Organs from Cannabis Consumers Don’t Pose Risks of Infection

by | Cannabis Times


Study Shows Organs from Cannabis Users Safe for Transplant

A groundbreaking study published in the American Journal of Transplantation has revealed that organs from donors who have recently used cannabis pose no significant risk to transplant recipients. This news comes as a relief to many, as the use of cannabis has become increasingly popular in recent years.

The study, conducted by a team of researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, University of Pennsylvania, and Temple University, was funded by prestigious organizations such as the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Transplant Foundation Innovative Research Grant Program.

The researchers analyzed data from three transplant centers in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, specifically looking at transplants performed by the Gift of Life Program between January 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016. Their findings have shed light on the potential risks associated with using organs from donors who have a history of cannabis use.

According to the CDC, transplant patients are often prescribed anti-rejection medication to help their bodies accept the new organ. However, this medication can also weaken the body’s immune system, making patients more susceptible to infections. This study aimed to determine if organs from cannabis users could potentially increase the risk of infection for transplant recipients.

The authors of the study explained that cannabis leaves can sometimes harbor harmful bacteria or fungi, and inhaled cannabis has been linked to infections in transplant patients. Their research aimed to answer the question of whether or not organs from cannabis users could pose a threat to those on the receiving end.

“Our goal was to better understand the potential risks of using organs from deceased donors who have a history of marijuana use,” the authors stated.

The importance of this study is highlighted by the fact that the percentage of people regularly consuming cannabis is on the rise. “It is likely that a growing number of deceased organ donors have a history of marijuana use, although this has not been specifically reported,” the authors noted.

The study examined donors who had used cannabis within the last 12 months, as well as donors with no recent history of cannabis use. The results showed that there was no significant difference in the likelihood of donor culture positivity or the risk of infection, graft failure, or death in transplant recipients.

Even when looking specifically at lung recipients, the researchers found no association between donor cannabis use and the risk of post-transplant infection.

The team analyzed a variety of data from the three transplant facilities, including the number of donors who experienced bacterial or fungal infections, as well as the number of failed transplants resulting in patient death. Overall, the study concluded that organs from cannabis users posed little threat to transplant recipients.

“Among donors with a history of recent marijuana use, 79 (89%) had at least one positive culture, compared to 264 (87%) among those with no history of marijuana use,” the study stated.

This groundbreaking research has provided much-needed reassurance for both transplant patients and potential donors who may have a history of cannabis use. With the increasing popularity of cannabis consumption, this study serves as an important reminder that the safety of organ transplants should not be a concern for those who choose to use this substance.