The Jerusalem Post reports on a medical marijuana patient suing Israel’s health ministry for providing him with plants that are not safe.
When is medical marijuana not safe?
“Patient R” had a permit to grow his own cannabis plants for medicinal use, but the permit was revoked in 2013. He is now suing the health ministry for supplying him with government approved medicinal cannabis containing dangerous pesticides and mold. These pesticides are unsafe for human consumption and there should be clear rules for using chemicals to produce medicinal cannabis, says chairman of the Green Leaf Organization, Oren Lebovich.
Israel has at least 23,000 approved medical marijuana patients, and is the biggest producer of medical marijuana in the world. Many of these patients are cancer patients. Patient R reported that he felt sick after using the medicinal cannabis supplied by Teva-Adir for the government, even finding mold on the plants on closer inspection. He contends that it is unacceptable to give substandard products such as this to people who are already ill.
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Complaints are ignored
Patient R approached the government about the issue back in 2013, but was ignored. He then consulted a lawyer, Yaniv Peretz. He obtained samples from Teva-Adir, Tikun Olam and Seach with the help of Peretz, arranged for testing by Israeli cannabis researcher, Dr. Noam Chehanovsky at the Israeli Chemical Testing Laboratory. Chehanovsky discovered nine different pesticides on the Tikun Olam samples, alleged Peretz.
Tikun Olam denies these accusations of potentially dangerous quantities of plant regulators, fungicides and insecticides discovered in the samples.
The chief agronomist for Tikun Olam claimed he cannot reply on the findings as the report had no batch numbers or description of where the samples were taken from, or how the tests were done to obtain these findings.
These residues are not fit for food, never mind medicine
The pesticides found in the samples are prohibited to be used on food crops, never mind medicine. This form of medicine must be heated for consumption, and with heat the residues become more dangerous. The chemicals are absorbed through the lungs with no filter such as the liver, which removes toxins, Lebovich remarked. What is more, all three samples from Tikun Olam, didn’t contain the amount of active compounds they were claimed to have. The THC value for instance, was 20% less than stated, a problem for its use as a treatment where cannabinoid concentration is of critical importance.
Levels of active ingredients claimed not true
As an example, one strain was advertised as containing between 24 – 28% THC when in reality it contained 3.2%. The only reply Peretz received from the health ministry after the test results were sent to them, was that his client should use another supplier.
He expected the ministry to look into the issue, but instead they asked him for more information. Another expert from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, a former chief herbologist of the Plant Protection and Inspection Services Department, Tuvia Yaacoby commented that the amount of pesticides used is of concern, and that he was shocked, especially after an announcement by the government earlier this year that medical cannabis must be grown according to good practice.
He says this is very dangerous for sick people, who should not be inhaling poisonous gas, carbon monoxide and nitrogen. Medicinal plants should be treated like medicine. Products should be pure and clean, with no residues such as pesticides.
Is CBD oil safe?
CBD oil is safe if the plants are grown and produced by reputable manufacturers not using pesticides, and very importantly, stating the amount of cannabinoids contained in the oil clearly on the label with batch test results from a reputable laboratory to back up claims.