Marijuana Gives Pigs the Munchies Too

That's what one Washington State farmer noticed when she mixed cannabis plants into the animals' feed as part of a program to reduce agricultural waste

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Gary Fandel / Bloomberg / Getty Images

Washington State is experimenting with mixing excess stems, roots and leaves of marijuana plants into pig feed to prevent waste, and the early results are promising: the pigs get the munchies and their meat tastes better.

(MORE: Pot Is Legal in Washington: Q&A With the Man Who Is Making Weed Legit)

Reuters reports that four pigs given pot-infused feed during the last four months of their lives ended up 20 to 30 lb. heavier than their siblings when they were all sent to slaughter in March. “They were eating more, as you can imagine,” said the pigs’ owner, Susannah Gross.

It’s unclear whether the specially infused feed had measurable traces of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. A 2011 study by the European Food Safety Authority showed that this aspect in particular has remained understudied in the scientific community.

(MORE: Two U.S. States Become First to Legalize Marijuana)

Though the federal government classifies marijuana as an illegal drug, Washington and Colorado were the first states to legalize its recreational use. About 20 states currently allow for the medical use of marijuana.

The cannabis-fed pigs were butchered by William von Schneidau, who owns a butcher shop in downtown Seattle. In March, von Schneidau held a special event, serving up the specially fed pork as part of a five-course meal. It proved popular, and he also quickly sold out of all the remaining meat afterward. “Some say the meat seems to taste more savory,” he told Reuters.