Researchers at UC Davis recently tested indoor and outdoor California cannabis from dispensaries and found that multiple fungal and bacterial pathogens were present.
This mold is potentially dangerous and professionals at UC Davis have concluded that nobody should be inhaling these pathogens. Cannabis patients who might be suffering from a weak immune system due to battling HIV or Cancer should avoid inhaling raw or cured cannabis flowers. The doctors on the study tested Northern California cannabis samples for the fungi Cryptococcus, Mucor and Aspergillus, and for the bacteria E. coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Acinetobacter baumannii. Inhaling these molds can actually lead to serious illness, especially since inhaling them allows the molds to embed themselves in our lungs.
Even indoor hydroponic marijuana was found to have these pathogens, but doctors say that edible cannabis treats and concentrates could be a safer option. Because the flowers are heated while being decarboxylated or extracted in oils and wax it is possible that the fungi will be killed in the process. However, this is all theoretical, and the base of the study is that more regulation is needed to create safe cannabis in the state and ultimately in the nation.
Currently, the state Department of Public Health is creating guidelines for testing marijuana with a goal set to sell recreational cannabis by next year. LA Weekly reached out to the department about these findings and got ahold of Alex Traverso, spokesman for the state Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation. “We are aware of the study, and while it’s certainly concerning, this is exactly why we need regulation,” Traverso said via email. “The Bureau is working with the Department of Public Health to develop strong standards for testing because patient safety is extremely important to us all.”
Though this study paired with the Steep Hill Labs results showing pesticides in most California Cannabis is far more than just disconcerting, it shines the light on a bigger issue. Regulating the California cannabis industry is going to be a feat.