The millions of chickens we eat each year consume too many antibiotics. There is an alternative: cannabis

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The new “superfood” for chicken farming is…—drum roll—cannabis. Scientists from the Chiangmai University, in Thailand, have carried out a peculiar experiment on a farm in the country, Pethlanna: feeding chickens with marijuana to see if it affected them in any way, and if so, how. His promising conclusion is that its use in the poultry menu could perhaps help us reduce the amount of antibiotics we use in the agricultural sector.

At the genesis of the experiment is Ong-ar Panyachatiraksa, owner of a farm located in northern Thailand and licensed to cultivate cannabis for medicinal purposes. What reports the newspaper Guardianthe businessman wanted to know if he could use his surplus leaves to feed the chickensa question that scientists at Chiang Mai University were also asking themselves.

The experiment started months ago. Since last January, researchers have closely followed the evolution of a thousand chickens. Some were given the crushed leaf mixed with the rest of their food and others were given water boiled with the plant. levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) that were used were in any case low, between 0.2 and 0.4%.

What did they observe?

higher quality meat

input, explains to Efe Professor Chompunut Lumsangkul, from the University of Chiang Mai, have seen that cannabis does not cause any damage to the chickens: “Those that were fed cannabis as a feed additive did not grow faster than the controlled ones, but they were not weaker either. Their organisms remained healthy”, says the expert.

On the contrary, what Lumsangkul and colleagues’ observations suggest is that cannabis may help reduce antibiotic reliance in the industry. Their results show that chickens that had the plant in their diet tended to have fewer cases of avian bronchids, disease with a serious impact on farms. Moreover, as indicated by protein and fat, among other factors, the quality of the meat would even be superior to that of chicken with a normal menu.

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The data is still preliminary, has not been published and —details Guardian— The exact cause of the positive effects of cannabis on chickens is also not known. One possibility is that its bioactive compounds stimulate intestinal health or strengthen the animals’ own immunity. The researchers actually want to continue investigating to shed more clues and find out if we could use cannabis to reduce the weight of antibiotics in the sector.

For now, Professor Chompunut is already preparing a new study to obtain more data and clarify, for example, what the long-term effects of a diet containing cannabis are. The conclusion they have already reached is that the levels of the plant used in the experiment were low enough to leave no traces in the meat or eggs.

Zachariah Smith Zshyfvnn8hg Unsplash

The first conclusions drawn by the study are in line with the popular wisdom of Thailand, where cannabis leaves have traditionally been used as an additive.

They also arrive in a special stage in the Southeast Asian country, which in recent times has made its laws more flexible and this month saw how the government of Bangkok agreed to decriminalize the sale and cultivation of therapeutic cannabis. Although the measure has important small print —it is limited to medical use and plants with a low psychotropic effect—, allows the country to break through in the global market of derived legal products.

Of course, if you want to try the cannabis leaf-fed chicken from Pethlanna’s farm, you’ll have to dig deep. Your meat it costs double at the farmhouse restaurant.

Images | Thomas Iversen (Unsplash) Y Zachariah Smith (Unsplash)

The new “superfood” for chicken farming is…—drum roll—cannabis. Scientists from the Chiangmai University, in Thailand, have carried out a peculiar…

The new “superfood” for chicken farming is…—drum roll—cannabis. Scientists from the Chiangmai University, in Thailand, have carried out a peculiar…

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