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THCv vs Delta-8: What Should I Choose?

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If you feel like the cannabis industry is advancing at lightning speed, eclipsing your understanding with every new cannabinoid that emerges, don't fret— we're here to guide you through the ever-evolving landscape and keep you in the loop.

Today, we're looking at THCv (tetrahydrocannabivarin) and delta-8 THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). We'll break down their similarities, differences, and the type of experiences you can expect from these two hemp-derived compounds.

So, whether you're looking for potential health benefits or a gentle psychoactive experience, one of these could be your new favorite cannabinoid.

THCv vs. Delta-8

Where They Come From

Cannabis Sativa plant

THCv and delta-8 originate from the same mother plant: cannabis sativa.

Within the cannabis umbrella, we often hear about hemp and marijuana as two main categories, and understanding where compounds like THCV and Delta-8 come from requires a deeper exploration of these plants.

Hemp and Cannabis Plants Distinction:

  • Hemp: Refers to the non-psychoactive varieties of Cannabis sativa L., which contain 0.3% THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) or less. Hemp is used for many applications, from textiles and food products to CBD extraction.
  • Marijuana: Refers to the psychoactive varieties of cannabis. Marijuana contains higher THC concentrations and is consumed for recreational, medicinal, or spiritual purposes.

Delta-8 THC can be found in both hemp and marijuana. It's not as abundant as delta-9 THC (the primary psychoactive compound in marijuana).

Typically, delta-8 is present in concentrations of less than 0.1% in dried cannabis flowers, which makes it a minor cannabinoid. However, thanks to advanced extraction and refining techniques, manufacturers can concentrate and purify delta-8 from both hemp and marijuana sources.

Tetrahydrocannabivarin showcases a more selective presence. While trace amounts might be detected in various cannabis plants, it's more commonly associated with specific strains, especially those originating from African regions. For example, strains like Durban Poison are noted for their higher THCv content.

Chemical Structure

THCv VS Delta-8 THC Molecule

While THCV and Delta-8 THC both stem from the cannabis plant, their individual chemical structures greatly influence their interactions with our endocannabinoid system, leading to a spectrum of effects and potential benefits.

  • THCv (Tetrahydrocannabivarin): THCV's molecular structure is somewhat similar to delta-9 THC. However, it has a shorter side chain, which influences its effects and interaction with cannabinoid receptors in the human body. This structural difference makes THCv typically non-psychoactive (more on this shortly).
  • Delta-8 THC (Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol): Delta-8 THC is an isomer of delta-9 THC, the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis. This means that while they share the same chemical formula, the arrangement of atoms is slightly different. This subtle molecular difference results in delta-8 THC having a milder psychoactive effect than delta-9 THC.

Psychoactive Effects

Psychoactive compounds can influence perception, mood, consciousness, cognition, and behavior – experiences that some individuals seek out while others may wish to avoid. In comparing THCV and delta-8 THC, their psychoactive profiles become essential to the user's decision-making process.

Contrary to what one might expect due to its name, THCV is usually not psychoactive, especially at lower doses. This means that consuming it won't typically alter your consciousness or produce the classic "high" sensation.

THCv’s unique properties have increased interest, especially among those who want potential therapeutic benefits without the accompanying psychoactive effects. However, it's been observed that THCv might deliver slight psychoactive properties at higher concentrations, though research is ongoing.

On the other hand, delta-8 THC offers a psychoactive experience but with a twist.

Compared to its more renowned cousin, delta-9 THC, delta-8 provides a milder, more subdued effect. Users often describe the delta-8 high as clear-headed, without the intense euphoria or potential anxiety that some feel with delta-9 THC.

It's like being on a gentle roller coaster instead of a rapid, twisty one: you'll still get the thrill without overwhelming intensity.

The Potential Benefits of THCv

While THC and CBD have dominated the limelight for years, THCv is steadily emerging as a compound of interest in both scientific circles and among consumers.

1. Appetite Suppression

One of the most talked-about properties of THCv is its potential as an appetite suppressant. Unlike THC, which is known to stimulate appetite (often referred to as "the munchies"), THCv might reduce hunger pangs and promote satiety.

The theory behind this is that THCv appears to block CB1 receptor activity in mice, which is associated with food reward and hunger signals [1]. This characteristic has sparked interest among those looking to manage their weight or reduce calorie intake, earning the nickname "diet weed." However, there haven't been substantial human clinical trials to show that THCv is effective or safe for weight loss goals.

2. Support Brain Health

Studies have explored the potential of THCv as a neuroprotective agent. While research is in its early stages, there's hope that THCv could offer benefits for conditions like Parkinson's disease thanks to its antioxidant properties and its potential ability to improve motor control [2].

3. Anti-inflammatory and Analgesic Effects

Like many other cannabinoids, THCv may possess anti-inflammatory properties. This could make it a potential aid for those suffering from inflammatory conditions or seeking relief without relying on traditional painkillers [3]. CBD Gummies for inflammation can also modulate immune responses, leading to a decrease in swelling and pain associated with inflammatory conditions. 

THCV is emerging with promising early findings, particularly from animal studies. However, it's crucial to note that the FDA has not approved THCv for weight loss, neurological disorders, or pain management. Moreover, individual reactions to cannabinoids can vary significantly due to various factors.

While our intent isn't to advocate for THCv as a definitive solution, we're keen to spotlight the ongoing studies around minor cannabinoids. Always remember to approach new findings with an open yet cautious mind and seek professional advice when considering new wellness avenues.

With that out of the way, let's take a closer look at delta-8 THC's potential benefits.

The Potential Benefits of Delta-8

Delta-8 THC, while lesser-known than its cousin delta-9 THC, is steadily making waves in the cannabis community. As researchers delve deeper into its properties, many potential benefits have come to the fore. Let's explore some of the intriguing aspects of this unique cannabinoid.

1. Calm, Mood Elevating Experience

One of the main reasons people seek out the psychoactive effects of naturally occurring cannabinoids is to decompress from a stressful day. While some individuals find that delta-9 THC can intensify certain feelings, delta-8 is often reported to give a more subtle and tempered effect [4].

Both cannabinoids can alter perception and mood, but many users report that delta-8 provides a more clear-headed and calm sensation, which can be especially valuable when seeking reprieve from the pressures of a taxing day.

However, it's essential to understand that individual experiences can vary, and these observations are not definitive claims regarding their effects on anxiety and stress.

2. Support a Healthy Appetite

The interplay between cannabinoids and appetite is a long-established area of interest, particularly given the well-documented "munchies" effect of cannabis use.

Delta-8 THC, much like its more famous relative, delta-9 THC, has been associated with appetite stimulation. This could benefit individuals with appetite loss due to various medical conditions or treatments.

Delta-8 THC, when consumed, interacts with the CB1 receptors located predominantly in the central nervous system. This interaction is believed to influence several neurotransmitters and hormones responsible for feelings of hunger [5].

3. Anti-inflammatory and Analgesic Effects

The ECS, which encompasses a network of receptors, neurotransmitters, and enzymes, regulates pain perception. Delta-8 THC, like other cannabinoids, interacts primarily with this system's CB1 and CB2 receptors.

The CB1 receptors are prevalent in the central nervous system and can modulate neurotransmitter release, potentially influencing pain signals. On the other hand, CB2 receptors, primarily found in immune cells, play a key role in inflammation responses. The engagement of delta-8 THC with these receptors might help in pain modulation and inflammation reduction [6].

Side Effects of Delta 8 THC vs THCv

While the potential benefits of cannabinoids like THCV and delta-8 THC are exciting, we want to ensure we're painting a whole picture. This includes understanding the possible side effects that might arise with using these products.

Here's a more detailed look at the side effects associated with both compounds.

Possible THCv Side Effects

  • Restlessness: Some users report feeling a heightened sense of energy after consuming THCv. While this might benefit those seeking a boost, it can sometimes translate into feelings of restlessness or agitation.
  • Anxiety: Though THCv has been associated with mood modulation, some users have reported increased anxiety. The exact cause is not fully understood but could be linked to individual biochemistry or dosage levels.
  • Altered Perception: Similar to other cannabinoids, THCv might produce subtle changes in perception when taken in very high doses. While it's typically not psychoactive in the same way delta-9 THC is, high doses might lead to perceptual shifts for some users.

Possible Delta 8 THC Side Effects

  • Dry Mouth: A common side effect associated with many cannabinoids, dry mouth, or 'cottonmouth,' is frequently reported by users of delta-8 THC. This side effect is due to the interaction of cannabinoids with the salivary glands, leading to reduced saliva production.
  • Increased Heart Rate: Some users have noted a temporary increase in heart rate after consuming delta-8 THC. This palpitation can sometimes be accompanied by feelings of anxiety or unease, especially in individuals not accustomed to the effects of cannabinoids.
  • Drowsiness: Delta-8 THC is often described as offering a milder, more relaxed experience than delta-9 THC. However, this calming effect can translate to feelings of drowsiness or lethargy, particularly at higher doses.
  • Altered Cognitive Function: As with other psychoactive compounds, delta-8 THC may influence cognitive functions, reducing concentration, slower reaction times, or memory lapses.

How do THCv and Delta 8 Compare to CBD?

CBD, or cannabidiol, is the most popular naturally occurring cannabinoid in the hemp plant. While THCV shares more in common with CBD due to its lack of psychoactivity, delta-8 offers a unique middle ground with its mild psychoactive properties and therapeutic potential.

In terms of legality, CBD has become much more accessible since the establishment of the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized hemp plants and their derivatives for sale and consumption. Regular THC, isomers like delta-8, and THCv's legal status can be more complex.

Given that these variants of the THC molecule can be derived from both hemp and marijuana. It's essential for users to be aware of their local regulations. For the most part, unless the state specifies otherwise, naturally occurring cannabinoids from the hemp plant are legal as long as they contain less than 0.3% delta-9 THC by dried weight.

CBD, THCv, and delta-8 THC each represent unique facets of the cannabinoid spectrum. While CBD remains the most recognized and researched, THCv and delta-8 THC present exciting avenues for those looking to explore the ever-evolving world of cannabis wellness.

As always, potential users should prioritize research, consult with healthcare professionals, and remain informed about the legal landscape of their respective regions.

How to Take THCv and Delta-8 Products

Woman pouring vape juice in her vape

How you consume THCv and delta-8 THC can significantly influence the intensity, duration, and type of experience. Let's delve into some of the most popular product types and their unique properties.

1. Vape Cartridges:

  • Experience: Vaping provides an almost immediate onset of effects, making it an excellent option for those looking for rapid relief or a quick experience.
  • Considerations: Ensure the vape products are free from harmful additives and contaminants. Vaping can be intense for beginners, so start with small puffs and wait to assess its impact.

2. Tinctures:

  • Experience: THCv tinctures and THC drops often alcohol or oil-based extracts, can be placed under the tongue for sublingual absorption or added to food and drinks. The effects typically occur within 15-45 minutes and last several hours.
  • Considerations: The dropper allows for precision in dosing, making it easier to adjust and find the right amount for individual needs. Always shake the bottle well before use to ensure even distribution of the cannabinoid.

3. Edibles:

  • Experience: Edibles, which include gummies, chocolates, and baked goods or infused with THCv or delta-8 THC, provide a more extended, sustained experience. The onset can range from 30 minutes to 2 hours, with effects lasting up to 8 hours or more, depending on the dose and individual metabolism.
  • Considerations: As the adage goes, "Start low and go slow." Edibles can be potent, and allowing ample time for the effects to manifest before considering a second dose is essential.

Additional Methods:

  • Capsules and Softgels: Similar to edibles in their onset and duration, they offer a more consistent, precise dose.
  • Dabbing: A method of flash vaporization where cannabinoids are consumed in a concentrated form. It's a more advanced consumption method and provides intense, immediate effects.

The Takeaway: THCV and Delta-8 Differences

Hand holding a dropper of Hemp Oil with hemp leafs of the back

If you're searching for non-psychoactive effects with a potential bonus of appetite suppression, THCv products might be your go-to. On the other hand, for those looking for a serene, mellow high accompanied by appetite-stimulating properties, delta-8 could be the perfect fit.

But as with any journey, the right tools and guidance can make all the difference. CBD products offer a curated range of lab-tested options tailored to your cannabinoid preferences. Whether you're new to the scene or a seasoned enthusiast, let Neurogan be your trusted partner in navigating the world of cannabinoids.

FAQs on THCv and Delta-8 THC

Is THCv or delta-8 better for anxiety?

Delta-8 THC is often cited for its potential calming and anxiety-reducing properties, providing a milder experience than delta-9 THC. THCv, typically non-psychoactive, has not been as extensively studied for its effects on anxiety. Individual reactions can vary, and you may want to talk with your healthcare professional before using any cannabinoid for therapeutic use.

Is THCv or delta-8 better for losing weight?

Preliminary research suggests that THCv might have appetite-suppressing properties. Delta-8, on the other hand, has shown potential in stimulating appetite. However, no cannabinoid should be considered a weight loss solution without further scientific evidence.

What is THCv vs delta-8?

THCv (tetrahydrocannabivarin) and delta-8 THC (delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol) are both cannabinoids derived from the cannabis plant. While THCv is typically non-psychoactive, delta-8 offers a milder psychoactive experience than delta-9 THC.

Are THCv and delta-8 Legal?

The legal status of THCv and delta-8 varies depending on jurisdictions and local regulations. While the 2018 Farm Bill federally legalized hemp-derived cannabinoids, it's important to check individual state laws and regulations for the specific legality of these compounds before purchasing them online or in-store.


  1. Riedel, G., Fadda, P., McKillop‐Smith, S., Pertwee, R. G., Platt, B., & Robinson, L. (2009). Synthetic and plant‐derived cannabinoid receptor antagonists show hypophagic properties in fasted and non‐fasted mice. British journal of pharmacology, 156(7), 1154-1166.
  2. García, C., Palomo‐Garo, C., García‐Arencibia, M., Ramos, J. A., Pertwee, R. G., & Fernández‐Ruiz, J. (2011). Symptom‐relieving and neuroprotective effects of the phytocannabinoid Δ9‐THCV in animal models of Parkinson's disease. British journal of pharmacology, 163(7), 1495-1506.
  3. Bolognini, D., Costa, B., Maione, S., Comelli, F., Marini, P., Di Marzo, V., ... & Pertwee, R. G. (2010). The plant cannabinoid Δ9‐tetrahydrocannabivarin can decrease signs of inflammation and inflammatory pain in mice. British journal of pharmacology, 160(3), 677-687.
  4. Kruger, J. S., & Kruger, D. J. (2022). Delta-8-THC: Delta-9-THC’s nicer younger sibling?. Journal of cannabis research, 4(1), 1-8.
  5. Bergeria, C. L., Strickland, J. C., Spindle, T. R., Kalaba, M., Satyavolu, P. U., Feldner, M., ... & Weerts, E. (2023). A crowdsourcing survey study on the subjective effects of delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol relative to delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol. Experimental and clinical psychopharmacology, 31(2), 312.
  6. Kruger, D. J., & Kruger, J. S. (2023). Consumer experiences with Delta-8-THC: Medical use, pharmaceutical substitution, and comparisons with Delta-9-THC. Cannabis and cannabinoid research, 8(1), 166-173.
Katrina Lubiano

BA in English Katrina has always had a passion for health sciences and literature. She works as a content writer, editor, and strategist in the health and wellness space, primarily focusing on cannabis education. She’s written well over 400,000 words on the subject—including demystifying laws a...

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