of THCV is not yet known, and likely varies from one individual to the next.  Also, THCV’s high lasts about half as long as THC, and requires a higher boiling point – 428 degrees rather than 315.  

No matter which cannabinoid you take, other factors like strain, dosage and delivery method can all influence the high that you experience.

Non-Psychoactive Properties 

Both delta 8 THC and THCV offer properties that go beyond their ability to get a user high, as they are cannabinoids that work with the endocannabinoid system to regulate processes throughout the body.  Delta 8 has been studied here and there over the last few decades, along with THCV, and there hasn’t been as much interest in either until recently, which is why we expect more studies to come out in the near future.

As far as delta 8 is concerned, studies have shown that there are a lot of valuable properties that can apply to a wide range of needs.  Delta 8 may offer antiemetic, anxiolytic, neuroprotective, analgesic, anti-inflammatory and appetite-stimulating properties, along with potential when it comes to maintaining sleep.  Delta 8 works mainly on CB1 receptors in the nervous system that regulate processes associated with this system of the body.

THCV, meanwhile, prefers CB2 receptors, which are located in the digestive system and immune system of the body.  Still, it seems to offer some level of anti-seizure activity according to studies, as a neuroprotective agent much like delta 8.  The most fascinating findings regarding THCV are its potential effects on blood sugar and insulin levels, which may play a role in diabetes management, along with appetite-suppressing properties that may reduce cravings.

Purpose for Taking Them 

Many people take delta 8 THC because it’s a federally legal cannabinoid that can deliver psychoactive properties, making it an easy-to-access alternative to delta 9 THC which remains federally legal.  Being able to enjoy a high without breaking the law is obviously appealing, and many actually enjoy the fact that the high is mellower and therefore easier to manage.  Beyond that, delta 8 offers a lot of desirable properties that aren’t psychoactive, as shown earlier, which can be extremely useful to those with certain personal needs.

THCV, meanwhile, is psychoactive, but getting high off of it is more complicated for reasons stated earlier.  While people may buy it to see what its psychoactive properties are like, as you can see, it offers a lot of value beyond this one effect which can appeal to many people.

Whether or Not They’re Legal 

Both delta 8 and THCV are federally legal as a result of passing of the Farm Bill in 2018.  However, 12 states have criminalized delta 8 THC, and due to the wording in the legislation, it’s likely that THCV is illegal in these states as well:

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Delaware
  • Texas
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
  • Utah

Be aware that both delta 8 and THCV can result in a failed drug test, because both use THC-COOH to metabolize.  THC-COOH is an enzyme that is released to metabolize THC compounds, including delta 9 THC, and standard drug tests are looking for this enzyme in the urine rather than delta 9 THC itself.  Also, note that both cannabinoids can impair driving due to their intoxicating nature, so never drive while under the influence of either.

Products That They Come in

Delta 8 THC and THCV both exist in various product forms, since they’re both converted into extracts that can easily be blended into just about any type of formula.

  • Vape Carts: Vape carts are 510-threaded cartridges that come in many strains, and attach to standard low-wattage vape pen devices.
  • Disposable Vapes: Disposable vapes are vaping systems that come fully assembled, never needing to be charged or refilled with vape oil.
  • Tinctures: Tinctures are sublingual oils that come in various strengths, and are easy to administer below the tongue.
  • Edibles: Edibles are ingested to produce long-lasting effects, and are known for producing a unique body high.
  • Flower: Flower refers to raw hemp flower infused with a pure cannabinoid extract.  You can find lots of great strains to choose from.
  • Dabs: Dabs are extremely potent concentrates used for dabbing, and are best for advanced users.
  • Capsules: Capsules introduce the effects of a cannabinoid in encapsulated form.

Delta 8 and THCV: Which One is Right for You?

Delta 8 and THCV each offer a wide array of useful properties to the body and mind, and each one is worth exploring since the effects are so different while being equally valuable.  Also, each one has a unique psychoactive effect that can be enjoyable in its own way.

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