The Consumption of Cannabis Can Prevent Intestinal Parasites, According to a Study Carried Out on a Tribe in the Congo Basin

  • Researchers at Washington State University have analysed the consumption of marijuana among the aka hunter-gatherers that live in the Central African Republic and they have discovered that the cannabis smokers in the tribe are better protected against parasites

Scientists from Washington State University have studied the cannabis use among the aka, a pygmy tribe of hunter-gatherers who live in the Cuenca basin. The aim of the research, according to the anthropologist Ed Hagen, was to determine if marijuana is also consumed for medical purposes far from western civilization.

The study that was published in the American Journal of Human Biology suggests that the akas have been using marijuana for medicinal purposes without knowing it: the more cannabis the hunter-gatherers smoke, the less chance they have of being infected by intestinal parasites.

Hagen surveyed 400 adult aka who live close to the river Lobaye in the Central African Republic and he discovered that 70% of men and 6% of women consumed cannabis. The survey was supported by analysis confirming that males had high levels of THC, showing that they had smoked recently.

“In the same way that we like salt, we may like toxins from psychoactive plants because they kill parasites”, explained Hagen. Having said that, while the akas drink tea specifically to combat parasite infections, they do not view cannabis as a medicine, rather, they protect themselves unconsciously from parasites by consuming it.

The lifestyle choices of these tribes in the Congo are of special interest to researchers, as they are an example of a way of life that represents 99% of the history of humanity. The study shows that, far away from the western world, cannabis can also be used to improve health.


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