Scientists Investigate Whether Marijuana Can Make Fish Relax

Scientists Investigate Whether Marijuana Can Make Fish Relax

WikiMedia Commons / Bjørn Christian Tørrissen / CC BY-SA 3.0

Can marijuana make fish relax? That is the question that researchers hoped to answer in a recent study published in the journal Aquaculture Research.

The overall goal of researchers was to find a way to help reduce stress and disease among fish in industrial fish farms. Although to most outside observers, fish seem like unemotional animals that experience the most basic of sensations; however, according to Jullian Pittman, a professor at the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences at Troy University, fish can indeed become stressed and depressed.

“The neurochemistry is so similar that it’s scary,” Pittman told the New York Times. “But there’s a lot we don’t give fish credit for.”

To determine whether marijuana can make fish relax, researchers offered three different diets to tilapia for eight weeks. The first diet consisted of soy oil, the second contained industrial hemp oil and the third contained cannabis oil.

At the end of the period, the fish were assessed based on survival, growth, feed conversion and certain blood parameters. Researchers found that marijuana neither makes fish relax nor does it improve their immune response; however, it does seem to increase the fish’s metabolism.

Hakai magazine has reported that researchers came to the conclusion that until new research yields different results, “we do not believe fish should be given reefer.”

William Sumner, a freelance writer and marijuana journalist, was a staff writer for MJINews from May 2014 through February 2018. You can follow him on Twitter @W_Sumner.

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