February 19, 2024
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With only a one-letter acronym difference, these cannabinoids might be considered one and the same. However, they differ not only in molecular structure but also in terms of their effects.

This article will explore their similarities and differences, which will be especially helpful to anyone wading through the wide world of cannabis supplements available today. 

If you are considering THC or THCV products for any number of reasons—to improve quality of sleep, manage pain, or just for an all-natural high—we will give you a better understanding of these cannabinoids and how they work.

What Is a Cannabinoid?

To understand THC and THCV, you should first understand what cannabinoids are, where they come from, and how they work in our bodies. Don’t worry, the science of cannabinoids can actually be explained in pretty simple terms!

Cannabinoids are among the hundreds of compounds found in the cannabis plant; there are 66 different cannabinoids, with THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) being the best known among them.

Cannabinoids are responsible for the cannabis plant’s pharmaceutical effects. In other words, cannabinoids derived from either marijuana or hemp plants are used in various supplements (such as gummies or capsules) to provide various benefits. In short, whatever your ailment, there is probably a cannabinoid that can help with it in some way!

Cannabinoids that appear in nature (i.e., plants) are phytocannabinoids; the ones in our bodies that interact with receptors are endocannabinoids; finally, cannabinoids made in labs are called synthetic cannabinoids. Spoiler alert: The all-natural phytocannabinoids are the best!

Cannabis has been a source of medicinal benefits for centuries, even if many think of it first for its recreational benefits. Each of the better-known cannabinoids has its own unique properties and uses, and there are also many cannabinoids left to be studied and potential benefits to discover.

Some popular examples of cannabinoids and their benefits include:


You would almost have to live under a rock to be unaware of CBD. It is everywhere these days, and people use it in drops in their coffee, vapes, and gummies to do everything from minimizing pain to improving sleep. 

CBD provides the “chill” without the high since it has no psychoactive effects. This has made it an increasingly popular cannabinoid for anyone who wants the benefits of cannabis without any mind-altering; CBD can make you feel relaxed but not high.


Tetrahydrocannabinol can, on the other hand, get you high. It can also make you feel more relaxed and is used, like CBD, to address pain. Medicinal marijuana use is now legal in many places, and even recreational use is getting the green light in more and more states.


Hot on the heels of CBD is Cannabinol, or CBN, a cannabinoid that is not as well-known but is definitely showing promise as another cannabis product used in wellness supplements to help with relaxation. CBN has no psychoactive properties but is believed to increase relaxation. 

There is also some limited evidence pointing to its neuroprotective properties, and future research may lead to its growing use in treating conditions such as Alzheimer's.

These are just a few of the 60+ cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, and next, we will look at how THC and THCV are alike and what makes them different.

THCV vs THC: Everything You Need to Know

At this point, you probably have a general idea of how THCV and THC are alike:

  • They are both cannabinoids derived from the Cannabis plant
  • As cannabinoids, they both interact with our bodies’ endocannabinoid systems
  • They both cause psychoactive effects when they interact with our endocannabinoid systems (i.e., they both get you high)

Even though THCV and THC share these similarities, they are certainly different. You cannot even call them “siblings” as they have different parents! (Parent molecules, that is…)

Differences Between THCV and THC

We know we promised to keep things simple in explaining cannabinoids, but allow us to insert two scientific words here to illustrate our point about these parent molecules.

THC comes from cannabigerolic acid. THCV comes from cannbigerovarinic acid. Clear as mud, right?

Even if you do not have an advanced degree in science, you should be able to wrap your head around the fact that these two compounds are built differently. From a structural point of view, THCV has a shorter hydrocarbon chain than THC.

How Do They Work in Our Bodies?

Now we are back to a similarity: THCV can act like THC in our bodies when present at high levels. It can produce a physical response by binding to our CB1 receptors (like THC does). There is also a flip side to THCV: it is believed to work as an antagonist to CB1 receptors in lower doses.

If you are thinking, “Give that to me in layman’s terms,” here is the gist of it: THCV can produce some of the desired effects of THC without the less desirable ones (such as diminished motor control or increased appetite, aka “the munchies”),

We know that THCV is a compound that differs in structure from THC but can also get you high. That takes us to one of the most important questions: is THCV legal?

Is THCV Legal?

Unfortunately, there is no clear and definitive way to answer this question (yet). THCV is not explicitly included in the Controlled Substances Act. On the other hand, it could fall under the 2018 Farm Bill if derived from hemp (versus marijuana). That legislation made commercial hemp farming legal if products contained less than 0.3% THC.


Still, additional legislation in your state could prohibit the sale of THCV. Play it safe, and always check on the specific laws in your area first.

What Benefits Can I Expect From THCV?

We still have a long way to go when it comes to studies documenting the benefits of THCV, but the early and anecdotal evidence is promising:

  • THCV may suppress your appetite, making it a helpful weight loss tool for those looking to shed some extra pounds.
  • For some users, THCV produces what is described as an “energized high.” You may feel euphoric, focused, and calm all at the same time.
  • THCV may have anti-inflammatory properties, making it useful for addressing symptoms of a host of inflammatory diseases.

A Final Word on Cannabis and Its Compounds

If you are looking for high-quality cannabis products, look no further than Two Hawk Extracts for everything you need to enjoy the benefits of cannabinoids.

We know you will love our products so much that we will give you a chance to “try before you buy.” Check out our tinctures, capsules, gummies and more to experience all the incredibly relaxing and refreshing benefits of cannabinoids. 

Our natural products are made in the USA, lab-tested and created with the best user experience in mind. Let Two Hawk Extracts become your go-to source for cannabis goodies!
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