Mycotoxins are natural products produced as secondary metabolites by molds and fungi. Cannabis cultivation methods create the perfect conditions for mycotoxins, but cannabis can become contaminated through storage, transportation and during processing.
Mycotoxin Exposure: The Risks & Dangers
Both acute and chronic exposure to mycotoxins and their metabolites cause many types of toxicity. These include: hepatotoxicity, genotoxicity, and neurotoxicity.
One specific type, aflatoxins, are thought to be carcinogenic and have serious health concerns including kidney damage and certain cancers. According to a World Health Organization report, large doses of aflatoxins can be life threatening, but are also harmful in other ways:
- As carcinogens, they can have an impact on any of the organ systems in the body but are especially harmful to the livers and kidneys.
- They affect DNA which could potentially lead to birth defects in children.
- Aflatoxins are immunosuppressive which can make it easier to catch infectious diseases.
The Importance of Mycotoxin Reference Materials
The presence of mycotoxins can persist in cannabis-related products which makes it extremely important to protect consumers with robust and reliable testing. Each state has varying rules and regulations for what is permissible for mycotoxin levels in cannabis, similar to testing for residual solvents or pesticide testing.
It is crucial that cannabis products be tested in an official cannabis laboratory using proper chemicals, equipment and supplies. ItemGrabber Green offers a range of high-quality mycotoxins reference materials to support your analysis of cannabis and related products.