A government report warns that cannabis could cause deadly infections, not from the smoke it creates, but from fungus and mold that grow on the plant’s flowers.
The study, published on May 13 by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, builds on previous research in California and Colorado that found legal marijuana was contaminated with pesticides and mold, and could pose a risk to people prescribed marijuana for medical conditions.
In the new report, CDC researchers looked at 2016 health data from around 27 million people in an IBM database and scanned it to see if there was a link between cannabis use and fungal infections.
They found 40 of the 53,000 people who used cannabis developed a fungal infection in 2016 — roughly 0.07% of them. By comparison 6,294 of the 21 million non-cannabis users contracting a fungal infection (or, 0.02%). The likelihood was extremely low across the board, but the CDC issued a report on their findings, warning that, proportionally, fungal infections were more 3.5 times common among cannabis users.