Егор Камелев

Blood-Sucking Sand Flies Love Eating Cannabis

Apparently, the blood-sucking sand fly Diptera Psychodidae is strongly attracted to the cannabis plant, the Independent reports.

The flies are known to carry infectious diseases, such as ulcer-causing leishmaniasis and many other viruses. Scientists studying the flies across the world, in regions from Brazil to the Middle East, have noticed that the flies’ stomach contents contain cannabis plant sap far more often than expected.

While the sand flies will suck blood during certain stages of development, they also feed on sugary sap from plants. In regions where the flies are common, however, cannabis sativa rarely grows naturally and comprises only a small fraction of the available food sources. The fact that it’s such a common food found in the flies’ stomachs must mean they are strongly attracted to it.

That’s was surprising, as there doesn’t seem to be any receptors for cannabinoids in the flies’ bodies.

The exact nature of the attraction is still not understood and will require further research. The flies are usually trapped using sugary bait to help control their populations in problematic areas. The addition of cannabis plant material or even extracts to the baits may help the traps catch more flies and further reduce the transmission of disease.

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