The Fit gummies look like standard marijuana edibles: orange squares with a sugar coat, sold in packaging that’s a cross between the bright colors of a bag of candy and the sterility of a bottle of pain relievers.
These edibles, however, promise something different: They won’t make you high, but they will help you diet. Or, as the company that makes them puts it, they will “help disrupt unhelpful eating habits and put you back in control of your diet.” But the science behind these new gummies is murky.
Sold by Wana Brands, a well-established edibles company, Fit gummies are available only in Wana’s home state of Colorado (for now). One of the ingredients is tetrahydrocannabivarin, known as THCV, which could be the next big thing in cannabis.
THCV is one of the compounds found in the marijuana plant, but it does not appear to have psychoactive effects. Some studies have shown that THCV may have an effect on appetite and diabetes.
Cannabis has long been associated with “the munchies,” so it is surprising to see a form of it sold as a diet aid. But Fit gummies are less of an anomaly than they may appear to be. As more states have legalized cannabis, companies that sell the drug have developed an increasingly wide range of products, many of which cater to modern society’s desire for self-improvement.
Today, the promises of marijuana marketers are manifold: Cannabis can help with sleep, with libido, with focus or with sociability; it can start the day, end the day or prolong it.
Wana’s marketing materials state that the product’s weight-management benefits are proven by a 2021 clinical trial that was commissioned by its partner on the gummy, ECS Brands, and supported by the National Institutes of Health. According to the Wana’s website, “the recently completed NIH-supported, 90-day human clinical trial found 100 out of 100 participants in the study lost weight without exercise or changing daily caloric output values.”
ECS Brands’ informational sheet on the trial says it was performed under the guidance of the Mayo Clinic.
Both the N.I.H. and the Mayo Clinic said they had no record of the trial, nor is it registered on ClinicalTrials.gov. Arthur Jaffee, the founder and chief executive of ECS Brands, insisted N.I.H. was involved and called the discrepancy a “paperwork issue.” “We have full confidence that everything that we did is accurate and true,” he said.
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