Updated: Dec 7, 2022
Welcome to Cannabinoid Clinic, an education project powered by Higher Learning LV. This series provides cannabis and hemp industry professionals with easily digested cannabinoid profiles that ask little of your time—but provide plenty of science-based information.
There are two categories of cannabinoids: Phytocannabinoids and endocannabinoids. Phytocannabinoids are those produced by cannabis/marijuana/hemp, while endocannabinoids are made by the human body. This series covers both.
CBDV molecular structure
What is CBDV?
Cannabidivarin (CBDV) is an isomer of cannabidiol (CBD) that was first isolated in 1968 by German scientists. It is considered a minor cannabinoid because it is typically available in very low volumes from the loose-leaf and concentrated cannabis products readily available from legal retail dispensaries and underground ("legacy") sources.
"In the lives of modern cannabis consumers, CBDV is more theory than reality, with reliable sources of meaningful volumes of this cannabinoid in short supply."
In the lives of modern cannabis consumers, CBDV is more theory than reality, with reliable sources of meaningful volumes of this cannabinoid in short supply. It is purported to be produced by landrace cultivars ("strains") of marijuana featuring undiluted genetics (that have not been crossbred with other cultivars) and that might be labeled indica. The lower the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) level, the more likely there will be CBDV present.
CBDV Fast Facts
Role: Results from CBDVA
Biosynthetic pathway: CBGVA > CBDVA > CBDV
Acidic precursor: CBDVA
Boiling point: 329° F
Medical benefits: Anti-nausea, autism treatment, anti-seizure
CBDV Medicinal Benefits
A September 2018 study entitled "Chronic Treatment with the Phytocannabinoid Cannabidivarin (CBDV) Rescues Behavioural Alterations and Brain Atrophy in a Mouse Model of Rett Syndrome" that was published in the journal Neuropharmacology evaluated "the potential therapeutic efficacy for Rett syndrome of cannabidivarin, a non-psychotropic phytocannabinoid from Cannabis sativa that presents antagonistic properties on the G protein-coupled receptor 55 (GPR55), the most recently identified cannabinoid receptor."
"The endocannabinoid system modulates several physiological processes and behavioral responses that are impaired in RTT."
The study's authors explained that Rett syndrome (RTT) "is a rare neurodevelopmental disorder, characterized by severe behavioral and physiological symptoms. The condition is caused by a genetic mutation in nine out of 10 cases and there is currently no known cure.
"The endocannabinoid system modulates several physiological processes and behavioral responses that are impaired in RTT and its deregulation has been associated with neuropsychiatric disorders which have symptoms in common with RTT," reported the scientists.
The study concluded that "systemic treatment with CBDV rescues behavioral and brain alterations in male mice, a validated RTT model." It noted that the CBDV "restored the compromised general health status, the sociability, and the brain weight in RTT mice."
"The study concluded that "systemic treatment with CBDV rescues behavioral and brain alterations."
A November 2019 study entitled "Effects of Cannabidivarin (CBDV) on Brain Excitation and Inhibition Systems in Adults With and Without Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD): A Single Dose Trial During Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy" that was published in the journal Translational Psychiatry explored for the first time "if CBDV shifts glutamate and/or GABA metabolites—markers of the brain’s primary excitatory and inhibitory system—in both the 'typical' and autistic brain."
The study, which involved 34 human test subjects, reported that CBDV "can 'shift' subcortical levels of the brain's primary excitatory metabolite glutamate both in the neurotypical and autistic brain," but that the responses of those with autism may vary significantly.
"These findings add to our understanding of the effects of CBDV in the adult human brain," concluded the scientists. They recommended future research, with a focus on the potential outcomes of both short-term and long-term treatment with the cannabinoid.
A December 2021 study entitled "A Phase 2 Randomized Controlled Trial of the Efficacy and Safety of Cannabidivarin as Add-on Therapy in Participants with Inadequately Controlled Focal Seizures" that was published in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research explored "the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of cannabidivarin (CBDV) as add-on therapy in adults with inadequately controlled focal seizures."
The study included 162 participants, half of which received CBDV and half of which received a placebo (the control group). Those who received CBDV were given 400 to 800 mg twice daily for two weeks, "followed by six weeks stable dosing (at 800 mg) and a 12-day taper period." It found the cannabinoid to be well tolerated by study participants.
"The study included 162 participants, half of which received CBDV and half of which received a placebo (the control group)."
The scientists reported that both groups experienced roughly equivalent reductions in seizure frequency, bringing into question the validity of positive outcomes from CBDV. 41 percent of those receiving CBDV experienced a reduction in seizure frequency, versus 38 percent for the control group receiving the placebo. "The placebo response was...high, which may reflect the participants' expectations of CBDV, and a treatment difference from placebo was not observed," reported the study.
How to Get CBDV
Unlike major cannabinoids such as CBD and delta-8 and delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), minor cannabinoids such as CBDV can be difficult to obtain. In some markets, tincture or capsule products containing a CBDV concentrate may be available, but often carry a significant cost.
Technically, a good source of CBDV—as noted above—is landrace cultivars considered to be indica, not sativa and that feature lower volumes of THC. However, the extremely limited availability of landrace cultivars is a major limitation for patients and consumers wishing to experiment with CBDV.
Portland, Oregon-based Secret Nature in May of 2021 reported that it had acquired access to "the world's first CBDV-rich hemp genetics" and that it produced the first crops of the CBDV-rich cultivars Pine Walker and Forbidden V.
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