- On marijuana: According to NASA’s research, spiders given cannabis became easily sidetracked while web building and left their work unfinished.
- On benzedrine: Spiders weaved their webs with increased energy but without attention to detail. Their webs appeared not to have been planned and were characterized by large gaps.
- On caffeine: Spiders appeared to build webs at random and they grew impatient easily. The “hub” or “spoke” of the web was often missing.
- On chloral hydrate (a sedative): Spiders gave up on building webs at a faster than the cannabis-consuming spiders.
- On LSD: The webs were more geometrically regular and “more orderly” than ones built by sober spiders.
A spider’s skill at spinning its web is so obviously affected by the ups and downs of different drugs that scientists at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama think spiders could replace other animals in testing the toxicity of chemicals.
Believe it or not, scientists have been conducting studies on spiders and intoxicants dating back to 1948, when a German zoologist and a German pharmacologist teamed up to study the web-building abilities of arachnids.
If spiders get high on marijuana, would the webs they weave become more intricate? More creative? More artistic? Or would it become a sloppy mess?
“When a spider’s central nervous system is drugged,” wrote Witt back in 1948, the insect faltered “as a man intoxicated by alcohol weaves an erratic course down the street.” LSD was the lone exception to this rule.
In 1995, NASA scientists attempted to replicate the German studies. The space agency used Araneus diadematus (your ordinary, run-of-the-mill house spiders) and supplied them with caffeine, amphetamines, marijuana and chloral hydrate. Depending on the substance, the spiders spun unconventional webs. “The more toxic the chemical,” wrote the researchers, “the more deformed a web looks in comparison with a normal web.”
Here are some of the findings:
Believe it or not, scientists have been conducting studies on spiders and intoxicants dating back to 1948, when a German zoologist and a German pharmacologist teamed up to study the web-building abilities of arachnids. iStock / Getty Images Plus
Will this research help humans? Not really. But if there is one thing these studies demonstrate is that some substances can alter dexterity, planning and patience … no matter if you are a human or an arachnid.
Oh what tangled webs they weave
In this article we look at spider mites, arguably one of the most common pests affecting cannabis plants. We’ll show you exactly what they are, how to get rid of them and how to prevent them coming back.
Once you’ve addressed any environmental factors in your grow area, it’s time to start pruning.
They are less than 1 millimetre (0.04 inches) in size and can be red or black in colour. Spider mites prefer hot, dry conditions and lay transparent eggs which can hatch in as little as 3 days.
Larger colonies can cause leaves to turn yellow, become limp and eventually, die off altogether. A large spider mite infection can have a significant effect on a cannabis plant; by destroying the plant’s leaves, they may stunt its ability to grow and develop, eventually resulting in lower yields.
- Sixspotted thrips
- Minute pirate bugs
- Bigeyed bugs
- Western flower thrips
Also, spider mites are notoriously good at developing resistance to common pesticides, so we suggest using some of the organic methods outlined below.
If you’re only dealing with a small infestation, cut down any infected areas well past the mites’ webbing and discard them in the trash. If you’re dealing with larger infections on individual plants, consider destroying them to avoid the mites spreading.
Neem oil (extracted from the nuts of the neem tree) is considered a miticide and is the most common type of essential oil used to control mites. However, there are plenty others out there, including:
Hatchlings are sexually mature in 5 days, and female mites can live for up to 2-4 weeks, laying up to 20 eggs per day.
Spider mites prey on cannabis and can have a huge effect on your yields. Click here to learn how to keep your cannabis plants safe from spider mites.