Contaminated Medical Marijuana Believed To Have Killed Cancer Patient

A rare fungal infection has killed a California man undergoing cancer treatment and it’s believed he got it from medical marijuana, CBS Los Angeles reports.

The treatment left the man’s immune system compromised, but his death still surprised doctors because he was relatively young and his cancer was beatable. He was using medical marijuana to fend off the treatment’s effects. After his death, testing of 20 medical marijuana samples from across the state found the vast majority were contaminated with dangerous bacteria and fungi.

“It started with a couple patients that were undergoing very intensive chemotherapy and a stem cell therapy, and those patients were very immune-compromised,” explained Dr. Joseph Tuscano of the University of California, Davis Cancer Center.

The California man was one of those patients who was already in a very serious cancer fight. Then that fight suddenly became much more complicated with a relatively rare but particularly lethal fungal infection.

“We thought it was strange to have cases of such a bad fungal disease in such a short amount of time,” said Dr. George Thompson, a fungal infection expert with UC Davis Medical Center.

Dr. Michael Hirt specializes in integrative medicine and says that the fungus that was in the man’s body was equivalent to what is on rodent droppings.

Hirt says telltale signs of fungal contamination are a stale, musty smell and black, light blue or green dots on the marijuana leaves.

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Richard Lowe

Richard Lowe is a 14-year veteran of the financial sector with licenses as a commodity broker (Series 3) and investment advisor representative (IAR Series 65). Along with a focus on raising capital for the firms he was employed with, he also wrote and edited much of the content published by them. He holds a BA in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts. He has been a longtime advocate for marijuana legalization due to the social injustices associated with marijuana prohibition and the strong potential for the medicinal benefits of cannabis.

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One Comment

  1. But how much fungus and bacteria were on the samples? Everything in the world has microbes of all sorts. It is impossible to be completely sterile. It is the quantity of pathogens that make something dangerous and could the infection have had another source. Your home is going to be the most likely source of contamination that you will encounter, even a respectable looking house can have unseen contamination.

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