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Bees That Eat Hemp Don't Age As Quickly, and What That Means For Humans

The search for the fountain of youth continues.

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This story originally appeared on Cannabis & Tech Today

New research from Poland found bees supplemented with hemp extract age slower than those on a normal diet.

Adam Jones | Getty Images

Getting older stops being fun at some point. At least, I know that was the case for me. When you are younger you can’t wait to get old enough to go to school, or old enough to get a bike, or old enough to drive, or old enough to go to bars/dispensaries, etc.

But at some point aging becomes burdensome. Stuff starts to hurt that didn’t, hair stops growing in some places and starts growing in other places, and you aren’t able to do some of the physical things that you used to. For the physical things that you can still do, you do them slower and everything is sore for much longer afterwards.

Humans try very hard to delay or even try to reverse the aging process. It’s big business too. According to Statista, “In 2020, the global anti-aging market was estimated to be worth about 58.5 billion U.S. dollars. The anti-aging market is estimated to see a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of seven percent between 2021 and 2026.”

Obviously, not all anti-aging products work. A vast majority of them are nothing more than glorified snake oil that is used to financially prey upon people that want to age slower and live longer. However, there is one thing out there that may possess some promise for anti-aging product seekers – hemp.

RELATED: Does CBD Have Anti-Aging Benefits?

The life of bees and hemp

Researchers affiliated with the Department of Invertebrate Ecophysiology and Experimental Biology, University of Life Sciences in Lublin, Poland recently explored the relationship between honey bees and the consumption of hemp extracts.

“We examined the effect of hemp extract on the activity of the antioxidant system (catalase, peroxidase, glutathione, superoxide dismutase, and total antioxidant capacity) in the hemolymph of adult honey bees (Apis mellifera),” researchers said.

The study involved researchers dividing bees into three groups:

  • an experimental group fed with pure sugar syrup with cotton strips soaked with hemp extract put inside the cage
  • an experimental group fed with a mixture of sugar syrup with hemp extract
  • a control group fed with a mixture of sugar and a water–glycerine solution.

The researchers collected hemolymph samples on the 1st day of the study and every following week until all of the bees died. The researchers then examined the deceased bees.

“The activities of all antioxidant enzymes were higher for the experimental groups, compared to those for the control group. The highest antioxidant activities were noted in the group supplemented with cannabis with the use of syringes,” the researchers stated.

“Supplementation with hemp also increased the lifespan of bees in this group compared to that of the bees consuming only sugar syrup (control: 35 days), with 49 and 52 days for groups of cannabis on strips and in syrup, respectively. Hemp extract, thanks to its antioxidant properties, increased the activities of key antioxidant enzymes that protect the bee’s organisms against free radicals and thus delay the aging processes,” the researchers concluded.

RELATED: Recent Study Shows THC Helps Mitigate Pain in the Elderly

Can this help humans?

Obviously, bees are not the same as humans, so how this applies to the human species is something that needs to be researched before any applicable conclusions can be made. However, the results as they pertain to bees are still very insightful. Hemp extracts are perfectly safe for bees and for humans, so boosting the consumption of hemp extracts in both species is a no-lose situation.

It is no secret that the global bee population is dwindling and that it could lead to catastrophic effects on the world’s ecosystems. Helping bees stay alive longer is always a good thing. From that perspective, the results of this study are very remarkable and will hopefully be used to effectively help the world’s bee population.