Three African elephants will be given medical cannabis at the Warsaw Zoo. Over the next two years, they will test whether marijuana reduces stress levels in animals.
According to the veterinarian who is working on the project, the experiment was launched at the right time. Recently, an alpha female (the main female elephant in the herd) died at the zoo. Elephants are believed to have behavioural problems when the hierarchy is disrupted in a group.
Elephants are now monitored on cortisol levels. It is a hormone that is produced in humans and animals in stressful situations. Scientists want to find a natural alternative to existing stress management methods, and especially pharmaceuticals.
The veterinarian also assured that medical cannabis would not cause euphoria or harmful side effects to the liver and kidneys of the tested animals. The only side effect may be changed behaviour. Animals will not use cannabis tubing and will not receive marijuana crates. Cannabis will be given to them in liquid form. The experiment will last 2 years. In case of positive results, they will try to give medical cannabis to other animals that live in captivity.