Cannabidivarin (CBDV) is similar in structure to cannabidiol (CBD), and respectively, with that come similarities in effects. The first thing that often comes to mind when talking about cannabinoids is whether they’re psychoactive. Most often, what is really being discussed is whether the cannabinoid leads to intoxication (since CBD is actually psychoactive). Like CBD, CBDV is non-intoxicating.
Secondly, CBD and CBDV therapeutic commonalities are most evident when it comes to alleviating seizures and epilepsy, which is no surprise as this is perhaps the realm in which CBD’s known power shines the brightest. It’s also worth mentioning that despite being a relatively rare cannabinoid, CBDV is generally found in higher quantities in cannabis landrace cultivars and (reportedly) those rich in CBD.
Let’s take a deeper dive into CBDV’s performance in medicinal studies.
A few studies have scratched the surface of CBDV’s potential to help the battle with epilepsy and seizures.
For one, GW Pharmaceuticals, the company behind Epidiolex®, the first FDA-approved CBD drug, which treats seizures, is now developing another drug to this end, called GPW42006, and it happens to be CBDV-based. This is a serious indication of the cannabinoid’s promise in this domain. However, with that claim comes a disclaimer: GW has not issued any updates in several years since phase B of the trials were reported complete.
Even so, this doesn’t exhaust the potential indications of CBDV’s neurological effects. The cannabinoid was tested in a mouse model of Rett syndrome, which is linked to behavioral and psychological symptoms in girls (e.g., speech and motor coordination difficulties and seizures). The study found CBDV beneficial on multiple levels, including motor coordination. 
To reinforce these results, CBDV appears to effect “complete rescue of recognition memory deficits” of male mice with the same genetic mutation that causes Rett syndrome, as well as to transiently delay neurological defects. 
On a somewhat related note, CBDV is also being explored as a potential remedy for some of the behavioral, social, and cognitive plights of autism specter disorder (ASD), which can increase the chances of epileptic episodes.
The body of promising research doesn’t end there. CBDV was also found to “prevent the loss of locomotor activity, reduce inflammation, and restore autophagy” in mice with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). 
And on a different note, CBDV inhibits nausea receptors in rodents, possibly through its interaction with transient receptor potential (TRP) channel receptors. 
As you can see, despite CBDV perhaps living in CBD’s large shadow for now, it certainly has the medicinal merit to make a name for itself, especially as it becomes the object of research involving humans.
- Vigli D, et al. “Chronic Treatment with the Phytocannabinoid Cannabidivarin (CBDV) Rescues Behavioural Alterations and Brain Atrophy in a Mouse Model of Rett Syndrome.” Neuropharmacology, 140, 2018, pp. 121-129. Journal Impact Factor = 4.249; Times Cited = 7 (ResearchGate)
- Zamberletti, et al. “Cannabidivarin Completely Rescues Cognitive Deficits and Delays Neurological and Motor Defects in Male Mecp2Mutant Mice.” J Psychopharmacol, vol.33, no.7, 2019, pp.894-907. Journal Impact Factor = 4.738; Times Cited = 4 (ResearchGate)
- Iannotti et al, “Effects of Non-Euphoric Plant Cannabinoids on Muscle Quality and Performance of Dystrophic MDX Mice.” Br J Pharmacol, vol.176, no.10, 2019, pp.1568-1584. Journal Impact Factor = 6.81; Times Cited = 8 (ResearchGate)
- Rock EM et al. “Evaluation of the Potential of the Phytocannabinoids, Cannabidivarin (CBDV) and Δ(9)-Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), to Produce CB1 Receptor Inverse Agonism Symptoms of Nausea in Rat” Br J Pharmacol, vol.170, no.3, 2013, pp. 671-8. Journal Impact Factor = 6.81; Times Cited = 4 (PubMed)
Image Credits: Cannabis Con Ciencia