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A farm that feeds chickens with marijuana instead of antibiotics is getting higher prices from consumers looking for organic poultry, researchers say

Written by Javed Iqbal

A worker prepares chicken meat for sale at the Khlong Toei market in Bangkok.  The Ministry of Animal Development is keeping a close eye on the spread of the H5N6 bird flu after the World Health Organization warned of a possible outbreak following recent cases of infection in China.

A worker prepares chicken meat at the Khlong Toei market in Bangkok.Adisorn Chabsungnoen / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images

  • A farm in Thailand has started feeding its chickens cannabis instead of antibiotics.

  • Researchers from Chiang Mai University say the experiment is showing positive signs.

  • The chickens get twice the usual price from consumers looking for organic poultry.

A farm that grows medical marijuana in northern Thailand has fed its free-range chickens cannabis instead of antibiotics, and researchers said the experiment has yielded promising results.

Researchers from Chiang Mai University’s Department of Animal and Aquatic Sciences said that less than 10% of the 1,000 chickens on the farm in Lampang have died since they introduced the pot to the chickens’ diet in January 2021.

While the results of the study are still under review and only cover a year of research, Chompunut Lumsangkul, an assistant professor who led the study, told Insider that the cannabis feed appears to be working. The mortality of the chickens on the farm has been the same as in ordinary seasons, where there is no serious outbreak of any. bird-killing diseaseshe said.

The birds’ special food is produced by adding crushed cannabis to their feed and water, Lumsangkul said. No antibiotics and medicines are fed to or used on the chickens during this time.

In addition to healthy chickens, the experiment has also given the farm the opportunity to sell its birds at higher prices to consumers looking for organic poultry.

The birds get double the regular price, at around $ 1.50 per pound, mostly because buyers want organic chickens that have not been given antibiotics, Lumsangkul said. She also claimed that the chickens’ meat – which they call “GanjaChicken” – is more tender and tastes better than regular chickens.

“Consumers in Thailand have been aware of this because the demand for chickens is increasing and many farmers have to use antibiotics. So some customers want to find a safer product,” the assistant professor said.

The farm in Lampang primarily grows cannabis as one of its most important products, but also keeps chickens.

The farm in Lampang primarily grows cannabis as one of its most important products, but also breeds chickens.CHOMPUNUT LUMSANGKUL

As part of the experiment, Lumsangkul said her research team would sometimes give chickens fortified levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – the drug in marijuana that gives users a high level – that went beyond the legal limits for humans in Thailand.

Earlier this month, the Thai government legalized sale of cannabis products but limited the amount of THC in the goods one can consume to 0.2%. By comparison, the chickens on the farm would sometimes come up to 0.4%, Chompunut said.

“I can not say that cannabis does not let the chickens get tall, but they exhibit normal behavior,” she said.

A couple of dozen black chickens are seen in a farmhouse.

The farm has over 1,000 chickens that have been fed cannabis since January last year.CHOMPUNUT LUMSANGKUL

Lumsangkul noted that it is not immediately clear what the full benefits of feeding chickens with cannabis are, nor is it known why cannabis keeps birds healthy in the first place. However, she said it is likely that marijuana has bioactive compounds or substances that promote metabolic activity and better health conditions that strengthen the birds’ immune system.

The study has so far only been a “screening test”, and researchers have yet to test whether the cannabis feed works to protect the chickens from bird flu or other serious diseases, Lumsangkul said.

As for whether people can get high from eating chickens fed cannabis, Lumsangkul said that “in no way” could happen. THC is fully metabolized in the chicken’s body before slaughter, so its shape is completely changed when it comes to the table, she said.

Read the original article regarding Insider

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Javed Iqbal

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