The article was published in Frontiers in Microbiology. It was researched and written by Kimberly Gwinn, professor of entomology and plant pathology at the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture: Maxwell Leung, assistant professor, and Ariell Stephens, graduate student, both from the School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences at Arizona State University; and Zamir Punja, professor of plant pathology/biotechnology at Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada.
“Hemp and cannabis are new crops, and we are in the early stages of understanding relationships with their pathogens. Several pathogens produce mycotoxins, compounds that negatively impact human health and are regulated in other crops. In this review, we summarize the current literature on mycotoxins in hemp and cannabis products, identify research gaps in potential mycotoxin contamination in hemp and cannabis, and identify potential developments based on research in other crop systems,” Gwinn said.
Cannabis research has mostly focused on the substance and medical uses of the plant, but with the increased legalization of cannabis for various uses, this article addresses the need for more study of potential health risks.
“Although fungi and mycotoxins are common and well-studied contaminants in many agricultural crop species, they have been generally under-studied in cannabis and hemp. This is partly because human health risk assessment methodologies used to regulate food and pharmaceuticals have yet to become standard for the emerging cannabis and hemp industries. Additionally, the wide range of consumer uses of cannabis and hemp flowers, including for medical use by patients with susceptible conditions, makes it uniquely challenging to assess and manage human health risk of these contaminants,” according to the article.
“We wrote this article to bring these issues to the attention of the scientific, medical, and regulatory communities. We hope to encourage further research in this area, particularly in the areas of mycotoxins in product. Better data and public access to data will allow us to fully evaluate these risks and subsequently ensure safe products for consumers,” Gwinn said.
Kimberly D. Gwinn et al, Fungal and mycotoxin contaminants in cannabis and hemp flowers: implications for consumer health and directions for further research, Frontiers in Microbiology (2023). DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2023.1278189
University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture
Contaminants in cannabis and hemp flowers create potential for health risks (2023, October 20)
retrieved 20 October 2023
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