Study: Cannabis Use Doesn’t Negatively Impact Organ Transplants

Loma Linda, CA: A history of cannabis use is not associated with an increased likelihood of adverse outcomes among either those donating or receiving kidney organ transplants, according to data published in the Clinical Kidney Journal.

A team of California researchers assessed whether cannabis use detrimentally impacts the health of those undergoing kidney transplants. Hospital staff in several states, as a matter of policy, refuse to accept organ transplants from donors with a history of cannabis use, and also refuse to permit those who use cannabis to be placed on waiting lists for transplants.

Authors concluded: “There is no difference in renal function between MUD (marijuana using donors) and NMUD (non-MUDS) groups following kidney donation. In addition, there is no difference between MKR (marijuana kidney recipients) and NMKR (non-MKR) groups following transplant. … [I]t is hoped that the results of this study may encourage open dialog, and ultimately increase the kidney donor pool.”

Separate studies have previously reported that marijuana use is not contraindicated in patients receiving either kidney transplants or liver transplants.

Legislation enacted in two states, California and Maine, explicitly prohibits patients with a history of cannabis use from being denied organ transplants. Similar legislation was vetoed in New Mexico by Republican Gov. Susana Martinez.

For more information, contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: Full text of the study, “Should donors who have used marijuana be considered candidates for living kidney donation?”, appears in Clinical Kidney Journal.