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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke March 4, 2021

No, NASA didn’t discover THC on a meteorite fragment

If Your Time is short

  • We couldn’t find any evidence to support this claim.
     
  • In 2016, High Times Magazine reported that it appeared to originate on a fake news website.
 

A few days after NASA’s Perseverance rover landed on Mars, some more space news started to spread on social media. 

According to what looks like a news headline being shared online, NASA discovered tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC — the stuff that gets marijuana users high — on a meteorite fragment. 

"A team of astrophysicists at the University of Hawaii have created somewhat of a stir within the scientific community after the discovery of trace amounts of Tetrahydrocannabinol," reads the text below the headline. 

The post also cites a website: thehealthdisorder.com. 

This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

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We reached out to NASA about the post but didn’t hear back. The University of Hawaii system has three universities, and we contacted the two where we found physics departments. University of Hawaii at Mānoa didn’t respond to our questions about the post, but apparently this news that caused "a stir within the scientific community" didn’t reach the chair of the physics and astronomy department at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. 

"I can’t help you on this one," Dr. Kathy Cooksey said.

We found a Google listing for the story on thehealthdisorder.com, though when we clicked on the link the website was dead.

And we didn’t find any credible news stories corroborating the headline in the post. But it appears it’s been online for several years now. In 2016, High Times Magazine reported that it seemed to originate on a website that publishes fake news stories. 

In the end, we found no evidence that NASA discovered THC on a meteorite fragment. We rate this post Pants on Fire!

 

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No, NASA didn’t discover THC on a meteorite fragment

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