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THC insecticide

Armchair biology says it must work
 
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While reading that idea about feeding pigs cannabis for better bacon, I began wondering about why the plant would produce THC in the first place. Given the following:

1: THC is not bad for you. There is no LD50 in animals for THC. The toxic effects are minimal.

2: Most plant chemicals are synthesized by the plant as defenses against herbivores.

It would seem that a nontoxic compound that tended to make big herbivores like goats more hungry would be fairly counterproductive for the plant.

I deduce: The herbivores involved must not be vertebrates. Thu: THC must be bad for insects. It still is unclear what the biologic receptor of THC does in vertebrates. Possibly in other non-vertebrate herbivores this receptor does something essential, and messing with it is toxic.

Therefore: THC is the perfect nontoxic herbicide. Conceivably it could even be an "organic" herbicide, since the organic crowd loves THC. It could be liberally applied to fruits and vegetables and left on all the way to market. The produce buyer could rinse it off or not, as she sees fit. It would also be good for home use, to kill bugs without worrying about junior eating insecticide cakes he encounters - his eyes may be more bloodshot for a while, but no lasting harm done.

I wonder if High Times or some similar publication has written about the control of insect pests on cannabis crops. It would be interesting to know what sort of pests can stomach the THC.

Therefore: THC insecticide.

bungston, Nov 12 2002

"Acute Effects of Marihuana" http://www.druglibr...studies/nc/nc1e.htm
"Although a median lethal dose has not been established in man ... one has been found in laboratory animals" [angel, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 06 2004]

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       This seems to be a quite reasonable bit of deduction; I'm not entirely sure it counts as a new idea, because as [bungston] points out, many plants like milkweed and chrysanthemums (pyrethrins) synthesise compounds which are highly toxic to insect parasites.   

       I wonder what research has been done to check this ?   

       It leaves open the intriguing possibility that many plants could be provided with insect defence by splicing in the THC-synthesis gene. It would also make these plants rather interesting to some humans. Since gene splicing in plants is a well-established technology, I don't consider this to be "GM - MAGIC -WIBNI".   

       It would make enforcement rather difficult for the authorities. My understanding is that Indian Hemp plants require careful cultivation in temperate regions. I am sure it would not be beyong the capabilities of many labs to add a high-yeild THC gene to a plant that grows well in temeprate climates, i.e dandelions, nettles, etc.   

       Or maybe this has already happened.
8th of 7, Nov 13 2002
  

       ..*! _-* ^~.. ~*?... Mommy? Can I have su'more brussel sprouts? hee hee hee heee...
absterge, Nov 13 2002
  

       "it could even be an "organic" herbicide" - you trying to kill the bugs or the fruit?
El Pedanto, Nov 13 2002
  
      
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