As cannabis legalization continues to spread across the country (and indeed the world), cannabis use is slowly becoming more and more socially acceptable.
By now, most people are familiar with cannabinoids such as CBD and THC, but interest in other minor cannabinoids that can be found in hemp flowers is also increasing. Over the last year the CBDV cannabinoid has enjoyed a surge in popularity as new high-CBDV strains of hemp have appeared on the market, but what does CBDV do?
In this article we’re going to take a closer look at CBDV, answering all your questions on this particular cannabinoid’s effects and benefits.
What is CBDV?
CBDV is short for cannabidivarin and is one of over 100 cannabinoids that can be found in the resinous glands of hemp flowers.
It was discovered over 50 years ago, but due to widespread prohibition, we only began to discover some of its potential therapeutic uses in the last few years.
What are varin cannabinoids?
Cannabinoids that contain “varin” at the end of their name, such as CBDV and THCV, are a unique subgroup of cannabinoids that contain just three carbon tails instead of the usual five that are found in CBD and THC.
This difference in chemical structure may seem small but the tail length is very significant as it determines where and how the cannabinoid will exert effects in the body, meaning varin cannabinoids may prove to possess unique beneficial effects from other cannabinoids.
What are CBDV effects?
Like CBD, CBG, and CBC, CBDV is non-psychoactive cannabinoid. CBDV doesn’t directly bind with the cannabinoid receptor type 1 in our brains and therefore it isn’t able to intoxicate us like THC does. Instead of making you feel high, CBDV has effects that are similar to those of CBD.
The effects of taking CBDV or smoking a high-CBDV strain, include feelings of relaxation and calm, as well as a peaceful, zen-like energy.
What are CBDV benefits? 5 exciting areas of research
CBDV’s exact modes of action aren’t yet known, but despite not knowing how this compound exerts therapeutic benefits, it is becoming apparent that it may have more than a few.
So far, most of the research into CBDV has been focused in the area of seizures, autism spectrum disorder, nausea, muscular dystrophy, and inflammation. Most of this research has been financially backed by pharmaceutical giants, like GW Pharma and, more surprisingly, by the US government.
1. CBDV and Seizures
GW Pharmaceuticals was responsible for the one and only CBD-based medication called Epidiolex that’s been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Epidiolex is available on prescription in the US and is prescribed to children and adults with severe, difficult to treat forms of epilepsy due to its incredible efficacy in reducing convulsive seizures, in bith frequency and severity.
This same company has also been funding a lot of the research, thus far, into CBDV. They are in the process of developing a CBDV-based drug (they’re also developing another one with THCV), currently called GPW42006, which they hope will also help to reduce and prevent seizures due to its anticonvulsant activity.
Preclinical research had already shown that CBDV displays effective anti-epileptic properties by affecting the neurochemical pathway of the capsaicin receptor, involved in both the onset and progression of many different types of epilepsy.
GPW42006 moved into clinical trials in 2015, but in 2018, released preliminary data that showed, despite CBDV showing improvements in around 40% of the patients, it was unable to outperform the placebo group.
Strangely, the placebo group also showed improvements of a massive 40%, substantially higher than most published trials, which threw a bit of a spanner in the works for GW.
As you can imagine, the trial didn’t progress to the next stage (because CBDV was unable to demonstrate its efficacy against the placebo group). GW is currently investigating the potential reasons that this could have happened, hoping to resume trials again soon. Meanwhile, they’ve also been plowing money into research for treating autism spectrum disorders with the same CBDV based drug…
2. CBDV and Autism Spectrum Disorder
It has also been shown that CBDV improves both social and cognitive functioning of idiopathic and syndromic autism (including Fragile X, Rett Syndrome, and Angelman Syndrome) in animal studies. According to preclinical research, CBDV exerts therapeutic effects on repetitive behaviors, irritability, sociability, quality of life, and can reduce inflammation.
Unfortunately, GW faced further setbacks as the original phase 2 of the planned clinical trials were terminated due to recruitment difficulties at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. GW is actively recruiting again now, so hopefully, we’ll see some positive results within the next few years.
3. CBDV and Nausea
The anti-nausea properties of cannabinoids such as CBD and THC are already well documented and a 2013 study on rats showed that CBDV may also help to alleviate nausea.
Further research is needed to verify that this is the case in humans, but it’s quite possible that combining CBDV and CBD together or seeking out high-CBDV strains of hemp could produce more powerful nausea relieving effects.
4. CBDV and Muscular Dystrophy
Both CBD and CBDV have also been found to prevent muscle degeneration in mice with degenerative muscular dystrophy. The research team said that CBDV “prevented the loss of locomotor activity, reduced inflammation and restored autophagy [in animal studies].”
5. CBDV and Inflammation
A research paper, published back in 2010, first noted the anti-inflammatory effects of CBDV, along with six other cannabinoids.
Another study, published in 2019, then showed that CBDV successfully reduced intestinal inflammation in mice. This study also proved that CBDV has the same anti-inflammatory effect on colonic biopsies from children with active ulcerative colitis.
CBDV Side Effects and Safety
Like most other cannabinoids, CBDV appears to have a great safety profile that produces infrequent and mild side effects in some people. Like CBD, CBDV is also a non-intoxicating cannabinoid, which means it can be taken by children, adults, and seniors alike, without any fear of psychotropic effects.
GW Pharmaceuticals’ clinical studies demonstrated that CBDV displayed no signs of toxicity or safety concerns. It was well tolerated in humans, even when administered at high doses, and there were no significant side effects or withdrawals.
Where can I find CBDV?
As interest in CBDV grows, it is getting easier to find products with high concentrations of CBDV in them. The Rare Cannabinoid Company and Always Pure Organics, for example, sell CBDV isolates, but the best way to take CBDV is to purchase a high-CBDV hemp strain such as Pine Walker or Forbidden V (also known as Forbidden Fruit).
The reason for this is that cannabinoids have been shown (time and time again) to work cooperatively to produce more significant effects when taken together than on their own. This synergy is known as the entourage effect. It can be seen throughout nature and is the reason that whole-plant (full-spectrum) formulas are often preferred over isolates.
Pine Walker CBDV and Forbidden V were bred by the Oregon Seed Company and seeds were sold to only a small number of farms last year, making the resulting harvests of CBDV flower rare and highly sought after. However, both of these strains are available from one of our favorite vendors, Green Unicorn Farms. We recommend Pine Walker for a more uplifting daytime adventure and Forbidden V for a more relaxing and chilled experience.
Although the research into CBDV is still in its infancy, it shows great therapeutic potential in a wide variety of treatment areas. Perhaps some of the most interesting areas of research so far are CBDV’s effects on autism spectrum disorder and degenerative muscular dystrophy. As, although both of the diseases are incurable, CBDV may one day help to improve the quality of lives of people living with autism and slow down the muscular degeneration in people diagnosed with muscular dystrophy.