Tetrahydrocannabivarin is a homologue (similar relative) of THC, with a propyl (3-carbon) side chain. Like other propyl cannabinoids, it is found in populations of cannabis sativa and C. indica from China, India, Nepal, Thailand, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, as well as southern and western Africa. THCV levels up to 53.7% of total cannabinoids have been reported. Unlike THC, THCV is a CB1 receptor antagonist - which means it blocks the effects of THC at the cellular binding level. The most notable effect of this antagonism is that THCV actually suppresses appetite. THCV has also shown some promise as a treatment for diabetes. THCV is a significant factor in the aroma of cannabis plants, thus more pungent strains are likely to be higher in THCV. It is notably found in high quantities in Pakistani hashish and the medicinal form known as ’tincture of cannabis’.
Coined in 1973 by researcher FW Merkus in the paper “Cannabivarin and tetrahydrocannabivarin, two new constituents of hashish.”