Published on:
Wednesday, June 15, 2022

How cannabis-fed chickens may help cut Thai farmers’ antibiotic use

Scientists observed fewer cases of avian bronchitis and superior meat after chickens given cannabis

It all began when Ong-ard Panyachatiraksa, a farm owner in the north of Thailand who is licensed to grow medicinal cannabis, was wondering what to do with the many excess leaves he had amassed. He asked: could his brood of chickens benefit from the leftovers?

Academics at Chiang Mai University were also curious. Since last January they have studied 1,000 chickens at Ong-ard’s Pethlanna organic farm, in Lampang, to see how the animals responded when cannabis was mixed into their feed or water.

The results are promising and suggest that cannabis could help reduce farmers’ dependence on antibiotics, according to Chompunut Lumsangkul, an assistant professor at Chiang Mai University’s department of animal and aquatic sciences, who led the study.

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