No negative impact on organ transplants

Cannabis organ transplantation

Study Finds Cannabis Has No Negative Impact on Liver Transplant Patients

No adverse effects on liver transplantation and no negative impact after liver transplantation or organ transplantation. People who have had a liver transplant may no longer have to worry about using cannabis after the procedure, according to a new study published. Liver transplantation is the replacement of the diseased liver. Study finds cannabis has no negative impact on liver transplant patients. Another study indicates that cannabis may not be harmful to patients undergoing organ transplants.

The research, published in the journal Clinical Transportation, was based on examinations of 900 patients. The researchers looked at patients before and after liver transplantation, and ultimately found "no statistical difference in postoperative outcomes" between cannabis users and non-cannabis users, although the researchers noted " significant differences ”elsewhere between the two patient cohorts.

"These findings may help guide future policies regarding marijuana use in liver transplant candidates, although confirmation through the use of larger cohorts is warranted," the researchers wrote in their conclusion, cited by NORML.

This is not the first study to suggest that cannabis use does not pose additional risks in the event of an organ transplant. In fact, in 2009, a study showed that patients who underwent a liver transplant "who either used marijuana or not had a similar survival rate".

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Another study in 2010 identifies THC as a remedy to prevent the rejection of incompatible organs.

In 2019, another study found “no significant difference in respiratory complications of hospitalized or re-intubated patients” in cannabis users and non-cannabis users who had a liver transplant.

“Overall, pre-transplant cannabis use, past or current, does not appear to have an impact on liver transplant outcomes, although smoking remains detrimental,” the researchers wrote in this study, which has been published by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.

A year earlier, in 2018, a survey published in the Clinical Kidney Journal came to a similar conclusion when determining whether cannabis users should be candidates for kidney donation.

“There was no difference in perioperative characteristics or postoperative outcome of the donor or recipient based on the donor's marijuana use… There was no difference in kidney function between the groups [of non-donors. marijuana users] and [marijuana-consuming donors] and no long-term difference in renal allograft function between the [non-marijuana-consuming kidney recipients] and [marijuana-consuming kidney recipients] groups ”, wrote these researchers. "Taking into account people with a history of marijuana use for the donation of live kidneys could increase the number of donors and give acceptable results."

Laws catching up with transplant science

These studies are a valuable counterweight to long-standing laws that have prevented cannabis users from receiving the organ donation they need. The same is true of the laws that have been established to address this scenario. In 2016, California enacted a law that prohibits a "hospital, physician and surgeon, collection organization" from refusing an organ transplant "solely on the basis of a positive test for cannabis use. medical treatment by a potential recipient who is a qualified patient ”.

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Maine lawmakers followed suit in 2017, passing a bill that sought to reduce the exclusion of patients who use cannabis for medical purposes from eligibility for organ transplantation.

In considering the suitability of a qualified patient to receive an anatomical donation, the transplant assessor should qualify the medical use of cannabis as equivalent to the authorized use of any other drug used on medical prescription.

A transplant assessor may determine that an eligible patient is not suitable for receiving an anatomical donation if that patient does not restrict its medical use but to the use of prepared forms that are not smoked or vaporized.

A transplant assessor may require that cannabis, used for medical purposes by an eligible patient, be tested by an analytical laboratory for possible fungal contaminations.

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