THEY'RE ALL WAITING... waiting for you. The growers, the sellers, the bakers, and the vaping-stick makers—everyone involved in the cannabis industry is salivating over the opportunity to legally sell you their wares, and wherever there's money to be made, there's also guaranteed to be... marketers.
In its brief history, the legal recreational cannabis industry has proven itself, if nothing else, to be in dire need of a makeover. From the harsh lights and artlessly postered walls of many establishments, to the silly names and basement-dwelling sensibilities that so often inform product designs, there is much untapped potential for the emerging green industry to appeal to the finer tastes of the boutique-shopping set.
Trust: They're working on it. Everyone wants a piece of the expected economic windfall, and image-makers are no exception. Be prepared, then, for newfangled weed products to deploy the same tactics that sell you everything else in your life. And if the perennial key to the consumer's heart is sex, then the handmaiden to sexy marketing is vanity. Staggering profit numbers raked in by the health and beauty industry make plain that this will be an avenue worth pursuing.
It might be an uphill battle, though. Stereotypical side effects of getting high on cannabis include overeating, a lack of motivation for physical activity, and "still in your bathrobe at 10 pm" levels of dishevelment. "Try smoking more weed" was no one's answer, ever, to a query about keeping one's weight down, but make no mistake that there are efforts underway to change that.
Bless your heart if you have no idea who Bethenny Frankel is: The reality star got her start as a finalist on The Apprentice: Martha Stewart, but she's best known for The Real Housewives of New York City. She parlayed her fame into the Skinnygirl franchise, which includes some diet/self-help books, an exercise DVD, and a novel, as well as the Skinnygirl low-calorie cocktail company. Smelling the money wafting off the nascent recreational cannabis industry, now Frankel's got her sights set on a Skinnygirl brand of weed that's designed to repress that bane of a stoner's waistline: the munchies.
She'll probably do frighteningly well. After all, Frankel was eventually able to offload the Skinnygirl cocktail company for a fortune. Consumers love to be told they can have their cake and still lose weight—but can smoking pot really ever be a weightwatcher's choice? Is it all just a shameless ploy to part you from your precious weed money?
The answer right now is a solid "maybe." There's evidence some of the compounds found in cannabis, such as THCV (tetrahydrocannabivarin), can suppress appetite, at least in the short-term. And there's even some indication that they can be used to increase metabolism.
We're still a long way from cannabis becoming a diet tool, but it's not out of the question to indulge without sabotaging healthy habits. Seeking out strains that have higher concentrations of THCV is an educated place to begin a quest to find a product that does this for you, but it's still a matter of personal trial and error. While cannabis research has made a great deal of headway in identifying some of its compounds' capabilities, there's much yet to be understood about the synergistic effects of these elements when they come together in different concentration combinations. Plus, of course, there's the matter of your own original body chemistry and psychology.
The bottom line is that the Bethenny Frankels of the world are going to claim that they've cracked a magic formula to justify a price jack, but with a little effort, it's quite feasible to find a handful of strains that are just as likely not to send you down a carb-laden road of regret. Doing that research might even help save you some money in the long run—sparing you the cost of sleazily branded products, as well as of those pizzas with extra cheese.