There is more data being released with regard to the use of Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THC-V) for various conditions. It has been touted to be helpful in treating Type II Diabetes, Parkinsons, Anxiety, Multiple Sclerosis and other conditions.

The strain we have been recommending contains decent levels of THC-V, but also come with an almost equal amount of THC. Although this is a relatively high amount of THC, the THC-V seems to reduce the psychoactivity of THC.

In my practice, the following conditions have shown an early response to THC-V. In most cases the doses were very low, actually lower than doses of CBD used for the same condition. As of this writing, the observed effect of THC-V is around three hours. While this seems short, we are working with administration routes and dosages to improve the effect.

1. Anxiety: To this point, I have found CBD to be the best treatment for anxiety, but there are patients that it does not benefit. Sometimes the addition of THC or even THC-A improves the response. I have now seen several patients who were not responsive to CBD who responded nearly immediately to single digit doses of THC-V. I am considering if it might work to blend CBD and THC-V at very low doses. But it is still best to start with CBD and if little response, add a low dose of THC-V.
2. Parkinsons: For the most part, I have not seen a significant imrovement from CBD in the treatment of Parkinsons symptoms including tremors, spasticity and “frozen” motion issues. There is new data to suggest that THC-V may be helpful in treating Parkinsons. My experience with the first two patients has been dramatic. Tremor, spasticity and movement hesitations were nearly completely controlled with THC-V. Again, the only frustration was the short term of improvement. However, given their improvement in speech movement/walking, I am continuing to work with patients to see how we may enhance the results.
3. Neuropathic pain: We have seen some very promising improvement with severe neuropathic pain. The help has come from formulations containing equal amounts of CBD, THC and THC-V. In addition, there are some new topical preparations that penetrate the skin and when applied on areas of neuropathy often work. The THC-V is for certain a key ingredient. Further clinical investigation is clearly needed.

How do we proceed?

Our next area of investigation will be children with seizure conditions and autism. For the seizure condition patients, it might work to further decrease the number and severity of seizures. Perhaps with some patients on the Autism Spectrum THC-V could be beneficial for controlling the very challenging, aggressive acting out behavior that includes the self-infliction of physical harm.

The longer I work with dosed cannabis therapies, I am finding lower doses of multiple cannabinoids to be more effective than larger doses of one or even two cannabinoids. These are early findings, but for patients where CBD/THC/THC-A are not working, the introduction of THC-V may improve outcomes.

Stay tuned.

Allan Frankel, MD

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