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Can cannabis reduce antibiotic use in the animal industry?

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2022-06-18-Can cannabis reduce antibiotic use in the animal industry?

Thailand – It all started when Ong-ard Panyachatiraksa, a farm owner in northern Thailand who is licensed to grow medicinal cannabis, wondered what to do with the many excess leaves he had collected. He fed them to his chickens and the effect was amazing.

Even academics from Chiang Mai University were curious. Since last January they have 1.000 chickens studied at Ong-ard's Organic Farm in Pethlanna, Lampang, to see how the animals reacted when cannabis was mixed into their feed or water.

The results are promising and suggest that cannabis may help reduce antibiotics in the animal industry, according to Chompunut Lumsangkul, an assistant professor in the Department of Animal and Aquatic Sciences at Chiang Mai University who led the study.

How does cannabis affect chickens?

Chompunut observed the chickens to see how cannabis affected their growth, susceptibility to disease, and to see if their meat and eggs were of different quality, or if they contained cannabinoids. The animals were given the plant in different doses and forms – some were fed water boiled with cannabis leaves, while others ate food mixed with crushed leaves.

No abnormal behavior was observed in the chickens, Chompunut said. leaves ranged from 0,2 to 0,4%. "I'm trying to find the appropriate level for them that could help improve immunity and performance without experiencing any ill effects," Chompunut said.

The results have yet to be published, but Chompunut has observed positive signs. Chickens supplemented with cannabis were less likely to suffer from avian bronchitis and the quality of their meat – judged by its protein, fat and moisture composition, as well as its tenderness – was also superior.

Source: theguardian.com (EN)

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