The Differences Between CBD, CBDA, CBDV, THC and THCV

The legislation for hemp derived cannabinoids is easing in many parts of the country. This acceptance has led the knowledge of different cannabinoids to become quite common, yet many don’t fully understand the differences between some closely associated cannabinoids.

Some of the commonly misunderstood compounds are CBD, CBDA, CBDV, THC, and THCV. We’ll look into the differences between each one of them today.

What is CBD?

CBD, or cannabidiol, is the second most prevalent of the active ingredients of cannabis. It is a Phyto-cannabinoid derived from hemp and used in many products, from consumer goods to potentially healthy applications.

It doesn’t have any intoxicating effects. That’s why it’s a popular choice as a supplement without having to worry about the psychoactivity.

CBD products come as:

  • Oils
  • Tinctures
  • Edibles
  • Gummy bears
  • Creams
  • Balms
  • Capsules
  • Other delivery forms

CBD can interact with endocannabinoid receptors in the human body. It can influence:

  • Anxiety
  • Inflammation
  • Pain
  • Sleep

It’s an all-natural, non-psychoactive, non-addictive pain management supplement for many users. Some studies vouch for it’s potential against inflammation. You may also feel increased alertness and suppressed appetite at lower doses.

Cannabidiolic Acid (CBDA)

We’ve all heard of CBD. At least we’ve had friends rave about it. But lots of people don’t know about CBDA, and they often confuse it with CBD.

CBDA is essentially cannabidiolic acid. It’s a precursor to CBD. You need to understand how CBD is made to understand CBDA. The cannabinoid CBDA is the raw form of CBD and can be found in raw hemp or other cannabis plants. When exposed to heat or light, the CBDA starts to break down and form a new molecule – CBD. It’s a process called decarboxylation. So, each CBDA molecule is one step away from becoming CBD.

Moreover, CBDA is acidic with a pH balance lower than 7. It’s often referred to as the “raw” form of CBD because it has not been exposed to heat or light to transform it into CBD.

It can also give an extra boost to CBD, allowing for a more effective treatment. That’s something we call the entourage Effect. That’s why CBDA and CBD products are becoming more popular. By taking the raw form of the cannabinoid and exposing it to light or heat, it can add some extra “oomph” to the effects of the product.

Cannabidivarin (CBDV)

Cannabidivarin is almost like CBD with fewer side effects. They first identified it in the 1980s. Hypoxia, mood elevation and pain management are some of the areas where it has been studied to have a great potential. Some researchers found out that it can also improve cognitive function.

It’s non-psychoactive, so there are no intoxicating effects like THC. It also has the potential for anti-inflammation, nausea relief, and seizure prevention. Some articles even noted its anti-cancer properties in lab dishes.

CBDV has been extensively studied, and the little research on it has been groundbreaking. There is still a lot of potential for further exploration.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)

THC is the most abundant psychoactive compound in marijuana and hemp plants. It creates the psychoactive “high” associated with marijuana. Although THC is known for its euphoric effects, it also has properties that can help with chronic pain, inflammation, nausea, insomnia, anxiety, and other medical conditions.

It acts on specific brain receptors to produce its effects. It works alongside the endocannabinoid system to produce various effects, such as euphoria and increased sensory perception.         

THC has psychoactive effects and is believed to have health-related uses, too. For example, some people may take it to reduce nausea and vomiting in chemotherapy patients. Some people with eating disorders have also used it to improve appetite.

Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV)

THCV, short for Tetrahydrocannabivarin, is a rarer cannabinoid in cannabis. While sharing similarities with the more commonly known THC, it exhibits distinct characteristics. Extensive research is currently underway to uncover the potential medical benefits of THCV. However, consensus on its advantageous properties in the medical field has not yet been reached.

It behaves a bit differently than THC in terms of its effects on the body and its chemical structure. Its chemical structure is similar to that of THC, with the two molecules only differing by a few atoms, but it has a smaller molecular weight and binds slightly differently than THC does to certain receptors in the brain. It is not currently known what precise pharmacological effects this difference causes, but it impacts the psychotropic effects of cannabis.

It has a mild, stimulating effect that some users compare to the effects of caffeine. It can also produce a sense of focus, concentration, and even clarity of thought. A few individuals have reported that it intensifies the effects of THC, providing more pronounced effects.


All these originate from the same plant but interact differently. Primarily, the difference between CBD, CBDA, and CBDV is their position in the drug chain. CBD is the most common and well-known compound, while CBDA and CBDV are its precursors.

Similarly, THC and THCV are different in their psychoactive properties. THC is known for its psychoactive effects, while THCV is non-psychoactive.

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published