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A study of the 'chocolate' which is sold on the streets warns that it is "a problem of public health"

The Spaniard Manuel Pérez Moreno has spent more than one year looking for camels that sold her hashish down the street. It has 54 years and two sons already University. "And have not smoked a joint in my life to me!" exclaims. Its mission has been to visit neighbourhoods of Madrid and cities in your environment, like Parla, Fuenlabrada, Alcorcón, Móstoles, Coslada, Las Rozas and Alcobendas. He arrived at the place and asked in a bar: "Hello, excuse me, do you know where can I buy cost?". It was located to local dealers, saw the goods, paid and took her to be.

Perez Moreno is a pharmacist of the Faculty of veterinary medicine of the Complutense University of Madrid. He has managed to get 90 samples of resin of cannabis, all of different camels. The result is the first detailed analysis of the chocolate that is sold on the street in Spain. "Most of the hashish sold in the community of Madrid is not suitable for human consumption, mainly due to microbiological criteria, and represents a danger for the health," concludes the study, published in the journal Forensic Science International.

More than 31% of the Spanish population of 15 to 64 years has used cannabis once in their life, according to the latest report on drugs of the Ministry of health. Almost three million people have smoked it in the last year. Perez has bad news for them. 75% of the samples analysed had large amounts of the bacterium Escherichia coli, an indicator of fecal contamination. Perez remembers the modus operandi of many traffickers. In Morocco, the acorns of hashish wrapped in cling film and ingest them, ball to ball, after eating yogurt to neutralize the stomach acids. "When they come to Spain they take laxative and eliminate the acorns. And that is put on sale,"says the pharmacist. 40% of the acorns smelled directly to Lee.

40% of the analyzed acorns smelled directly at Lee

The study of Perez points out that in recent years it has increased the number of people with cancer who smoke cannabis with the intention of reducing the side effects of chemotherapy. "These patients have the weakened immune system, so an infection caused by the consumption of contaminated or adulterated hashish could be fatal," the authors warn. The average amount of fecal bacteria in every ounce of resin is 500 times higher than the maximum limit set by us law for marijuana or by European regulation for fruits and tea.

The joints in Spain are marijuana (grass, smoked by 53% of consumers), hashish (resin, smoked by 17%) or a cocktail of both (30%). Fecal bacteria are not the only risk. Team Perez was detected in 10% of samples fungi of the genus Aspergillus, infections and dangerous allergic responses. "An aspergillosis can cause death if it is not", warns pharmacist.

"Clearly it is a public health problem," says biologist immaculate Santos, co-author of the study and also Professor of the Faculty of veterinary medicine. "The amounts of bacteria that we have seen are a lot. The problem is not only the inhalation. Hashish is is manipulating with his hands constantly", he explains. The authors warn, moreover, consumers to undervalue these contamination because they think they are removed with the combustion. "The filters of the joints are hollow. "Not only to breathe the smoke, also expect particles", says Perez.

10% of the samples presented fungi of the genus 'Aspergillus', responsible for infections and allergic responses

"It's a very interesting study, because the hashish is absent from the scientific literature," applauds the psychologist Claudio Vidal, Energy control, a project of the welfare and Development Association drug risk reduction. However, Vidal is cautious. "It's a small number of samples and we don't know how many different hash matches were circulating at the time. We cannot know if the results are representative of the hashish which is sold in the community of Madrid or Spain", he says.

In 2012, Energy Control analyzed 170 samples of hashish and 4% of them found fungi, compactantes substances or plant debris. The researchers, however, did not seek bacterial contamination.

335 tonnes of cannabis resin were seized by the Spanish authorities in 2017, but Perez stressed that the quality of the drug in these large seizures was very different from the of culero hashish that is sold in the streets. Unlike the chocolate in the form of acorns, appearing in Spain rectally, hashish distributed plates usually arrive on Board of boats gliding. The Perez team also analysed 17 of these ingots. 30% had fecal bacteria above the limits, compared to 93% in the case of the acorns.

"This type of contamination is due to that the hashish is illegal in Spain. On a regulated market, it would be unthinkable,"Vidal says. Manuel Pérez pharmacist summarizes its project with the title of a book published in 2013 by the psychologist Eduardo Hidalgo: know what you get? (Editions Estudiantes). Perez says that, to carry it out, he paid out-of-pocket drug and destroyed the samples in a boat with hydrochloric acid after analyzing them. "I didn't look for a grant to buy hashish", he jokes.

INFO taken from: "EL PAIS"

Etiqueta: hash, joints
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