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In 1970, researchers at the University of Oxford were investigating a cannabis sample when they found a chemical that had never before been known to science. It wasn’t THC or CBD, the two most famous compounds created by cannabis plants. They called this new compound tetrahydrocannabivarin, a mouthful of a word usually shortened to THCV.
For the next 50 years, THCV quietly developed a mythical status among cannabis connoisseurs, earning nicknames like the “sports car of weed” or “weederall” because it was rare and allegedly had astonishing effects. The few people who experienced it claimed THCV pot kept them awake while reducing their hunger. Cannabis hunters traveled across the world and risked their lives looking for THCV, yet no one seemed to be able to find a consistent supply of it.
Now, that’s all changing.
THCV is becoming increasingly available, particularly in California, where the legal weed market has become one of the best places in the world to find this rare pot product. Adults in California can now buy THCV mints infused with matcha, THCV pre-rolled joints, THCV pills and espresso-flavored THCV shots.
The boon is thanks mostly to two sources. The federal legalization of hemp in 2018 has greatly expanded the amount of synthetic cannabinoids in America, making it possible for companies to buy lab-made THCV in bulk. Cannabis farming companies have also made rapid advances in growing pot plants that are naturally rich in THCV.
Elizabeth Rice, the sales director for Kiva, an edible company, said now that THCV is available, retailers are clamoring to order the new products. The cannabis industry has been excited about selling THCV for years, Rice told SFGATE, but only recently has there been a stable enough supply of the compound.
“I have had retailers going, ‘Can you preorder this? Can you order it now? ’ That never happens,” Rice said.