Scientists from the American University of Beirut gave tilapia THC extract to see if it chill them out a little.
It seems that tilapia is a major commodity in the Nile river and farmers, needing to feed frenzied fish demand, are jam-packing their cages. Not surprisingly, conditions in these cages are no bueno, leading to higher disease rate, lower water quality, and increased “intraspecific competition” (when different species compete for limited resources). And all that, as you might imagine, is leaving the fish unusually stressed out.
So, maybe during a late night dab-sesh, some smarty pants researchers decided to try to chill out the fish using what’s worked on humans for centuries: tetrahydrocannabinol. “Did it work?” you ask.
Over the course of 8 weeks, three groups of tilapia were fed pellets infused with three different varieties of oil: soy, industrial hemp, and cannabis. At the end of the trial, the fishies’ blood parameters, feed conversion, growth, and survival were analyzed, according to reporting from Fish Information & Services.
Researchers found that, unfortunately, there was no indication that the stress levels of the tilapia had gone down while under the influence. Their survival rates were basically the same as fish in the control groups of the study. Disease rate and body fat were found to be pretty much the same as well.
However, FIS notes that “it is possible that the fish simply built up a tolerance after receiving the same amount of THC every day for two straight weeks.”
One thing the THC did seem to affect, however, was tilapia’s metabolism. Some researchers have previously linked cannabis consumption to high-functioning carbohydrate metabolism. And now it seems our sisters and brothers of the sea are not so different in that regard. The American University researchers likewise found in their study that cannabis “does reduce growth rate by increasing metabolic rate.”
Photo via Flickr user United Soybean Board