The Turd Test: Canada studied poop to figure out how much pot people use
What’s the number one city for pot consumption in Canada? To figure that out, Canadian officials looked at number two.
Statistics Canada tested Canadians’ poop this year to see how much cannabis residents of five of the country’s largest cities — about 8.4 million citizens total — were using. The pilot programs, which ran from March to August, used a relatively new technique called wastewater epidemiology to examine sewage from 15 treatment plants.
Statistics Canada says that when anyone consumes marijuana, their body processes the main psychoactive ingredient tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, into metabolites that are typically “flushed into the municipal wastewater system.” By analyzing the THC metabolites, the government is able to estimate the amount of pot people in the region are consuming. Europe has used a similar technique for more than a decade to determine drug consumption in major cities.