The history of humans and weed has long been documented by now, whether the weed is for recreational or medicinal consumption. But weed isn’t just for people, as we’re now beginning to learn that animals and insects are also fond of the plant. Bees, for example, have a strong affinity for cannabis. But why?
It’s all about the hemp part of the plant, which produces a considerable amount of nectar, and nectar is what bees are traditionally drawn to. Furthermore, there is increasing evidence that hemp – which is the non-psychoactive part of cannabis, high in CBD – also provides health benefits to bees.
Researchers discovered that hemp extracts can increase the lifespan in honeybees due to the positive effect on bees’ antioxidant systems. The bees’ organisms are protected against pollutants, which in turn delays the aging process.
In addition to longer lifespans, the research determined that the cannabis loving honeybees had higher concentrations of certain biomarkers, such as albumin, which is an anti-inflammation protein.
This is an important finding at a time in which floral availability is beginning to become a problem for bee populations. Researchers believe that hemp has the potential to fill in as that critical nutritional resource for bees over the long term.
The relationship between hemp and bees is another example of a closed loop system, which is hugely beneficial for the environment and recycling valuable resources. In this case, the hemp not only helps the bees live healthier, longer, honey producing lives, but the bees also help the hemp to grow stronger, thrive, and produce more nectar.
The closed loop system is a strategy growing in popularity, and has been used in other applications, such as cannabis plants being fertilized by freshwater fish waste, while the plants filter the water for the fish.
As we see cannabis and hemp continue to become more mainstream, we can expect to see the grow of closed loop systems in an expanding variety of applications.