Cannabis Use Does Not Negatively Impact Survival Rates in Transplantation Subjects

Photo Credit: The Daily Chronic

Photo Credit: The Daily Chronic

A new study from the University of Michigan and published in the journal Current Psychiatry Reports suggests cannabis use would not cause harm for those undergoing organ transplants. Researchers looked at how cannabis use affects transplant patients after surgery, and found, “..sStudies suggest that the overall survival rates in kidney, liver, lung, and heart transplant patients using marijuana are equivalent to non-users… Transplant teams should not de facto exclude marijuana users from transplant listing. … Appropriate stewardship over donor organs, a limited and precious resource, … require[s] a balance of high-clinical standards with inclusive efforts to treat as many patients as possible.”

This information has been brought to you by the Daily Chronic and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

Study: Marijuana Use Not Associated With Adverse Outcomes In Transplant Patients

Photo Credit: The Daily Chronic

Photo Credit: The Daily Chronic

Data published in the journal Clinical Transplantation suggests there is no link between marijuana use and adverse outcomes from kidney transplantation. The study looked at the connection between marijuana and treatment outcomes in 1,225 kidney recipients between the years of 2008 and 2013. The researchers from the University of Maryland School of Medicine discovered patients who had used cannabis did not face a greater risk of adverse outcomes after one year than those who did not use marijuana. Authors concluded, "[R]ecreational marijuana use should not be considered a contraindication to kidney transplantation."

This news could influence the rules of many hospitals, where patients who test positive for marijuana are disqualified from receiving a transplant. In fact, marijuana may actually benefit transplantation. As one clinical trial from 2015 found, CBD administration mitigated certain potential adverse effects from stem cell transplantation.

This information has been brought to you by The Daily Chronic and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Time to Add Transplants to the Benefits of Medical Cannabis

Photo Credit: Blaze Now

Photo Credit: Blaze Now

There has been some controversy in politics recently on whether or not medical marijuana patients should be allowed on organ transplant lists, but new research suggests medical cannabis could actually help those who receive organ transplants.

The Journal of Leukocyte Biology recently published a clinical study conducted at the University of South Carolina's School of Medicine. The study analyzed the effects of THC on the suppression of host-versus-graft disease (HvGD), which is a common issue when it comes to tissue and organ transplants. Researchers took two groups of mice with different genetic makeups and administered THC to one group and placebo to the other. The mice then received skin transplants from the opposite group, ensuring the tissue would be rejected due to the differences in genetic makeup. The mice who had received THC before the operation had superior skin-graft survival rates and delayed rejections in comparison to those that did not. This is because the THC reduced T cell proliferation, which promotes transplant rejections. The authors concluded, "Our research shows, for the first time to our knowledge, that targeting cannabinoid receptors may provide a novel treatment modality to attenuate HvGD and prevent allograft rejection."

While these results are promising, they are not conclusive as to how they would translate to the human species. In the future, it would be interesting to see how the clinical trial would perform on actual patients. This information has been provided by Blaze Now and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

THC May Help Prevent Organ Rejection by Transplant Patients

Image: Blazenow

Image: Blazenow

A significant amount of research suggests medical marijuana can treat a wide variety of chronic symptoms and illnesses. There is also evidence to support the use of medical marijuana for treating non-chronic ailments, like facilitating the post-surgery healing process.

Now, a study conducted by researchers at the University of South Carolina and published in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology in September 2015 shows THC may help prevent a patient's body from rejecting an organ transplant. The study involved transplanting incompatible skin between two groups of mice. One group received a placebo, while the other received THC. The group that received THC experienced a delayed rejection of the skin graft in comparison with the other group, indicating THC serves as a useful anti-rejection therapy.

One of the researchers involved in the study, Mitzi Nagarkatti, Ph.D., said "We are excited to demonstrate for the first time that cannabinoid receptors play an important role in the prolongation of rejection of a foreign graft by suppressing the immune response in the recipient... This opens up a new area of research that would lead to better approaches to prevent transplant rejection as well as to treat other inflammatory diseases."

You can read more about the use of cannabinoids in facilitating organ donation and transplants on BlazeNow.