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Clin Transplant. 2019 Feb;33(2):e13456. doi: 10.1111/ctr.13456. Epub 2019 Jan 22.

Marijuana use in transplantation: A call for clarity.

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Department of Internal Medicine/Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Colorado, Aurora, Colorado.
Department of Psychiatry, Denver Health and Hospital Authority and University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, Colorado.
Transplant Infectious Diseases and Multi-Organ Transplant Program, University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Department of Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY.
Transplant and Immunocompromised Host Infectious Diseases Division, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.


Transplant centers have varying policies for marijuana (MJ) use in donors, transplant candidates, and recipients. Rationales for these differences range from concerns for fungal complications, impaired adherence, and drug interactions. This paper reviews the current status of MJ policies and practices in transplant centers and results of a survey sent to the American Society of Transplantation (AST) membership by the Executive Committee of the AST Infectious Diseases Community of Practice.The purpose of the survey was to compare policies and concerns of MJ use to actual observed complications. Of the 3321 surveys sent, 225 members (8%) responded. Transplant centers varied in their approval processes, differing even in organ types within the same institutions. Furthermore, there was discordance among transplant centers in their perceived risks of marijuana use as opposed to complications actually observed. An increasing number of states continue to legalize medical and recreational MJ resulting in widespread availability. Further research is needed to assess the validity of concerns for complications of MJ use in potential donors and recipients. Ultimately, standardized guidelines should be established based on studies and evidence-based criteria to assist transplant programs in their policies around the use of cannabis in their donors and recipients.


cannabis; marijuana; transplantation

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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