Farm feeding chickens cannabis instead of antibiotics proving popular with organic shoppers 1 month ago

Farm feeding chickens cannabis instead of antibiotics proving popular with organic shoppers

The chickens were sometimes fed double the legal amount of THC

A farm in Thailand has started feeding its chickens cannabis instead of giving them antibiotics as part of a study which has initially yielded some promising results.

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According to researchers from Chiang Mai University's Department of Animal and Aquatic Sciences, fewer than 10 percent of the 1,000 chickens on the farm have died since they introduced the marijuana into the birds' diet in January 2021.

The special weed feed is produced by adding crushed cannabis to their feed and water, Chompunut Lumsangkul, an assistant researcher on the study, told Insider.

No antibiotics or medicines have been given to the birds since they have been fed the cannabis feed.

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The chickens are now proving popular amongst shoppers looking for organic produce, and the farm has been able to sell the birds at almost double their regular price.

The meat has been called 'GanjaChicken', and Lumsangkul claims it is more tender and tastes better than regular chicken meat.

She said: "Consumers in Thailand have been paying attention to this because demand is increasing for chickens and many farmers have to use antibiotics. So some customers want to find a safer product."

As part of the study, researchers would sometimes raise the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) the chickens were fed. THC is the substance in weed that gets users high.

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The legal limit for the amount of THC that can be in a cannabis product in Thailand in 0.2 percent, but the chickens on the farm would sometimes be fed up to 0.4 percent.

The chickens apparently continued to "exhibit normal behaviour" when they were fed this though.

But the assistant professor made clear that there is "no way" humans eating 'GanjaChicken' could get high from the meat. This is because the THC is fully metabolised by the chicken's body before it is slaughtered.

Lumsangkul said the full benefits of the cannabis diet are not entirely clear yet and the next step is likely to focus on establishing whether marijuana feed helps protect chickens from diseases such as bird flu.

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But Lumsangkul reckons it is likely that the bioactive compounds in marijuana are boosting the birds' immune system.

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