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This Scientist Is Using Cannabis To Combat Invasive Species Of Mussels

Cannabis could help America combat invasive species of mussels.

Since the 1980s, quagga and zebra mussels populations have been growing quickly in American waters. If their populations are not controlled they have the potential to eradicate most other aquatic life that shares an ecosystem with them by consuming all the available plankton. It's an issue the US government has been looking to rectify for a few decades now.

But that could change thanks to Joseph Resnick - a scientist in North Carolina who has developed a CBD-based solution to the problem.

“I’ve been involved for the last couple years here in developing new uses and processes for cannabis,” Resnick told Cannabis Business Times recently. “I became interested in using cannabidiol as a method of treating this invasion of quagga mussels and zebra mussels that has actually plagued the United States for the last 30 years.”

When these mussels consume CBD, they can no longer produce the chemical that allows them to adhere to surfaces like ship hulls, pipes, rocks and so on. Without a place to anchor themselves the mussels are unable to feed and will eventually die.

The CBD is contained within what Resnick calls a microshpere and are designed to sink through the water to where the mussels are located. This is a key difference between Resnick's solution and previous ones as past attempts to deal with the mussels have mostly included pouring chemicals into a water source and hoping they get to where they need to go. Often times the chemicals never reach the mussels.

But Resnick's micospheres can be target to a specific area more efficiently.

In addition to CBD, the micospheres also contain a chemical that prevents the mussel's offspring from producing the adhesive chemical they would use to stick to things. Thus, far reducing their likelihood of reproducing.

Interestingly, Resnick says fighting invasive species isn't actually where his work with cannabis began. Initially he was working with a California-based company to produce encapsulated powdered cannabinoids. He claims it was so they could provide very precise doses of THC in edible marijuana products.

“Dosing is a very, very big issue in the cannabis edibles industry,” Resnick says. “And, essentially, that’s why I got into this.”

And hopefully that's also how he'll get mussels out of the water.


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