Study Finds Bees Don’t Just Love Cannabis — it Can Also Help Save Their Dying Populations

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Shamani Joshi

Humans aren’t the only ones who seem to gravitate towards the marijuana plant. Turns out, even bees love the buzz, but for a slightly different reason. A new study by researchers at Cornell University published in the journal of Environmental Entomology finds that bees are super attracted to the cannabis plants because they can’t get enough of its sweet, sweet pollen. This study supports the results of a similar one conducted by Colorado University last year and opens up options for scientists to save the depleting bee population around the world.

The study found that the taller the cannabis plants are and the larger area they cover, the more bees will flock to that farm, with taller plants attracting 17 times more buzz than the shorter ones. What’s even cooler is that there are 16 different varieties of the marijuana plant that could support these bee populations. But even as bees seem to love the cannabis plant, they can’t actually get high off it since insects aren’t known to have any cannabinoid receptors.

These findings are kinda confusing when you consider that cannabis neither has a nectary taste nor the vibrant colours that generally catch the attention of bees. However, the bees are more into the male plants that usually grow alongside the flowering female ones that produce the bud you put into your bongs, but have no psychoactive properties. This study is especially crucial given that bees are responsible for the cross-pollination of flowers that furthers the growth of the fruits and vegetables we need for survival. Except, thanks to pesticides, habit destruction and climate change, the bees seem to be buzzing off, something that the marijuana plant could help put a stop to since they also don’t generally use too many pesticides, nor require too much water for their growth.

But what’s even better about these canna-bees is that they bring with them immense industrial potential. Israeli cannabis technology company PhytoPharma International developed a natural cannabinoid-dosed honey that allows bees to fuse THC and CBD into their honey by an IP-protected pollination process. Now if that’s not worth the buzz, we don’t know what is.

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