CDC recently reported those who smoke cannabis risk fungal infections. This makes sense as cannabis is susceptible to fungal/mold infections. Colorado’s Marijuana Enforcement Division 2019 report shows between 13 and 14% of the flower and shake/trim produced for smoking were contaminated with microbes.
Three common fungal organisms are known to infect Cannabis and cause human health problems are Fusarium, Alternaria, and Aspergillus. These organisms tend to expand their colonies when plant tissue is improperly stored.
Fusarium infects the cornea of the eye creating what is referred to as Fusarium keratitis. Fusarium also is responsible for the fungus that grows under your fingernails and toenails. You are more likely to be aware of this condition if you have had your nails done at an unsanitary nail salon or walked barefoot in an unsanitary gym. Alternaria can affect your upper respiratory tract and cause allergic responses. Aspergillus can grow in your lungs causing fever, cough, chest pain, and breathlessness. Aspergillus is also known to spread throughout your body.
How does fungal contamination affect Hemp products?
With the increase in the number of growers who are storing last year’s Industrial Hemp crop due to poor prices, we should expect an increase in fungal contamination of hemp products. This is especially true for hemp seed oil. This oil also known as hemp oil is the carrier oil many Hemp manufacturers use in their products. Even when clean and supposedly free of all cannabis plant debris, fungal spores could be in the oil. While all hemp oils are not necessarily contaminated with fungal spores, this is another reason Mesa Lavender Farms® does not use hemp (seed) oil in our products. We don’t want to take the chance! The carrier oil we use in our Hemp tinctures is a USDA Organic medium-chain triglyceride produced from coconuts.
Mesa Lavender Farms also does not use crude, unprocessed Hemp oil, again for the reason of possible contamination by microbes as well as pesticide and heavy metal contamination. MLF only uses highly refined distillates or isolates that have been tested for microbes, pesticides, and heavy metals. We are very concerned with the health of our staff and customers and don’t want to put anyone at risk.
Mesa Lavender Farms suggests you, as the consumer, take the extra steps to determine the Hemp products you are purchasing are free of contaminants. MLF has analyses to show our products are contaminant-free.
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