Diet Cannabis: A Marketing Strategy or the Real Deal?
A closer look at the science that may put a stop to the munchies.
Published on October 4, 2016

People today are all about ellipticals and smoothies, the TRX and kale chips. There’s something to be said about working hard to feel good. That’s why healthy weed connoisseurs across the nation are getting into a new movement that’s making a splash in dispensaries and cannabis communities: skinny pot.

In 2012, GW Pharmaceuticals, an England-based cannabis research corporation well known for its product Sativex, discovered some varying effects of the cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV). THCV is another cannabinoid similar to THC and CBD, though has approximately 25 percent of the psychoactive effects as THC carries.

Through GW’s animal testing, mice were administered THCV oral doses in varying milligrams. After a 30-day trial, scientists discovered higher metabolisms, lower blood sugar levels, and a boost in energy in all of the mice.

They also noticed the doses of THCV had an effect on the mice’s body fat and triggered a response to their natural insulin, which helps control sugar levels in the blood.

Professor Mike Cawthorne, the director of metabolic research at the University of Buckingham who conducting the animal studies, said: “Overall, it seems these molecules increase energy expenditure in the cells of the body by increasing the metabolism.”

The study concludes that “THCV is a new potential treatment against obesity-associated glucose intolerance.” This could potentially mean excessive amounts of THCV could be used to combat diabetes, the number one killer in the U.S.  

Dispensaries and growers seem to be picking up on this urban idea of “diet cannabis.” California breeders like Cascadia Gardens, Noble Farms, Willie’s Reserve, and Northwest King all seem to be on board with this new hype, producing and selling high-THCV cannabis strains such as a sativa-dominant hybrid XJ-13.

Strains that keep you away from the late-night munchies include Durban Poison, XJ-13, and Blue Dream, all containing a higher percentage of THCV.

Though GW Pharmaceutical's study is just one focus test not scientifically proven past the point of theory, it opens up the opportunity for further development, which is what the industry is gearing toward. The bigger the question, the more room for expansion.

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Audrey Livingston
A Texas native living in Boulder, Audrey Livingston enjoys writing about the essence of human nature, the developing medicinal cannabis industry and research-focused studies that,to anyone else, would seem extremely boring.
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