What is CBDV / Cannabidivarin?

    Shortly after the first isolation of the well known and loved molecule CBD (alongside THC and CBN), another cannabinoid surfaced. One we’re only just starting to discover more about now: CBDV.

    Commonly found in high-CBD cannabis strains, CBDV (or Cannabidivarin) is another non-psychoactive compound which appears to have a mass of therapeutic potential. From significantly reducing seizures, to aiding the treatment of neurological disorders, nausea and Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, the preliminary findings from studies into this molecule are hugely promising. 

    Let’s take a look at what we know so far.

    As CBDV is a minor cannabinoid (meaning it’s present in very small amounts in certain cannabis plants) it is not all that easy to research. Nonetheless, recent progression in scientific methods and equipment have allowed us to extract and observe the actions of this compound. 

    Like CBD, CBDV is able to produce multiple effects through TRP channels, the endocannabinoid system and capsaicin receptors. However, what we have discovered so far is based mostly on animal studies.

    CBDV & Epilepsy

    One of the most exciting discoveries so far is that CBDV is a highly effective anticonvulsant in a broad range of seizure models.

    While CBD only affected tonic clonic convulsions (a particularly severe seizure, previously known as ‘grand mal’), but no other measures, CBDV delayed seizure onset as well as reducing severity, mortality and the proportion of subjects that developed tonic–clonic convulsions.

    However, in one study co-funded by GW pharmaceuticals (who are already developing an anti-seizure medication using CBDV), it was noted that CBDV didn’t start producing any positive effects on seizures in doses under 200 mg per kg (as opposed to CBD, which produced significant improvements in seizure severity and mortality at 100 mg per kg).

    With this in mind, it’s clear that understanding appropriate dosing of CBDV is a vital part of utilising this cannabinoid as a medicine. It’s also possible that using CBD and CBDV together may be even more impactful on epilepsy, but further studies are needed to determine this.

    CBDV & Nausea

    THC and THCV are perhaps best known for anti-nausea effects, but CBDV is coming up fast as yet another cannabinoid that might be extremely helpful at tackling this unpleasant symptom. 

    In one 2013 study, published in the British Journal of Pharmacology, researchers found that both CBDV and THCV appear to produce anti-nausea effects. However, the study was looking at rats. As we have learned so much about cannabis in the past 10 years, it’s vitally important that further research is conducted into this mechanism and response to determine efficacy and dosage in humans.

    CBDV & Autism

    Autism often goes hand in hand with severe forms of epilepsy, so it’s exciting to find a cannabinoid that acts on both seizures and the symptoms of autism spectrum disorder. 

    One study, published in the journal of Translational Psychiatry, found that CBDV has the ability to ‘shift’ levels of the brain’s primary excitatory metabolite glutamate in both the neurotypical and autistic brain. This is huge news, as glutamate is the major excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain and may be a key neurotransmitter involved in autism.

    Again, more research is needed to fully understand the inner workings of CBDV on autism.

    CBDV for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) & Rett Syndrome

    Other specific conditions where CBDV might play a key role in treatment are Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) & Rett Syndrome.

    Rett Syndrome is a rare genetic disorder that affects brain development, resulting in severe mental and physical disability. Incredibly, CBDV has been found to exert ‘an enduring rescue of memory deficits’ and delays the appearance of neurological defects. Even subjects (mice) at an advanced stage of the disease showed normalised levels of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor, insulin-like growth factor-1 and defective pathways when treated with 200 mg per kg per day.

    In an equally impressive discovery, CBDV appears to have the potential to prevent the loss of locomotor activity (movement), reduce inflammation and restore autophagy (the body’s ability to clean out damaged cells, in order to regenerate newer, healthier cells). As a result, the ‘irreversible skeletal muscle damage and degeneration’ that characterises the condition may in fact be able to be restored, with enhanced muscle function, through the application of this still understudied cannabinoid.

    You can find CBDV in the following Ardoa Organics products:

    Find out more about cannabinoids: Read everything you need to know about CBC, CBDA and CBG.

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