Research from Washington State University [WSU] has provided some interesting results about the relationship between parasites and the existence of cannabis. WSU researchers have discovered that people who regularly use marijuana are less likely to have parasitic infections.

Ed Hagen thinks this might be because of a primal urge that has evolved in humanity over time. “In the same way we have a taste for salt, we might have a taste for psychoactive plant toxins, because these things kill parasites,” he said in a public release from the university.

The evidence is in the amount of parasitic intestinal worms that people have. Those who smoke marijuana or tobacco products have been found to have fewer worms. According to Hagen, it isn’t just people who have an urge to consume what he describes as a “plant toxin.” Animals are doing it as well.

The study involved members of the Aka tribe in the Central African Republic. Samples taken from those who didn’t smoke pot had a 95% parasitic infection rate. Those who smoked cannabis, however, had significantly lower infection rates and even become re-infected with fewer parasites with prolonged use.

The results are clear. Hagen says that the Aka people don’t even think of cannabis as a medicine. They simply use it to remove the threat of parasites from the body. It might not be the most exciting medical discovery about cannabis that has ever been published, but the results do prove that there are many potential benefits to using pot that have not even been discovered yet.

Hagen’s research and the WSU project has been published by the American Journal of Human Biology.