There’s a new cannabinoid on the CannaKeys block. We’ve recently added cannabidivarin (CBDV), the homolog of cannabidiol (CBD), to our database. While it may sound like it’s a newly discovered cannabinoid, CBDV was actually discovered in the late 1960s by L. Vollner. There has, however, been a renewed interest in this particular component of cannabis.
Here, we break down what we know about CBDV, what the recent studies are revealing about this compound and the potential future therapeutic uses.
Nearly identical to CBD, CBDV has a C3H7 propyl side chain instead of C5H1 as in CBD. This minor difference means CBDV interacts slightly differently within the endocannabinoid (ECS) and has a higher affinity for certain receptor sites.
Because it is in the family of CBD, CBDV is also non-psychoactive. However, it is not nearly as abundant as CBD, making research and its practical use more challenging. With the assistance of agricultural advances though, scientists have been able to grow and extract higher quantities of CBDV for research and medicinal purposes. So far CBDV appears to exert more of its effects on the brain and inflammatory systems.
Similar to the extensive evidence for cannabidiol as a supplement in treating epilepsy, CBDV also appears to have similar, if not better, anti-seizure activity. This 2012 study showed significant antiseizure activity of CBDV in mouse models and a 2013 study confirmed CBDV can suppress epileptic gene expression also reducing seizure activity. More recently a small but relevant human study in 2020 showed a 75 percent reduction in monthly seizure activity in children with a resistant form of epilepsy seen in Rett syndrome.
While the above results are promising, this large review concludes that overall there is insufficient evidence for CBDV as a treatment option for epilepsy and seizure disorders. And this phase I study concluded while CBDV did reduce seizure activity it was not more effective than placebo.
Despite recent increased research and awareness of Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) there continues to be a lack of options for treatment and management of symptoms. A small but compelling study found a single dose of CBDV could modulate neurons in the brain of ASD patients towards more normal function and could offer new hope for patients and families navigating the Autism spectrum.
Additionally, because of the role of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in regulating emotions and behaviors, research suggests there may be promise in using CBDV in targeting the ECS in developing novel treatment options for ASD. To read more about the use of cannabis for Autism harm reduction click here.
In addition to potential use for CBDV neurologic conditions like epilepsy and ASD, there is some evidence to suggest it may have neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory effects as well. A study of cells deprived of oxygen found that CBDV was protective of the cells of the blood-brain barrier, and reduced the inflammatory cascade, meaning CBDV could be useful in protecting against long-term disability following ischemic stroke.
In a separate study of intestinal inflammation, as in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and ulcerative colitis (UC), CBDV again effectively slowed the inflammatory cascade in both mouse models and in human tissue samples and certainly warrants further examination of the
role of TRPA1 receptors and CBDV in this process.
As you can see the current research on potential therapeutic uses for CBDV are far outpaced by the more extensively studied CBD. But the available studies are unlocking a better understanding of the function of CBDV in the ECS. The future looks optimistic for neurologic, behavioral, and inflammatory conditions, and as we are able to extract larger quantities of CBDV for dedicated research, there is hope that we may soon better understand its therapeutic potential.
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Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or another medical professional.