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What Is Cannabivarin?

A guide to CBV

CBV or Cannabivarin is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. Like CBD, this cannabinoid will not get you high. It’s the second most commonly occurring cannabinoid in the cannabis plant. CBV is a member of the phytocannabinoid group, or natural cannabinoids, which has other cannabinoids like cannabichromene and cannabigerol.

CBV is suggested to be useful in treating psychiatric and mood disorders, brain tumours, neuropathic pain and multiple sclerosis. This cannabinoid is also found to have a positive impact on the sleep-wake cycle. There are more or less 120 phytocannabinoids but there is still limited knowledge on CBV and its uses. 

What are the Chemical Properties of Cannabivarin?

CBV is an equivalent of cannabinol (CBN), and an oxidized product of tetrahydrocannabivarin, also known as THCV, with the side-chain shortened by two CH2. It is a non-psychoactive chemical compound and will not cause a feeling of being high. 

Endocannabinoids are naturally produced by the body to help regulate bodily functions like sleep and mood. Phytocannabinoids like CBV affect the endocannabinoid system of the body. They stimulate the endocannabinoid system and send signals to the targetted parts of the body to address certain health issues.

What is a Varin

Varins are a unique sub-family of the 150+ cannabinoids in the Cannabis plant. They are shorter, with 2-carbon tails, compared to the 5-carbon tails of cannabinoids like THC and CBD. This difference makes these cannabinoids fundamentally different on a molecular level and has physiological effects due to different binding in the endocannabinoid system. Two of the varins , CBDV and THCV, have been shown to have medicinal and wellness properties.

CBDV may help dry skin syndrome as well as acne. It can also reduce allergic inflammation and seborrhea. CBDV also has anticonvulsant properties like CBD and is known for its potential to treat epilepsy. 

THCV is known to decrease signs of inflammation and inflammatory pain. It has also been found to suppress basal sebaceous lipid synthesis which could help people with acne. THCV is also known to treat obesity, diabetes and weight loss by binding to the CB1 receptor of the endocannabinoid system.

Is Cannabivarin Legal in the UK?

There are no specific laws about cannabivarin explaining that it is illegal or not.  Cannabis is a Class B drug in the UK under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. Under the act, it’s illegal to possess, grow, distribute, or sell cannabis. A person who will be caught will be given a maximum sentence of five years and a fine. Those convicted of possession with intent to supply may face up to 14 years imprisonment and an unlimited fine.

These laws are in place because unregulated cannabis often has high concentrations of psychoactive cannabinoids such as THC. The laws around cannabis focus on THC rather than other cannabinoids. As CBD is a non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis is legal in the UK, it may also be the case for cannabidivarin as well, but currently, the laws are unclear. 

What Are The Benefits of Cannabivarin?

There is not enough research on the biological effects of Cannabivarin. However, since cannabivarin is a cannabinoid, CBV can potentially be used in the treatment of conditions such as anxiety, pain, seizures, and as mood boosters. 

The endocannabinoid system is known to regulate bodily functions such as mood, sleep, and pain. It has two main receptors, CB1 and CB2, where endocannabinoids bind to. Cannabivarin produces its effects by interacting with either of these receptors. 

Are there any side effects from Cannabivarin?

Cannabivarin is non-psychoactive and will not cause you to feel high. However, research on this cannabinoid is still limited so its effects might be the same as the other plant cannabinoids like CBD. Cannabis can cause side effects such as dry mouth, drowsiness, fatigue, mood alterations, anxiety, and altered senses among others 

What are the other cannabinoids that are similar?

There are over 400 different compounds present in the Cannabis sativa plant and around 60 are termed cannabinoids. Here is a list of cannabinoids similar to CBV:

  • CBD. CBD or Cannabidiol is a compound extracted from the hemp plant. CBD is not psychoactive and will not cause you to feel high.
  • THC. Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC is the main psychoactive ingredient of the cannabis plant and will cause the “high” effect.
  • CBN. Cannabinol is mildly psychoactive, but not as nearly as potent as THC.
  • CBG. Cannabigerol rarely exceeds 1.5% in optimally-grown cannabis. It is not a psychoactive compound and is effective in treating inflammation and pain.
  • CBC. Cannabichromene is mostly found in juvenile plants and is known to provide pain relief and act as an anti-inflammatory. It is also effective in promoting healthy bones.
  • THCA. This is an acidic form of THC. It is present in cannabis that has not been dried or decarboxylated to convert the acidic forms of cannabinoids like THC or CBDA. It does not produce the same effects as THC and is not psychoactive.
  • UR-144. This is a synthetic cannabinoid invented by Abbott Laboratories. It has similar effects with THC but is slightly less potent.
  • JWH. This is a series of synthetic cannabinoids invented in 1994 by Dr John W Huffman for studies of cannabinoid receptors. 
  • 5F-ADB. This is also a synthetic cannabinoid that was invented in late 2014 from samples taken from an individual who died after using a product containing this substance.


There are over 400 compounds present in the cannabis plant but only 60 are termed cannabinoids as research on all cannabinoids is still limited. Major cannabinoids such as THC and CBD are emerging as they are found to provide health benefits. Like other minor plant cannabinoids, the research on cannabivarin is still lacking. Although some research suggests that this cannabinoid provides health benefits, more research is still needed to know its full effects and its potential benefits.

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