Research uncovers the truth about liver transplants and cannabis consumers

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Cannabis consumers are typically rejected as donors, but science finds this isn’t necessary

It is well known that all people who undergo an organ transplant must be careful with the substance to be used to avoid repercussions on their health. In the case of liver transplantation, cannabis users have been denied undergoing this procedure, but scientists have been given the task of finding out if this really had any merit.

Depending on the state you live in, marijuana users are regularly denied organ transplants. But the reasons behind them may not even make sense. This clearly still seems odd to many, considering that a large number of Americans have confirmed to be active users of the plant.

While there is no consensus among medical experts on cannabis use and organ transplants, at least eight states in the country have given the green light to laws that deny a transplant solely because of cannabis use. However, different researchers have reported that there is no significant difference in overall mortality between cannabis users and non-users.

Specialists at the University of Alabama at Birmingham set out to compare the survival rates of liver transplant recipients based on their marijuana use. In total, 111 cannabis-using patients with many different types of liver disease were part of the study. All of them required a liver transplant.

The researchers noted that only 32 cannabis-using patients out of the 111 received a liver transplant. The rest were denied for various reasons, mostly for explicitly using cannabis.

After examining the patients’ medical records for any complications, the authors reported that “there was no significant difference in overall mortality between marijuana users and non-users,” and marijuana use before transplantation “was not associated with post-transplant infections or readmissions up to one year after surgery.”