Researchers at McGill University claim marijuana improves night vision

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The powers of marijuana continue to be uncovered

For around 20 years, fishermen in Jamaica have reported enhanced ability to fish after dark following marijuana consumption. This trait has also been supported by fishermen out of Morocco, who said that they were able to see better in the darkness after smoking hashish. Now, a research group is exploring the theory and is coming up with some interesting results – marijuana produces better night vision.

According to researchers at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, marijuana can trigger a cellular mechanism reaction that improves night vision. The study was conducted using a synthetic cannabinoid that was applied to the eye tissue of tadpoles. The cannabinoid resulted in a reaction that made the retinal cells more sensitive to light and improved the speed with which the eyes responded.

According to the researchers, “We didn’t believe what we were seeing. The cannabinoids were increasing the excitability of cells in the eye that connects to the brain.”

The tadpoles normally avoid dark moving objects. The researchers followed the tadpoles and experimented with moving dots, to which the tadpoles that were given the cannabinoid reacted quicker and better than the control group.

While no one is ready to suggest that soldiers on the battlefield can replace night-vision goggles with marijuana, the results could lead to other uses. A number of glaucoma patients already use the drug to treat their disease and it could be used to treat retinitis pigmentosa, as well. A number of cannabinoids have already been shown to contain a compound that produces a neuroprotective effect on retinal cells and this could ultimately lead to the use of cannabis in treating eyesight deterioration.