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Support Care Cancer. 2015 Mar;23(3):819-22. doi: 10.1007/s00520-014-2429-3. Epub 2014 Sep 13.

Inhaled medicinal cannabis and the immunocompromised patient.

Author information

1
Department of Hematology, Shaare Zedek Medical Center, 12 Shmuel Biet St., 91031, Jerusalem, Israel, ruc@szmc.org.il.

Abstract

Medicinal cannabis is an invaluable adjunct therapy for pain relief, nausea, anorexia, and mood modification in cancer patients and is available as cookies or cakes, as sublingual drops, as a vaporized mist, or for smoking. However, as with every herb, various microorganisms are carried on its leaves and flowers which when inhaled could expose the user, in particular immunocompromised patients, to the risk of opportunistic lung infections, primarily from inhaled molds. The objective of this study was to identify the safest way of using medicinal cannabis in immunosuppressed patients by finding the optimal method of sterilization with minimal loss of activity of cannabis. We describe the results of culturing the cannabis herb, three methods of sterilization, and the measured loss of a main cannabinoid compound activity. Systematic sterilization of medicinal cannabis can eliminate the risk of fatal opportunistic infections associated with cannabis among patients at risk.

PMID:
25216851
DOI:
10.1007/s00520-014-2429-3
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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