California scientists have tested marijuana samples from 20 dispensaries across the state. Some samples were contaminated with potentially lethal mold and bacteria. Researchers recommend marijuana patients to restrain from smoking and vaping dangerous weed flowers.
According to George Thompson, a microbiology professor at UC Davis, patients with a depressed immune system should avoid inhaling marijuana products as this can potentially lead to a lethal outcome.
Patients who are undergoing treatment for cancer, lymphoma, AIDS, or leukemia are the most vulnerable marijuana users as they are exposed to a high risk of lung infections.
Doctors usually advise people with weakened immune systems to wash fruit and vegetables very carefully and stay away from cut flowers as they may be infected with potentially dangerous mold or bacteria. Medical marijuana flowers are not an exception. However, cannabis edibles can be a safer alternative for patients with lower-functioning immune systems.
Other cannabis patients have a small risk of infection as their immune systems are strong enough to struggle with it.
Research on this topic started several years ago when Dr. Joseph Tuscano, a UC Davis blood cancer specialist, noticed that leukemia patients were infected with rare, potentially lethal bacteria. One patient had even died from it. Tuscano cooperated with Thompson to conduct a study on the potential connection between the consumption of cannabis and the deadly infections. It was discovered that marijuana could contain various fungi and bacteria; some of them cause serious infections that mainly affect the lungs.
People tend to think that marijuana flowers from a dispensary are safe, but it is not always true. Contaminated weed can infect people through smoking or vaporization as these ways of marijuana consumption ensure a direct invasion of lungs by dangerous organisms.
California's marijuana laws require cannabis testing standards to be utilized, but they have not been developed yet. Currently, most of the medical marijuana sold in California dispensaries is not tested, so pot users are on their own in this problem.
Fortunately, some medical cannabis clinics, like A Therapeutic Alternative in Sacramento, voluntarily perform independent testing of their weed products.
Meanwhile, Tuscano and Thompson advise patients with debilitating conditions to avoid inhaling medical cannabis and opt for other pot products, like cannabis sprays, edibles, lotions, or tinctures.