Understanding the Benefits of CBDV

What is CBDV?

A phytocannabinoid showing little evidence of significantly affecting motor function, cannabidivarin (CBDV), is being increasingly examined for use in therapeutic and medicinal applications (1). Converting into tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) within the plant, CBDV serves as an essential stepping-stone compound to the manufacture of THCV (2). With the production of plant produced cannabinoids likely involved in the defense against pest and disease, the importance of CBDV to the Cannabis plant, and the resulting compound THCV is evident (3).

What does the molecular structure look like compared to THC?

Although molecularly similar to Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBDV has a unique structure. With the molecular structure of THC expressed by the chemical formula C 21 H 30 O 2 and the molecular structure of CBDV expressed as C 19 H 26 O 2 , it is easy to see that the structural difference between these two compounds results from the lower instance of carbon and hydrogen atoms in CBDV as compared to THC (4, 5).

What chemovar (strains) contain CBDV?

Found more commonly in Cannabis indica than in Cannabis sativa, the level of CBDV within a given strain may vary widely by the specimen, depending on environmental response and individualized genetic expression. Owing to the precursory nature of CBDV to THCV, plants exhibiting higher levels of THCV will likely exhibit higher CBDV levels at some point during their lifecycle (2). With Cannabis identification historically based on an observed phenotypic trait, due to restriction imposed by available technology and active law, the scientific study and cataloging of Cannabis and its resulting compounds sets the stage for evidence-based cannabinoid specific specimen selection.

What are some proven uses for CBDV?

With supporting evidence of relevant medical applications established in a multitude of independent studies, CBDV has shown a great instance of having a positive effect as an anticonvulsant (6).

In one clinical study performed on mouse and rat populations, CBDV was found to function as an effective treatment in a variety of causally distinct seizure types (1). Likewise, in a human trial conducted in Mexico, CBDV was found to have an anticonvulsant effect at a rate of 92%, within the trial group (7). CBDV’s importance as a precursor compound to THCV becomes medically significant with findings supporting THCV as an effective agent for reducing inflammation and associated pain, and with potential applicability in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease (2). With supporting evidence as to their effectiveness continuing to mount, the approved use of phytocannabinoid compounds in the treatment of a variety of conditions becomes an increasing reality.

While there are no synthetic treatment options currently available, GW Pharmaceuticals is testing the use of CBDV in the treatment of epilepsy, under the name GWP42006. Though Phase 2 trials of GWP42006 proved inconclusive with respect to significant findings along these lines, GW Pharmaceuticals has decided to continue and expand their investigations into the medicinal potential of CBDV (4).

Although synthetic compounds head the front in most modern medicine models, there is a compelling argument for the utilization of plant-derived compounds and medicines. With the effect of individual compounds within a given plant specimen being only partially understood as to exact function in terms of plant defense and medical implication alike, the argument for a synergistic regimen of naturally co-produced compounds gains weight.

Seeing as our physiology has been determined in tandem with the natural world over the course of many thousands of years, it seems logical to take an inclusionary approach in regards to plant-produced compounds as utilized in applied medicine.

What research is still needed?

Being evaluated by GW Pharmaceuticals, for use in the treatment of epilepsy, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Rett syndrome, and Fragile X, CBDV shows the potential for future use in a wide range of conditions.

While Phase 2 trials concerning CBDV use in the treatment of epileptic seizures did not provide scientifically significant findings toward this end, ongoing research is seeking to provide a definitive answer to the question of widespread pharmaceutical applicability (1). With continual study being undertaken concerning the physiological effects and potential benefits of plant-derived compounds, the ongoing identification and isolation of Cannabis derived phytocannabinoids will likely provide a clear insight into their individual effects.

With the question of precise medical applicability being foremost in thought, there arises the secondary question of definite physiological function. Expressly how does CBDV function to influence anti-convulsive behavior? With many of the physiological effects of the investigated phytocannabinoids resulting from a binding to cannabinoid-1 (CB1R) and cannabinoid-2 (CB2R) receptors in the brain, it has been found that CBDV does not utilize these specific binding sites to achieve its anticonvulsant effect (1).

Showing weak affinity for CB1R and CB2R, CBDV is thought to operate on the capsaicin receptor, and it is theorized that it is this interaction that is responsible for its anti-epileptic properties (1, 8). Ongoing research is seeking to answer these questions and solidify a market for CBDV use in the medical field.


As a phytocannabinoid showing positive results in use as an anticonvulsant, CBDV shows a great possibility for future medicinal use. With potential applicability in the treatment of epilepsy, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Rett syndrome, and Fragile X, as well as, its essential role as the precursory compound to THCV and its related inflammation reduction properties, CBDV is proving a rewarding pharmaceutical focus (1, 2).

Research is still needed to provide scientifically significant results concerning the use of CBDV in the treatment of these conditions. Likewise, an understanding of the precise physiological effect of CBDV on the action of neuro-receptors and transmitters is important for illuminating any further medical applicability of this compound.

GW Pharmaceuticals is testing CBDV in treatment of

epilepsy, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Rett syndrome, and Fragile X,

showing potential for future use in a wide range of conditions.



1) Hill, A. J., Mercier, M. S., Hill, T. D. M., Glyn, S. E., Jones, N. A., Yamasaki, Y., Futamura T., Duncan, M., Stott, C. G., Stephens, G. J., Williams, C. M., & Whalley, B. J. (2012). Cannabidivarin is anticonvulsant in mouse and rat. British Journal of Pharmacology, 167(8), 1629-1642. doi:10.1111/j.1476-5381.2012.02207.x

2) Rock, E. M., Sticht, M. A., Duncan, M., Stott, C., & Parker, L. A. (2013). Evaluation of the potential of the phytocannabinoids, cannabidivarin (CBDV) and Δ 9 -tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), to produce CB 1  receptor inverse agonism symptoms of nausea in rats. British Journal of Pharmacology, 170(3), 671-678. doi:10.1111/bph.12322

3) Pate, D. W. (1994). Chemical Ecology of Cannabis. Journal of the International Hemp Association, 2(29), 32-37. Retrieved from http://www.internationalhempassociation.org/jiha/iha01201.html

4) National Center for Biotechnology Information. Cannabidivarin. PubChem Compound Database, CID:11601669. Retrieved February 15, 2019, from https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/11601669

5) National Center for Biotechnology Information. Dronabinol. PubChem Compound Database, CID:16078. Retrieved February 15, 2019, from https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Dronabinol

6) Amada, N., Yamasaki, Y., Williams, C. M., & Whalley, B. J. (2013). Cannabidivarin (CBDV) suppresses pentylenetetrazole (PTZ)-induced increases in epilepsy-related gene expression. PeerJ, 1(e214). doi:10.7717/peerj.214

7) Kalkach-Aparicio, M., Cuéllar-Herrera, M., Flores-Ramírez, E. L., Ruíz-Gadea, P., Medina-Osti, L., Trejo-Martínez, D., Velasco, F., Aguado, G., Velasco, A. L., & Gorian-Montealegre, G. (2016). The use of cannabis as an antiepileptic treatment in Mexico: A review, bioethical analysis, discussion and position of the Hospital General de México Epilepsy Clinic. Revista Médica del Hospital General de México. 79(2), 68-78. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hgmx.2016.04.004

8) Morales, P., Reggio, P. H., & Jagerovic, N. (2017). An Overview on Medicinal Chemistry of Synthetic and Natural Derivatives of Cannabidiol. Front Pharmacol, 8(422). doi:10.3389/fphar.2017.00422