The American Journal of Human Biology has published a paper by Washington State University anthropologist Ed Hagen and colleagues suggesting that male Aka foragers in the Congo (pygmies, a peaceful and once thriving people whose society has been disrupted and almost destroyed by imperialism) are unconsciously smoking cannabis to self-medicate for infection by parasitic worms. “There were significant negative associations between THCA levels and worm burden, and reinfection with helminths 1 year after treatment with a commercial anthelmintic,” the authors reported. Helminths are parasitic worms; the disease they cause is called helminthiasis.
The 379 Aka men studied are “currently residing in camps near a logging road,” according to Hagen et al. On average the Aka men make 50¢ a day and smoke more than two 10¢ joints a day. The Aka believe they have been smoking cannabis since the start of history, but Hagen favors the thesis that the herb was introduced by Europeans and distributed by ivory traders… The great Carl Sagan thought the Congo was the land where homo sapiens first cultivated cannabis —giving birth to agriculture itself… The great Marilyn French, in “Beyond Power,” describes pygmy society as uniquely equitable in all ways… In 1906 a pygmy was exhibited at the Bronx Zoo in a cage. Read about it in the paper of record —and weep with shame, my fellow Americans.