Growers have tossed out their nutritionally valuable trimmings since medical cannabis was legalized in Washington, D.C., in 2015. Now, hog farmers have teamed up with these local growers to make use of their valuable greens in the growing of ‘weed pigs.’
The cannabis industry has taken some interesting turns as entrepreneurs try to find a lucrative niche. This one has got to be the most “off-label use” of cannabis I’ve ever heard of: farmers feeding the herb to their pigs to make the meat juicier. Hog farmers are claiming that not only does the pork become more savory, the cannabis fattens the pig, as well. This concept of “weed pigs” is being tested in Washington, even as the state grapples with creating a fully functional recreational market that would give humans the same opportunity.
Weed Pigs – The Future of Hog Farming?
Susannah Gross owns a five-acre farm north of Seattle and is a pig farmer. She has decided to take advantage of locally available cannabis trimmings to see if these can induce the munchies in her pigs. As part of an experiment, she fed four pigs with cannabis stems and leaves. After four months, the cannabis-fed pigs had a significant increase in weight over their non-cannabis consuming counterparts. It is hypothesized that cannabis triggered their appetite, causing them to gain weight. Interesting, because it tends to have the opposite effect on humans.
The trimmings were supplied to Gross by Matt McAlman, a medical cannabis grower. McAlman was glad that there was a way to make use of the leaves and stems generated in the process of harvesting cannabis flower. In this way, nothing goes to waste. Matt suggested that the same diet could be applied to chicken and cattle.
According to Matt, the stems and leaves have a higher cannabinoid content than the flower of the plant, which means that the hogs should be getting very happy and mellow after this meal. This occurs even though they are mostly only consuming CBDa and THCa (the precursors of CBD and THC).
Seattle Farmer Uses Cannabis To Boost Nutrition For His Pigs
William von Scheneidau, owner of BB Ranch in Seattle, is also experimenting with cannabis trimmings sourced from a nearby cannabis farm. He was initiated into the practice when the owner of a nearby cannabis dispensary suggested he make use of his extra stalks, leaves, and stems.
Considering cost for feed, nutrition, and other factors, Scheneidau thought that this was a great idea. He then upped his game and went on to introduce a first-of-its-kind “Pot Pig Gig” at the famous Pike Place Market in downtown Seattle. Here, he served the weed pigs as a delicacy. It quickly sold out as diners thronged the place to have a first taste (Daily Mail reporting).
In the course of the first Pot Pig Gig, a lady took charge and requested if the diners could take a small break. The host was perplexed but he obliged to her request. She then asked the house if anyone was interested in getting stoned. As you would have guessed, 75% did not mind the idea of getting baked and they all headed out to Post Alley where they indulged themselves. When they got back, they had an even “happier pork feast.”
Can Eating a Weed Pig Make You High?
No, it does not. But, what about the pigs? Apparently, not all mammals can interact with cannabinoids in the same way that humans do. This is in spite of them having cannabinoid receptors. However, pigs have cannabinoid receptors. Cannabinoids are chemical compounds found in cannabis that are responsible for the medicinal properties of the plant.
Pigs have a very similar cannabinoid receptor system to humans. They are able to interact with THC in a similar way to humans. Considering the presence of significant amounts of THCa and traces of THC in trimmings, it’s probable that the pigs feel at least a wee bit euphoric from their special meal.
Cannabis was legalized in Washington in 2015; however, only cannabis buds are allowed to be consumed. With such a high volume of trimmings being generated, it’s a good thing that farmers are finding something useful for what would normally be considered waste.
This relationship between local growers and hog farmers is mutually beneficial. Cannabis growers now have a disposal system for their trimmings, while pig farmers have an alternative source of food that is probably cheaper and more nutritious than commercial pig feed. Clearly this is a win-win for all parties involved. Except for the pig, of course.