Dear Stoner: Is there any truth to the Internet rumor that some strains that contain high levels of THC-V can actually help with weight loss by reducing appetite? If so, do you know of anyone who needs a subject for a long-term scientific study?
Dear Big J: We've done some digging, and, yes, there is some truth to the tetrahydrocannabivarin (THC-V) claims. But we don't think that bong rips will be replacing exercise on The Biggest Loser any time soon. About ten years ago, scientists at Aberdeen University in Scotland realized that THC-V caused the opposite reaction of THC in the human body: It doesn't get you stoned, and it blocks the appetite surge caused by THC. It was so good at the latter, actually, that GW Pharmaceuticals announced in 2007 that it was starting research on the compound as a potential treatment for obesity and obesity-related disorders like diabetes.
Sounds promising, right? But the problem is that strains high in THC-V aren't as easy to come by as they should be, having been inadvertently weeded out of the gene pool. Certain levels of THC-V also kill the buzz you get from THC by blocking the THC receptors in your body. Since most cannabis breeders have been looking for ways to increase the potency of their plants over the past three or four decades, they probably weren't keeping plants high in THC-V. Now that we've got more dedicated medical cannabis breeders, though, I can see this becoming yet another cannabinoid like CBD that people will seek out specifically. But it's going to take some time to identify strains that regularly test high for THC-V, much like it has taken time to find high-CBD strains. Anecdotally, hazes and African-sourced strains like Durban Poison tend to be higher in THC-V than others. Subcool Genetics also claims to regularly get high THC-V percentages from its Jack the Ripper strain.
Ask a Stoner
So while there may be a pot-derived weight-loss drug or specific "skinny strains" down the line, currently our best advice on how to use marijuana to lose weight is to get stoned, go to the gym, and zone out on your iPod while ripping through reps on the Stairmaster.
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Dear Stoner: I just needed to know if I can purchase from y'all without a red card.
Les (via the potline)
Dear Les: Despite the plethora of advertisements for dispensaries in the back of our paper, we don't actually sell weed — red card or not. For searchable listings of all recreational shops currently open in Denver, click over to the MJ page at westword.com.