Lead Poisoning by Marijuana

Marijuana Lead Poisoning Due to Adulterated Marijuana

The 10 April 2008 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine describes that during a period of 3 to 4 months in Leipzig, Germany (population 650,000), 29 patients were admitted to hospital with lead poisoning, and it emerged that they were all regular users of marijuana.

A further 95 people were found to have elevated lead levels on testing offered following detection of this problem.

Analysis of home supplies of marijuana detected high lead levels, and lead particles were visible in one sample. The patients had consumed only 2 to 9 joints per week.

Symptoms included;

  • Nausea,
  • Vomiting,
  • Weight Loss,
  • Fatigue
  • A blue line along the gums (Burton’s Line)
  • Polyneuropathy (Many nerves malfunctioning at once)
  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Altered Hemoglobin levels, and
  • Elevated blood levels of lead

The authors of the letter hypothesise that lead particles were added to increase the weight of the samples sold by weight. Lead in the samples examined constituted 10% of the weight, translating into a profit of US$1,500 per kilogram of ‘marijuana’.

Lead particles smoked in a joint, which has a core temperature of 1200 degrees C, are effectively absorbed in the respiratory tract.

This just shows what some people will do to make a profit!

See also;

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