Looking for a career as a night-time cat burglar or secret agent? Smoking pot might help bolster your resume.
A study published in the journal eLife suggests that using cannabis may improve night vision, reports the Guardian.
Experts from both Canadian and American universities examined the effects of marijuana on tadpoles by applying a synthetic cannabinoid to their eye tissue. Researchers found that particular retinal cells became more sensitive to light, improving the rate at which eyes respond to both dark and light images.
“We didn’t believe what we were seeing — exactly the opposite of what we expected,” said the study’s senior author Ed Ruthazer, a neurologist expert from the Montreal Neurological Institute of McGill University, to the Montreal Gazette.
The study was based on pharmacologist M. E. West’s observations made in the early 1990s on Jamaican fishermen, which he believes smoking marijuana gave them “an uncanny ability to see in the dark.”
“It was impossible to believe that anyone could navigate a boat without compass and without light in such treacherous surroundings,” West wrote after accompanying the crew of a fishing boat one dark night, “[but] I was then convinced that the man who had taken the rum extract of cannabis had far better night vision than I had, and that a subjective effect was not responsible.”