Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a bacterium that has been isolated from human beings and plants. It is an opportunistic pathogen that can infect the respiratory system of patients with weakened immune system. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is commonly present in moist locations, such as soil and water, which happen to be the two most common growth media for Cannabis. It’s no surprise then, that Pseudomonas aeruginosa has been identified on cannabis samples.
Why Test Cannabis for Pseudomonas aeruginosa?
The use of Cannabis sativa (aka marijuana) dates back to thousands of years B.C and still remains a popular recreational psychoactive substance that can be smoked as a cigarette and also through a water pipe (bong). A case of marijuana smoking using a “bong” device, which resulted in severe pneumonia associated with Pseudomonas aeruginosa was reported in 2017. Although it’s not clear whether the Cannabis was the source of the bacterium, the case highlights the importance of recognizing that life‐threatening pneumonia caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa can potentially be linked to Cannabis usage.
Based on available information, products made from fresh raw Cannabis for commercial purposes should be tested for Pseudomonas aeruginosa and other bacteria such as Clostridium botulinum, and the toxigenic Escherichia coli (E. coli).