Cannabis improves night vision: a case study of dark adaptometry and scotopic sensitivity in kif smokers of the Rif mountains of northern Morocco

J Ethnopharmacol. 2004 Jul;93(1):99-104. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2004.03.029.


Previous reports have documented an improvement in night vision among Jamaican fishermen after ingestion of a crude tincture of herbal cannabis, while two members of this group noted that Moroccan fishermen and mountain dwellers observe an analogous improvement after smoking kif, sifted Cannabis sativa mixed with tobacco (Nicotiana rustica). Field-testing of night vision has become possible with a portable device, the LKC Technologies Scotopic Sensitivity Tester-1 (SST-1). This study examines the results of double-blinded graduated THC administration 0-20 mg (as Marinol) versus placebo in one subject on measures of dark adaptometry and scotopic sensitivity. Analogous field studies were performed in Morocco with the SST-1 in three subjects before and after smoking kif. In both test situations, improvements in night vision measures were noted after THC or cannabis. It is believed that this effect is dose-dependent and cannabinoid-mediated at the retinal level. Further testing may assess possible clinical application of these results in retinitis pigmentosa or other conditions.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cannabis*
  • Dark Adaptation / drug effects*
  • Dark Adaptation / physiology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Dronabinol / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Morocco
  • Vision, Ocular / drug effects*
  • Vision, Ocular / physiology


  • Dronabinol