There is much that cannabis can do for us, and perhaps much more once we really begin to dig into the remarkable capabilities of this plant. A little known tribe of pygmies that reside in the Congo, called the Aka, tend to smoke a lot of cannabis. They also have a high rate of parasitic infection. The silver lining? Those who smoke significantly more weed (typically the men), have a dramatically lower instance of said parasitic infection.
While the science is still as yet thin, there is some promise within the notion that cannabis, THC in particular, can play a role in minimizing parasitic infection. The study found that 95% of the Aka are infected with parasitic worms. They then looked at the “worm burden” in the Aka’s fecal matter and determined that those tribe members who reported smoking the most cannabis (verified by the trace THC found in the stool samples) also had the lowest amount of worms in their feces.
Beyond the Aka themselves, scientists are suggesting that there are evolutionary immunoresponsive reasons that humans tend to gravitate, in a general sense, to plant-based drugs. According to anthropology professor, Dr. Edward Hagen, many of the popular drugs that we know of today are actually neurotoxins that developed to discourage predation. Many non-human animals regularly ingest these plant neurotoxins as a means of killing the parasites in their own bodies. The thought is that, like the Aka, humans may be doing something similar.
Also, this potential bridge between cannabis and the immune system has planted a seed in the scientific community to push for greater research on the possibilities. This shouldn’t be too much of a shock to the world. After all, the suggestion that cannabis can boost your immune response to cancers and other diseases is hardly novel.
Science is catching up with the anecdotal accounts of cannabis as a cure. If only the politicians who stand in the way of cannabis research would stop imposing their moral imperative on the rest of us.