In the U.S., people who admit using or test positive for cannabis are routinely denied kidney transplants or turned away when they offer to donate their kidneys. This practice has gone unchallenged until a recent study proved that marijuana doesn’t affect the outcomes of kidney transplant surgery.
The research to find out how marijuana affects recipients of kidneys during and after the transplant surgery was partly inspired by the story of a man in Maine who was denied a kidney and even removed from the waitlist because he was a user of medical cannabis.
A group of researchers reviewed the transplant records at one kidney transplant facility from 2000 to 2016. The data on the donors and kidney recipients was grouped based on whether those people consumed cannabis or not.
31 of the donors reviewed were found to have used cannabis while 27 of the kidney recipients were also consumers of marijuana.
The comparison revealed that no difference existed between the recipients who got kidneys from consumers of cannabis and those whose donors didn’t consume cannabis.
The researchers concluded that facilities should start accepting donors who consume cannabis since the substance doesn’t have any discernible effect on the performance of the kidneys after the transplant surgery.
Such a shift would increase the pool of possible donors in order to reduce the long waitlists for matches between donors and potential recipients. Finding a match is already hard enough as it is, so there is no justification to prevent potential donors from participating just because those donors have a history of consuming cannabis.
The researchers hope that their findings trigger a discussion in the scientific community and the medical centers involved in conducting kidney transplants.
The walls and stereotypes surrounding marijuana seem to be collapsing one by one. It is refreshing to realize that debunking the myths and misconceptions on cannabis is being spearheaded by the scientific community. Their findings cannot be accused of fueling propaganda either for or against marijuana. They are simply putting the facts straight.
Hopefully, those scientific studies will trigger a mindset change in the collective consciousness of communities that have for decades been brainwashed into thinking that the cannabis plant was evil and was connected to many of the social ills plaguing different communities.
Cannabis companies like TransCanna and VIVO Cannabis Inc. (TSX.V: VIVO) (OTCQX: VVCIF) welcome the findings of the researchers studying the relationship between cannabis consumption and kidney transplant outcomes. Such findings validate some of the things that cannabis companies have been saying all along.
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