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Marijuana Products Can Be Source of Mold, Bacteria

 Posted on July 23, 2019 in Food Poisoning

Marijuana Products Can Be Source of Mold, BacteriaA group of researchers has warned about the dangers of smoking or consuming marijuana, but not for the reason that you may expect. A 2017 study published in the journal “Clinical Microbiology and Infection” found mold and bacteria in the medicinal marijuana products being sold in northern California. The study’s authors said that the pathogens were so widespread that they could not recommend that anyone inhale or ingest raw or dried marijuana. The study highlights the potential dangers of commercial marijuana products in states such as Illinois, which is scheduled to legalize recreation marijuana at the start of 2020. A tainted marijuana product could cause severe illness or even death.

Contaminants Found

The 2017 study claimed that marijuana sold in California dispensaries tested positive for several harmful substances, including:

  • The fungi Cryptococcus, Mucor and Aspergillus; and
  • The bacteria E. coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Acinetobacter baumannii.

Whether through smoking or edibles, the fungi and bacteria can contaminate the user’s body and cause infection. People with weakened immune systems are at the greatest risk of becoming ill. The study’s authors could not confirm whether the heat of putting marijuana into baked goods or creating extracts would be enough to kill the fungi and bacteria.

Protecting Yourself

State governments are still figuring out how to regulate the recreational marijuana industry to ensure that consumers are purchasing safe products. Most agricultural products have the potential to carry harmful contaminants if they are not cleaned and processed properly. If you plan to use recreational marijuana when it becomes legal in Illinois, you can protect yourself by:

  • Shopping at licensed dispensaries that follow government standards; and
  • Asking the seller about what measures are taken to remove harmful contaminants and how to consume the product safely.

Consumers should avoid using synthetic cannabis products that are sold in some stores. These products are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration and have been connected to several deaths. Synthetic cannabis manufacturers will coat non-marijuana plants with chemicals that are meant to replicate the high of the real drug. However, these chemicals have not been extensively tested and can be poisonous. The only reason that the products are legal is that manufacturers regularly change the formula so that it is not yet illegal.

Contact a Chicago Food Poisoning Attorney

Illinois does not yet have a precedent for how it would treat a tainted marijuana product in a food poisoning case. Theoretically, manufacturers will be liable for supplying a safe product. An Arlington Heights, Illinois, food poisoning lawyer at Newland & Newland, LLP, can discuss the elements you need to prove in a food poisoning lawsuit. Schedule a consultation by calling 312-981-0409.


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