Cannabinoid Science 101: What Is Cannabidivarin (CBDV)?
Cannabidivarin (CBDV) is a naturally-occurring phytocannabinoid that occurs in small traces in certain strains of the cannabis plant.
Although less studied than its more famous counterparts such as THC and CBD, research is beginning to uncover the medical potential of CBDV to treat epilepsy and other neurological conditions.
CBDV is to CBD what THCV is to THC. Both CBDV and THCV are known as propyl cannabinoids, and they contain a propyl chain instead of a pentyl chain within the molecule. This subtle but important difference means that the propyl molecules can have very different properties to their pentane “parents."
Although THC and THCV have almost opposite effects to each other, CBD and its propyl counterpart CBDV appear to have broadly similar applications in medicine. CBDV is non-psychoactive, and like CBD, it appears to have strong effectiveness as an anticonvulsant and anti-epileptic.
CBDV in the Cannabis Plant
CBDV has been found in high concentrations in feral or landrace “indica” populations found in northwest India, and in hashish from Pakistan. It is also present in many Mexican populations of cannabis, although in much smaller quantities. Generally, CBDV is found in plants that are higher in CBD and lower in THC.
CBD and THC are known to form via a reaction between cannabigerolic acid (CBGA) and CBD synthase or THC synthase respectively. THCV is known to form via a reaction with cannabigerovarin acid (CBGVA) and THCV synthase, so presumably a similar mechanism exists for CBDV, but this has apparently not been elucidated.
Medical Potential of CBDV
CBDV-rich botanical extracts have been shown to possess strongly anticonvulsant properties in mice and rats, as well as actually suppressing the expression of certain genes related to epilepsy.
Much of the existing research on CBDV has been conducted by GW Pharmaceuticals and Otsuka Pharmaceuticals, who have filed a joint patent on a whole-plant extract rich in CBDV and CBD, which also contains CBC and CBCV. This extract is intended to treat neurological conditions including epilepsy.