CBDV vs CBD - What's the Difference?

If you feel like the difference between CBD and CBDV was created just to annoy you, you aren’t alone. There are lots of cannabinoids to keep track of, and the differences between these two hemp compounds might seem too arcane to be worth your while.

As you’ll see, though, CBD and CBDV are more different than they seem at first glance. They’re so unlike each other, in fact, that CBDV is being researched independently of CBD and for conditions CBD isn’t being researched for.

The world’s first CBDV-rich strains were recently welcomed into the Secret Nature catalog. To commemorate this event, let’s explore how CBDV is different from CBD and why it matters.

The basics — what are we dealing with?

We have to start somewhere. How about defining what CBD and CBDV are in the first place?

• What is CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is the second most-abundant cannabinoid present in Cannabis sativa. Recently, phenotypes of hemp high in CBD and low in THC have been bred, giving rise to a legal CBD economy online and in a variety of types of retail outlets.

Non-intoxicating and apparently without any significant side effects. CBD simultaneously proves that cannabis goes beyond just THC and serves as an excellent base material for the crafting of end-product prescription drugs and over-the-counter products.

Originally gaining traction in the United States, CBD is now an international phenomenon. Non-threatening and non-intoxicating, CBD is evangelizing cannabis around the globe.

• What is CBDV?

Cannabidivarin (CBDV) is a variant of CBD that is very structurally similar even though it is exceedingly rare. Originally discovered in Southeast Asian species of cannabis along with THCV, CBDV is mainly alike to CBD but with a few significant structural and bioactivity differences.

Currently, CBDV is being researched primarily due to the clinical limitations of CBD as an antiepileptic drug. While commonly effective in initial treatment cycles, CBD-based drugs like Epidiolex have been observed to become less effective over time, leading to the need to augment CBD epilepsy treatments with additional similar substances.

Along the way, CBDV has also been researched for autism, gastrointestinal inflammation, anxiety, pain, and multiple sclerosis. In many ways, the potential benefits of CBD and CBDV have been found to match, but CBDV is different enough to merit increasing scientific attention.

What’s the difference?

There are a few major categories of difference between CBD and CBDV:

• Structure

In terms of chemical structure, CBD and CBDV are almost exactly the same but with one crucial difference. Both cannabinoids contain components called carboxyl groups, but the carboxyl groups in varin cannabinoids like CBDV contain two fewer carbon atoms.

If this difference seems minimal, you’re right. So far, scientists haven’t been able to find any ways that CBD and CBDV are radically unlike each other. The differences between THC and THCV also appear to be quite minor, and so on.

From both regulatory and bioactivity perspectives, though, these two fewer carbon atoms make a world of difference. CBDV’s smaller carboxyl group makes it a fully distinct cannabinoid, leading to opportunities for product research and development.

• Effects

While subtle, people report that the effects of CBDV are dissimilar from those of CBD. This perceived difference, however, could easily be chalked up to the placebo effect since this cannabinoid doesn’t appear to affect the brain that differently from CBD.

As a matter of fact, there isn’t much of a difference at all between the effects of CBD and CBDV. Whatever dissimilarity may be present, however, could prove crucial as we learn more about the potential benefits of CBDV for conditions like autism that have not conventionally been targets of CBD treatment.

• Availability

This is a practical and unavoidable difference between CBD and CBDV. While CBD products are now widely available online and in stores around the nation, it’s still almost impossible to find finished consumer products that are high in CBDV.

Of course, there are a handful of semi-reputable labs that would be more than happy to sell you isolated CBDV powder by the kilo. There’s not a lot that an average hemp user can do with a giant pile of white cannabinoid powder, though, making CBDV use relatively impractical.

For the first time ever, CBDV products are starting to trickle onto the market. It will be quite a while, however, before CBDV has a chance to catch up to CBD, and as a variant that only took the stage late in the game, CBDV may never be quite as popular.

• Public acceptance

CBD is now a household name around the globe, but CBDV is just going to raise eyebrows. It took a lot just to achieve public acceptance of CBD, and everyone is now suffering from cannabinoid acronym-fatigue.

The unique selling points of CBDV are definitely there, but they’re subtle enough to potentially make public acceptance a long-lasting point of division between CBDV and CBD. Unlike THC, at least, CBDV is already reasonably accepted due to its non-intoxicating nature.

CBDV and CBD differences FAQ

There’s a lot we still need to learn about the differences between CBD and CBDV, but we’ve shared everything we currently know. Let’s wrap up with answers to related questions — including a few more brief comparisons between CBD and other cannabinoids:

1. What is CBDV in CBD oil?

Many CBD products are now advertised as containing CBDV as an additional benefit. The “CBDV” referred to in these product labels and descriptions is cannabidivarin, a variant of CBD also found in hemp.

Like CBD, CBDV is non-intoxicating, but these cannabinoids aren’t exactly the same. CBDV has recently become a target of autism research, for instance, carving out a unique spot for this cannabinoid in the field of hemp science.

2. What is the difference between CBC and CBD?

Lots of different cannabinoids once relegated to the “entourage” are now taking center stage, and cannabichromene (CBC) is one of them. CBC is similar to CBD in that it is non-intoxicating, but this cannabinoid has unique properties that have made it the target of increasingly intensive scientific research.

For instance, scientists are very interested in CBC’s activity at the TRPV1 receptors, which are involved in inflammatory pain. CBC also appears to impact anandamide reuptake, and anandamide is the body’s most important endocannabinoid.

2. Is CBG better than CBD?

The first CBG products started appearing in 2019, and two years later, the CBG industry is now fully established. This cannabinoid hasn’t gotten quite as popular as CBD, though, partially because full understanding of the benefits of CBG is very rare.

It would be a stretch to say that CBG is “better” than CBD, but we would also never say that either cannabinoid is “worse.” CBD and CBG appear to simply be better at different things, and they’re especially useful when you use them together.

In terms of experienced effects, CBG often delivers results that are more upbeat or intense than CBD while staying fully non-intoxicating. As far as medicinal benefits go, CBG has been researched extensively for its potential digestive and antimicrobial benefits, two fields of study of which CBD hasn’t been a major target.

4. What is the difference between CBC and CBG?

Within the wide family of cannabinoids, CBC and CBG are more similar than they are different. In fact, CBG, CBC, and CBD are the most similar non-intoxicating cannabinoids — CBN is a bit of an outlier due to its inherent relationship to THC and its semi-intoxicating properties.


The mystical trio of CBD, CBG, and CBC, though, are all alike in that they’re:

  • Non-intoxicating
  • Mild
  • Apparently without major side effects

All three cannabinoids also appear to be potently bioactive even though they don’t make you high. CBD appears to be the “all-rounder” with considerable activity at both the TRPV1 and 5-HT1A receptors (as well as many other sites throughout the body).

CBG, on the other hand, is more focused on the “surface” side of things. It has primarily been researched for neuroprotective, digestive, and (especially) antimicrobial properties, and the majority of CBG products are topically applied.

Now, we come to CBC, the “technician” that interacts with your nervous system to deliver impressive results. TRPV1 receptors aside, CBC’s relationship with anandamide may end up making this seemingly obscure cannabinoid the target of immense international research attention.

5. What are the best CBDV products?

To be perfectly honest, there aren’t a lot of CBDV products right now. This cannabinoid is still very rare, and it’s mainly only available in bulk isolated form.

As with any hemp product, though, the best CBDV products will come from reputable companies that third-party lab-test their products and offer excellent customer service. Any acceptable CBDV product should at least come with:

  • Lab reports
  • Potency information
  • Guarantee policy

The best CBDV products will:

  • Be organic
  • Contain natural CBDV
  • Not contain isolate CBDV

CBDV flower only recently became available, so almost every CBDV product currently sold online or in stores was made with CBDV isolate converted from another cannabinoid. If you’re looking for natural, real CBDV, Secret Nature CBDV flower is the only way to go.

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Tyler William, Founder and Ceo