#1 Product Safety Hazards in Cannabis

Product Safety Hazards in Cannabis

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Safe food consumption
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Salad fruits with cannabis

Cannabis safety is not just about edibles and food-borne illness. Take a look at several found by cultivators, processors, manufacturers and retailers.

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Mixing fruits with cannabis

I think that we need to start changing the terminology around the hazards associated with cannabis to product safety hazards.

These hazards have not only been associated with harmful effects for those that ingest cannabis infused goods, but also for those that consume the cannabis in other ways such as inhalation (vaping or smoking).

So, when we refer to these hazards as food safety hazards, the immediate thought is edibles, which misleads cultivators, manufacturers and consumers to have a false sense of security around the safety of products that are consumed in other ways.

There are several key safety hazards that have been associated with cannabis. These hazards can become a public health problem if not controlled as they could harm the consumer, regardless of the method of consumption.

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Be careful with cannabis

Biological Hazards

Refer to those microorganisms that can cause illness to the consumer.

They are not visible to the naked eye and are very dangerous when their metabolic by-products (toxins) are ingested or their spores are inhaled.

The symptoms for illnesses caused by these microorganisms will vary. Consumers may experience gastrointestinal discomfort (vomiting, diarrhea), headaches, fever and other symptoms.

The ingestion of these pathogens, allergens or their by-products may lead to death, if the illness is not treated on time or if the consumer is immunocompromised.

In addition, the inhalation of mold spores when smoking cannabis products, can lead to lung disease and death.

Some of the biological hazards associated with cannabis are: Salmonella sp., E. coli, Clostridium botulinum, Aspergillus sp. and Penicillium sp.

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Safety Hazards

Chemical Hazards

Refer to those chemicals that can be present in the plant or finished product due to human applications (pesticides), operational processes (extraction solvents and cleaning chemicals), soil properties (heavy metals), environmental contamination (radiological chemicals) or as a result of occurring naturally (mycotoxins and allergens).

Consuming high concentrations of cleaning chemicals in a product can lead to a wide range of symptoms from mild rash, burning sensation in the oral-respiratory system, gastrointestinal discomfort or death.

In addition, long term exposure to chemicals such as pesticides, heavy metals, radiological contaminants and mycotoxins may lead to the development of cancers.

Physical Hazards

Refer to those foreign materials that may be present in the plant or finished product.

Foreign materials such as rocks, plastics or metals can cause harm to the consumer by chipping teeth or laceration of the mouth membranes (lips, inner cheeks, tong, esophagus, etc.)

In the worst-case scenario, physical hazards may lead to choking, which can cause death due to asphyxiation.

Conclusion

These hazards can be prevented, eliminated or reduced to an acceptable level when foundation programs (Good Agricultural/Cultivation Practices, Good Manufacturing Practices, Allergen Management Program, Pest Control, etc.) are combined with a Food [Product] Safety Plan.

These lead to a Food [Product] Safety Management System that is designed to keep consumers safe, regardless of the method of consumption.

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Author Unknown 

I must emphazed this article was found I did not wroted the author mentioned to share it 

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