What is CBDV?

CBDV is commonly found in “wild” cannabis. What are its benefits and uses?

Marijuana plant rich in CBDV
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With cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) currently hogging the spotlight, I suspect cannabidivarin (CBDV) is a total unknown to you. It isn’t something you’d know anything about unless you dig deep enough into the world of cannabis. 

So, what is it? What does it do? How can it help you?

CBDV is one of the most promising cannabinoids, especially for some pretty severe conditions. However, CBDV (as opposed to some other cannabinoids) acts quite differently within your body. 

What is CBDV?

  • You commonly find CBDV in “landrace” varieties of cannabis — or, rather, cannabis that hasn’t been manipulated by human experimentation 
  • It was discovered in 1969 — same year THC, CBD, etc, was founded
  • CBDV hasn’t gotten much attention until the early part of the 2010s — now, it’s beginning to be studied and researched
  • Known to be an effective anticonvulsant and anti-inflammatory — also good at treating nausea and behavioral issues associated with autism
  • Side-effects are typically anecdotal — causes some drowsiness and mild fatigue 
  • It’s federally legal and not included in the controlled substances list (unlike THC)
  • It doesn’t show up on drug tests (but THC does)
  • Pure CBDV products are rare (almost non-existent) — you’ll likely find trace amounts in broad and full-spectrum products

What is CBDV?

Cannabidivarin molecular structure
CBDV molecular structure

Cannabidivarin (CBDV) is one of 113 naturally-occurring cannabinoids found in landrace varieties of cannabis.

In other words, varieties of cannabis that have been left to grow naturally and not touched or manipulated by human experimentation. 

You typically find these landrace strains in parts of Africa and Asia, though you can find them in Mexico and some parts of Central America, too, but in much lower quantities.

CBDV is also found in cannabis strains with high levels of CBD or low levels of THC. Unlike its CBD sibling, CBDV is only found in very small traces. 

Because of this limited supply, most broad-spectrum and full-spectrum CBD oils won’t have large amounts of CBDV.

CBDV vs. CBD vs. THC

CBDV rich oil for consumption
Federally legalFederally legal
Similar molecular structure to CBDSimilar molecular structure to CBDV
Limited scientific studiesThe most studied phytocannabinoid aside from THC
Does not bind directly with cannabinoid receptorsDoes not bind directly with cannabinoid receptors
Federally legalFederally legal
Doesn’t get you highDoes get you high
Does not bind directly with cannabinoid receptorsDoes bind with both cannabinoid receptors, which produces the aforementioned high

CBDV was discovered at the same time as CBD (but wasn’t given enough attention until the 2010s)

CBDV was first found and isolated in 1969, which is the same year CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids were also discovered.

It wasn’t until the early 2010s that CBDV started to earn its stripes as a legitimate (and beneficial) cannabinoid, particularly for its potential in treating epilepsy and seizures.  

And now…

CBDV studies are limited but incredibly interesting…

CBDV’s close relation to CBD has been put right under the spotlight. Researchers are chomping at the bit to get their hands on CBDV and see how it can really make a positive change for people with certain symptoms and conditions.

1. Anti-convulsant (for the treatment of epilepsy)

CBDV as a treatment for epilepsy-induced seizures has been quite well-documented. In fact, GW Pharmaceuticals is currently developing a CBDV-based epilepsy drug called GPW42006, which looks to prevent seizures not only related to epilepsy but in other conditions as well. 

Unfortunately, the drug failed midway through the second phase trial after not performing as well as the placebo. GW is, however, still committed to developing this drug. 

2. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)

CBDV as a treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is one of the most interesting. Researchers are currently looking at how CBDV can help manage the behavioral symptoms associated with the condition. As we speak, phase two of the trial is underway and I’m really looking forward to seeing the results. Check back with us in the future for more information on this exciting research. 

Nausea is incredibly uncomfortable. At times, it can feel like your mind and body is spinning. It’s almost the same feeling as motion sickness after a couple of rollercoaster rides. Thankfully, CBDV shows promise in treating nausea and nausea-related symptoms.

In a 2016 study, researchers looked into the effects of both CBDV and tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) in nausea-induced rodent test subjects. They found the former partially reduced nausea and the latter fully blocked it completely (at the highest dose of 10 mg/kg). 

4. An effective anti-inflammatory (great for digestive tract issues)

According to a research paper published very recently in 2019, CBDV could be a very effective anti-inflammatory, particularly in the digestive tract. 

The researchers found that CBDV is able to “activate and desensitize” Transient Receptor Potential Cation Channel Subfamily A Member 1 (TRPA1), which plays “a pivotal role in intestinal inflammation”. In mice test subjects, they found CBDV to be particularly effective at tackling intestinal inflammation, while in children, they found it was very good at combating ulcerative colitis (UC).

What is CBDV oil good for?

CBDV has the potential to be just as beneficial for you as CBD, which isn’t really that much of a surprise considering how closely related they are. Although I’m personally looking forward to more substantial human trials, what’s known so far is incredibly promising. 

Anticonvulsant: One of the main similarities between CBDV and CBD is their anti-convulsant qualities, which is why I recommend a product with higher traces of CBDV or a product with a 1:1 CBD:CBDV ratio. Though this won’t be enough to combat severe seizures, I believe it could act as a preventative treatment. 

Anti-inflammatory: If acne or dry skin is a problem for you, CBDV’s anti-inflammatory qualities may just get your face looking clearer and healthier. A full-spectrum CBD topical with CBDV, THCV, and CBCB is your best bet here. Studies show this combination is particularly effective as a “highly-efficient anti-acne agent”. 

Digestive Tract: If your troubles are further below your skin (specifically in the digestive tract), CBDV may be suitable here. Although research isn’t conclusive enough for me to give an accurate recommendation in terms of which conditions CBDV could treat, researchers have found it’s beneficial against colon and rectum inflammation caused by ulcerative colitis (UC). Again, I’d recommend a full-spectrum oil or capsule product with CBDV in the extract. 

CBDV’s side-effects are still somewhat unknown but…

Currently, there are no proven long-term side-effects attributed to CBDV — there’s certainly no adverse or hazardous side-effects either (at least not evidenced scientifically).

However, there is some anecdotal evidence to suggest CBDV causes some of the same side-effects as CBD, particularly drowsiness and dizziness — though I’m not really sure why CBDV alone would do this. My guess would be a combination of CBD and CBDV is involved here. 

CBDV won’t get you high, nor will it impair your judgment 

CBDV is very much like CBD insofar as it’s purely non-intoxicating. It doesn’t get you high, nor does it impair your judgment. 

If you’re looking to get high, I would avoid most hemp-derived products and aim straight for marijuana-derived products — some will have CBDV in there naturally, alongside a high level of THC.

If you’re a beginner, I recommend a 1:1 CBD to THC ratio cannabis oil. They’re typically very balanced and won’t get you uncomfortably high. I suggest these 1:1 CBD/THC Drops from Care By Design. They’re particularly useful for nighttime sleep problems such as insomnia and anxiety-related sleep disturbances. 

If you’re a seasoned marijuana veteran, you probably already know exactly what to look for, but allow me to divert your attention away from your normal purchase to something totally new.

I honestly recommend Banana Kush or Granddaddy Purple cannabis flower. The former typically contains roughly 20% THC, which is a very potent dose. I’d personally use this for recreational purposes and not for anything health-related. The latter, on the other hand, is a little mellower and is very useful for pain-related symptoms and insomnia. 

CBDV and your endocannabinoid system

While CBD and THC interact (or bind to) your cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2), CBDV does things a little differently.

I mentioned above that CBDV is an effective anticonvulsant, which is what most of the scientific research revolves around. Studies have shown that CBDV doesn’t actively interact with your cannabinoid receptors but, instead, utilizes physiological mechanisms separate from them.

CBDV, as well as CBD, are known to act upon TPRV1 (also known as the capsaicin receptor). This receptor is part of a family of ion channels that participate in the onset and continuation of different types of epilepsy (mild, severe, or otherwise). When CBD and CBDV activate TPRV1 (along with other receptors in this family), it activates or “desensitizes” it, thus reducing the frequency and severity of epileptic seizures.

Not only does CBDV activate the capsaicin receptor, but it also prevents diacylglycerol (DAG) activity within the body. DAG is an enzyme responsible for the synthesis of 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), an endocannabinoid agonist of the CB1 and CB2 receptors. Unfortunately, no-one currently knows what this phenomenon actually does or how it benefits your body. It shows no anticonvulsant or anti-inflammatory effects.

Diacylglycerol lipases Inhibition

The aforementioned 2-AG – “Consequently, 2-AG is involved in many physiological functions, including anxiety, food intake, inflammation, memory, pain sensation and neurotransmission. Diacylglycerol lipases (DAGLs) are the main biosynthetic enzymes for 2-AG and their role in several pathophysiological conditions is currently under investigation. In this Digest, we review all DAGL inhibitors reported to date and their effects in preclinical models of neurodegeneration and metabolic disorders.” 

What does this mean?

Well, it could mean CBDV helps inhibit neurodegenerative disease alongside fighting inflammation and helping your gut. “Pure CBDV inhibits diacylglycerol lipase [50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) 16.6 µM] and might decrease activity of its product, the endocannabinoid, 2-AG (De Petrocellis et al., 2011)”

CBDV isn’t listed as a controlled substance and is federally legal under the Agriculture Improvement Act 2018 (also known as the Farm Bill 2018), provided that it’s derived from industrial hemp plants containing less than 0.3% THC and not from marijuana plants which contain much higher levels of THC. 

In other words, CBDV derived from industrial hemp is perfectly legal to manufacture, possess, and consume on a federal level (with some restrictions and limitations depending on state law). CBDV derived from marijuana is not federally legal. 

However, don’t assume CBDV will always be safe, especially when the big-wigs in their big government towers continue keeping a close eye on things. 

CBDV won’t cause you to fail a drug test (don’t panic!)

If you’ve just guzzled some CBDV and you’re sitting there shaking at the idea of failing a drug test — don’t panic. You’re all good. CBDV doesn’t show up on any drug test, so you can breathe a sigh of relief. 

However, before you excitedly go digging around for your product containing CBDV, I advise you to take a step back and read this first…

As I’ll come onto in more detail later in this guide, finding a pure CBDV product with no other cannabinoids is rare-to-near-impossible. Why? Because they’re so expensive and time-consuming to produce. 

Products such as full-spectrum CBD oils or capsules only contain trace amounts of CBDV alongside other cannabinoids including THC — the cannabinoid responsible for getting you baked as hell and failing a drug test.

Most of the time, a failed drug test is caused by high levels of THC in your system, though this isn’t the case all the time. There are a number of users who have failed drug tests by simply consuming full-spectrum oils. My guess is they consumed a substantial amount for this to happen.

As extra security for you, I suggest always reading the product label, ingredients list, and Certificate of Analysis (COA) before purchasing or consuming your product. If you’ve purchased a cannabis oil derived from marijuana, it’s safe to assume the THC level is high and will cause you to fail a drug test. 

Let’s take a look at the length of time THC stays in your system and how much THC is roughly needed to show up on a drug test:

Length of time THC stays in your system:

  • Hair – at least 60 days
  • Urine – at least 70 days
  • Blood – at least 7 days
  • Saliva – at least 7 days

How much THC is needed to show up on a drug test:

  • Hair – No cutoff limit
  • Urine  – 50 nanograms per milliliter 
  • Blood  – 1, 2, and 5 nanograms per milliliter
  • Saliva – 4 nanograms per milliliter

Pure CBDV products are rare (but there’s hope for you all)

CBDV rich oil
Rare Cannabinoid Company is one of few brands currently offering pure CBDV extracts.

Good luck in your quest to find pure CBDV products. They’re practically non-existent. If you do find any, please let us know — I’d be interested to sample them! The reason why you won’t find pure CBDV products is they’re not cheap to produce — they require a highly meticulous extraction process and a large number of cannabis plants. 

Instead, CBDV will most likely be found in broad-spectrum and full-spectrum products, as well as in 1:1 CBDV/CBD oils such as Botany’s own CBDV + CBD (THC Free) Oil. This product contains a perfectly balanced mix of the aforementioned cannabinoids in a high-quality medium-chain-triglyceride (MCT) carrier oil. Excellent for mild inflammatory relief and utmost relaxation. 

If you need more information on this amazing cannabinoid, or you’re stuck on which product you should purchase next, we got your back on this. We at CBD Oracle are here to help guide you towards the right cannabis-derived products.