With the current wave of states legalizing marijuana, advocates championing the cause and the presence of greater societal acceptance, there is a growing perception that dispensary-supplied “medical marijuana”—not distinct from “recreational marijuana”— is as safe as any medical product obtained at a pharmacy. This is not so as there are no quality control measures or thorough federally-regulated vetting procedures in place to ensure safety.
It seems the medical and health research aspects of the issue are many steps behind the legal and political advances contributing to a false sense of security. The reality is much is not known about the science—good, bad or indifferent. Partly to blame is public universities’ very restricted ability to study the substance in the first place.
Though medical marijuana is marketed to ease suffering which is always a noble endeavor, efforts to investigate potentially harmful contaminants have not gotten substantially underway. Hence, why a research team from UC Davis embarked on a journey to explore further, concerned over the possible lethal risks infectious agents could cause when directly inhaled into the lungs of patients—in particular the most vulnerable (e.g. those with cancer, AIDS, organ transplant recipients, uncontrolled diabetes or any condition involving a suppressed or weakened immunity). Continue reading