Marijuana smoking and fungal sensitization.

Author: 

Kagen SL, Kurup VP, Sohnle PG, Fink JN.
J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1983 Apr;71(4):389-93.

Abstract: 

The possible role of marijuana (MJ) in inducing sensitization to Aspergillus organisms was studied in 28 MJ smokers by evaluating their clinical status and immune responses to microorganisms isolated from MJ. The spectrum of illnesses included one patient with systemic aspergillosis and seven patients with a history of bronchospasm after the smoking of MJ. Twenty-one smokers were asymptomatic. Fungi were identified in 13 of 14 MJ samples and included Aspergillus fumigatus, A. flavus, A. niger, Mucor, Penicillium, and thermophilic actinomycetes. Precipitins to Aspergillus antigens were found in 13 of 23 smokers and in one of 10 controls, while significant blastogenesis to Aspergillus was demonstrated in only three of 23 MJ smokers. When samples were smoked into an Andersen air sampler, A. fumigatus passed easily through contaminated MJ cigarettes. Thus the use of MJ assumes the risks of both fungal exposure and infection, as well as the possible induction of a variety of immunologic lung disorders.