Sex, Drugs, and Science

My advisor once told me that the best way to get your paper into a high profile journal like Science or Nature is to find the biggest of something, the smallest of something, or something that fucks funny. It turns out doing research on drugs doesn’t get you in. No, not those drugs. These drugs.


Researchers in Japan have identified a molecular marker that distinguishes strains of Cannabis sativa with high Δ-9-tetrahydrocannainolic acid (THCA) content from those without. For those of you not hip with the lingo, they have developed an easy test to tell the difference between the weed that gets you high and the shit they use to make ropes. This should make all the hippies with their hemp necklaces happy. For all you stoners out there, you won’t be able to pass off the “horticulture experiment” in your closet as an exercise in sustainable agriculture for very much longer.

This finding was published in the not so high profile journal Forensic Science International (impact factor 1.254). The science is fairly pedestrian, but it’s about drugs. That should be worth something, right? Which brings us to the question, “How many individuals named drugs could you possibly associate with?”

This study may replace this one as my favorite scientific publication of all time.


  1. #1 CCP
    May 19, 2006

    got any more theses on species feces pieces?
    I agree that’s a great title.
    But in terms of favorite articles, may I recommend:
    (yikes, sorry about THAT url)
    …which features a beautiful photo sequence of a snake swallowing a used tampon.

  2. #2 Decline and Fall
    April 23, 2007

    In related news, just today the Annals of Improbable Research published a post about the problem of cannabis research making news in the wider world. The finding?

    The active ingredient in marijuana cuts tumor growth in common lung cancer in half and significantly reduces the ability of the cancer to spread, say researchers at Harvard University who tested the chemical in both lab and mouse studies….

    No idea what the impact factor of the American Association for Cancer Research is, but there you go.

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