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UC Davis Researchers Find Mold, Bacteria in Medical Marijuana Samples

DAVIS — Researchers at UC Davis say bacteria and fungal pathogens, some that could potentially cause fatal infections, have been medical marijuana samples.

The samples were taken from 20 dispensaries in Northern California.

UC Davis microbiology professor George Thompson says patients with weakened immune systems, like people with leukemia, lymphoma or AIDS, should avoid smoking, vaping or inhaling aerosolized marijuana.

The study’s authors note that infection risk for most users is low.

“Patients with impaired immune systems are routinely advised to avoid exposure to plants and certain raw foods because of the risk of infection from soil-dwelling organisms,” Thompson wrote. “But at the same time, they are increasingly turning to medical marijuana to help them with symptom control. Because microorganisms known to cause serious infections in immunocompromised patients were found to be common on marijuana, we strongly advise patients to avoid it.”

Researchers warn that though medical marijuana is thought to be generally safe, it’s not federally regulated.

The complete study can be found here.