CHICKEN FARMERS IN THAILAND MAY REDUCE THE NEED FOR ANTIBIOTICS BY USING CANNABIS LEAVES.
In 2018, Thailand became the first Southeast Asian country to legalize medicinal cannabis.
Recently, it became the first Southeast Asian country to decriminalize cannabis cultivation and possession.
In Thailand, the government even distributed one million cannabis plants to promote its use as a household crop for medicinal purposes. In the wake of so much marijuana going around, farmers are left wondering what to do with excess plant matter like cannabis fan leaves.
A medical marijuana farm owner in northern Thailand wondered if the leaves would benefit his chicken coop. Chiang Mai University researchers studied the chickens on Ong-ard Panyachatiraksa’s organic farm.
Cannabis fan leaves were mixed into the chicken’s food and water. Chompunut Lumsangkul, the study’s lead author, said the results were promising enough to support further research into replacing antibiotics with cannabis fan leaves.
The chickens either drank water boiled with fan leaves or ate food made from crushed leaves. In examining the chicken’s behavior, the team found nothing abnormal or bizarre. There is only a slight amount of THC and CBD in these leaves, which is approximately 0.2-0.4%.
Later, Chompunut and the researchers examined the following areas;
If cannabis positively affects growth
If it reduces the risk of diseases
The quality of meat or eggs
If chicken meat or eggs contained cannabinoids
According to the study, chickens fed cannabis leaves were less likely to develop avian bronchitis. Chompunut’s findings have not been published, but according to The Guardian, they are positive.
In addition, meat and eggs were far superior in terms of quality, tenderness, and taste. Furthermore, chickens that ate fan leaves had higher protein, fat, and moisture content. Neither meat nor eggs contained any traces of cannabinoids.
The bioactive compounds in cannabis may promote immunity and gut health in chickens, according to Chompunut. However, she did clarify that more research is needed on the subject.
In the future, Chompunut plans to examine the benefits of cannabis extracts containing higher THC and CBD content on chicken diseases.
For now, we can only hope that these findings will encourage farmers to switch to cleaner, less harmful alternatives to antibiotics.