Living with parasitic worms in your gut is not fun. Once they’ve gnawed and burrowed their way into your intestinal wall, they’ll sit there and feast on blood or steal nutrients from food, making you feel tired, sore, nauseous, and bloated.
But in mice at least, having worms might be a bit like eating cannabis edibles, according to research by a team of biomedical and parasite scientists from the University of California, Riverside.
By analyzing the chemical makeup of the worms living in a mouse host, scientists showed that the worms released endocannabinoids––the same chemicals found in weed but made by the body––and triggered the mouse gut to make them too.
They say these chemicals give the mice a “natural, localized high” and may allow the worms to go unnoticed by dampening down pain and the mouse’s immune system.
The scientists tested