Every cannabinoid in marijuana has a unique profile, and each has a different effect on the body’s endocannabinoid system. Some are more effective for pain management, while some will lift your mind into the stratosphere. The big cannabinoids are THC and CBD, of course, as well known as Rudolph and Santa. When it comes to naming other cannabinoids, well that can feel like trying to name all the other reindeer pulling Santa’s sleigh. Yet many of the lesser-known cannabinoids have important characteristics to support the more famous cannabinoids. That brings us to CBDV, or cannabidivarin, and the effects it has on the body.
As the abbreviation suggests, CBDV is related to CBD, the cannabinoid that’s currently taking America by storm. Why? Because it’s now legal in every state. CBD is the active ingredient in hemp, and has been thrown into everything from gummies to massage oils to hair pomade. But CBD doesn’t get you high like THC-based products, which is partly why it was legalized. Similarly, CBDV doesn’t have the mind-elevating properties of THC, but is more attuned to CBD’s therapeutic uses. This particular molecule is found in strains of cannabis that are already high in CBD, and largely in indica strains from Asia and Africa.
So what’s the use of CBDV? Right now, most research is centered on treating seizures. In fact, GW Pharmaceuticals applied for a patent for a drug that uses CBDV “for use in the treatment of patients with epilepsy and specifically for the control of generalised or temporal lobe seizures.” It appears the cannabinoid impacts capsaicin receptors, which play a role in controlling seizures.
There are other neurobehavioral conditions that are impacted by CBDV’s effects, including Rett Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorder (often associated with childhood epilepsy), Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and some cognition and memory defects.
Epidiolex is best known as the first drug made from “an active ingredient from marijuana” which happened to be CBD. The FDA was quick to point out that there’s no “high” associated with it, and that the drug was used to treat rare forms of epilepsy. GW created Epidiolex, which has led to the aforementioned patent application for GWP42006, a drug based on CBDV. It actually completed its studies a few years ago, but that’s how long both patents and drugs can take to process and approve. The exclusivity period for GWP42006? That will last until 2031. As the company explains, “The subject patent claims cover CBDV, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid extracted from the cannabis plant, for use in the treatment of patients with epilepsy and specifically for the control of generalised or temporal lobe seizures.”
Clearly CBDV has medical applications, just as so many other cannabinoids do. It’s a testament to the importance of cannabis that we’re still finding and refining powerful remedies from this simple but infinitely useful plant.