Lead researcher Manuel Pérez Moreno says that drug traffickers are wrapping the hash in some plastic and swallowing it to get it past authorities. After the hash is concealed in their intestines, the traffickers use a laxative to get the hash out of their body so it can be retrieved and sold illegally on the streets.
Those looking for medical marijuana on the streets of Spain are actually getting their hands on regurgitated weed that is heavily contaminated with E. coli and other human waste particles. The amount of E. coli in the hash samples was 500 times greater than the maximum amount allowed by U.S. regulations for microbial contamination in regulated cannabis products. Approximately 66.4 percent of the samples contained foreign particles that aren’t naturally found in hash. Additionally, about ten percent of the hash samples also contained a mold species called Aspergillus, which can cause serious health issues and potentially death. Aspergillus is common in cannabis samples that are damp, that were not dried properly.
The dealers sell the hash in two sizes. The larger units are called "ingots" and the smaller units are called “acorns.” About 29.4 percent of the “ingots” were contaminated with high levels of E. coli bacteria. Precisely 93 percent of the “acorns” tested positive for the potentially infectious bacteria. Due to their small size, almost every “acorn” on the street is smuggled in through the digestive tract of drug traffickers. The researchers could actually detect fecal odor coming off of the “acorn” samples. (Related: Legal weed dangers: After dealing with multiple contaminants, California has found that, like all crops, marijuana needs to be inspected and tested.)
An E. coli infection can cause severe abdominal cramps, bouts of diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration, and even hemorrhaging. Patients undergoing chemotherapy struggle with a depleted immune system. If chemo patients smoke Spanish street weed to help ease the nausea that comes from the treatments, they could easily come down with a debilitating E. coli infection. The infection is more likely to occur in people with a weakened immune system and more likely to be fatal.
According to Spain’s Ministry of Health, about 31 percent of Spain’s population between the ages of 15 and 64 admit that they have used cannabis at least once. Because hash is often rolled up with tobacco and smoked using a hollow filter in a "spliff," users are routinely sucking in smoke and taking in fecal particles at the same time. Illegal street hash is now a public health issue in Spain.
Another problem with cannabis is that heavy metals such as cadmium concentrate in the leaves of the plant. Over time, exposure to cadmium causes hypertension and kidney degeneration. Pesticides may be used in the growing process as well, contributing to cannabis toxicity. Instead of inhaling smoke, cadmium, pesticides, and potentially high levels of fecal matter, many people are turning to CBD oil. This is a safer concentrate of the cannabis plant, with no THC and also free from fecal matter.
For more on this topic, visit CBDs.News.