Pot-Eating Pigs: Will Pork Contain Marijuana?

A Seattle farm owner is experimenting with the effects marijuana has on the appetites of her pigs, according to reports this week.

Susannah Gross is among many pig farmers who are helping marijuana growers dispose of their excess stems, roots and leaves from their plants as Washington state and Colorado have legalized the market. By turning weed waste into pig food, the farmers are making good use of waste while also profiting off of the appetite-enhancing qualities of the plant.

Four pigs were fed with food containing the marijuana plant castoffs during the last four months of their lives. Consequently, the animals weighed 20 to 30 pounds more than the six other pigs from the same litter at the time they were slaughtered, reported Reuters.

"They were eating more, as you can imagine," said Gross.

Marijuana is known to produce what is referred to as "the munchies," where an increase in appetite occurs. THC, the mind-altering ingredient found in cannabis, causes the effect. Excessive hunger is reduced within three or four hours of consuming the plant's leaves, flowers, stems and seeds.

Pot-eating pigs may just be the beginning for alternative uses of the drug, said medical marijuana grower Matt McAlman.

"We can have pot chickens, pot pigs, grass-bed beef," he told Reuters.

Nevertheless, it is unknown what affects pot-eating pigs may have on the pork they produce.

The European Food Safety Authority conducted a study on the use of marijuana on animals on the past and found that "no studies concerning tolerance or effects of graded levels of THC in food-producing animals have been found in literature."

As for the taste of the pork, a butcher in downtown Seattle received pot-fed pigs from Gross in March and shared his findings.

Owner of the Pike Place Market William von Schneidau said that the pork sold out in no time with some customers saying "the meat seems to taste more savory," according to Reuters.

Washington state and Colorado are among about 20 other states to already have legalized medical marijuana.