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Currently, there’s a wave of weight loss research going on in the world of cannabinoids. In today’s blog, you’re going to find out why.

See, cannabinoids are the main active compounds within the cannabis sativa plant. One of the cannabinoids you may be familiar with is cannabidiol (CBD). CBD offers a wide range of health benefits, from reducing anxiety to easing pain. Another cannabinoid you may know about is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This is the cannabinoid responsible for the “high” feeling associated with cannabis sativa. 

Cannabinoids interact with a network of natural chemicals and receptors within your body called the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system was only discovered in 1988. Since then, scientists have been learning more and more about it. They’ve found that the ECS actually controls several functions throughout your body through various mechanisms, such as hormone release. These functions include pain, sleep, appetite, memory, metabolism, and more. Researchers also discovered that cannabinoids help balance the ECS, bringing homeostasis to the aforementioned functions.

One by one, cannabinoids are being isolated and studied. And next up is what many are referring to as “diet weed.” But don’t worry, it doesn’t get you high!

Then why call it diet weed?

Good question! The answer is below in our next section, where we learn more about this diet cannabinoid, along with a similar cannabinoid with another familiar-sounding name.

Let’s dive right in… 

What is diet weed?

Diet weed, officially named tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), is one of the lesser-known compounds in the cannabis plant, but emerging research is showing that it has anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects. It’s also showing that it helps people manage weight and insulin sensitivity. It’s for these last benefits that THCV has been getting a lot of attention lately.

See, there’s a lot of confusion with THCV, and rightfully so. The name is quite close to THC – the main cannabinoid responsible for the psychoactive effects of marijuana. Why would they name it so close to this already well-known cannabinoid? Especially one that many people who don’t want to experience any “high” feeling may avoid? 

Because THCV is structurally similar to THC.

It’s called a “homolog.” This is a type of molecule that has a similar structure or function to another molecule. In this case, both THC and THCV have nearly identical chemical structures, and they bind to the same receptors in the brain to produce their effects. The difference between the two molecules is that THCV is missing two carbon atoms on the alkyl chain. 

Don’t worry – you don’t need to be a chemist to fully understand all of this. All you need to know is this: THCV has a slightly different chemical structure to THC, so it interacts with our ECS differently than THC.

And guess what? One of the differences is that THCV doesn’t make you feel high like THC does. Some researchers believe that there’s a chance it could in very high doses, but you won’t ever be taking nearly enough to find out whether or not that’s true. So, in everyday life, it’s nothing to be concerned about at all.

But what WILL you experience with THCV?

Benefits of THCV

While you won’t get high with THCV, you will get health benefits. As we mentioned, research into this cannabinoid is fairly new, so there aren’t as many studies as there are for cannabinoids such as CBD. But what has been coming out shows some incredible results!

Let’s start with why it’s gotten itself the name “diet weed.”

#1 – It reduces appetite and boosts metabolism

While many associate weed with getting the “munchies” and eating a lot, “diet weed” is different.

Research shows that THCV actually has the opposite effect, lowering appetite and the desire to snack constantly. This can help enormously for those who are looking to cut calories and lose weight. 

It’s believed that this happens because THCV blocks the CB1 receptor in the brain that is associated with food reward and hunger. [1]

In rat studies, this has led to reduced appetite and, subsequently, weight loss. 

It’s also understood that THCV increases satiety and boosts metabolism, allowing you to feel full and satisfied faster and having your body process your food faster, resulting in increased calorie burning and less fat storage. [2]

#2 – Increases insulin sensitivity

Insulin helps your body regulate blood sugar levels. If you have a higher sensitivity to insulin, you’re less likely to develop diabetes because your body can easily manage sugar and break it down efficiently. 

But if you’re resistant to insulin, that means your body needs more insulin to process sugars. This often leads to higher blood sugar levels, an increased need for insulin, and an overworked pancreas (the organ that makes insulin).

In addition, insulin resistance is also linked to weight gain, as the body stores more of the sugar that it otherwise would have processed into fat. 

But according to research, taking THCV can help. A study published in 2020 showed that THCV influenced sugar metabolism and led to a higher performance of glycemic control in subjects with type 2 diabetes. [3, 4]

However, this can help you even if you don’t have diabetes. Why? Because approximately 1 in 3 Americans have prediabetes, with more than 80% not knowing they have it. Prediabetes is a condition where blood sugar levels are higher than they should be but not high enough yet to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. This means your body could still be needlessly converting sugar to fat. [5]

#3 – It’s an anti-inflammatory

Chronic inflammation is the precursor to most diseases. It can exacerbate any condition in the body while creating new ones. This is why it’s important to ensure you’re living a lifestyle that helps the body limit the amount of pro-inflammatory cells for increased regulation of the inflammatory response. 

Recent research in mice found that THCV reduced the number of inflammatory cells in the body and the amount of nitrite, a carcinogenic molecule produced by inflammatory cells. [6]

When it comes to weight loss, it’s well understood that inflammation – even acute inflammation – can cause weight gain. So, anything that can help regulate the inflammatory response can have a positive effect on weight management. [7]

Other benefits:

As mentioned, research into this area is new. But early studies are indicating that THCV can have a lot of benefits for human health, even outside of the weight loss area.

Additional benefits of THCV include:

Increased focus – One of the main benefits people claim to feel immediately after taking THCV is increased focus and an energy boost. 

Neuroprotective – Studies are showing that THCV can protect vulnerable areas of the brain, especially in those with conditions such as Parkinson’s disease. [8]

It’s an anti-psychotic – Research has found that THCV may have a similar calming effect on the brain as some anti-psychotic drugs, meaning it may be able to help naturally reduce symptoms in those with psychosis. [9]

Heals the skin – One study that looked at cannabinoids and acne found that THCV was especially efficient in reducing acne. [10]

Now that you know more about THCV, how it compares to THC, and why many are calling it “diet weed,” let’s take a look at another cannabinoid that sounds like another well-known compound…

What is CBDV?

Like THC and THCV, cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabidivarin (CBDV) are homologs. They have the same chemical formula but vary in the arrangement of their atoms. Another difference is their concentration within the cannabis plant. While CBD is found in high amounts, CBDV is found in low amounts. This is likely why science is so behind in studying this interesting cannabinoid.

Unlike THC and THCV, CBD and CBDV are shown to have some similar effects on the body in terms of calming certain systems. Though, research into CBDV is still very new, so not a ton of studies have been carried out on the compound. Yet. 

Let’s take a look at what we do know at this time.

Benefits of CBDV

Remember, this isn’t a comprehensive list of CBDV benefits. It’s just what we know so far. Every year, new research shows researchers that CBDV has far more potential than we may know. 

#1 – Helps with weight loss

The ECS is well known for regulating a wide range of functions throughout the body, including metabolism. Sometimes, all a person needs is a boost in metabolism so that the foods they eat aren’t constantly getting turned into fat and so that the calories they take in actually get burned. 

If your ECS is struggling, your metabolism likely is as well. Thankfully, cannabinoids can help.

One study found that 100% of those taking a cannabinoid mixture that included CBDV saw a reduction in their weight over a three-month period, with one person losing as much as 22 lbs and everyone at least 5 lbs. [11]

#2 – Eases anxiety

Stress and anxiety can really get in the way of your weight loss goals, especially if you cope by eating. Outside of that, these feelings can just get in the way of your day and make even simple tasks that much more difficult. 

Thankfully, CBDV can help. One study showed that CBDV could reduce anxiety in participants with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) by increasing GABA levels in the brain and stimulating certain neurotransmitters. [12]

#3 – Eases nausea

Another item on the list of things CBDV can ease within your body is nausea. While a useful biological defense mechanism to help us get rid of potentially dangerous ingested substances, nausea can be a real pain in the… well, stomach.

Many things other than its biological purpose can cause nausea, including stress, motion sickness, or even medications. 

One study tried to see if CBDV might make someone nauseous, but the study revealed that the compound, in fact, does the opposite! [13]

#4 – Improves muscle health

A 2019 study looked at how CBDV affected Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), a condition characterized by chronic inflammation and skeletal muscle damage and degeneration. 

The results showed that CBDV may improve movement, reduce inflammation, and restore and enhance muscle function. [14]

#5 – Eases symptoms of intractable epilepsy

Intractable epilepsy is a condition where seizures aren’t as easily managed with drugs. While CBD is known as a great natural treatment for epileptics, CBDV research has indicated that this rare cannabinoid may actually be a better treatment option. 

In trials, CBDV showed success in suppressing seizures. However, more research is needed to know for sure if the compound can be rolled out as a treatment option. [15]

More CBDV benefits should be on the way… 

While CBDV can offer health benefits – with plenty of more research being done as we speak – we may not have seen its abilities in the past due to the fact that it is present in such low quantities within the cannabis plant. 

As research continues, we’ll gain even more knowledge about how this rare cannabinoid benefits our bodies. 

But in the meantime, it’s great to take CBDV, especially if you’re taking other cannabinoids. In fact, this is the best way to get the most out of your cannabinoids. 

Keep reading to find out why…

It’s Called “The Entourage Effect”

When you look for cannabinoid-based products like CBD, you can typically choose from three different types of formulas:

1️⃣ Isolated – A formula that has the cannabinoid completely isolated and on its own.

2️⃣ Broad spectrum – A formula that has other minor cannabinoids and terpenes within the formula, except for THC.

3️⃣ Full spectrum – A formula that has other minor cannabinoids, terpenes, and major cannabinoids, including THC. However, the THC content is typically incredibly low – below 0.3% – so as to avoid any psychoactive effects.

If you want the full benefits of the cannabis plant, you want to select a full-spectrum formula. This is because of the entourage effect. 

How the entourage effect works

When it comes to the entourage effect, the more, the better. 

1 + 1 = 3 in the cannabinoid world. 

This is due to a synergistic effect of the compounds within the cannabis plant.

Remember how we discussed how researchers – once they discovered the ECS – started looking at how different cannabinoids impacted this carefully balanced system within your body? Well, they realized something incredible through this research…

The more cannabinoids present, the greater the therapeutic benefit to the body. 

While most of this research has been focused on combining THC and CBD, showing that these two have a synergistic effect, there has also now been research into how other cannabinoids react together. 

For example, one study showed that, while both CBD and cannabinol (CBN) reduced pain, the pain reduction was greatest when both CBD and CBN were taken together. [16]

And it’s not just cannabinoids within the cannabis plant. There are also plenty of terpenes present. These are compounds that give plants their scent, and they often have incredible health benefits. This is especially true when it comes to the cannabis plant. But research shows that when these terpenes are taken with cannabinoids, they make the benefits of the cannabinoids even stronger. 

A 2011 review of studies found that taking cannabinoids and terpenes together increases their benefits for: [17]

  • Pain
  • Inflammation
  • Anxiety
  • Epilepsy
  • Cancer
  • Fungal infection

Surrounding a promising cannabinoid like THCV and/or CBDV with other powerful cannabinoids will only improve its effects. 

If you want the best benefits of diet cannabinoids, then you want to be taking a FULL SPECTRUM cannabinoid supplement that contains a range of proven cannabinoids for optimal effects. 

This is why we here at SomaLeaf created our Metabolic Pearl Soft Gels.

These soft gels, studied and shown to have metabolic-improving effects like reducing cravings and lowering weight, are super easy to take. Just one soft gel per day is all it takes to get a full dose of THCV, CBDV, and other beneficial cannabinoids that have been shown to have a synergistic effect on boosting metabolism, reducing appetite, and increasing weight loss. Everything you need to know about these new revolutionary soft gels is in the link below.

>>> Click here to learn more about the cannabinoids in our NEW Metabolic Pearls, the study our Metabolic Pearls were used in, and how they can help balance YOUR metabolism