Have you ever wondered why most fungi cause so many health issues? Some of those issues are resulted by certain productions of fungus, known as Mycotoxins.
Mycotoxins are toxic secondary metabolites created by a fungus (molds). In basic terms, they are considered as fungal poisons. The molds grow on various types of crops, including cannabis/hemp, and foodstuffs often under warm and humid conditions.
Types of Mycotoxins
Mycotoxins consist of four aflatoxins (O1, O2, G1, G2) and Ochratoxin A. Ochratoxin A is a known carcinogen and can be dangerous. Aflatoxins are toxic and may cause immunotoxicity, teratogenicity, and hepatotoxicity.
Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) is one of the most potent naturally occurring carcinogens and is the most toxic member of this group of mycotoxins.
What’s the Problem with Mycotoxins?
Mycotoxins are poisonous to both humans and animals. They cause a variety of adverse effects, including symptoms of acute poisoning. The long-term effects of chronic exposure to mycotoxins may include immune deficiencies and cancer. You can absorb mycotoxins by breathing them in — for example, through exposure to toxic mold in the environment, and also through your skin or through the intestinal lining if you eat foods contaminated with mycotoxins.
Symptoms of Possible Mold and Mycotoxin Exposure
- runny stuffy nose
- rapid weight gain or loss
- hair loss
- dry skin
- hypersensitivity pneumonitis
- chronic pain
- leaky gut
- blurred vision
- behavioral changes
- teeth problems
- insulin resistance
- chemical sensitivity (Toxic Encephalopathy)
- constipation and or diarrhea
- abdominal cramps
- heart failure
Inflammatory conditions can occur due to Mycotoxins ability to push the immune system into overdrive. This is why it is important to always check lab reports before using any kind of cannabis product to ensure it is free of molds.
If a mold or mycotoxin concern is suspected, it is highly suggested to seek a practitioner who is knowledgeable in this specific area to confirm a diagnosis and oversee progress.
** Image courtesy of Quantum Analytics- Webinar: Mycotoxin Screening and Regulations in Cannabis Testing.